Miami Truck Accident Attorneys
Helping Victims of Florida Semi Truck & 18 Wheeler Accidents
When involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer, the outcome is often catastrophic injury or wrongful death. Although similar to car accidents, the truth is that wrecks involving big rigs are significantly more dangerous. All too often, these accidents are caused by truck drivers and trucking companies that fail to adhere to a variety of regulations designed to promote and ensure the safe operation of their big rigs. Some common sense regulations pertain to the drivers of these trucks and include risks such as the amount of time on the road, number of breaks, and weight of their load.
Truck drivers work long hours and are often pressured by their employer to complete their tasks by any means necessary. That results in shortcuts that amount to negligence and devastating accidents. When a trucking company or its drivers violate these regulations or disobey the laws of the road, they should be held accountable.
Since 1984, we have investigated and successfully pursued numerous truck accidents in Miami, throughout Florida, and across the nation. Our law firm has the experience, knowledge, and network of trucking industry experts to ensure that any accident-causing shortcuts are uncovered and that those responsible are held accountable. We are not afraid to take on the major trucking companies and insurance companies and fight for our clients. Our Miami personal injury law firm has recovered hundreds of millions on behalf of our clients in the U.S., France, Peru, the Bahamas, and worldwide.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a catastrophic road accident with a commercial vehicle, please call (305) 770-6335 for a free case evaluation!
"I've been able to build the strength and courage to share my story by staying true to my faith, the support system behind me, and from the help of David, Michael, Steve, Carol and your firm as a whole for providing the resources needed to undergo intensive therapy at Shirley Ryan Hospital in downtown Chicago and to help me sustain a healthy life going forward. I can't thank you enough for all the hard work, long hours and late nights spent working on my case. GOD BLESS."- Nicholas M.
Types of Miami Truck Accident Cases We Handle
Many safety measures are in place to prevent accidents. Logbooks, federal regulations, and strict company measures are in place to encourage safe driving. Unfortunately, these are often circumvented to save time or make money.
We are capable of handling a wide variety of truck accident cases, including the following:
- Alcohol-Related Crashes
Truck regulations are strict regarding the use of alcohol before or during a trucking operation. In fact, a truck driver is not allowed to use alcohol within 4 hours of being in control of a commercial vehicle. Additionally, a driver must be tested for alcohol usage if he or she causes a motor vehicle accident where the car sustains enough damage to result in a towing.
This alcohol test must be taken as soon as practicable after the crash.
If a motor carrier did not test their driver for alcohol when he or she caused an accident that resulted in the towing of a car, this could be used as evidence that they were covering up the use of alcohol. An alcohol test must be administered within two hours of an accident; if this does not happen, a motor carrier must specify in court why the test was not conducted within two hours. All truck drivers are legally obligated to take alcohol tests when asked by their motor carrier.
- Drowsy Driving Crashes
Federal regulations dictate that a driver can only drive 11 hours before he or she must be given 10 consecutive hours off-duty. Truck drivers may not operate when they have been on duty (driving and not driving) for more than 14 hours straight hours. Truck drivers must also take a 30-minute break for every 8 hours they drive. While broken regulations can result in fines or worse for a trucking company, truck drivers have historically been proven to be pressured to work over their allotted time. This can lead to overworked truck drivers who are drowsy while behind the wheel.
- Intersection Accidents
Truck accidents are just like other motor vehicle accidents with one exception: the vehicle damage caused by commercial trucks is much more severe. Commercial trucks cannot make the same driving maneuvers that smaller vehicles can. If a truck driver is trying to rush through a yellow light, the driver will likely have a hard time slowing down or stopping for another vehicle in case of an emergency. If a commercial truck runs a red light, the possibility of it T-boning another car is highly likely since trucks cannot stop as quickly as a typical vehicle. Regardless of the type of crash, the outcome of an intersection accident involving a commercial truck is usually catastrophic.
- Rear-End Collisions
Commercial trucks can weigh anywhere from 6,000 to 80,000 pounds. Now, imagine how much force it takes to stop 80,000 pounds moving at 40 mph. The brakes on commercial vehicles must be able to slow their loads at the drop of a hat. However, no matter how powerful the brakes, a vehicle will never go from 40 to 0 mph instantaneously—especially when they weigh so much. This means truck drivers must slow more efficiently than others. Their reactions need to be faster. Their timing more precise. While truck driving demands that a trucker be calculating in their stops, not every driver will be perfect. Truckers can try to correct their mistake by jamming on the brakes, but will sometimes end up ramming into the back of a car anyway. When truck drivers make distance mistakes, rear-end collisions are usually the result.
