Unfortunately, worst-case scenarios do happen, and residents and visitors of the greater Orlando-area fall victim to trucking accidents involving tankers, semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and other large and commercial vehicles. James O. Cunningham offers client-centric representation for victims injured in car and other auto accidents such as trucking accidents. We focus on personal injury law in the state of Florida and have been helping visitors and residents alike recover the compensation that they need.
Were you driving down a two-lane highway when you suddenly found a pair of semi-truck headlights headed straight for you in your lane of traffic? Perhaps the driver fell asleep at the wheel, or maybe he was distracted by a text message.
Alternately, perhaps you were forced to swerve when a big rig merged into your lane because the driver couldn’t see you, as you were caught in his blind spot. Perhaps you collided with another vehicle, or maybe your car skidded into a guardrail.
In other cases, James O. Cunningham and his compassionate legal staff have helped victims affected by situations such as this: a commercial truck driver was forced to turn suddenly and jackknifed her truck, which caused a multicar pileup. Sometimes these commercial trucks are tankers filled with flammable materials, and the results can be the perfect storm. Sadly, tragedies occur.
Collisions with commercial trucks are exceptionally dangerous due to these vehicles’ large sizes and significant weights. Professional drivers are required to study and to train for the Commercial Driver License (CDL) and to stay current in their credentials. Depending on their career plans, drivers may study:
- How weather affects driving conditions;
- What to do if a tank catches fire;
- How to correct a drive-wheel braking skid;
- Proper speeds for sharp turns;
- The differences between air brakes and hydraulic brakes;
- How to drive down long grades;
- Proper procedures for internal and external inspections;
- How to approach a curve with a trailer;
- The dangers of driving smooth bore tankers;
Frequently Seen Commercial Trucking Accidents
Despite truck drivers’ extensive training, studying, testing, and practice, it’s inevitable: highways deteriorate, weather conditions can lead to unpredictable roadway conditions, and human errors occur. Our Florida law firm has helped victims of a variety of trucking accidents get back on their feet. Some of the most common types of accidents that we see are related to the following:
- Semi-truck Rollovers
- Air-brake Failures
- Head-on Collisions
- Tire Blowouts
- Rear-End Collisions
- Underride Collisions
- Blind-spot-related Collisions
- T-bone Accidents
- Improperly Secured Cargo
If you live, work, or play in the greater Orlando area, it’s likely that you need to drive from Point A to Point B, as cars are the primary modes of transportation in central Florida. The plethora of high-speed roadways and heavy traffic are evidence of the popularity of this flourishing metropolitan area. Among the most heavily traveled routes are:
- Highway 50, Colonial Drive;
- Beachline toll road;
- Highway 441, Orange Blossom Trail;
- Highway 436, Semoran Boulevard;
- Highway 423, John Young Parkway;
- East-West Expressway toll road; and
- Greenway toll road
Locals frequent these routes during their commutes to offices, such as AAA, Tupperware Corp., Hilton Grand Vacations Club, Jet Blue, Lockheed Martin, Planet Hollywood, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and The Walt Disney Company. Tourists come from near and far to visit theme parks, museums, hiking trails, and more. Central Florida roads, such as Orange County highways, are busy.
Common Trucking Accident Injuries
A number of factors contribute to trucking accidents such as road rage, operator fatigue, substance abuse, improperly secured loads, unfamiliar routes, speeding, texting while driving, other forms of distracted driving, unattainable delivery dates/times, overloaded trucks, improper training, and more. Resulting accidents can lead to a number of minor to severe injuries including:
The state of Florida averages 37,000 commercial vehicle crashes per year. In Orange County alone, there were 2,323 in 2014, which was an 11.52% increase from the 2,083 that took place in 2013. Also in Orange County alone, there were eight commercial-vehicle-related fatalities in 2013, and, tragically, 17 in 2014. This is a whopping 112.5% increase. Drivers must take care to protect themselves whenever possible.
