Delray Beach Injury Attorney Helping Victims of Truck Accidents in South Palm Beach County
Straddling the I-95, the nation’s main highway covering the eastern coast of the United States from Florida to Maine, Delray Beach is home to a high volume of interstate truck traffic at all hours of the day and night. While the trucking industry is an important part of the economy, drivers in cities with a lot of truck traffic risk serious injury in a collision with a tractor-trailer. Of the roughly 35,000 semi-truck accidents which occur in Florida every year, about 2,500 of these crashes occur in Palm Beach County. Truck accidents in Palm Beach County are responsible for hundreds of injuries every year and, tragically, a number of deaths as well.
Delray Beach personal injury attorney Craig D. Earnhart has been helping car accident victims and their families for decades, including those involved in the most serious truck accidents. Commercial truck accident cases are typically more complex and strongly defended than collisions involving only passenger vehicles, so it is especially important after a truck accident to contact an experienced and successful vehicle accident attorney.
Dangers Posed by Big Rigs
With their enormous size and weighing more than ten times as much as a passenger vehicle, tractor-trailers can collide with cars with a massive impact, especially at highway speeds. Their size and weight also means that big rigs need more stopping distance and reaction time than other drivers. Additionally, all cars have blind spots, but an 18-wheeler has blind spots that extend for several lanes on both sides of the truck, as well as behind the trailer and even directly in front of the cab. Inexperienced or aggressive truck drivers who do not leave enough space or use enough caution before turning or changing lanes risk causing a serious crash with other cars on the road.
Causes of Delray Beach Truck Accidents
Truck driver error is most often cited as the leading cause of trucking accidents. The most common type of driver errors include:
- Driving while fatigued
- Distracted driving, texting while driving
- Driving under the influence
- Aggressive driving
Problems with the truck itself also present a serious danger of truck accidents. These include driving with worn out or out-of-adjustment brakes, bad tires, nonfunctioning signal lights, and driving with an unbalanced or unsecured load.
Federal Safety Regulations are Generous to Truckers, and Often Ignored
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issues regulations regarding the maximum hours of service for truck drivers. Written with the help of the trucking industry, these rules allow truckers behind the wheel for 11 hours inside a 14-hour workday, and drivers can be on duty for up to eight hours without being required to take a break. Also, while most of us perform a 40-hour, five-day workweek, workweeks for truckers can be seven or eight days long and last for 60 or 70 hours. Even these punishing hours can be exceeded under the regulations for various reasons to help the trucking companies stay on schedule.
FMCSA regulations also require inspections of the rig by the truck driver at the start of a route and at the end of the day, as well as periodically by the carrier. Trucks are not to be operated if they would be likely to break down or cause an accident because of their condition.
Unfortunately, FMCSA regulations are routinely ignored by truckers and trucking companies. During annual roadside inspections, a high percentage of semis are immediately pulled from service due to worn-out or out of adjustment brakes or bad tires, or issues with a truck driver’s license and certification. These stops also reveal truckers working beyond the legal limit and often falsifying their logs to make them appear in compliance when they aren’t. With Earnhart Law on your side after a truck accident, you will have the help of an experienced personal injury attorney who knows how to investigate a crash, determine its cause, and hold the responsible parties accountable for their negligence. Craig D. Earnhart will make sure you are treated fairly by the insurance company so that you get the compensation you need and deserve.
Knowledgeable and Dedicated Assistance in Delray Beach Truck Accident Cases
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a Delray Beach truck accident, contact Earnhart Law at 561-265-2220 for a free consultation with an experienced and dedicated personal injury lawyer. There is no fee unless we recover for you.