Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

Published on:

When you are involved in a rear impact trucking accident, you can suffer devastating permanent injuries because of the enormous force caused by a motor vehicle that weighs up to 80,000 pounds. When an 18-wheeler rear-ends a small passenger vehicle that has stopped for a stop sign, red light or traffic congestion, driver inattention and impairment by an intoxicating substance constitute the most common causes of these crashes. Because many trucking companies use a compensation system based on the miles traveled, commercial drivers have a strong incentive to disregard hours of service (HOS) rules that are designed to reduce the risk of fatigue based trucking accidents. Sometimes commercial drivers resort to use of stimulants like methamphetamine so that they can drive longer. Our Miami trucking accident lawyers know that while driver logbooks are theoretically designed to provide a deterrent to HOS violations, drivers can frequently manipulate these records.

Because of the significant risk associated with a stoned or drunk driver operating a tractor-trailer, trucking companies are required to conduct pre-employment screening of new hires. Commercial carriers also are required to conduct random drug testing during an employee’s tenure and after a trucking collision. Unfortunately, reliance on urine testing as opposed to hair follicle testing compromises the effectiveness of substance abuse screening. Legislation is currently pending in Congress (H.R. 3403) to authorize pre-employment hair follicle tests as opposed to urine testing. The impetus behind the bipartisan bill, sponsored by Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Rick Crawford (R-AR), is that under current drug and alcohol screening rules many truck drivers pass their pre-employment urine test but fail random drug testing after they have been hired. We urge each an every reader, their families and friends to contact their elected representatives to require this testing. If passed lives will be saved and many will avoid serious injury.
Continue reading →

Published on:

Early on the morning of February 16, 2014, a pick-up truck collided with another pick-up and the driver of one of the vehicles fled the scene. When the driver of the second pick-up exited the vehicle to look at the damage to the truck, a third vehicle struck and killed him. He had his wife and 18-year-old son in the pick-up when he was killed. The accident occurred in Tamarac, Florida, at the Commercial Boulevard entrance onto the Florida Turnpike, according to an article in the Sun Sentinel.

Victims of hit and run accidents often believe that there is nothing that can be done to identify the responsible party and hold him accountable, but this is not true. The experienced Miami auto accident lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. have the skills and network of professional investigators to help those injured in many types of hit and run accidents.

In the case of the Tamarac accident, deputies are examining video surveillance to identify the individual involved in the original collision. Fleeing the scene of an accident is illegal under Florida law. The reason many people flee is because getting convicted of a DUI carries more serious penalties, including longer prison times and higher fines than a collision.. Therefore, someone who has been drinking may want to leave the scene even if he/she intends to turn themselves in to the police for the accident at some point. By then, it is almost impossible to prove that they were under the influence at the time of the crash.

In Florida it is a crime ,to leave the scene of an accident and is compounded when one leaves the scene of a crash with injuries to another. When a person is involved in a crash with another vehicle, building, or structure and leaves the scene without notifying anybody about the driver’s contact information, including name and address, vehicle registration, and driver’s license details, pursuant to Florida Statute 316.061. a criminal charge may result.

If the accident involved injury or a fatality, Florida Statute 316.027 requires additional obligations including mandating that the driver:
Continue reading →

Published on:

Surprisingly, parking lot-related accidents occur almost on a daily basis throughout the State of Florida. Though people tend to drive slowly while in a parking lot, many car accidents nonetheless occur due to numerous cars traveling in multiple directions, often within a limited amount of space. While many of these accidents do not result in serious injuries or death, others end up causing serious injuries and sometimes, claim innocent lives. The good news is that through following a few simple steps, parking lot accidents can be prevented.

In light of the above, the following are some crucial ways you can avoid being involved in a parking lot accident:

For pedestrians:

• Always watch where you are going when walking in a parking lot. No matter what, drivers of cars and other types of vehicles may have a hard time seeing you, whether through inattention or due to limited visibility.

• Do not assume that people are paying attention. Always look both ways before crossing lanes or the roads within a parking lot.
Continue reading →

Published on:

According to wtsp.com, a woman is dead as a result of her car being crashed into by a tractor-trailer on I-4.

Rear-Ended By A Tractor Trailer

The victim, identified as 63-year-old Marva Jean Daniels of Orlando, was killed when her Ford Focus was hit from behind by a semi-truck. The truck driver was identified as 35-year-old Michael Casey Cross of Lakeland.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the eighteen-wheeler had just merged onto the westbound lanes of I-4 and was positioned behind Daniels’ Ford Focus. As Cross attempted to move into the left lane, Daniels slowed down considerably and Cross was not able to stop in time before rear-ending her car. As both vehicles came to a stop on the paved shoulder of I-4, the Ford Focus burst into flames. Unfortunately, Ms. Daniels died at the scene.

Truck Driver Improperly Trained?

