Big rigs, tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, or 18-wheelers; it doesn’t matter what you call these large vehicles, they still have the potential to cause serious injuries or even death. In just 2019, 4,119 individuals lost their lives in large truck crashes. Of those, 16 percent were truck occupants, 67 percent were occupants in other cars or passenger vehicles, and 15 percent were pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists. In fact, even with advanced vehicle safety features, fatalities for large truck crashes increased 31 percent between 2009 and 2019. When negligent truck drivers or trucking companies put others’ safety and well-being at risk, an experienced Miami big rig accident lawyer will stand up for your rights.
Common Causes of Big Rig Accidents
Big rigs are inherently dangerous on the road. They are much heavier than other vehicles, requiring further stopping distances, more time to stop, and causing more damage when accidents do happen. Truck drivers have a harder time seeing the other cars around them and trucks experience more wear and tear than other vehicles. These are all factors that can contribute to 18-wheeler accidents. The most common causes include:
Boredom is common among truck drivers. They drive long hours, often with no one to talk to. They may be tempted to help alleviate their boredom with:
- Eating or drinking
- Making phone calls
- Reading or responding to text messages
- Using social media apps
- Playing digital games
- Using a smartphone
- Adjusting music
- Programming their GPS
- Pets that accompany them on their trips
Any distraction that takes the truck driver’s attention away from the road, other motorists around them, and safely driving their big rig is a safety hazard and increases the risk of an accident.
Driving long distances can be very tiring, especially for truck drivers who do it day in and day out. It’s also physically and mentally challenging. It’s no wonder why these drivers are often drowsy or fatigued. Even though the federal government mandates how long they can drive before taking a rest break and how long they must rest before they can drive again, not everyone adheres to the law. Getting less rest and driving more means more productivity in the eyes of truck drivers and their employees. Truck drivers who are fatigued or drowsy are much more likely to make a driving error and cause an accident.
Lack of Maintenance
Tractor-trailer trucks experience much wear and tear with all the miles they are driven in various conditions. As such, they must be adequately maintained and inspected to ensure everyone’s safety. Whether out of laziness or to save time, some truck drivers skip this step. They don’t always perform safety checks and proper maintenance when they should. It might save time and hassle now, but it can come at the expense of others’ lives when they get on the road. There is no excuse for not maintaining safe trucks.
Incomplete or Improper Training
Driving a large truck requires knowledge and skill that can’t be obtained overnight. Drivers who get their commercial driver’s license must meet a certain number of practice hours under the law. Trucking companies should also ensure that the drivers they hire are skilled and competent. When truck drivers haven’t completed their training or are improperly trained, accidents are more likely to occur.
Truck drivers are often tempted to speed to make their deliveries quicker. From a profit standpoint, this makes sense, but it kills thousands every year. Not following the speed limit or driving too fast for conditions not only increases the risk of a collision but also the chances that the collision will cause severe damage. Truck drivers should be sure to obey speed limits and slow down when road or weather conditions warrant.
Using drugs or alcohol while driving a truck may be another way to cure boredom or even the loneliness common in this occupation. However, there is no excuse for impaired driving that puts innocent lives at risk. Truck drivers also need to remember that some prescription drugs can also cause impaired driving.
If you or someone you love was recently involved in a big rig accident, you don’t need to worry about what caused the accident. Instead, hire a knowledgeable Miami big rig accident attorney who has the resources and experience to investigate how your accident occurred and who is at fault.
Sometimes the big rig or its parts manufacturer is responsible for the accident. A defective part may have been made, which contributed to the cause of the accident – for example, a defective tire or defective brakes. While these defects aren’t the fault of a truck driver or the trucking company, the manufacturer can still be held liable for any subsequent injuries.
Truck Accident Damages
Those injured in truck accidents can suffer several different expenses and losses. In terms of receiving compensation or them, these are known as damages and might include:
- Lost wages and income
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
When you hire a Miami big rig accident lawyer, they can help you determine which damages apply to your claim and how much they are worth. Keeping this in mind, they will attempt to negotiate a full and fair settlement with the insurance company for the at-fault party. If a settlement can’t be reached, your Miami big rig accident attorney is prepared to litigate your case to get the results that you deserve.
Call the Iscoe Law Firm to Speak with a Miami Big Rig Accident Lawyer Today
When you need the representation of a skilled and proven Miami big rig accident attorney, look no further than the Iscoe Law Firm. We know the devastating results of big rig accidents, and we are here to fight for your rights. Our lawyers are well-versed in holding truck drivers and trucking companies accountable for their negligent actions, resulting in full and fair compensation for you. Take the first step in getting the compensation you deserve; schedule your free case review today with a Miami big rig accident attorney. Call Iscoe Law today at 800-800-6500 or get in touch online. You can reach us 24/7, 365 days a year.