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Commercial trucks are different from traditional cars and trucks on the road. 18-wheelers are massive. Depending on the truck type and road traveled, commercial vehicles can weigh anywhere from 10,000 to 80,000 pounds.
The term commercial truck is often used interchangeably with 18-wheeler; however, there are a wide variety of trucks that constitute commercial trucks, including the following:
Because of the heavy weight and extensive length of these trucks, commercial trucks have a greater potential to cause serious injury or death in an accident.
According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 34, 439 commercial truck accidents in 2014. Of the 34, 439 commercial truck accidents, 10, 193 were fatal. Approximately 800 of those fatalities occurred in Hillsborough County.
Commercial truck accidents often require immediate attention and investigation. To increase changes of recovery of damages for lost wages, physical injury or disfigurement, medical expenses, and pain and suffering it is important to consult an experienced Tampa 18-wheeler accident attorney.
Commercial truck accidents differ substantially from traditional car accidents. Seeking recovery after an accident with an 18-wheeler truck should not be handled alone.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a commercial truck accident, it is vital that you consult a dedicated trial attorney for the best result possible.
Michael Germain of Germain Law Group is an experienced commercial truck accident lawyer. For over 10 years he has taken on the insurance company to ensure victims of personal injury accidents, including automobile accidents, dog bites, premises liability, and commercial truck accidents recoup the damages they deserve.
Contact Germain Law Group at (813) 835-8888 or submit an online form to schedule a confidential consultation. Germain Law Group represents clients throughout Hillsborough County, including Tampa, Temple Terrace, Plant City, Bay Crest Park, Hunters Green, and surrounding areas.
Laws relating to commercial trucks and the transportation industry are governed by Florida Statute Chapter 316 and Code of Federal Regulations Title 49.
Any self-propelled or towed vehicle used on public highways in commerce to transport passengers or cargo is considered a commercial vehicle, if such vehicle:
Depending on the road type, road condition, length of the truck and number of axles of the truck, Florida law permits a commercial vehicle weight between 10,000-80,000 pounds. The average commercial truck weighs approximately 44,000-80,000 pounds.
Florida legislators have placed certain weight and length restrictions on commercial vehicles, because the heavier a truck is, the more difficult it is to stop, the more damage it can do to roads, bridges and overpasses, and more damage it can do if it collides with another vehicle.
Failure to comply with the weight and length restrictions constitutes a safety violation and possibly negligence in the case of an accident.
Commercial truck accidents are divided into different classifications. The type of accident is important in determine fault during negotiations and trial.
In addition to violating weight and length restrictions, truck drivers and their employers may be considered negligent or at-fault in a trucking accident for several reasons, including:
Failure to Render Aid
Florida Statute Chapter 316.027 requires the driver of the commercial vehicle to provide the following after an accident involving death or serious injury:
The driver of the truck is also required to render reasonable assistance, including carrying or making arrangements for the carrying to medical treatment.
Failure to Maintain Proper Vehicle Maintenance
Depending on the facts, the commercial truck owner, truck driver, or even the manufacturer may be responsible for regular vehicle maintenance. Failure to perform regular maintenance on a commercial vehicle can be considered negligence, if such vehicle is involved with an accident.
The following are common vehicle malfunction reasons for truck accidents:
Truck Driver Error
Like any driver, Commercial truck drivers must follow all the rules of the road pertaining to lane changes and signaling. And also like any driver, commercial truck drivers are prone to the same errors and bad decisions.
A commercial truck driver may contribute or cause a motor vehicle accident by speeding, veering in multiple lanes, or driving in an undesignated lane. To ensure safety of all Florida drivers, Florida law requires truck drivers operate at lower speeds on certain roads or avoid certain routes.
Also, an 18-wheeler may cause an accident by driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. DUI laws for commercial truck drivers are stricter than those for drivers operating a traditional motor vehicle. A commercial truck driver is considered intoxicated with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .04, in comparison to the 0.08 BAC limit for other drivers.
If you or a loved one was a victim of an 18-wheeler accident, it is imperative to consult an experienced attorney immediately. Do not truck the insurance company. They will not look out for your best interests or ensure you receive the recover you deserve.
Contact the experienced Tampa commercial truck accident attorneys at Germain Law Group for a confidential review of your case. Germain Law Group represents trucking accident victims throughout Florida, including Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Hernando, Polk, Sumter Counties, and surrounding areas.