Tractor-Trailer Accidents are some of the worst accidents on the road. All too often, victims of tractor-trailer accidents are left with catastrophic or even fatal injuries.
Recently, two people were killed, and six people were injured in a fiery I-75 crash in New Tampa. The driver of a tractor-trailer and another person in a Mercedes were killed. A Mazda came to a stop for traffic in the northbound lanes and six vehicles began to slow down behind that vehicle. That is when the driver of a tractor-trailer failed to slow down and entered the center lane to avoid a collision. The tractor‑trailer rear‑ended an Equinox, the Equinox collided with a Buick, which collided with a BMW. The tractor-trailer collided with a Mercedes and another tractor-trailer, trapping the driver of the Mercedes between the two tractor-trailers. The tractor-trailer and the Mercedes caught fire, killing both drivers. Eight cars were involved in the pile‑up, including two tractors‑trailers.
Why Do Tractor-Trailer Crashes Cause So Much Damage?
Because of the size and weight of tractor-trailers, accidents often result in significant damage to other vehicles and serious injuries to others. Tractor-trailers are taller than most other vehicles causing serious injury or death to those in a car.
What Are Some Factors in Tractor-Trailer Crashes?
There are many factors in a tractor-trailer crash. Some of those factors are:
- The safety record of the truck driver
- The safety record of the trucking company
- The qualifications of the truck driver to drive that vehicle
- The hiring practices of the trucking company
- The background check the company did to ensure that the driver was safe
- The physical and mental condition of the driver at the time of the crash
- The condition of the tractor-trailer at the time of the crash
What Are the Most Common Causes of Tractor-Trailer Cashes?
The most common causes of tractor-trailer crashes are brake problems and drivers traveling too fast. Fatigue and pressure from the carrier, tire problems and distractions are also significant causes of crashes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has determined that driver distraction is a problem for commercial truck drivers. The most significant distractions are cell telephone usage and texting.
Tractor-trailer drivers are often paid by the load, creating an incentive to haul more loads. Some drivers try to increase their pay by making as many runs in a day as possible, which often leads to speeding and reckless driving.
How Common Are Tractor-trailer Accidents?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in Florida, there were 9,028 large trucks involved in 8,529 crashes including 270 fatalities and 4,199 injuries in 2018.
Can an Employer Be Held Responsible an Accident?
Tractor-trailers are often operated without proper driver training or vehicle maintenance, making them a frequent source of accidents. Both the truck driver and the company that owns the truck might be at fault in a tractor-trailer crash.
If the driver is an employee, the company can be held responsible for any negligent actions the driver commits while on the job. Some ways the company can be held responsible are:
- Inadequate training for drivers
- Failing to perform safety inspections
- Exceeding the legal limit for truck weight with cargo
- Pressuring drivers to meet unrealistic deadlines
Companies that hire contract drivers may be held responsible if they:
- Provide trucks that do not meet safety inspection standards
- Use unskilled, under-trained drivers
- Pressure drivers to haul oversized loads
- Promote driver fatigue with unrealistic deadlines for hauling loads
- Require a driver to do something like texting, or talking while driving
The company can be held responsible for the collision because of negligent hiring, inadequate training, or not maintaining the truck in a safe and operable condition.
Why Hire a Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawyer?
Tractor-trailer accidents cause catastrophic injuries. The victims of these accidents often have huge medical bills and sometimes suffer permanent disability and disfigurement. If the victim does not survive, the family or the estate may file a wrongful death claim. An attorney with a trucking accident experience is needed in a tractor-trailer accident case.
Treatment of sustained injuries may be costly, painful and may take months, or even years. An experienced Tractor-trailer accident attorney can aggressively seek the financial compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering and for the expenses of your medical treatment and needed care.
Why Fernandez & Hernandez?
Tractor-trailer accident attorney Martin J. Hernandez can help guide you through the process.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a tractor-trailer accident and need help getting compensation for your injuries, call Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813.755.9500.