The police report does not specify how much experience Cross has as a commercial truck driver. According to State troopers, the driver of the eighteen-wheeler did not have time to stop his rig when he realized that Ms. Daniels’ car had slowed down.

As stated before, the Florida Highway Patrol is still investigating the accident. However, given our many years of experience handling cases involving accidents with tractor-trailers, we cannot help but wonder whether this truck driver was adequately trained. Time and again we have seen how trucking companies rush their drivers’ training with disastrous consequences. If Mr. Cross was not properly trained, he may not have realized that given the size and weight of his rig, he had to exercise extra care while trying to get on the expressway.

Truck Adequately Maintained?

Moreover, we have seen trucking companies neglect to give adequate maintenance to their fleet, usually just to save a few dollars. Mr. Cross’ failure to stop his truck in time could have been because the brakes on his truck were worn out. Lack of adequate maintenance coupled with inexperience is a deadly combination.

Truck Overloaded?

Similarly, all too often greed prompts trucking companies to overload their trucks in order to make their operation more profitable. An overloaded truck with worn out brakes in the hands of an inexperienced driver is an even deadlier combination. Please note that given the weight and size of these large commercial trucks, they require longer distances to stop completely from the moment the driver applies the brakes. Under any one of these scenarios the trucking company may face liability.
Continue reading →

Published on:

Two people are dead after the driver of an eighteen-wheeler failed to see their vehicle in the middle of the road and crashed with it. The victims have been identified as Julian de Los Angeles, 22, of Maitland and Alison Goldberg, 24 of Davie.

The accident occurred at about 2:30 a.m. and the driver of the tractor-trailer, Israel Rivera, reportedly told investigators that he did not see the victims’ Volkswagen. According to police, the Volkswagen had rear-ended another vehicle minutes earlier and had ended up in the middle of the southbound lanes as a result of that initial collision, where it was struck by the tractor-trailer. The driver of the vehicle initially struck by the Volkswagen was seriously injured and had to be transported to Holmes Regional Medical Center.

Even thou the initial investigation continues, I cannot help but wonder for how many hours had Mr. Rivera been driving prior to the accident that day and whether driver fatigue had anything to do with the crash. Why didn’t the driver of the tractor-trailer see the car in the roadway? Maybe the accident happened because the truck driver was tired and not paying close attention to the road. After all, driver fatigue is the leading cause of crashes involving eighteen-wheelers.

Throughout our many years of practice we have handled many cases in which we have found that the desire to make money creates circumstances where drivers drive for longer hours than they should and are legally allowed, resulting in crashes that would have not happened otherwise.

Larger Commercial Truck May Have Contributed To Victims’ Wrongful Death

The desire to make money combines with an increase in length and gross weight of eighteen-wheelers to make these trucks harder to drive and control. Please note that while the combined length of an eighteen-wheeler in the 1960’s was about 40 feet, today it can be 57 to 59 feet long. The longer and heavier a truck, the more distance it takes for a driver fully applying the brakes to safely bring the big rig to a complete stop. These longer and heavier trucks make it harder to safely handle an emergency and avoid a crash.
Continue reading →

Published on:

When we think about injuries suffered during a motor vehicle accident or about the cause of death of someone involved in a car crash, burn injuries or death by fire do not usually come to mind. Yet, one out of eight fire victims in the United States got burned in a motor vehicle accident and 600 people are killed every year in car fires.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, about 287,000 vehicle fires occurred each year between 2003 and 2007, causing a yearly average of 480 deaths, 1,525 injuries and $1.3 billion in property damage each year. During that period, family cars (cars, trucks, SUV, minivans, etc.) were the source of 93 percent of the vehicle fires and 92 percent of the vehicle fire deaths.

While mechanical failures were the cause of about 75 percent of the vehicle fires, such failures were the cause of only 11 percent of the deaths. However, while crashes were the cause of only 3 percent of the vehicle fires, they were the cause of 58 percent of the deaths by vehicle fires.

Victims of motor vehicle fires are often trapped in their wrecked cars after a collision. Unfortunately, some burn to death while so trapped…Such was the case in the car pile up that took place recently on Interstate 75 outside Gainesville due to a combination of heavy fog and smoke. Both witnesses and rescuers tell tales of horror in which victims could only be located by rescuers following their screams and unidentified burnt bodies remained trapped inside their charred vehicles the following morning.

Fire Is Not The Only Killer

When it comes to fires in motor vehicles, the flames themselves are not the only cause of death. Cars, trucks, buses, etc. are made of synthetic materials that produce very harmful or deadly gases (like carbon monoxide) as they burn.

