Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

Florida truck accidents have steadily risen in recent years. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports in a single recent year, there were more than crashes involving large trucks, resulting in more than a dozen deaths and 1,000 injuries – 57 of those catastrophic.truck accidents

Still, there is little denying how critical trucks are to our economy. They have proven a lifeline to necessary products.

Recently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) relaxed hours-of-service rules for commercial drivers carrying essential goods. It remains to be seen whether this might lead to an uptick in more Florida truck accidents. Continue reading

A South Florida trucking accident has the potential to completely upend and alter innocent lives forever. The way you proceed in the hours, weeks and months that follow can have a big impact on your ability to recover damages for your injuries. In order to know what to do, you must know what to expect. South Florida truck accident lawyer

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), nearly 12.5 million commercial large trucks and buses are registered in the U.S., logging some 300 billion miles nationally every year. Of the more than 37,000 fatalities on our roadways every year, nearly 4,900 – or 13 percent – involve a large truck or bus. Annually, there are more than 450,000 large truck and bus accidents reported to police. Of those, 23 percent involve a serious injury – some 345,000 in all. The vast majority of those injured and killed in South Florida truck accidents are occupants of other vehicles. Pedestrians and bicyclists also face an out-sized risk against these highway behemoths.

Florida is among the top five worst states for large truck and bus fatalities nationally. Between 180 and 300 Florida truck accident deaths have been reported every year in the Sunshine State since 2007. Many more are injured. Continue reading

A Palm Beach County wrongful death lawsuit is the second in three months against automaker Tesla Inc. involving its driver-assisted Autopilot feature – one that plaintiffs say give drivers a false sense of security and fail to live up to the express and implied promises made to consumers. truck accident lawyer

According to Insurance Journal, plaintiffs in Banner v. Tesla allege the 50-year-old driver of a Tesla sedan was killed in March when the vehicle, using the Autopilot feature as advertised, failed to steer or brake in order to avoid striking a semi-tractor trailer that had run a stop sign on a South Florida highway.

The system had been engaged for at least 10 seconds prior to the crash. His survivors say the vehicle manufacturer is and has been aware that the system was defective, yet continued to sell it anyway. They are also suing the driver of that semi-truck for negligence in causing the truck accident. Continue reading

Amid concerns that large trucks driven by tired operators pose a greater-than-ever risk to Florida motorists, federal officials are contemplating loosening existing rules. As our West Palm Beach truck accident lawyers well know, driver fatigue is cited in hundreds of the thousands of deadly truck crashes each year. truck accident attorney

Despite the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Carrier’s implementation of many new rules and regulations pertaining to trucking rules and regulation – including Hours of Service rules designed to reduce drowsy driver accidents, there has been a 20 percent jump in the number of commercial truck crashes over the last 10 years.

Rules such as those for Hours of Service and mandated electronic logging devices (ELD) were introduced to curb the practices of so many trucking carriers that reward drivers based not only the amount of time they drive, but rather on the miles driven. Many industries truck drivers to push the envelope to make their living. Continue reading

A coalition of freight and logistics firms recently testified before Congress on the urgent need for improved trucking standards and safety, noting that while large trucks our indispensable to our economy – they’re killing us. truck accident attorney

In the last year reported per federal data, there were 415,000 large truck accidents, within which:

  • 4,761 people died
  • More than 600 truck drivers were killed
  • 148,000 were injured.

Further, more truckers were killed in 2017 crashes than in any other year in the past decade.

In recent testimony before the House’s Infrastructure Sub-Committee on Highways and Transit. The trucking Alliance spoke at a hearing titled, “Under Pressure – the State of Trucking in America.” Members of the Trucking Alliance in a prepared statement said the greatest pressure on the trucking industry should be on reducing these truck crashes and the deaths and injuries that result. Continue reading

A chain reaction tractor-trailer crash in West Palm Beach that injured one and killed two – including a 29-year-old medical student – recently resulted in a $45 million verdict in favor of the med student’s parents.truck accident lawyer

As our West Palm Beach truck accident attorneys can explain, these kinds of cases tend to result in higher verdicts and settlements than your typical car accident lawsuit for several reasons, including:

  • Because of the size disparity between large trucks and passenger cars, any collisions between the two are likely to result in severe injuries to occupants of the smaller vehicle. More severe injuries and deaths are a greater loss to the victim and loved ones.
  • Anytime a trucking company or construction firm is involved in a personal injury or wrongful death, there are usually numerous defendants, many with varying degrees of liability.
  • Trucking companies and construction firms – particularly construction companies that work roadside – carry high liability insurance policies. Although insurance coverage does not determine the amount of damages (courts are often careful to make sure jurors aren’t informed of the existence or amount of this coverage, as it’s considered prejudicial), the fact that it’s there improves the chances that if high damages are awarded, they will actually be paid. Florida requires passenger vehicle motorists to be financially responsible for a minimum of $20,000 in bodily injury (which is paid in addition to personal injury protection – PIP – benefits of up to $10,000). Meanwhile, federal law requires all truckers to carry at least $750,000 in liability coverage. Those that haul hazmat materials have to carry at least $5 million.

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Last week, our West Palm Beach personal injury law firm reported that the National Transportation Safety Board is calling for all states to ban texting and cell phone calls while driving. We also wrote about the upcoming debate among Florida lawmakers regarding whether or not to ban texting in the state.

