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Truck Accident Lawyer in Spring Hill

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More than 13 million commercial trucks are registered in the U.S., delivering nearly 3/4ths of the goods shipped in this country. Trucking is the backbone of commerce here and abroad, and the industry employs millions of people.

But commercial trucking also comes with considerable risk, and driving a truck is considered one of the most dangerous jobs there are. In a crash, an 80,000-pound tractor trailer is no match for a smaller passenger vehicle. The sheer size, weight, and force of a commercial truck is more likely to cause serious and fatal injuries in a collision.

If you are injured in a truck accident, our Spring Hill personal injury lawyers can help. Kogan & DiSalvo is a boutique law firm providing personal attention and customized legal solutions to help accident victims recover fair and full compensation for their losses.

Spring Hill Truck Accidents

A red semi-truck driving down the highway in Florida with a sign for Linton Blvd ahead

In Florida, more than 9,000 truck accidents were reported across the state in a single year. That same year, Florida had the second highest truck accident rates, just behind California. According to the most recent data available in the Florida motor vehicle traffic crash portal, the number of accidents in Hernando County was up 500 compared to the previous year. Some of these involved commercial trucks.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Hernando County

A distant shot of a red semi-truck driving over a bridge over water in Florida

Truck accidents can happen due to human error, equipment problems, or circumstances outside the driver’s control. Here are the leading causes of truck crashes in Florida and across the nation.

Poor Training

Florida commercial driver’s license requirements (CDL) vary slightly depending on the size of the truck, and the materials being transported.

At a minimum, drivers must meet the following guidelines to obtain a CDL:

  • Be 18 (for intrastate travel) or 21 (to drive out of state)
  • Complete the appropriate knowledge exams
  • Complete the appropriate road tests
  • Pass a vision test
  • Provide proof of identity and residency
  • Pass a medical exam
  • Pass a driving record review
  • Pay the required fees

The U.S. is currently experiencing a significant truck driver shortage. In an effort to get drivers on the road quickly, trucking companies may cut corners with training. Inexperienced or undertrained truckers are more likely to make unsafe decisions that endanger themselves and others sharing the road.

Driver Fatigue

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates commercial vehicle safety and sets hours-of-service regulations for truck drivers carrying goods and passengers. These limits are in place for a reason.

Driver fatigue due to poor sleep, extended work shifts, and irregular shifts can impair a trucker’s coordination, decision-making, and reaction time. Drivers under pressure to meet delivery deadlines who don’t take mandatory breaks are more likely to make dangerous mistakes that lead to crashes.

Improper Truck Maintenance

Commercial trucks are powerful machines, and any system or equipment malfunction can lead to an accident. Underinflated tires, burned out or broken lights, and worn or unbalanced brakes are just a few common issues that can affect truck performance.

These problems can be prevented with routine inspections and maintenance. But trucking companies are in business to profit and any time a truck is off the road, they are losing money. They may take shortcuts when it comes to preventive measures that ensure vehicles are safe and road ready. When a part or system malfunctions on a fully loaded tractor-trailer moving at a high rate of speed, the outcome can be disastrous.

Overloading and Improper Loading

The FMCSA also enforces weight restrictions and load securement rules for different types and sizes of commercial trucks, including standards for securing unique items like heavy equipment, automobiles, concrete pipes, and lumber.

These guidelines help keep trucks stable with proper weight distribution and prevent loose goods from falling off trucks and striking people and vehicles. Overloaded or improperly loaded trucks strain every operating system in the vehicle. Poorly loaded trucks are likely to experience brake failures, tire blowouts, and rollovers. They also need more time and distance to stop, increasing the likelihood of a read-end collision.

Weather-Related Issues

Unlike other types of workers, truckers cannot just stay home during bad weather. Heavy rains, snow and ice, fog, and high winds affect truck performance and visibility. But truck drivers have a responsibility to adjust their driving in poor weather or hazardous road conditions. This is an essential part of their training.

Truckers should stay alert to weather updates, reduce speeds and lane changes, and increase their following distance as needed. Drivers who do not take proper precautions and cause a wreck may be liable for damages. 

Other Vehicles

Sometimes it’s not the truck or the trucker that causes a motor vehicle accident at all. Other drivers’ reckless or careless maneuvers can also cause crashes. Drivers who turn without signaling, make sudden lane changes, or brake-check tractor trailers don’t give truck drivers the distance and time they need to react and avoid a crash.

Every driver has a duty to operate their vehicle safely, and that means staying as visible as possible near trucks and giving them plenty of space to slow down, turn, and stop.

