West Palm Beach Truck Accident Attorney
No one enjoys the white-knuckled experience of passing a semi truck on the freeway as it sways from side to side in the wind. During especially tight quarters, such as when the truck is hugging your side of the dashed line, stomach-dropping thoughts begin to enter the mind, such as “what if the driver suddenly decides to change lanes without warning while I’m right here?” We have all been witness to scary encounters such as that: a trucker changing lanes with or without having the right of way to do so, drivers seemingly nodding off or not paying attention to the road as the truck weaves in and out of its lane of traffic, and even worse: an aggressive driver with 18 wheels and untold tons behind them. Of course, not all truck drivers are careless or dangerous, just as not all trucks present a hazard to other road users. However, due to the vast size difference, when collisions do occur with large trucks, they are almost always incredibly devastating for the occupants of the passenger vehicle. Contacting an experienced West Palm Beach truck accident attorney is key to your case’s success if you have been hit by a truck due to the inherent complexity of truck accidents and the large sums of financial compensation that are many times available.
Many Possible Parties to be Held Liable in Truck Collisions
There were 317,000 reported truck accidents in 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Trucks are responsible for 4,500 traffic deaths per year, account for only eight percent of the vehicles on the road, yet are involved in 11 percent of fatal collisions, according to a study published in the International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion. Why is this? Why are trucks responsible for so many crashes and so many fatalities? There are many reasons behind why large trucks cause such horrific traffic collisions, such as the driver’s poor visibility to the rear and sides of the truck, truck driver fatigue, careless lane changes, rollover, driver distraction from electronic devices, and speeding. Additionally, large trucks generally move at a different rate of speed, meaning that other traffic is forced to pass, which increases the risk of being side-swept. Just as there are many causes of large truck crashes, there can generally a great number of parties that may be responsible for the collision. If the driver is employed by a trucking company, and the driver was found to be at fault, the trucking company will be held liable, in which case the insurance finances at stake are usually quite large. If the driver was at fault and was an independent contractor, they, or most likely their personal insurance provider, will be responsible for the compensation. If the accident was a result of poor loading of cargo or faulty manufacturing of the truck, another party may be liable, which is termed third party liability. With so many potential causes and so many potential parties involved, it is vital to have an experienced attorney at your side.
Pike & Lustig Truck Accident Attorneys
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, we take pride in our knowledge regarding semi-truck and tractor-trailer accidents. When hiring a West Palm Beach truck accident attorney for these types of accidents, it is imperative that the attorney has knowledge of the Department of Transportation (“DOT”) Regulations, and the responsibilities owed to the public by the powerful companies operating these large semi-trucks for substantial profit. These trucking and delivery companies are not only responsible for their drivers’ negligence, but each company is required to follow internal and external policies and procedures which, if not followed, may result in catastrophic accidents.
This includes maintaining a driver’s log, vehicle-inspection log and a semi-truck maintenance log. These logs contain vital information such as the amount of “rest time” required prior to the driver operating the semi-truck, whether the driver slept the required hours before operating the semi-truck, the maintenance history for the semi-truck, the unsafe driving history of the semi-truck operator, unsafe-load weights, wearing of tires, hydraulic-brake inspections, and whether the company had prior knowledge of the acts (or lack thereof) that contributed to the catastrophic accident. This information often becomes the link in the chain of evidence needed to assist in proving negligence on behalf of the driver and the company. Trucking accidents often involve the death of a loved one or lifelong permanent injuries and pain and suffering. Therefore, when hiring a West Palm Beach truck accident attorney to represent your interests, be sure the attorney is experienced in the law and with the administrative agencies governing the operation of these semi-trucks on Florida’s roadways.
In addition, Pike & Lustig, LLP-Pike & Lustig, LLP has access to several accident re-constructionists throughout the United States. These highly-qualified individuals assist with recreating the accident scene and the causes of the accident, which includes an investigation as to whether the roadway itself was safe for the operation of automobiles and semi-trucks. For example, was construction of the roadway underway, were construction crews present, did the construction company follow all the warning regulations and DOT regulations? These questions, among others, must be answered for the benefit of your case.
Contact Experienced West Palm Beach Truck Accident Attorneys
Given the fact that several trucking accidents occur in the early morning and late evening hours, Pike and Lustig, LLP-Pike & Lustig, LLP, has an established 24-hour hotline. Our personal injury attorneys are ready to take your call and assist you in your time of need.