Articles Posted in Trucking Accident

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Professional drivers – and truckers especially – have a responsibility to use great care because it’s well-known that larger vehicles have the potential for greater harm when they are involved in a collision. When they fail to use reasonable care, they may be held accountable. truck accident lawyer

Jurors in Palm Beach County awarded $45 million to the parents of a medical student who was killed in a May 2015 crash involving a tractor-trailer in a construction zone. The construction company was ordered to pay $35 million in damages while the driver of the truck crash was ordered to pay an additional $10 million.

Another wrongful death lawsuit for the loss of a 17-year-old girl in that same crash is still pending. She had just graduated high school and was looking forward to attending the University of Miami on a full scholarship.

The truck driver who was operating the flatbed truck with an unsecured load of concrete barriers was charged earlier this year with one count of reckless driving causing serious bodily injury (the medical student’s 25-year-old passenger was badly hurt in the crash) and two counts of vehicular homicide. His criminal defense attorney called the incident a “tragic accident.” However, as injury attorneys in Fort Pierce, we find the term “accident” lacking – not because the driver intended harm, but because these are avoidable scenarios when drivers use reasonable care to prevent foreseeable harm.
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There simply aren’t enough truck drivers in the U.S. to meet the increasing demands of the transportation and shipping industry. By some accounts, there is a shortage of nearly 50,000 drivers. In an attempt to fill the void, many trucking companies are actively recruiting retirees. trucking

At first glance, this seems like a great solution, particularly as Baby Boomers are living longer than in generations’ past and have ample knowledge and experience in a wide range of fields. The problem is that driving – particularly operation of a big rig – requires a certain degree of physical and mental stamina that may be challenging to those over a certain age. Older drivers may struggle with worsening vision (particularly at night), reduced reflexes, waning hearing and in some cases cognitive decline. All of these could prove disastrous for a trucker.

CBS News launched a study that looked at truck accidents involving drivers over the age of 65. What they found was that between 2013 and 2015, more than 6,630 trucking accidents were caused by truck drivers who were at or past the retirement age. It should be noted that this figure only tallied crash reports from 12 states, so the actual number is much, much higher. The study also showed that in the last couple years, the percentage of crashes involving drivers in their 70s and older spiked by nearly 20 percent. That includes both commercial truck and bus drivers, and should be cause for concern and further analysis.  Continue reading →

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A federal appeals court sided with a plaintiff in a trucking accident lawsuit, after defendants appealed trial court’s denial of motion for a new trial. Defendants alleged trial court erred in admitting evidence of medical bills, as well as refusal of sanctions for spoliation of evidence after the victim underwent back surgery before undergoing an independent medical exam. truck2

However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed trial court’s denial of a new trial in Guzman v. Jones, finding the court did not abuse its discretion.

According to court records, the case arose from a motor vehicle accident involving a truck that was driven by one defendant (trucker) and owned by another (trucking company). Plaintiff sustained personal injuries as a result. Continue reading →

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A truck driver who logged 50 straight hours driving from Kentucky to Florida has been charged for a crash that occurred on the return trip, in which six people were killed and several others injured. It was also after the truck itself had two mechanical failures early on in the trip – one with the brakes, and another with the fuel delivery system.trucksontheroad

The fatal crash occurred on I-75 in Tennessee – and this was after the trucker allegedly sideswiped another commercial truck while on that illegally long haul in Florida. He was purportedly high on crystal meth at the time of the second crash, authorities say.

Investigators say on the day of the fatal crash, the driver had only logged off work for 12 hours after his 50-hour shift and returned to the road. At that point, he’d been driving for 15 hours when, at 77-miles-per-hour in a 55-mile-per-hour zone, he slammed into traffic that had slowed ahead of a heavy construction zone. The truck driver struck numerous vehicles with his tractor-trailer. Ultimately, six people lost their lives and four others were seriously injured. Continue reading →

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In any car accident lawsuit, there are a number of elements that must be proven in order for the case to be successful. Those elements include:

  • Defendant owed plaintiff duty of care;
  • That duty of care was breached;
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One was a 17-year-old, just graduated from high school, on her way to the University of Miami in the fall. The other was a 29-year-old medical student, preparing to begin his clinical rotation this summer. Now, both are gone.semitruck1

It happened on I-75 through Pembroke Pines, when a construction truck hauling concrete barriers pulled out into traffic on the fast-paced highway and into the path of the medical student. The truck was then struck by the vehicle driven by the 17-year-old, as concrete barriers flew out of the bed of the truck and onto her vehicle. Another large truck then barreled into the wreckage as well.

Authorities are investigating whether the concrete barrier truck, driven by a man whose commercial license had just been suspended and then reinstated days before the crash, was properly loaded and whether the driver followed proper procedure in exiting the construction site, located in the highway median.

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Defendants in personal injury cases are tenacious when it comes to rooting through the records of the plaintiff.

Of course, there are often legitimate purposes served in these efforts, primarily in determining whether the causation and extent of injury are as claimed by plaintiff. But many of these efforts go too far.files

Luckily, we do have the court system to keep it in check. Still, you can’t count on the judge to fight for your best interests and privacy concerns. That’s the job of your attorney.

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Driver distraction is a major problem in Florida. Although texting-while-driving became illegal on state roads last year (making the Sunshine state one of the last to adopt such a measure), the law has little muscle as a secondary offense that garners only a $30 fine for the first infraction.communication4

Meanwhile, the effects of texting or using social media or e-mailing while behind the wheel are stark, resulting in thousands of fatal crashes across the country each year.

Although there are many different types of distraction that don’t include electronic devices (i.e., fatigue, eating or drinking, adjusting the radio, etc.) those aren’t as easy to trace after-the-fact as cell phone use.

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Two commercial drivers were involved in a wreck on a highway exit ramp that resulted in serious and lasting injuries to one.
A lawsuit was filed by the injured driver, and a jury returned a verdict finding zero fault by both parties. But that verdict was recently reversed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, after the panel determined the lower court had allowed improper admission of evidence at trial that likely had a substantial influence on the jury’s decision.

Broward County truck accident lawyers understand the primary dispute in Valedez v. Watkins Motor Lines, et al. was testimony derived from the investigating officer’s crash report, which was barred from the evidence prior to trial.
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When it comes to holding a company responsible for the negligent actions of its employee, there are several possible legal theories that may apply. The first involves holding the company indirectly (or vicariously) liable, and the second involves the assertion of direct negligence by the company, via negligent hiring, training and/or supervision.
Our Hollywood truck accident lawyers know that in crashes where commercial vehicles are involved, determining to what extent an employer is responsible is important. While drivers may carry individual liability insurance, to which injured parties may be entitled, corporate insurance policies for commercial vehicles tend to have higher limits, meaning the total amount recoverable by injured parties is likely to be higher.

However, before you can collect, your attorney is going to have to prove the driver worked for the company. This may seem simple enough. But the reality is, there are all kinds of employment arrangements, and the type the driver had in your case could be critical in determining whether you are entitled to seek damages from the employer.
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