Moreover, a burning vehicle can (and sometimes does) explode, shooting deadly shrapnel (bolts, struts, engine parts, etc.) much like a military grenade would. These vehicle fires are so dangerous that firefighters take no chances with them, often letting them burn down before putting foam on the flames and wearing full fire fighting protective gear when fighting these fires.
Continue reading →

Published on:

The deadly weekend tour bus crash that killed 15 passengers in New York is raising concerns over fatigue affecting drivers of buses and tractor -trailers, according to an article on FairWarning.org.

Driver Claims Bus Sideswiped By Eighteen Wheeler

The bus was returning to New York City with a group that had visited a Connecticut casino when it crashed early last Saturday morning. The driver, Ophadell Williams, told police that the bus had been sideswiped by a big tractor trailer. However, State police said that another driver who had been following the bus that morning told them he had seen the bus weaving in and out of traffic, which makes authorities suspect that Mr. Williams may have dozed off while at the wheel. Similarly, bus passengers have claimed that the bus driver fell asleep several times before the accident. Regardless, the investigation continues and authorities are looking into the information contained in the bus’ “black box”, according to an article in AllMediaNY.
Continue reading →

Published on:

A new, more comprehensive, “Black Box” system for motor vehicles will be available later this year.

In-Vehicle Event Management System (IVEMS)

This technology is not new. Event data recorders that keep records of things like the speed a vehicle was traveling at a certain time; failures of a number of mechanical or electronic systems, etc. have been around for a while.

Not Popular Among Common Car Owners

However, while the system’s tracking capabilities have been popular among fleet operators (cab companies, trucking companies, etc.) because it allows them, among other things, to control their driver’s movements, these systems are not popular among regular car owners because of privacy concerns…And such concerns may only be heightened by the ability of this new In-Vehicle Event Management System (IVEMS) to store not only electronic data related to system’s failures, but digital video surveillance data as well.
Continue reading →

Published on:

The concept of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is missunderstood by most people. It is maybe the most important insurance coverage you should carry to protect yourself and your loved ones.

To register a car, Florida drivers are only required to purchase $10,000.00 in property damage coverage and no-fault coverage. The property damage coverage pays up to $10,000.00 for the property damaged (car, tree, fence, etc.) in an accident caused by you or the driver of your car. The P.I.P. Benefit (Personal Injury Protection Benefit), also known as no-fault benefit, pays 80% of medical bills and 60% of any wages lost by you or a family member, up to $10,000.00 minus any applicable deductible.

No bodily injury (B.I.) coverage is required in Florida. This means that if someone else injures you in an accident they cause, they do not have to carry insurance to pay for your injuries. This is very important because the only way you can protect yourself and your loved ones, is to have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM).

UM/UIM Coverage Explained

When you purchase uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage you have your own insurance company stand in place or in addition to the coverage carried by the person who caused the accident. Florida law establishes that your own car insurance company must offer you UM/UIM coverage up to the limits of the BI (Bodily Injury) coverage that you choose. This means that if you purchase bodily injury coverage for your car of 25/50 ($25,000 per person/$50,000.00 per occurrence) you are automatically allowed to purchase up to $25,000/$50,0000 in UM/UIM benefits. Also, if you have more than one car, you can purchase “stackable coverage” in which case you would have $25,000 in coverage for each car in your household. It is an inexpensive way to protect your family.
Continue reading →

Published on:

Most people do not understand the concept of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This is perhaps the most important insurance coverage you could purchase to protect yourself and your family.

In Florida, all that is required of a driver to register a car is insurance coverage of $10,000.00 in property damage coverage and no-fault coverage. The $10,000.00 in property damage coverage, pays up to $10,000.00 to anyone else for the their property (including a car, tree, fence, etc.) that is damaged by an accident that you or the driver of your car causes. The no-fault benefit or PIP (Personal Injury Protection Benefit), as it is also known, pays 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your loss wages or a family members loss wages, up to an aggregate of $10,000.00 minus any applicable deductible.

Florida does not require mandatory bodily injury coverage. In other words, if someone else causes an accident, and you are injured, they are not required to have coverage to pay you for your injuries. This is very important. The only way to protect yourself and members of your family, is for you to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM).

What is UM/UIM Coverage?

What this means is that you are buying coverage through your own automobile insurance carrier to take the place of or be in addition to the coverage provided by the person who was at fault for the accident. Under Florida law, your own automobile insurance company must offer you UM/UIM coverage up to the limits of the BI (Bodily Injury) coverage that you elect. In other words, if you purchase bodily injury coverage for your car of 25/50 ($25,000 per person/$50,000.00 per occurrence) you are automatically allowed to purchase up to $25,000/$50,0000 in UM/UIM benefits. In addition, if you have more than one car, you can purchase “stackable coverage” which means, that you would have $25,000 in coverage for each car in your household that is covered under the policy. This could dramatically increase the insurance for you and your loved ones at a very reasonable rate. It is an inexpensive way to protect your family.
Continue reading →

Contact Information