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Hialeah Truck Accident Lawyer

Serving Hialeah Residents

We Represent Seriously Injured Clients in Miami-Dade County

Accidents involving commercial trucks involve many different rules and laws than crashes that involve smaller passenger vehicles. They are much more complex and require the help of someone who knows the law. Our Hialeah truck accident lawyer has the necessary experience to go up against the big trucking companies and negotiate with their insurance companies so you obtain the full and fair settlement you deserve.

The Laws that Govern Truck Accident Claims in Hialeah

There are many federal and state laws that govern truck accident claims, which is one reason they are so much more complicated than car accident claims. In Florida, truck drivers must be at least 18 years old, and 21 years old if they are going to travel interstate. Truck drivers must also obtain a commercial license and have good vision.

Federal law dictates that truck drivers can only operate their truck for a certain amount of time. This is known as the hours of service rule. Under this law, truck drivers cannot work more than 70 hours in a seven-day period or more than 80 hours for an eight-day period. After this time, truck drivers must have a period of rest of at least 34 consecutive hours.

Many truck drivers are also required to keep a log indicating how long they have worked. These logs are important when the Department of Transportation conducts an investigation. Despite these laws, truck drivers do not always comply with them. To add to the problem, trucking companies have been known to offer incentives to truck drivers if they stay on the road longer. While this is also a violation of the law, both trucking companies and truck drivers prioritize their profits over the safety and well-being of other people on the road.

Although many drivers are aware of the car accident laws in Florida, they are often not as familiar with the federal law that also governs these cases. This is just one reason it is so important to work with a Hialeah truck accident lawyer after suffering an injury.

Where Do Most Truck Accidents Occur in Hialeah?

The majority of truck accidents happen on highways, where there are high speed limits and greater traffic densities. This is largely due to the fact that truck drivers use these highways more commonly than residential and commercial streets in order to make their deliveries as quickly as possible. Truck drivers may find it difficult to make complicated evasive maneuvers while operating such a heavy vehicle.

The flow of highways and interstates is also very different from normal roads. People are exiting and merging at regular intervals, and that fact alone can cause an accident. Truckers may not be paying attention as they merge onto the highway or, once there, they may become distracted and drift into the lane beside them.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents 

One of the most common causes of truck accidents in Hialeah, and throughout Florida, is reckless driving. A truck driver only has to make one careless decision and it can result in some of the most catastrophic injuries. After analyzing hundreds of truck accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has narrowed the most common causes of truck accidents down the following reasons:

  • Brake issues: Manufacturers are responsible for making sure any product they create is safe to use, including the brakes on trucks. When they fail in this regard, they can be held liable for a truck accident. Additionally, trucking companies have a legal duty to make sure their trucks, as well as the parts of their trucks, are regularly inspected and maintained. If they fail to do this and a brake failure results in a crash, the trucking company can be held liable.
  • Interrupted traffic flow: When streets are congested, it may be more difficult for a truck driver to maneuver the large vehicle through traffic. In addition, if a previous accident occurred on the roads, it can cause a chain reaction, particularly if a truck driver could not stop in time.
  • Speeding: Speeding causes accidents between many types of vehicles. When a truck driver speeds, it is even more dangerous. Even when traveling at the legal speed limit, trucks take an extraordinarily long time to slow down and come to a full stop. When they are speeding, trucks take much longer to slow down. Speeding does not only cause truck accidents, but it also greatly increases the nature and severity of them.
  • Impaired driving: Impaired driving is a dangerous practice for any driver. While it may seem improbable, truck drivers operate their vehicle while impaired more commonly than people think. Truck drivers are under extreme pressure to deliver their cargo on time, which means staying on the roads for long periods of time. Sometimes, they believe that using drugs or alcohol while on the road will keep them awake longer, allowing them to make those deadlines.
  • Unfamiliar roadways: Truck drivers often have to drive through unfamiliar territory. They are regularly in places they have never been before and navigating those areas can be challenging. Truckers may turn the wrong way down a one-way street, or drift into another lane while trying to look at road signage.
  • Fatigued driving: It is natural for truck drivers to feel tired. They work very long hours and the monotony of the road can also add to fatigue. It is for this reason the FMCSA enacted the hours of service rule. Still, fatigued driving is the cause of many truck accidents.
  • Distracted driving: Truck drivers have to operate many different systems when they are behind the wheel. They have to maintain operations of the truck’s system, and they may use GPS when in unfamiliar neighborhoods. They may also use a CB radio, and eat or drink while behind the wheel. All of these distractions can cause a trucker to take their eyes off of the road and cause a crash.

