Truck accidents in Florida can lead to severe injuries. They’re also very scary to be involved in since they’re more likely to result in serious injury or death.
This is in large part due to the sheer size of the trucks involved, often over 30,000 pounds in comparison to the nearly 4,000 pounds of the average passenger car.
Here’s what you need to know about the causes of Florida truck accidents and what you can do if you’re injured in one.
The Common Causes of Florida Truck Accidents
Driver error is at the top of the list for truck accidents, either on the part of the truck driver or you. That’s what makes so many of these accidents preventable. Some of the most common truck accident causes include:
Truck driving is a high-stress, high-pressure job. Companies that employ truck drivers often require tight time constraints on deliveries, causing drivers to push themselves to get to their destination on time.
Sometimes the vast distances traveled translate to several long days behind the wheel. This can result in little sleep and impact the driver’s coordination and concentration, making their reaction time to road situations slower and more dangerous.
Distracted driving isn’t simply a problem for truck drivers, as it’s an issue almost everyone for every type of vehicle. Driving for long distances, though, can add a sense of boredom and that can lead to distractions from phones, eating, or doing something else that takes their attention away from the road.
Drugs and Alcohol
It may surprise you to learn that people who drive for a living can have a high rate of drug and alcohol abuse, but it’s true. Some truckers have reported using stimulants such as cocaine and amphetamines to keep themselves awake for the long haul.
While they think it helps them to stay awake and alert, what it actually does is compel them to take more risks when they drive such as changing lanes unsafely or doing risky things in bad weather conditions. Plus, once the stimulants wear off, they’re more likely to fall asleep driving.
Drivers trying to meet their delivery deadlines may use excessive speeds to accomplish their goals, as well. The faster a large truck travels, the more time it will need to slow down. If a driver is going too fast, then they may not be able to stop in time for sudden stops or slows in the flow of traffic, resulting in accidents.
What To Do If You’re Injured in a Truck Accident
If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate position of being in a truck accident, then there are certain things you need to do to help improve your chances of winning a personal injury claim. You should:
- Call the police to report and document the incident and to get an ambulance on the scene if needed
- Ask the driver of the truck for their insurance information
- Take photos of the scene of the accident, making sure to include any damage to the vehicle, the truck, and any property damaged
- As for witness contact information
- Get medical treatment for any injuries sustained as soon as possible and ask the doctor for a copy of medical records pertaining to the injuries
When to File a Personal Injury Claim
In Florida, you have a statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim. You must file a claim within four years of the date of the accident. Though it’s generally best to file a claim as soon as you can after the accident.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2020 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2017, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019.