A Truck Accident Can Be Devastating

In a single moment, a reckless truck driver can change the course of your life.

Statistics gathered from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration show that accidents involving large trucks are more likely to injure or kill the occupants of another vehicle than the occupants of the truck. While truck accident fatalities have decreased in recent years, the number of non-fatal injuries has increased dramatically. Regulations (both mandated and self-imposed) within the trucking industry attempt to decrease the risk by addressing issues like driver exhaustion, unworkable delivery schedules, and number of miles/hours driven, not enough is not being done to prevent accidents.

Victims who have been injured by negligent truck drivers should never feel burdened with the mountain of bills and debt that a truck accident can lead to. At a minimum, medical bills, lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering should be covered by the negligent party.

Collecting adequate compensation in a truck accident case can be difficult, but you do not have to fight the battle alone. Let the skilled Tampa truck accident attorney team of Winters & Yonker work to get you the compensation you deserve.

Why Truck Accidents Happen

Most truck accidents happen for the same reason passenger vehicle accidents happen. Here are a few common things that have been found in past cases to be the causes:

Driver Error

With more devices and diversions competing for our attention today than ever before, drivers of any kind of vehicle are becoming increasingly distracted behind the wheel. Tuning the radio, talking over CB, checking and sending texts, eating, smoking — all of these activities impair a driver’s ability to safely operate their vehicle.

Distracted driving can lead to swerving, running red lights, speeding, and other behaviors that can lead to a serious accident. In addition to the distractions faced by drivers of smaller vehicles, truck drivers must contend with larger blind spots, longer stopping distances, and wide turning ratios, particularly for right turns.

Being distracted while trying to manage the extra heft and size of a large truck can lead to a deadly accident. Truck drivers who spend too many hours on the road also face acute fatigue. Even with strict regulations limiting the number of hours a truck driver spends behind the wheel per day, maintaining focus for long stretches can be tiring. It is also worthy to note that there are no regulations governing the amount of sleep truckers get during their off time, which con compound the problem considerably.

Poor Weather Conditions

Slick roads and poor visibility can challenge even the best driver, regardless of the vehicle. When combined with the unique logistics of driving a large truck, the challenge to maintain control in adverse conditions can grow exponentially. The increased braking distance combined with adverse weather and visibility conditions can be a recipe to serious, even fatal accidents.

Mechanical Failure

Truck drivers stake their livelihood on their vehicles. If their trucks need to be repaired, that is time off the road. It is also time during which they aren’t getting paid. Because of this, too many drivers opt to ignore seemingly small mechanical problems far longer than they should, turning small problems into much larger ones over time. Sometimes, undetected manufacturing defects can lead to mechanical failures like tire blowouts and malfunctioning brakes.

PROVING NEGLIGENCE

In bringing a case of personal injury in a truck accident case, there are a number of parties who could be held liable. At Winters & Yonker, we examine every possible point at which negligence could have occurred during the accident. Among the many things we consider are:

  • The driver
  • The employer
  • The owner or lessee of the truck
  • The leasing company that supplied the truck or trailer
  • The owner of the trailer (if the driver is carrying a load)
  • The truck or trailer manufacturer
  • The manufacturer of a defective component

Even with the numerous areas wherein negligence can occur, the overwhelming majority of truck driving accidents can be traced back to negligent driving. Some common indications of truck driver negligence include:

  • Lack of experience or adequate training
  • Overloaded trucks
  • Operating trucks on prohibited or narrow roadways
  • Poor blind spot management
  • Failing to obey the rules of the road or traffic laws
  • Failing to stop at weigh stations
  • Driving too long without a break

Our attorneys have years of combined experience handling complex truck accident cases. We understand how to determine where and with whom liability lies in your specific case. As part of a thorough investigation, we always consider the following:

  • The party with primary custody and control over the vehicle at the time of the accident
  • Driving logs, weigh-ins, manifests, and other records
  • The level of management assumed by the employer
  • The vehicle and trailer’s performance history
  • Maintenance records
  • Potential federal or state violations regarding equipment and operating regulations
  • Past driver/employer violations of state or federal trucking laws
  • Driver criminal record
  • Possible manufacturing defects

To prove negligence in a truck accident lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove three things:

1. The driver of the truck had a duty of care to operate with safety toward the other vehicles on the road.

2. The driver breached his or her duty of care through action or inaction

3. The injury occurred as the result of that breach.

In certain instances, numerous parties can be named in the lawsuit or separate lawsuits covering different areas of personal injury will need to be filed. To help you sort through all the details and identify all negligent parties, you need a qualified Tampa truck accident lawyer on your side. Call Winters & Yonker, Tampa’s aggressive personal injury attorneys, today at 888-373-7770 and speak to a lawyer about your case for free.

