Despite the recent technological advances that have been made in logistics and freight transport, over-the-road transportation of goods continues to be a popular means of transportation in the United States.
Unfortunately, tight time schedules and high pressure on drivers to meet delivery deadlines have created an environment in which fatigued or distracted driving is all too common and where trucking collisions occur far too often.
With an increase in online ordering and interstate economic activity, Florida is experiencing a large number of trucking accidents. Out of all crashes, these accidents are some of the most devastating due to the massive size and weight of commercial vehicles. Unfortunately, they often lead to significant damages that may be life changing for victims.
However, if you sustain an injury in a trucking accident, know that you aren’t alone. The attorneys at Barrett Nonni Homola & Ferraro understand the consequences of these accidents. To schedule a free consultation with a truck accident attorney in Florida, call us at (850) 601-1111 or send an online message today.
Truck Crash Statistics
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) releases an annual report detailing auto accident injuries and fatalities throughout the state. Their most recent report for 2020 included statistics regarding truck accidents as well.
Tallahassee and the surrounding areas in Leon County had a total of 498 crashes involving a commercial motor vehicle or large truck. This is 21% lower than the number of accidents the previous year. When it comes to injuries, Leon County also saw a moderate decline. In 2020, there were 126 people injured in CMV and large truck crashes, a 16% drop in just 12 months. Thankfully, there weren’t any fatalities in any of these accidents either.
However, there is still a long way to go in reducing trucking accident deaths on a state level. During 2020, Florida had a total of 306 fatalities in CMV and trucking accidents. This means that these types of crashes accounted for more than 9% of all recorded road deaths in the state.
Major Causes of Trucking Accidents
Due to the logistics of shipping products from one place to another, there are a number of things that could go wrong. While the driver is often to blame, other factors may have an effect on the accident as well.
However, some of the most common causes of trucking accidents include:
- Distracted driving,
- Hours of service violations,
- Improperly loaded cargo,
- Poor road conditions, and
- Defective vehicle parts.
As you can see, some of these causes don’t even involve the driver. This is one of the main reasons that seeking the help of a big rig accident lawyer in Florida is essential if you sustain an injury in this type of accident.
Why Trucking Accidents Are More Complex Than Other Crash Claims
At first glance, trucking accidents may seem similar to other crashes. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are certain aspects of a trucking accident that are significantly more complicated than a regular car accident. Here are some examples.
Injuries Are Often Severe
The sheer size and weight of a commercial truck means that any accident, even at low speeds, has the potential to cause serious damage. For this reason, many trucking accidents involve catastrophic injuries that cause permanent disability to the victim. The amount of pain and suffering, as well as the cost of medical treatment, tends to be higher in these types of cases.
The Number of Responsible Parties Isn’t Always Clear
Immediately following a trucking accident, it’s easy to place blame on the driver. However, there are other parties that may share some fault in the accident. For example, if the driver has a history of poor driving, the motor carrier may share responsibility due to negligent hiring practices. Or let’s say that the truck crashed because the brakes failed. In this case, the manufacturer of the truck or the company responsible for repairing the motor carrier’s fleet may be at fault.
These points are central to most truck accident cases. Unfortunately, it also means that there’s a lot more potential evidence to sift through. This is why many victims consult with a truck accident attorney in Florida after their crash. At Barrett, Nonni, Homola & Ferraro, we consider all potential causes of the accident. This means we search through the truck’s black box data, the motor carrier’s operational procedures, and any repair records for the truck.
Trucking Regulations Differ Depending on the Motor Carrier’s Routes
Not all motor carriers follow the exact same rules. This is because there is a distinction between interstate and intrastate carriers.
Interstate motor carriers are those that make deliveries outside state or country borders. When it comes to regulations, interstate carriers must follow the laws set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These rules address things like hours of service, hiring procedures, training, and safety.
In contrast, intrastate motor carriers make deliveries only within their state of operation. This means that they only have to follow the regulations set by their state rather than the federal government. While many states simply adopt the same rules as the FMCSA, there are often slight differences.
Damages a Truck Accident Attorney in Florida May Pursue on Your Behalf
When it comes to most trucking accidents, there are two types of damages victims usually seek.
The first, known as economic damages, consists of financial losses such as:
- Current and future medical expenses,
- Lost wages during recovery,
- Reduced earning capacity, and
- Vehicle repair or replacement.
The second type, called non-economic damages, is somewhat the opposite.
That’s because it includes physical or emotional losses that don’t have a standard monetary value, such as:
- Mental anguish,
- Pain and suffering,
- Reduced quality of life,
- Permanent disability,
- Severe disfigurement, and
- Loss of life’s enjoyment.
These damages are incredibly personal and don’t affect everyone the same way. As a result, a Tallahassee truck accident lawyer usually calculates them on an individual basis.
How We Help Trucking Accident Victims
The attorneys at Barrett Nonni and Homola do not make the mistake of handling trucking collisions like any other vehicle injury case. Our truck accident attorneys are well versed in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and Commercial Driver License requirements in both Florida and Georgia. This knowledge gives our attorneys an edge when investigating trucking accidents and allows them to pursue angles in these cases that others may miss.
Additionally, Barrett Nonni and Homola has a team of experts on standby to immediately investigate trucking accidents in Tallahassee and surrounding areas. These trucking crash experts will rival the experience and expertise of any team hired by trucking or insurance companies so that your interests are protected.
Trucking Accident Legal Process
- Call us, email us or message us via our website
- Describe your case and the circumstances surrounding your injuries
- Schedule a visit to our office for a free consultation
- Give us time to build the case: collect evidence, interview witnesses, review police reports
- Partner with us to bring justice to your situation
What to do if You Are Involved in a Florida Trucking Accident
The moment you are involved in a trucking accident the clock starts ticking on securing invaluable evidence regarding what caused the collision. Due to the often-serious nature of these collisions, trucking companies and their insurers have teams of high-paid experts who will be deployed to the scene of the collision to immediately investigate the cause of the collision.
An accident reconstruction expert can visit the scene, take photos of the vehicles involved, measure skid marks on the road, and, most importantly, download information from the vehicles to help determine who is at fault in causing the collision. You do not want to be left in a situation where the trucking company has had the chance to investigate the scene and you have not.
Injured in a Big Rig Crash? Contact Our Trucking Accident Lawyers in Tallahassee
The legal process for a truck accident claim is often confusing, especially for those trying to recover from serious injuries. In this scenario, our attorneys have one goal in mind: to ensure the best recovery possible. At Barrett, Nonni, Homola & Ferraro, we know what is at stake for our clients and understand the lifelong implications that an injury has on their lives. That’s why we use our decades of combined experience and aggressive reputation to help victims hold negligent motor carriers responsible for their actions.