What do I do After a Rollover Accident with a Semi-Truck?
Big rig accidents in Florida are quite common. The odds are that you will be involved in one if you live in or near Florida. There are about 2 million large trucks in use in the U.S. and were involved in about 8.8% of all fatal vehicle crashes in 2017, according to the NHTSA. If you were injured in a big truck accident, it’s extremely important to find legal advice as soon as possible, so you can protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve.
In 2018, a total of 4,136 people died in truck-related accidents, and most of them were the occupants in the smaller vehicle, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). If you or a loved one is injured or killed in an accident with a large truck, you should immediately contact our team of truck accident attorneys to find out how much you may be able to recover from medical bills and emotional stress.
How Common are Semi-Truck Rollover Accidents?
A truck rollover accident happens most frequently when a large tractor-trailer is suddenly changing direction or is moving on a turn over the road. Large trucks often weigh 20 or 30 times and take 20%-40% longer distances to safely come to a stop than the average passenger vehicle. Due to their massive size, overturn (rollover) was the first harmful event in 4 percent of all fatal crashes involving large trucks and 2 percent of all nonfatal crashes involving large trucks, according to the FMCSA.
What Causes a Truck Rollover Accident?
There are a number of different factors that can contribute to a rollover accident, including:
- The size and weight of the truck
- Bad road or surface conditions
- The truck driver’s reaction time
- Driving while drowsy or under the influence
- Poor maneuvering skills
- Mechanical failures on the truck
- Mechanical issues with the highway design
- Bad weather or visibility
- Traffic congestion
- Negligent driving habits such as distracted driving
What Are Common Injuries Sustained in a Truck Rollover Accident?
One thing that all good lawyers can agree on is those rollover accidents involving large trucks are undoubtedly one of the most serious cases of personal injury that any person can sustain. The injuries that these accidents cause can range from minor to fatal and compensation may have to be paid in the form of lifelong medical care, disability income, and even property damage. Some of the most common injuries that happen in a truck rollover accident include:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Permanent disability
How do I Prove Negligence in a Truck Rollover Accident?
In order to support your case of auto negligence, you must establish that the driver of the other vehicle owed a legal duty of care to you and that these duties were breached. Negligence can be either complete or partial. Florida uses the comparative negligence rule which refers to an action that results in an injury or other damages that would have been prevented had the truck driver not behaved in a negligent manner. On the other hand, contributory negligence means that the driver owed a duty of care to others who were involved in the accident, did not fulfill that duty, but was not completely at fault for the accident.
Common forms of negligence in rollover truck accidents include:
- The truck driver was speeding to make a delivery.
- The truck was over the legal weight limit.
- Trucking companies did not provide adequate safety training or encouraged unsafe driving habits.
- The truck was not well-maintained by the owner.
- Drowsy driving due to illegally driving beyond the maximum number of hours.
The first step is to make a detailed statement of the circumstances leading up to the accident. This statement should include the date and time of the accident, any physical injuries incurred, and any medical conditions endured. You can also include copies of any receipts or invoices you receive for the repair or replacement of your car. Photos and video footage of the scene of the accident, copies of insurance and traffic reports are also important as they may bear witness names and addresses and can help support your case of negligence.
When Should I Contact a Truck Accident Attorney?
Ideally, you should contact a truck accident attorney as soon as possible. As time passes, gathering evidence, witness accounts, and other pertinent information become much more difficult. So, if you or a loved one has been involved in a truck rollover accident, contact Darrigo & Diaz immediately by calling us at (813) 774-3341 for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation right over the phone. You can also contact us online with any questions you have.