This week, we’d like to blog about a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey on the distracted driving habits of Americans. Over 6,000 drivers participated. Per the results:

• At any moment, nearly one out of every 100 drivers is e-mailing, texting, surfing the Internet, or doing something else with a hand-held device while operating a motor vehicle.
• Most of those surveyed admitted to answering phone calls while driving.
• Close to two out of every 10 drivers surveyed admitted to e-mailing or texting. Drivers in the 21-24 age group were most likely to text while driving.
• Over 50% of drivers don’t believe that making a call affects their driving performance.
• About 25% said they don’t think that e-mailing or texting impacts their driving.
• 90% of drivers don’t like it if the person driving the car they are riding in is e-mailing or texting • More drivers said they read texts over sending them.
• Two times as many drivers admitted to answering calls over making them while operating a motor vehicle.

As evidenced by the survey results, most drivers think that they can text or talk on the phone safely while driving. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Cell phone conversations and texting takes a motorist’s attention away from the task at hand, which means he/she is not 100% focused on the task at hand. This can make it hard to avoid causing or becoming involved in a South Florida traffic crash. Remember that it takes just a few seconds for a catastrophic Miami motor vehicle accident to happen-those same seconds that a driver’s eyes are off the road in order to read an e-mail or dial the phone.

Over the last couple of years, Federal, state, and local safety officials have made a concerted effort to educate people about the dangers. Yet even when there are laws limiting cell phone use or banning texting, some people can’t seem to stop themselves, which places everyone in danger.

Drivers can no longer say that they didn’t know that distracted driving can kill people. As the victim of a distracted driving accident, you may be able to pursue Palm Beach traffic crash damages from the negligent motorist.

More drivers texting but few think it’s dangerous, survey says, The Denver Post/AP, December 9, 2011
NTSB pushes for nationwide ban on cellphone use for drivers, The Washington Post, December 14, 2011
National Distracted Driving Telephone Survey Finds Most Drivers Answer the Call, Hold the Phone, and Continue to Drive, NHTSA (PFD)


More Blog Posts:

As NTSB Recommends Full Cell Phone While Driving Ban, Florida Again Considers Whether to Make Texting Illegal, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, December 13, 2011
Coconut Creek Woman Killed in Broward County, Florida Car Crash Involving Lighthouse Point Police Vehicle, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, December 5, 2011
West Palm Beach Motorcycle Accident Leaves Police Officer with Serious Injuries, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, November 26, 2011 Continue reading

In the upcoming legislative session due to start next month, Florida legislators will once again consider whether texting should be banned in the state. Right now, Florida is one of 15 US states that haven’t made texting while driving illegal. Florida is also among the few states without any type of restriction on cell phone use while driving. Our Miami personal injury law firm is familiar with the types of catastrophic South Florida car crashes that can occur because someone was distracted driving.

This time around, however, lawmakers who favor a statewide texting ban may be coming into the debate with the extra support they need following today’s recommendation by the National Transportation Safety Board that use of cell phone and text messaging devices while driving be made illegal throughout the US-unless, of course, there is an emergency situation. Although the NTSB cannot impose state laws, its recommendations are taken seriously by lawmakers.

The federal safety board called is calling for the ban because it says distracted drivers are threatening public safety. According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey, distracted driving was a factor in at least 3,092 US traffic crashes last year and at any moment during daylight hours, close to 1 out of 100 drivers is using handheld phones. NTSB member Robert Sumwalt even went so far as to call distracted driving the “new DUI.”

When explaining the need for a nationwide ban, the NTSB cited the tragic multi-vehicle Missouri traffic pileup in August 2010 involving a tractor-trailer, a pickup truck, and two buses. More than 30 people were injured and two people killed, including the 19-year-old driver of the pickup, who, within 11 minutes, sent or received 11 text messages. The other victim that died was a 15-year-old that was riding the school bus.

Texting, emailing, and talking on the cell phone are dangerous activities when done while driving. You want to work with a Palm Beach car crash law firm that knows how to prove that the other party’s negligence caused your injuries or a loved one’s death. Just because these driving habits are still legal in Florida does not mean you cannot recover damages.

Cellphone ban while driving? The tragedies behind the issue, Los Angeles Times, December 13, 2011
NTSB recommends full ban on use of cell phones while driving, CNN, December 13, 2011

More Blog Posts:
Coconut Creek Woman Killed in Broward County, Florida Car Crash Involving Lighthouse Point Police Vehicle, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, December 5, 2011
West Palm Beach Motorcycle Accident Leaves Police Officer with Serious Injuries, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, November 26, 2011
Miami-Dade Car Accident Lawsuit Filed in Florida Wrongful Death Case Against Coral Gables Teenager, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, October 7, 2011 Continue reading

According to the state’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there has been a 4.6% drop in the number of Florida traffic deaths. Compared to 2009, when there were Florida 2,565 motor vehicle fatalities, there were 2,444 Florida traffic deaths reported in 2010. That’s a nearly 31% drop since 2005. County wise, the number of traffic fatalities also went down in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Broward Counties last year.

2010 figures also show, however, that the number of Florida pedestrian deaths have gone up by 3.5%. There were 482 pedestrian fatalities in 2009 and 499 Florida pedestrian deaths in 2010.

Other 2010 Florida Traffic Facts:

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, two Wellington teenagers were killed yesterday night and a third one injured after the car they were riding crashed into the back of a semi-truck on South Boulevard East of the Glades. An investigation into the Palm Beach County tractor-trailer accident is currently under way.

Per police, 18-year-old Mazelle M. Demeraski was driving a Camry east on Southern Boulevard when the car struck the rear corner of a semi’s trailer as the larger vehicle was crossing the intersection at C.R. 880. The impact of the crash caused the smaller car to roll over.

Demaraski and 18-year-old Jahmila Mariaca, both Wellington, Florida residents, were pronounced dead at the crash site. A third teen that was with them, 18-year-old Royal Palm Beach resident Eriberto Gomez Jr., was taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries.

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