Determining what caused a truck accident is not always easy. For example, truck drivers sit higher up than other drivers so it is more difficult to see whether they were using a CB radio or cell phone at the time of the accident.  Our Hialeah truck accident lawyer will conduct a full investigation to determine the cause of your crash, so you know who to hold liable.

The Different Types of Truck Accidents in Hialeah

There are many different types of truck accidents that result in injury or death for accident victims. The most common of these are as follows:

  • Underride or override accidents: An underride accident involves a smaller passenger vehicle sliding under a truck during a crash. This often happens when a truck driver brakes very suddenly. An override accident occurs when a truck drives over a smaller vehicle, such as when a truck driver does not brake in time and hits the vehicle in front of them. These crashes are usually fatal for the occupants of the smaller vehicles.
  • Rollover accidents: There are many things that can cause a truck driver to lose control of their vehicle. For example, if the cargo in the truck is not loaded properly, it can shift during transport and cause the driver to lose control. When a driver loses control of their truck, the vehicle may roll over, which is disastrous for anyone in the vicinity of the falling trailer.
  • Jackknife truck accidents: Jackknife accidents are also usually the result of a truck driver losing control of their vehicle. When a truck jackknife, the trailer swings to the side, perpendicular to the trailer. As the trailer moves, it can crash into other vehicles. Oncoming drivers may also not see the trailer with enough time to stop, and crash into it.
  • Improperly loaded cargo: Cargo must be loaded onto a truck in a very specific manner. All of the straps, belts, and hooks must be regularly inspected to determine if they need repair or replacement. When cargo is not properly loaded, it is at risk of falling off of or out of the truck, which can cause a crash.

Common Truck Accident Injuries

A truck accident will result in some of the most serious injuries. In many cases, these crashes are so serious they are fatal for accident victims. The most common types of injuries suffered in truck accidents are as follows:

  • Traumatic brain injuries: Truck accidents occur at great force and cause an accident victim’s head to bang against the window, dashboard, or other part of their vehicle. This can result in a traumatic brain injury such as concussions, contra coupe injuries, and puncture wounds.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Truck accidents can greatly impact the spinal column or the vertebrae. Paralysis, ruptured or slipped discs, and broken vertebrae are just a few of the most common types of spinal cord injuries.
  • Broken bones: Car accidents can also result in broken bones, but they are much more serious after a truck accident. This type of injury usually requires extensive surgery and has long recovery times.
  • Internal injuries: Internal injuries are some of the most serious and are more likely to result in fatality. Punctured organs and internal bleeding are the two most common types of internal injuries.
  • Amputations: Amputations can happen accidentally at the site, when something removes an appendage from the body. Amputations can also happen at some point in the future, such as when a limb is so badly damaged it cannot be saved.
  • Burns: The large gas tanks of a truck and the fact that they are often carrying dangerous chemicals as cargo, it is not uncommon for truck accident scenes to involve a fire. This can result in serious burns to accident victims.

The severity of injury is also one way in which truck accident claims are different from other car accident cases. These severe injuries typically take much longer to recover from, will keep you out of work longer, and may affect the rest of your life.

Compensation Available After a Truck Accident

After receiving immediate medical treatment after a truck accident, one of the first things accident victims want to know is how much compensation they will receive. The compensation available in a truck accident claim are meant to cover the damages, or the losses you suffered. Due to this, the damages you are entitled to will depend on the losses you sustained. The most common types of compensation in truck accident cases includes:

  • Medical bills, including the cost of medication, surgery, physical therapy, and any other treatment you received
  • Nursing home care, if you are unable to take care of your own daily tasks afterward and cannot live alone
  • Lost income, including lost bonuses, benefits, vacation pay, sick pay, and other employment benefits
  • Loss of earning capacity, if you cannot return to the same line of work and now must earn a lower income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish, which may be included with pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium or loss of relationship with children 
  • Permanent scarring and disfigurement, particularly if you sustained a burn or amputation injury
  • Wrongful death damages, such as funeral and burial expenses

In rare situations, punitive damages may also be available. Punitive damages are only awarded when the defendant exhibited gross negligence or misconduct. For example, if the truck driver or trucking company tried to destroy log books to hide the fact that they were in violation of the law, that may allow you to obtain punitive damages. Regardless of whether punitive damages are available in your case, it is critical that you speak to a lawyer before talking to the insurance company. A lawyer will have the necessary experience to negotiate with the insurance companies and ensure you receive full and fair damages.

Our Truck Accident Lawyer in Hialeah Can Determine Liability

There are many potential liable parties in truck accident cases, which is one element of these cases that makes them so difficult. At Dolan, Dobrinsky, Rosenblum, and Bluestein, our Hialeah truck accident lawyer can determine who caused your crash and negotiate for the full and fair settlement you deserve. Call us now at (786) 504-7874 or contact us online to request a free review of your case.

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