Our skilled Miami truck accident attorneys can uncover the cause of the crash and hold the guilty parties liable for any injuries, damaged possessions, or other losses you sustained.
Injuries Caused by Truck Accidents
Trucks weigh up to 80,000 pounds, are dozens of feet long, and travel at speeds of 55 mph or faster. They are essentially train cars on wheels, which is why 18-wheelers are more heavily regulated than passenger cars. It's also why truck accidents are far more fatal or life-changing than passenger car accidents. In the vast majority of truck accidents, it's passengers who suffer the most.
Truck accidents cause injuries like:
- Traumatic brain injuries (concussions)
- Serious bone fractures
- Blunt force trauma
- Crush injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
It's important to remember that these are the common injuries. It's by no means exhaustive—truck accidents can be so devastating that virtually any injury is possible. Truck accident survivors have suffered serious burns, fallen comatose, and lost limbs in truck accidents. All of these injuries require extensive treatment and have lifelong consequences.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
In 2014, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released the Large Truck Crash Causation Study, a massive project that examined the causes of 120,000 truck crashes throughout the early 2000s. The study not only noted the immediate cause of the truck accident (e.g. sudden lane changes), but also the associated factors that led to the accident. It provides a useful window into what actually led to your truck accident.
Over 80 percent of large truck crashes were caused by 1 of 3 event types: running out of the lane or off the road; loss of control due to speed, cargo shift, vehicle failure, or poor road conditions; or rear-ending another vehicle.
These three event types had common associated factors:
- Brake problems
- Prescription drug use
- Traveling too fast for conditions
- Fatigue or illness
- Inadequate surveillance
- Work pressure from employer
It's important to note that truck accidents are caused by factors on multiple levels. For instance, the 'cause' of your accident might have been a rear-end collision, but the actual cause might have been drinking, over-the-counter drugs, or a harsh delivery schedule set by the employer. Our firm is known for investigating every level of an accident to get real answers about who caused your injuries and why it happened to you.
Liability in Truck Accident Cases
While the truck driver is directly responsible for operating an 18-wheeler, there are multiple parties who are behind every truck collision. Holding any of those companies or people accountable, however, requires a great deal of investigation and enough experience to ask the right questions. Our firm's tremendous resources help truck accident victims get answers about what happened to them and who made it happen, which is a vital part of getting true justice in court.
The people at fault in a truck accident can include:
- The truck owner (responsible for maintenance)
- The shipping company
- Highway designers
- The company that loaded the truck
- The driver
Who is actually responsible for your accident will depend on the circumstances of your accident. For instance, if you were hit by a shipping company driver who had a mechanical issue due to poor maintenance, then the trucker's employer would be at fault. If you were hit by a trucker who was under the influence, then they would be personally liable for your harm. If both were true, then both would be at fault. In any case, getting to the evidence as quickly as possible is vital for a strong case—speak with us as soon as possible to learn your options.
Whatever the circumstances, you need to speak with a Miami truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. The Florida statute of limitations for trucking collisions is four years from the date of the crash. However, the evidence for your case may be long gone before then, so the sooner you speak with an attorney, the more likely you may be able to recover your losses.
$15 Million Settlement in Truck Accident Case
Thirty-three-year-old Hector Rodriguez was going to work early on the morning of August 1, 2001, when he was struck and killed by a commercial truck owned by an asphalt company. Hector eventually succumbed to his head injuries, and his wife called us for answers. Just four months later, we secured $15 million from the at-fault company for her and her family.
Though a tragic story, it's an example of the kind of needs and situations our firm helps resolve. Hector's wife was dealing with funeral expenses, medical care prior to death, loss of income, grief, pain and suffering, and a number of other losses. The $15 million settlement helped her rebuild her life. While no amount of money could replace her loved one, our work allowed her to move forward while empowering her to confront the people who caused her husband's death.
Call Florida Truck Accident Attorneys: (305) 770-6335
With more than 150 years of combined legal experience, we represent truck accident victims nationwide. Our law firm purposefully limits our caseloads to provide each client with the time, energy, and resources needed to put them in the best possible position for success and fair compensation. In addition, we focus on developing a genuine relationship with our clients, working collaboratively toward a successful outcome. Because of our success in the field of personal injury, we were rated "Best Law Firms" by U.S. News for personal injury. We represent clients in Florida and nationwide!
With hundreds of millions won, you can trust our truck accident attorneys' approach to your case. To take the first step with a free consultation, give us a call at (305) 770-6335!