Product Liability in Truck Accidents

If a defect in the truck or one of the components of the truck can be proven to have contributed to the accident, you may have an actionable claim against the manufacturer(s). Proving negligence in a product liability action in a truck accident case requires the plaintiff to show:

1. The defective part of the truck was “unreasonably dangerous.”

2. The truck driver was operating the truck as intended by the manufacturer.

3. There were no observable changes to the performance of the truck since the initial purchase.

Proof of negligence is not a necessary part of a product liability suit. Nonetheless, claimants must be able to prove that the defect originated during the manufacturing process in order to prevail. Quite often, this means expert analysis, testing, and expert testimony, all of which you Winters & Yonker truck accident attorney can and will arrange on your behalf.

Wrongful Death in Truck Accidents

Because of the severity of some truck accidents, victim sometimes do not survive the crash. In the event of a wrongful death in a truck accident, the victim’s family can bring a claim on behalf of the deceased and recover significant compensation for all related damages and expenses. Economic (wage and earnings related), non-economic (funeral expenses, counseling, etc.), and, in some cases, punitive damages are awarded in wrongful death truck accident cases.

If you have lost a loved one in a truck accident, call the Tampa truck accident lawyers at Winters & Yonker today. Our experienced legal team is here to help you ease through what is undoubtedly a trying emotional time in your life. We are happy to meet with you when and where it is most convenient and we never charge for our services unless we collect money for you. Call 888-373-7770 to arrange a free, no-cost initial consultation on your case, or get started online.

Common Truck Accident Injuries

Injuries sustained during a truck accident can vary based on the nature and severity of the accident, but there are some injuries that are more common to truck accidents than others. Among them:

Some of the above injuries could require lifelong medical treatment and care. They can also drastically change the course of a person’s life. Severe truck accident injuries can leave the victim unable to work or earn the same amount of money they did before the accident due to long-term or permanent disability. This is one of many reasons why it is important to seek legal help from an experienced Tampa truck accident attorney if you have been injured in a truck-related auto accident. Contact Winters & Yonker at 888-373-7770 today. We have helped people all over Florida fight and win truck accident cases and receive the compensation they deserved for their injuries. We welcome the opportunity to do the same for you.

Florida Truck Accident Statistics

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration’s most recent report on large truck accidents covers reported traffic incidents involving large trucks in 2014. Published in May of 2016, the report details some of the commonalities in single and multi-vehicle truck accidents nationwide as well as in Florida. Specifically, the report states that Florida is ranked third in the nation for truck fatalities after Texas and California.

  • In 2014, nearly 438,000 large trucks were involved in some type of traffic accident.
  • In 2014, over 110,000 people were injured in truck accidents. Approximately 3,903 people were killed.
  • Truck accident fatalities decreased by 2% from 2013 to 2014.
  • Truck accident injuries, however, increased 17% from 2013 to 2014.
  • A two-vehicle truck accident is more likely to result in injury to the driver and passengers of the smaller vehicle.
  • 45% of all two-vehicle accidents involving trucks also involved a head-on collision in 2014.
  • In 2014, 73% of those injured in truck accidents were in a vehicle besides the truck.
  • 10% of those injured in truck accidents in 2014 were pedestrians or bicyclists.

Consulting a Tampa Truck Accident Attorney

While carrying auto insurance is mandatory in the state of Florida, it doesn’t always fully cover the medical costs related to an accident.

If you have been injured in a truck accident due to another party’s negligence, the time to contact a Tampa truck accident lawyer is now. The expert legal team at Winters & Yonker are here to help build your case and guide you through all the steps to collecting damages.

As your truck accident lawyers, we will fight aggressively for your right to compensation. We understand that after an accident, you may need time to recover from your injuries. That is why we don’t wait for you to be able to come to us. We come to you. We can meet you in the hospital, at home, or anyplace else that helps make the process easier and stress-free so you can focus on healing.

Call us today at 888-373-7770 or contact us online anytime of day, any day of the week. We are always here, ready to fight for the rights of injured people in Florida.