Studies have shown that the average commercial truck (Big Rig / tractor trailer / 18 wheeler / semi) on America’s roadways today typically carries a load that weighs more than 80,000 pounds, while most cars (including minivans and sedans) that share those roads weigh something under 3000 pounds. Combine the huge disparity in weight with the speed of these moving vehicles on a highway or interstate, and it is easy to understand why so many truck accidents are fatal for the passengers of the vehicle that collides with the commercial truck (Big Rig / tractor trailer / 18 wheeler / semi).
However, there are even more dangers to consider other than weight disparity in a Big Rig / tractor trailer / 18-wheeler commercial truck crash. First, there is the truck cargo. Semis and 18-wheelers often carry huge loads of flammable or hazardous materials. In a crash, this can mean devastating chemical burns, respiratory injuries, spills, and fire.
Second, there is the potential impairment of the truck driver’s ability and skill. Federal studies have found that a Big Rig / tractor trailer / 18-wheeler commercial truck driver is 10 times more likely to be the cause of a fatal commercial truck accident than bad weather, road conditions, or any other cause of the accident.
Exhausted truckers abound on US roadways today, and they do so legally. Under federal law, commercial truckers are allowed to drive their big rigs non-stop for a continuous 11 hours a day. Truckers must stop work after this 11 hour of service (HOS) mark, but they are free to drive — without stopping — straight up to that deadline.
Research shows that this HOS deadline becomes dangerous when the 18-wheeler truck driver keeps driving after his 10th hour behind the wheel. He can do so legally, but an exhausted truck driver risks a crash, and taking drugs to stay awake (which is not legal) only adds to the current problem. Accordingly, fatigue is a major cause of commercial truck accidents, and jackknifing and turning accidents are also common.
It is a tragic truth that in the United States today, most large commercial truck wrecks result in death. These huge semi trucks crashing into passenger vehicles, even at relatively slow speeds, all too often kill or seriously injure the passengers of the sedan, minivan, or SUV.
Trucking companies and truckers are well aware of the risks of their business, and they have spent the time and money necessary to organize an immediate response to a commercial truck accident. The trucker will be trained to report the accident as soon as possible, and this will sometimes happen immediately after the crash. The trucker’s insurance company will have experience in commercial truck crashes, and this insurance company’s local adjuster will begin immediately defending the trucker and his employer, as well as the owner of the cargo, its distributor, and possibly, the store where the load was headed. They’ll start collecting evidence to defend against the truck crash as soon as they can.
As Florida injury attorneys who have represented many victims of a Big Rig / Tractor Trailer / 18-wheeler crash, we know it’s sad but true that a victim of an 18-wheeler truck accident might be introduced to the trucker’s insurance adjuster before the ER physician. At Allen & Abaray, P.A., we are also well prepared to prosecute these cases on behalf of the injury victims and their families.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a large, commercial truck, then you may be entitled to recover significant financial compensation for your losses. Compensation may include money damages for wrongful death, physical disfigurement, pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost income, and lost earning capacity.
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If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury or wrongful death due to a commercial truck accident, then please feel free to contact the experienced trial attorneys at Allen & Abaray, P.A.to schedule a free, initial legal consolation.
For over twenty years, the law firm of Allen & Abaray, P.A. has provided exceptional statewide representation for injury victims, and the families of those who are injured or killed by the conduct of others. While our personal injury lawyers are based in Lakeland, we represent clients throughout the State of Florida.
Allen & Abaray, P.A. offers a free consultation in all personal injury cases. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in any type of accident, call (863) 669-9999 or toll-free at (877) 669-6899 today to speak with a Lakeland personal injury attorney about your case. We won’t charge an attorney’s fee unless we recover money for your injuries.*