If you travel on the roads in and around Orlando, you will very likely encounter a variety of different types of vehicles, ranging from motorcycles and bicycles to massive 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles. While each of the types of vehicles that you will encounter poses their own dangers, commercial trucks can often pose the most risk of injury in the event of a crash, simply because of the size difference. This is just one reason why commercial drivers are required to have a Commercial Driver License, as well as a variety of certifications and authorizations depending on the type of vehicle and the cargo that they are carrying. These additional requirements are intended to provide extra safety on the roads, both to the drivers of these specialized vehicles as well as everyone else who shares the road with them.
The unfortunate fact is that there are no certifications or licenses that will guarantee that a driver is perfectly safe, meaning that even the best truck driver is at risk of an accident. As the victim in an accident with a commercial truck, the results can be catastrophic, and the experience can be terrifying.
Connect With an Orlando Truck Accident Attorney Now
As soon as you have addressed your immediate medical issues, the next step is to find an attorney who can represent your case and help you fight to get the compensation you truly deserve. Many people incorrectly assume that they should file an insurance claim on their own before looking for an attorney to take their case, but the reality is that your attorney will be able to help you from day one.
Trying to take on the burden of finding an attorney in the early days or weeks after a major accident can seem like a nearly impossible task, and for good reason. This time should be spent focusing on your own personal needs and taking the right steps to make sure that you are getting yourself onto the path to recovery. 1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service and can help you find an attorney who is available to take your case as soon as possible.
Truck Accidents: The Basics
There are a few significant reasons that a commercial truck accident is different than a passenger vehicle accident, starting with the fact that many commercial trucks are enormous compared to a sedan, SUV, or even a passenger truck. This fact alone means that the possible damage that can be caused by one of these accidents can be much greater, even at similar speeds. In addition, the technical aspects of a truck accident are much more complicated, because commercial truckers carry insurance policies that often exceed $1 million of coverage.
Extensive Trucking Regulations
As mentioned before, truckers have a range of certifications and licensures that they are required to carry as they operate certain types of vehicles or carry certain types of cargo. In addition, they are held to strict standards about their hours of service, the weight of their vehicle, and more. Simply trying to understand the details of these types of accidents can be overwhelming, especially when you are trying to focus on recovering from your injuries at the same time.
Commercial vehicles are equipped with a variety of monitoring systems, in addition to the meticulous notes and logs that a driver must keep in their travels. These systems may indicate certain failures that could have contributed to the accident, in addition to factors such as speed, improper maintenance, or other hazards. Trying to understand this data can be a very complicated process for the uninitiated.
Working With a Commercial Truck Insurance Company
When you work with a commercial truck insurance company, there are pros and cons to the process. Since the policies have much higher limits, there is possibly more money available for your settlement from the start. While this is a great start, there are many more complicated processes that you will need to deal with in order to get this settlement, including but not limited to the truck regulations mentioned above.
Common Causes of Orlando Truck Accidents
Like passenger vehicle accidents, there are many different ways that an accident can happen. Each crash is unique, and each requires a unique approach in order to determine the cause of the accident, who is at fault, and more. The following are a few examples of the most common causes of truck accidents, but they do little to indicate the specifics of your own accident, whether or not it was caused by one of these problems.
Commercial truck drivers are on the road for an incredible amount of time year, and the average truck driver will log more than 100,000 miles each year operating a commercial vehicle, while some drivers may drive up to 300-400 a day, and upwards of 2-3000 miles each week, in accordance with the FMCSA Hours of Service regulations. If you have ever taken a long road trip, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that fatigue is a major issue for truck drivers and a very common cause of truck accidents across the United States.
89% of all Americans admit to driving above the posted speed limit, and commercial truck drivers are not immune to the temptation to get to their destination a bit faster by pushing the limits. In fact, truck drivers may have more motivation to speed, as they are typically paid per delivery or per mile driven, and are restricted by the FMCSA Hours of Service limitations for the number of hours that they can work every week (70 hours). Unfortunately, operating a massive truck at high speed means that their stopping ability is significantly impacted, meaning that speed is a common factor for commercial truck accidents in Orlando and beyond.
Depending on the arrangement that a truck driver has with the company responsible for the containers that they are transporting (truck drivers often deliver containers that are packed by other logistics companies), it may or may not be the driver’s responsibility to ensure that their cargo is appropriately loaded. In some instances, some cargo may shift during transit that can have serious impacts on the truck and trailer’s center of gravity and could lead to a rollover or other issues that can cause accidents.
As with the actual cargo, truck drivers may or may not be responsible for maintenance on the vehicle that they are operating. Regardless, commercial trucks are complicated machines that go through a lot of wear and tear during their use and require continuous attention to ensure that all mechanical pieces of the vehicle are in working condition. Things like tire blowouts, brake failures, trailers decoupling from the trucks (which, fortunately, are very rare), and a variety of other issues can be the result of improper maintenance, and if this is the case in your accident then the people responsible for this maintenance are the ones who are liable for your damages.