Tampa Truck Accident Lawyers
Each day Tampa motorists share the road with tractor trailers, also known as semi trucks and 18 wheelers. These big trucks present a unique danger to drivers due to their substantial size and weight that may be up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. If you or a loved one has been severely injured in an 18-wheeler accident, contact the Tampa truck accident lawyers at Burnett, P.A.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
A truck accident is a traffic incident involving a truck, which is a motor vehicle designed to transport cargo. These accidents can vary in severity, from minor collisions to catastrophic crashes resulting in significant damage, injuries, or even fatalities. Truck accidents are often more complex and potentially dangerous than accidents involving smaller vehicles due to the size and weight of trucks.
Common types of truck accidents include:
- Rear-End Collisions: This occurs when a truck collides with the vehicle in front of it. It can be caused by various factors such as distracted driving, following too closely, or sudden stops by the lead vehicle.
- Jackknife Accidents: In a jackknife accident, the truck's trailer swings outward, forming an angle with the cab, resembling the shape of a folding jackknife. This can happen when the truck's wheels lock up, and the trailer swings out of control.
- Rollover Accidents: Rollovers can happen when a truck loses control and tips over onto its side or roof. Factors like excessive speed, sharp turns, or an uneven load distribution can contribute to rollover accidents.
- Underride Accidents: An underride accident occurs when a smaller vehicle ends up beneath the rear or side of a truck's trailer. This can be particularly dangerous for occupants of the smaller vehicle, as the truck's structure can intrude into the passenger compartment.
- Override Accidents: In an override accident, a truck runs over a smaller vehicle, often causing severe damage and injury. Visibility issues, sudden stops, or failure to maintain a safe following distance can lead to override accidents.
- T-Bone Accidents: Also known as side-impact collisions, T-bone accidents occur when a truck collides with the side of another vehicle, typically at an intersection. These accidents can be especially dangerous for the occupants of the smaller vehicle.
- Wide Turns: Trucks, especially those with long trailers, require extra space to make turns. They may swing wide, and if other vehicles are in the truck's path, it can lead to collisions.
- Tire Blowouts: When a truck's tire blows out while in motion, it can cause the driver to lose control, potentially leading to an accident.
- Brake Failure: Brake failure in a truck can make it difficult for the driver to stop or slow down, increasing the risk of rear-end collisions or other types of accidents.
- Hazardous Materials (Hazmat) Accidents: Trucks transporting hazardous materials can be involved in accidents that pose additional risks, such as chemical spills, fires, or explosions.
Possible Causes of Tractor Trailer Accidents
There are many common causes of tractor trailer accidents and several reasons why the truck driver may have caused the accident:
- Fatigued Driving: A lack of sleep, long commutes, work schedules, and deadlines may cause a truck driver to fall asleep at the wheel.
- Distracted Driving: Increased usage of mobile devices enable activities, including talking, texting while driving, eating, playing with the radio dial are also causes of distracted driving.
- Drinking While Driving: Alcohol-related accidents caused by driving under the influence of alcohol.
- Inexperienced Driving: Inexperienced truck drivers have a greater likelihood of making a mistake or reacting incorrectly to an emergency situation.
- Limited Visibility: Trucks have blind spots directly behind, in the front, and on the sides. Truck drivers must signal when they are going to change lanes and they must take the effort to make sure it is safe before making a turn.
- Improperly Loaded Trucks: Poorly distributed weight in a trailer can cause a truck accident.
- Poor Maintenance: A truck with faulty brakes and defective tires can put everyone on the road at great risk.
Who is Liable for a Florida Truck Accident?
In Florida, liability for a truck accident can extend to various parties, depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident. The following are potential parties who can be held liable for a truck accident in Florida:
- Truck Driver: The truck driver can be held liable if their negligence or reckless behavior, such as speeding, distracted driving, impaired driving, or failure to obey traffic laws, directly contributed to the accident.
- Trucking Company: The trucking company that employs the driver can also be held liable if the accident occurred due to issues related to the company's policies, such as inadequate training, improper maintenance of the truck, or pressure on drivers to meet tight schedules.
- Maintenance and Repair Providers: If the accident resulted from poor maintenance or repair of the truck, the company responsible for maintaining or repairing the vehicle may be held liable.
- Truck Manufacturer: In cases where the accident was caused by a defect in the truck's design or manufacturing, the truck manufacturer may be liable for producing a faulty product.
- Shippers and Cargo Loaders: Parties responsible for loading and securing the cargo on the truck may be held liable if the accident is related to improperly loaded or unsecured cargo that shifts during transit.
- Third-Party Contractors: If a third-party contractor or subcontractor is involved in any aspect of the truck's operation, maintenance, or loading, they may be held liable if their actions contributed to the accident.
- Government Entities: If the accident was caused by hazardous road conditions, inadequate signage, or poor road maintenance, the responsible government entity may be held liable.
- Other Drivers: In some cases, other drivers who share the road with the truck can be at fault if their actions, such as reckless driving, sudden lane changes, or failure to yield the right of way, lead to an accident involving the truck.
Determining liability in a truck accident can be complex, and it often requires a thorough investigation to identify the responsible parties. In many cases, multiple parties may share liability. Florida follows a "comparative negligence" system, meaning that each party involved in an accident can be assigned a percentage of fault.
Helpful Tips for Semi Trucks & 18 Wheeler Accidents
If you have been involved in a tractor trailer accident in Tampa, dial 911 to contact emergency service workers and the police. Second, be sure to document all of the details of the accident to the police officer. Seek medical treatment for injuries and keep a record of injuries related to the accident. After the accident, obtain a copy of the accident report and statements from witnesses that may have been at the scene.
Contact Our Tampa Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyers
If you reside in Tampa, you may be able to be compensated if you or a loved one has been injured due to a negligent party. Contact the Tampa truck accident attorneys at Burnetti, P.A. by calling 1-888-BURNETTI today.
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