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What to Do After a Commercial Vehicle Crash

Commercial trucks are prevalent and can be found on highways throughout SW Florida. Delivery trucks like Amazon and UPS have a steady presence, as well as food trucks, semis, and other commercial trucks.

The drivers of these vehicles aren’t always well trained, and this kind of inexperience can cause an accident. If you have been injured in a crash involving a commercial vehicle, you may find that proving negligence in this kind of case can prove complicated.

The Severity of Commercial Vehicle Accidents

Injuries from commercial vehicle accidents can be serious and, at times, fatal. Depending on the type of accident, injuries one can sustain include broken bones, lacerations, burns, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, amputation, and death.

According to information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 1,245 people died in truck accidents over a period of five years, and 61% of fatal Florida truck accidents happen in rural areas. The percentage nationally of truck accidents in the US also continues to climb, and nearly 30% of fatal truck accidents occur on interstates.

How to Strengthen Your Claim

After an accident with a commercial vehicle, you may discover significant property damage or can sustain serious injuries. Following the accident, you want to get prompt medical help, take photos and videos of the scene and vehicles involved, collect information from eyewitnesses, and only discuss facts when talking about the accident. Never admit fault or apologize for anything, as this can make you seem responsible for the crash.

Crash Liability

It might not always be clear when it comes to determining liability for a commercial truck accident. The truck driver may have been negligent and caused the accident, but the liability may also, in some cases, fall to the trucking company. The company is often held responsible for the actions of its employees, even if they were hired just as a contractor.

If the truck's cargo was loaded wrong or the truck experienced any kind of mechanical problem or defect, then the driver may not be at fault in these instances.

Common Causes of Florida Commercial Trucking Accidents

Many factors contribute to these accidents in Florida. While some are avoidable, some of these factors are beyond our control.

Distracted Driving: Even truck drivers can become distracted while driving. They could be checking for directions, making a phone call, or texting, all of which makes them take their eyes and attention off the road. Eating while driving is also dangerous and a violation of FMCSA regulations.

Driving Under the Influence: Approximately 3% of truck drivers involved in fatal auto accidents were driving while under the influence.

Driver Fatigue: This is common in commercial truck drivers as they feel pressured to deliver their cargo on time. Driving while fatigued results in slow reflexes, trouble concentrating, and slow reaction times, and some may even fall asleep while driving.

Speeding: Speeding is dangerous, no matter the vehicle, but it is especially dangerous for a large commercial vehicle that needs at least 525 feet to stop when driving 65 mph in ideal conditions.

Poor Training: Inexperience and poor training also lead to truck accidents. Truck drivers need the right licensing and training for their vehicles. If the trucking company fails to provide adequate training, it can be held liable for an accident.

What to Do Following an Accident

If you have been involved in a trucking accident in Florida, you will want to discuss the case with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, property damage, and funeral and burial costs. You may also be entitled to noneconomic damages, including pain and suffering.