Throughout the United States, millions of people get into their vehicles and drive on both roads and highways to reach their destinations. From senior citizens running errands to parents dropping their children off at school, our daily lives are shared with those whose job is to transport large amounts of commercial goods quickly and efficiently.
Unfortunately, this sharing of the road between passenger vehicles and commercial trucks is often a dangerous and lethal combination. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, over 98% of all truck accidents result in at least one fatality. This is because the sheer size and weight of a truck poses a significant threat on the road in that the larger the truck, the more difficult the ability to stop and maintain control in times of crisis.
The bulk of trucking accidents are very serious, with many involving multiple cars and trucks. Poor driving skills, distraction, fatigue, intoxication, lack of visibility, and violation of traffic laws are often the main causes of a truck accident. However, although many of these variables are commonly associated with the driver of the truck involved, 75% of all trucking accidents stem from the negligence attributed to the driver of a nearby passenger vehicle. Poor road design and bad weather are also factors that can lead to an accident involving a truck.
Every 3 minutes, a person is injured or killed due to a trucking accident. The state of Florida has been among the top 5 states in the U.S. with the most truck accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Florida ranked third in 2009 for most traffic fatalities just under California and Texas. Total truck accident fatalities for that year totaled 2,558, with 110 lives lost in Volusia and Flagler County combined.
What people may not realize is that there are two classifications of trucks: interstate and intrastate. Interstate traffic involves commercial carriers and vehicles that travel between states. This includes highway trucks, logging trucks, department store big rigs, United Postal Service trucks, FEDEX trucks and private charters like Greyhound buses. Intrastate traffic involves commercial carriers that are working and delivering goods within a single state. This includes school buses, fire trucks, garbage trucks, public transportation buses and vans, dump trucks, gas trucks, cement trucks and water trucks.
The two classifications of trucks are governed by different sets of regulations; interstate trucks are regulated solely by the Department of Transportation and are covered under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Intrastate trucks and buses are regulated by state laws. The State of Florida, however, has adopted numerous Department of Transportation regulations into its state laws, so intrastate truck drivers and companies will still be held against certain regulations if found to be negligent for causing a truck accident with a passenger vehicle.
The average passenger vehicle weighs 3,000 pounds while a commercial truck can easily weigh twenty-five times that amount. Thus, impact between the two motor vehicles can often result in common but serious injuries such as burns, spinal cord damage, traumatic brain damage, broken bones, paralysis, lost limbs, and death.
However, perhaps the more significant result of a trucking accident is what happens after the crash. Confronted with injury and loss of wages, a victim of a trucking accident can soon face a great and devastating struggle to pay their bills, feed their family, or complete their daily activities. Fortunately, you have a right to seek financial compensation for your damages.
At Rue, Ziffra & Caldwell, we have represented truck accident victims for over 25 years and have worked to get you the full and fair results for your injuries, losses, and suffering. If the tragic physical, financial, and emotional consequences of a truck crash have devastated you or your family, attorneys at Rue, Ziffra & Caldwell can help you understand your rights, sort out your options, and pursue justice.
When individuals are involved in a truck accident, they are often faced with many uncertainties in regards to their rights and future. Below, we hope to provide you with assurance as we answer our most common questions regarding truck accidents:
City Trucks – Including information on such vehicles as fire trucks, garbage trucks, school buses and public transportation.
Highway Trucks – Including information on such vehicles as 18 wheelers, tractor trailers and logging trucks.
Business Trucks – Including information on such vehicles as United Postal Service (UPS) trucks, FEDEX delivery trucks and private charters (like greyhound buses).
Construction Trucks – Including information on such vehicles as cement trucks, gas trucks, water trucks and dump trucks.
At Rue, Ziffra & Caldwell, we know that being in a trucking accident is both a complicated and overwhelming experience for you and your family. In the aftermath of the crash, victims are confronted with intricate rules and laws, countless unknowns, and an unrelenting fight against the trucking company involved for compensation of your damages.
We sincerely hope that this information has aided you in your time of need. However, we do realize that the above questions and answers are just the beginning. This is why our attorneys want you to know that you don’t have to be left in the dark in your time of need – there are legal professionals here that are knowledgeable and prepared to fight for your better interests.
If you or someone close to you has been involved in a truck-related accident, please contact an experienced accident attorney now at Rue, Ziffra & Caldwell. We proudly serve areas throughout and around Volusia County and Flagler County, Florida, including, Port Orange, Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach, Edgewater, Ormond Beach, Palm Coast, Flagler Beach, DeLand, Deltona, Bunnell, Orange City, Sanford, Orlando, and Leesburg.