Miami Truck Accident Attorney – 18 Wheeler & Semi-Truck Injuries
While any type of car accident can have catastrophic consequences, accidents involving semi-trucks are unique. Due to their size and weight, when something goes wrong with a semi-truck they can be one of the most dangerous vehicles on the road. Unfortunately, victims of these accidents often suffer severe injuries or even loss of life. When the victims do survive, they may be subject to a lifetime of recovery, including physical and occupational therapy, pain management, and disability. That is why we are so passionate about helping the victims of these accidents. Insurance companies may try to deny you the compensation you not only are entitled to, but that you may very well need in order to carry on with your life. We want to fight to get you what you deserve. For help in your case, contact the Miami truck accident attorneys at Alan Goldfarb, P.A. immediately to discuss your options.
Semi Accidents are Different from Regular Car Crashes
Crashes involving semis are different from regular car accidents in three main ways. First, the vehicles involved are obviously different, so an attorney handling your case needs to be familiar with the appropriate experts and needs to have a basic understanding of why those differences matter. Second, semi-trucks are governed by federal regulations and industry-wide practices that simply do not apply to regular drivers. While a certain standard of care is expected of anyone who drives on our roadways, we understand the ways in which truck drivers are held to a higher standard and to different rules. Finally, and most tragically, the consequences of accidents involving 18-wheelers are on average, much more devastating, as the injuries are more severe.
Regulations That Apply to Semi Truck Drivers
Semi truck drivers are required to comply with federal regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration concerning how many hours they can drive in a single shift, when they need to take breaks, and how many hours per week they are allowed to operate the semi. For instance, semi truck drivers are required to have a continuous 34 hour break once every 168 hours. This thirty four hour break must include two periods that span from 1 am to 5 am. Drivers are limited to eleven total hours of driving before being required to take at least a ten hour break. In seven days, a truck driver cannot log more than 60 hours behind the wheel, and in a period of eight days, truck drivers cannot log more than 70 hours of driving. When the truck has a sleeper cabin, drivers are required to be in the sleeper for eight hours a day. Semi truck drivers are also required to log their hours.
There are also regulations that prohibit semi truck drivers from consuming alcohol or drugs when operating a semi truck. Additionally, truck drivers are required to have their vehicle regularly inspected, and they are required to check the truck and its load on a consistent bases during a trip. There are also special rules that must be followed if the truck is hauling hazardous materials.
Driving While Tired Is One Of The Leading Causes of Semi Accidents
The whole purpose of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s semi truck driving regulations is to prevent truck drivers from being overly tired behind the wheel, and yet drowsy driving is still one of the leading causes of semi truck accidents. There are several reasons for this. Many truck drivers do not comply with the driving regulations. They might be pressured to transport their load to its destination quickly, or they might be running behind schedule. This can encourage them to drive for too many hours without resting or without a break, which can be dangerous for others on the road way. Because semi drivers do so much cross-country trucking, long stretches of road can become mesmerizing, and the semi driver can fall asleep.
Facts about Semi Crashes
One of the jobs of the NHTSA is to compile statistics about this sort of accident. They have found the following facts:
- Roughly 98 percent of all semi accidents result in at least one fatality;
- Fatal semi accidents cost Americans more than $20 billion each year, $13.1 billion of which is the cost associated with loss of quality of life; and
- For every 100 million miles driven on American roads, there are 2.3 deaths and 60.5 injuries caused by semi-trucks.
- The average cost of an accident involving a semi is about $59,150;
- Nearly 90 percent of these accidents are caused or worsened by some sort of human error—either on behalf of a truck driver, other drivers, other vehicle passengers, cyclists or pedestrians;
- Driver fatigue is responsible for roughly 30 percent of all of these accidents; and
- Roughly 22 percent of all truck accidents result in injuries.
Liability In Semi Truck Crashes
Semi truck crashes are often complex because while the truck driver’s negligence might be to blame for causing the accident, the truck driver’s employer might also be liable to any victims in a semi truck accident. The truck driver, the truck driver’s employer, the trucking company, the trucking company’s insurance provider, and potentially even the company that owns the property that is being transported by the semi truck could all be held liable to a semi truck accident victim in the correct circumstances. Since liability could exist on multiple levels, these cases can seem overwhelming. An experienced semi truck accident lawyer in Miami will know the ins and outs of this type of case and will know how to best manage it for you.
Our Miami Truck Accident Attorneys Are Here to Help
Have you or a loved one been a victim of a crash involving a semi-truck? Alan Goldfarb understands the unique nature of these cases. They are very different from typical car accident cases, and an attorney with experience dealing with these differences can best help you. Please call Alan Goldfarb, P.A. at (305)371-3111 or call toll-free at (866)936-9761 to discuss your specific case.