Florida’s tremendous growth in population and commerce has led to a significant increase in commercial traffic on our roadways, leading to a higher risk of truck accidents and crashes with other commercial vehicles.
When truck drivers fail to operate their rigs safely and don’t follow regulations and safety rules, it can result in people getting injured, maimed or killed. In September, two people died in a semi-truck crash on an I-95 off-ramp in Jacksonville.
Investigating Truck Accidents
In addition to the physical pain and injuries, property loss, costly repairs and potential loss of income can often accompany these tragic events.
Truck accidents are complex. Many factors are considered when we investigate a truck accident and the appropriate recovery for the injured party. The condition and design of roadways, the actions of the drivers involved, the condition of their vehicles, the driver’s compliance with safety rules and regulations, weather conditions, actions of other vehicles, and a host of other factors may all play a part in investigating a truck accident.
When we investigate a truck crash case, Terrell • Hogan attorneys, and the trucking and safety experts who work with us have real-life experience with the trucking industry’s rules of the road and safety requirements.
Our team examines the driver’s experience, driving record, and how long the driver had been behind the wheel. That’s because driver fatigue is the number one contributor to trucking accidents. We also look at how much experience the truck driver has driving the specific type of tractor trailer including familiarity with its load and maneuverability.
A driver’s training and accident history are scrutinized. Does the driver have DUI’s, or traffic tickets including those for distracted driving, such a texting or using the phone while behind the wheel? Did the driver receive safety training, and how long had it been since he or she last received it? If the driver operates a truck requiring special licensing, such as hazardous material training, is he or she properly licensed and trained about the rules of the road and federal and state safety requirements?
We also examine whether the driver was going too fast for road conditions and if a safe distance from the leading traffic was maintained to avoid a crash. We also investigate whether the operator was driving distracted – using a cell phone, GPS, CB or eating – at the time of the crash.
The safe operation and performance of a truck is directly tied to its maintenance. We examine whether the truck had been properly maintained and repaired, especially the brakes. We’ve found many tractor trailer crashes were caused by malfunctioning or brakes that were out of adjustment. We also check if the tires are well maintained. Tires greatly affect stopping and maneuverability.
An improperly loaded trailer can contribute to the truck’s operation and roadway performance. A shifting load may cause the driver to lose control, or even worse, the load could come off and injure or kill someone. We also investigate whether mechanical defects contributed to the accident and, if so, did the truck operator or owner know about them?
When investigating trucking accidents, our focus is not solely on the truck driver. There could be multiple defendants, including the driver, owner, broker, shipper or insurer. It’s important to work with a law firm that understands the trucking industry, how it operates, and who the responsible parties for injuries may be.
Terrell • Hogan represents the injured as they seek justice. If you or a loved one has become seriously injured or killed in a trucking accident, it is important to consult with a Jacksonville personal injury attorney who has the expertise and resources to represent you. Consider contacting me at 904-722-2228 for a complimentary consultation.