Immediate Actions to Take After a Truck Accident

An overturned semi truck in the weeds on the side of the road.

Anyone who has been involved in a truck accident can attest to how frightening the experience can be. However, it’s important to stay calm and take steps to protect yourself and your rights after a collision.

  1. Assess the scene. Check to see if you or anyone at the scene is hurt. Call 911 and tell the dispatcher if there are injuries.
  2. Speak to the police. Tell the responding offer what happened to the best of your ability. Mention if you observed the trucker swerving, speeding, or otherwise operating the vehicle in a careless manner.
  3. Do not admit fault. Florida is a comparative negligence state, so compensation depends on each party’s percentage of fault. Wait for the investigation to determine how the crash happened, and who is responsible.
  4. Gather evidence. If possible, take photos and video of the accident scene including damage to vehicles and structures. Images of the crash location are also helpful to the investigation.
  5. Exchange contact information. Take names and phone numbers for other driver(s) and anyone who may have witnessed the truck accident.
  6. Consult a truck accident lawyer. Book a free consultation with Kogan & DiSalvo Spring Hill personal injury lawyers to discuss your case and learn your rights. You may have grounds to bring a claim against the truck driver. If you wait too long, it may be too late to sue.

If you do not need emergency medical treatment at the scene, you should still follow up with your healthcare provider after a motor vehicle accident. Head, neck, and back injuries, sprains and strains, and organ damage do not always cause immediate and obvious symptoms. A full physical is important to detect injuries and possibly avoid permanent health complications.

Determining Liability in Truck Accident Cases

A severely damaged car after a head-on collision with a semi-truck at a city intersection

Liability for truck accidents is not always straightforward. Multiple parties are responsible for truck safety. To determine fault, Spring Hill truck accident lawyers consider several factors:

  • Did the truck malfunction?
  • Was the truck overloaded?
  • Was the driver properly trained?
  • Was the driver fatigued, impaired, or reckless?
  •  Did weather or road conditions contribute to the crash?

Truck accident lawyers conduct a thorough investigation of all the evidence to identify responsible parties. We look at photos and video footage, inspection and repair records, and employment and training information for the driver. We will also review the driver’s logs to find out how long they were traveling prior to the accident. The truck’s black box also provides key information about the truck’s speed, braking, and other details.

Identifying Responsible Parties

A white semi truck with a trailer driving down the highway

Once we have examined all the crash evidence, your semi-truck accident lawyer identifies the responsible parties. They may include the truck driver, the trucking company, truck mechanics, the company who manufactured dangerous or defective parts, and the company responsible for loading the cargo. It’s possible for multiple people and companies to bear fault for a single accident.

Reviewing the facts is incredibly important because in Florida, if the injured party (plaintiff) is more than 50% at fault for the accident, they are barred from a claim. If they are 50% or more at fault, their recovery is reduced proportionally based on their portion of liability. It takes a skilled lawyer to build a compelling case for maximum compensation based on the facts available.

Proving Negligence in Trucking Companies

A truck with red running lights driving on a foggy highway at night

Kogan & DiSalvo truck accident lawyers have numerous tools at our disposal to prove negligence for a crash. Aside from the evidence collected at the scene, we work with accident reconstructionists and other expert witnesses who can explain how and why a crash happened, and who is responsible.

To prove negligence we must establish that a person or entity had a duty to prevent harm to others by taking steps to ensure the truck is safe. If they breach that duty and someone is injured, the victim may be entitled to damages for their losses.

Calculating Damages

An overhead photograph of numerous semi-trucks parked in a parking lot

If we successfully prove negligence, you can seek compensation for damages based on how the crash has impacted your life. Economic damages for monetary losses like medical bills, auto repairs, and lost wages are available.

You can also claim compensation for noneconomic damages like pain and suffering, emotional anguish, the loss of enjoyment of life, and permanent disability. If a loved one died in a fatal truck accident, we will pursue compensation for their surviving family members with a wrongful death claim.

Kogan & DiSalvo Can Help Overcome Challenges in Truck Accident Cases

Trucking owners and operators have attorneys at their disposal to fight costly truck accident claims. But Kogan & DiSalvo won’t back down from advocating for injured clients against truck fleets, their insurance companies, and their lawyers.

Trust our team to investigate your accident, determine liability, document damages, and build a strong case for compensation. We handle the details to make the process as effortless as possible—so you can focus on rebuilding after a devastating truck collision.

Call or connect online to schedule a free case review with a Spring Hill personal injury lawyer today. We represent clients in and around Spring Hill, Hernando County, and throughout the state of Florida.

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