Recently in Truck Accidents Category

Will Hair Follicle Drug Testing Reduce Rear-End Trucking Accidents?

June 23, 2014

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.

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Hit and Run Driver Involved in Fatal Pick-up Crash

March 24, 2014

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:

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Parking Lot Accidents in Florida: What Drivers & Pedestrians Should Know

July 19, 2013

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.

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Deadly Tractor Trailer Crash in I-4

April 26, 2012

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.

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Tractor Trailer Driver Fails to See Vehicle in His Path

March 12, 2012

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.

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Burn Injuries and Death From Car Accidents Very Common

March 7, 2012

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.

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New York Tour Bus Crash Raises Concerns Over Driver Fatigue

March 15, 2011

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.

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Technology Aids in Event of Accident

February 14, 2011

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.

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Why Carry Uninsured//Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM)?

February 11, 2011

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.

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Uninsured//Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM)

February 11, 2011

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.

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Now That I Had a Car Accident, What Should I Do?

February 11, 2011

Car accidents happen everyday. No one wakes up one morning expecting to have a car accident that day. And when accidents happen, they usually cause injuries and shock. I believe it is important to offer people guidance on what to do after a car accident to protect their rights and preserve the evidence. After being involved in a car accident, you or someone near you should:

1. Unlock your doors and turn off your engine.

2. If you can, check how are the other occupants of your car. If someone is hurt, ask them not to move and if you can, make sure they are immobilized.

3. If someone is bleeding, try to apply a tourniquet or compress the wound to stop the bleeding.

4. Call or ask someone to call 911 for you. Make sure to request the police and rescue.

5. As much as you can, preserve your calm and remain oriented. Answer as clearly as possible all questions asked by emergency rescuers.

Stay Put

Sometimes after an accident, a person is not in pain and responsive. Adrenaline and other factors may contribute to this. Should you find yourself in this situation, try not to move around unnecessarily. If you can, try the following:

a. Give your insurance information to the other driver and ask for their's. Also, give that information to the police.

b. Try to obtain the name, addresses and phone numbers of people who have witnessed the accident

c. If you can, take photographs or videotape the scene. This can be done either with a camera or, thanks to current technology, a cell phone.

d. If you are hurting or not feeling well to any extent, ask to be taken to an emergency room.

e. Tell the physician or emergency room doctor, nurse or paramedic, where it hurts. Give a detail account of everything that hurts, from the top of your head to your toes. Don't refrain from telling them about any condition and let them decide what's relevant or not.

f. Follow the orders from your healthcare providers. After all, they are the experts and for them to be able to effectively help you with your injuries, they must know as much as you can tell them about your past medical history. This also applies to your attorney. Tell him or her everything about your past so that he/she can properly represent you.

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What To Do If You Are In A Car Accident?

February 11, 2011

Car accidents occur daily. They are unexpected. People are often left injured and in shock. It is important to know what to do after a car accident to protect your rights and preserve the evidence. After being involved in a car accident you or someone close to you should do the following:

1. Turn off your car and unlock your doors.

2. Check on the condition of everyone in the car. If anyone is injured, tell them not to move and if possible, ensure that they are immobilized.

3. If anyone is bleeding, make sure that either a tourniquet is applied or bleed is compressed to stop.

4. Either you or have someone for you should call 911 and be specific in requesting rescue as well as the police.

5. Stay calm and oriented. Respond clearly to the questions that you are being asked by emergency rescuers.

Don't Move Around

Often times after an accident, a person isn't immediately incapacitated or in pain. This could be due to adrenaline and other factors. If that is the case, please be careful moving about but, if you can do the following:

a. Exchange information with the other driver or give information to the police officer who is responding.

b. Get the name, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses.

c. If possible photograph or videotape the scene either using a camera or a cell phone camera.

d. If you are at all not feeling well, request transport to a hospital or emergency room.

e. When you see a physician or emergency room doctor, nurse or paramedic, tell them what hurts from the top of your head to the bottom of your toes, even if you don't think it's anything serious. Let the medical personnel decide what if any injuries you have.

f. Follow doctor's orders. Remember they are the professionals.

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Four Teenage Pedestrians Struck by SUV in Hialeah

February 11, 2011

Apparently, as they walked home from school, four teenagers were hit by a driver who seems to have passed out at the wheel and lost control of his SUV.

One of the teens lost his life, two remain in critical condition and one is stable at Jackson Memorial Hospital. It is unknown at this time whether the driver, who was also airlifted to the same hospital, will face charges.

Criminal Charges And Liability Unknown

The unfortunate circumstances of this accident may shield the driver from criminal charges and civil liability. If the events were caused by a medical condition over which the driver had no control and had no knowledge or warning of, the likelihood of him facing either is slim. However, while the State Attorneys Office will decide whether he should face criminal charges, they will not make a determination on whether the driver has incurred civil liability. These victims or their loved ones can only make an educated decision as to whether they can pursue a civil action against the driver and his insurance company after they consult a personal injury attorney. They should not accept a determination made by the driver's insurance carrier in this regard, as insurance companies are not there to help innocent victims, but rather, to limit their exposure. Consulting with a personal injury attorney will not cost them money but only a little of their time, since personal injury attorneys in Florida will not charge them unless they win the case.

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One More Pedestrian is Run Over in South Florida

February 10, 2011

Here we go again! Another South Florida pedestrian is struck down by a motor vehicle, this time as he was getting on a public bus.

Elderly Man Hit as He Was Getting on Bus

Although the driver that struck this pedestrian could not drive away in his vehicle, he simply walked off while others helped the victim. The victim was a 91 year old gentleman trying to board a bus. Apparently, the driver lost control of his SUV, went on to the sidewalk and hit the elderly pedestrian. The victim was taken to Jackson Memorial's Ryder Trauma Center, where he remains in critical condition.

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Another Pedestrian Accident in Miami

February 9, 2011

Unfortunately, as a recent CBS News article shows, we have had another incident where a local pedestrian has been hit by a motor vehicle, this time while boarding a public bus.

Elderly Pedestrian was Struck When Trying to Board the Bus

Apparently this time the offender could not drive away in his vehicle. That, however, did not stop him from simply walking away while the driver of the bus was calling 911 and commuters got off the bus to help the victim. The pedestrian, a 91 year old man was at the bus stop trying to board the bus when the offender's SUV swerved out of control, jumped the curve and run him over. He remains in critical condition at Jackson Memorial's Ryder Trauma Center.

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