Preventative Tips for Drivers
There are a number of precautions drivers can take to avoid becoming involved in accidents with commercial trucks:
- Never drive distracted or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Do not operate any vehicle when sleepy, fatigued, or under the weather.
- Stay out of truck drivers’ blind spots.
- Drive with your headlights on.
- Remember that it takes more time for large vehicles to accelerate or decelerate, and plan appropriately when pulling into intersections, merging onto highways, and changing lanes in front of large vehicles.
- Maintain additional space between you and other vehicles during heavy rains or other potentially hazardous weather conditions.
- Always use turn signals.
- Do not weave between lanes.
- Remember that semis can blow smaller cars out of position via air turbulence and crosswinds.
- Do not use cruise control on potentially slippery roads.
- Do not drive between two or more large vehicles for extended periods of time.
- Avoid rubbernecking, as this can lead to additional accidents.
Compensation For Trucking Accidents
Have you been injured in an Orlando trucking accident? Tractor trailers, semi-truck, motorhome, and other large and/or commercial vehicles can be particularly dangerous on the road, and if you’ve been involved in such a collision, you might need to seek compensation for hospital bills, rehabilitation fees, lost wages, and more. This recuperation can be taxing due to physical pain, emotional trauma, and financial stressors. These stressors affect victims but also their family, friends, coworkers, and the others who rely on them.
Navigating personal injury law after trucking accidents can be particularly challenging. Insurance companies will be working hard to defend their own interests. Moreover, most of these medium and large-sized semi-trucks and tractor-trailers are somehow affiliated with commercial purposes and, therefore, big companies or corporations. These businesses will be sure to bring top-notch legal professionals to the table. No matter how you’ve been involved in a trucking accident, it’s important that you hire aggressive legal representation.
It’s important to work with a personal injury attorney who is well versed in Florida state laws and, more specifically, trucking accidents. A trusted local attorney with a long-standing history of success will serve you well. Since 1977, Mr. Cunningham has been serving central Floridians and visitors. So that you can focus on healing and returning to the lifestyle – the career, the pastimes, and the family life – that you love, allow the compassionate professionals at our law offices to handle the complicated legal process. The compensation that might be owed to you and yours could help with the following:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Household expenses
- Loss of future earnings
- Emotional distress (of victim or surviving family)
- Costs associated with cancelled vacation or travel
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial expenses
Experienced and Dedicated Orlando Trucking Accident Lawyers
If you’ve been in a roadway accident, chances are that you might not look forward to driving through or around the metropolitan Orlando area. For this reason, James O. Cunningham has offices in a number of central Florida locations including:
- Daytona Beach Office in Volusia County
- DeBary Office in Volusia County
- Deland Office in Volusia County
- Inverness Office in Citrus County
- Kissimmee Office in Osceola County
- Lakeland Office in Polk County
- Lake Mary Office in Seminole County
- Orlando’s Main Office in Orange County
- Tampa Office in Hillsborough County
- The Villages Office in Fruitland Park of Marion-Sumter Counties
- Winter Haven Office in Polk County
If you’ve been involved in a motor-vehicle accident, it is imperative that you seek medical attention right away. Victims do not always realize the extent of their injuries, and an examination can lead to life-saving treatments. Moreover, sometimes seemingly minor injuries can lead to serious complications down the road, such as migraine headaches, back problems, serious infections, psychological hardships, and more. In order to seek compensation necessary to a victim’s healing and a family’s maintaining their quality of life, an experienced personal injury attorney will compile medical records, witness statements, police reports, driver statements, expert opinions, and more. Serious physical injuries and/or property damage can destroy an individual’s quality of life. It’s important that you seek the compensation owed to you for lost wages, mental anguish, diagnostic and surgical fees, and more.
Our Orlando-based law firm has been helping victims of trucking accidents since 1977. We offer a free initial consultation, and there is no obligation. Contact us at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) to discuss how the judicial system might serve you in your needs. Allow us to simplify the complex legal process so that you can focus on recovery. We’re here to help you return to the life that you love and deserve.