In the United States, we depend heavily on large trucks to transport merchandise and materials across town and across the country. Despite federal laws and regulations in place that are aimed at keeping the roadways safe from these behemoths, large trucks are still involved in over 100,000 injury accidents each year throughout the nation, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The State of Florida consistently places in the top three states when it comes to trucking accident fatalities. Truck accident victims and surviving loved ones must often deal with financial hardship in addition to the physical and emotional injuries suffered in the accident.
If you were injured in an Orlando truck accident, or you lost a family member in a fatal truck accident, you could be entitled to compensation if another party caused or contributed to the collision. An experienced Orlando truck accident attorney at Malik Law can evaluate your case and explain your legal options to you. The team at Malik Law understands the devastating impact a truck accident can have on a victim and the victim’s family, and we are dedicated to ensuring that the responsible party (or parties) is held accountable. We have the experience, commitment, and resources necessary to ensure that you are justly compensated for all your injuries.
What Causes Orlando Truck Accidents?
At an average length of 72 feet and weighing up to 80,000 pounds, tractor-trailer trucks are no match for the average passenger vehicle in a collision. While there is no doubt that large trucks are a necessity, they are also inherently dangerous to others with whom they share the roadways. Common contributing factors in a truck accident include:
- Impaired Driving. Even though truck drivers are subject to random truck screens, driving while under the influence of alcohol. Illicit drugs, prescription drugs, and even over-the-counter medications continue to be a common factor in truck accidents.
- Driver Fatigue. Federal law limits the number of hours a truck driver can drive each day and over the course of a week. Nevertheless, driver fatigue continues to be a common contributing factor in truck accidents.
- Distracted Driving. With the advent of cell phones and other handheld electronic devices, distracted driving became a major contributing factor in motor vehicle accidents in general. Truck drivers are prohibited by federal law from using cell phones while driving; however, they do use GPS and other electronic devices that can create a distraction while driving.
- Equipment Failure. Truck drivers are required by law to conduct a pre-trip inspection and trucking companies are required to perform regular maintenance on trucks in their fleet. When maintenance schedules are not followed or a driver rushes through an inspection, an equipment failure can contribute to an accident.
- Inadequate or insufficient driver training. While a CDL license is required to drive a large truck legally, sufficient and adequate training is required to drive one safely.
What Should I Do After An Orlando Truck Accident?
A truck accident often leaves the occupants of an involved vehicle with serious, even life-threatening injuries. The steps you take after being involved in a truck accident are important, both to ensure that your injuries are identified and treated and to make sure that your right to pursue compensation from the at-fault party or parties is protected. If you are involved in an Orlando truck accident, take the following steps:
- Arrange for a thorough medical examination as soon as possible. Given the serious injuries that are often involved in a truck accident, victims are frequently transported to the nearest emergency room directly from the accident scene. If you are not, get there on your own and get a thorough medical examination to identify all your injuries. Some of the most serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, don’t exhibit immediately recognizable symptoms but can be diagnosed by a physician. That same examination ties your injuries directly to the truck accident, which will be helpful when it comes time to pursue compensation for your injuries.
- Document the collision. An accident involving a truck almost always warrants a call to the police. Calling the police out to the scene also helps to document the accident and should provide you with names and contact information for the drivers involved in the accident and any witnesses who saw the accident happen. When possible, get pictures of the area where the accident occurred, the vehicles involved, and any road conditions or obstructions that may have contributed to the collision. Moving forward, keep all bills, estimates, diagnoses, and other documentary evidence related to the crash.
- Consult with an Orlando truck accident attorney. You are likely to be contacted by the trucking company’s insurance company after the accident. Do not speak to them, or to anyone, about the accident until you have consulted with an experienced Orlando truck accident attorney. You may even be offered a token amount of money to settle all claims against the trucking company; however, you may realize that your case is worth considerably more after talking to an attorney.
Who Is Legally Responsible in An Orlando Truck Accident?
One of the many reasons to consult with an experienced Orlando truck accident attorney is the inherently complex nature of truck accidents. Even if the truck is the only other vehicle involved in the accident, several parties may share liability for your injuries, including the following:
- The company that owns the truck
- Manufacturer of the truck
- Owner of the cargo
- Third-party broker
- The company responsible for repairs and maintenance on the truck
- Federal or state government if road conditions were a contributing factor.
Am I Entitled to Compensation for My Orlando Truck Accident Injuries?
If you were injured in a truck accident, you could be entitled to compensation in the form of economic and non-economic damages. This may include compensation for things such as repairs to your vehicle, lost income, and medical bills as well as scarring, disfigurement, and mental anguish.
If you are the surviving spouse, child, parent, or certain other family members of someone who was fatally injured in an Orlando truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation as the claimant in a Florida wrongful death lawsuit and be entitled to recover monetary damages for things such as lost future income and the loss of companionship and support.
Contact an Orlando Truck Accident Attorney
A truck accident often leaves a victim with lasting physical and emotional injuries. While nothing can turn back the clock and prevent the crash from occurring, the party or parties responsible for your injuries should be held accountable, and you should be fairly compensated for those injuries. At Malik Law, P.A., we understand what you are going through, and we are committed to seeking justice on your behalf. Call us at 407-500-1000 or submit our online form today. One of our experienced Orlando truck accident attorneys will explain your rights to you and discuss your legal options at no cost.