The Most Dangerous Highways for Truck Accidents in Florida
Truck accidents and auto wrecks occur every day in the United States. Unfortunately, Florida has been shown to be more prone to experiencing truck accidents on our highways than other states. If you have been hit by a semi on one of these highways, then you may be entitled to compensation. Contacting an attorney is the first step in ensuring that your rights remain protected after such an event.
This article addresses the following topics:
- Identifying the most dangerous highways in Florida
- The common causes of truck accidents on these highways
- What to do if you have been involved in a trucking accident
We will address each of these issues in turn.
Florida’s Most Dangerous Highways
Florida is home to five of the ten most dangerous highways in America, per ValuePenguin. Specifically, the deaths on each of these highways, from highest to lowest, ranked as follows::
As shown on this list, US-1 was the worst and on this road alone 570 deaths stemmed from 534 crashes. The worst portion of this loss occurred in Brevard County, which saw 87 deaths. Miami-Dade County saw 75 deaths, while Monroe County experienced 72 fatalities.
570 people were killed in 534 crashes, resulting in 106.7 deaths per 100 crashes. Most of these deaths (87) occurred in Brevard County, followed by Miami-Dade County (75) and Monroe County (72). These numbers only include deaths, however. They do not account for the large number of people who suffered serious injuries on these highways. Furthermore, the numbers do not account for the extensive amount of property damage which occurred.
Common Causes Of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can be caused by a number of events. Each of these events can result in liability against the truck’s driver, its owner, and potentially other third-parties. Some of the more common causes of truck accidents include:
- Negligent operation of the vehicle – Truck drivers have the same duty as anyone else to pay attention to the road and to be mindful of their surroundings. This duty also includes an obligation to consider the speed at which the truck can take a corner, the amount of time needed to safely change lanes, etc. If the driver of a semi fails to exercise proper safety then they, and the owner of the vehicle, may face liability.
- Distracted Driving – All drivers have an obligation to pay attention to the road. This extends to truck drivers. Unfortunately, the rise of smartphones has led to an increase in distracted driving. If a truck driver is texting, reading email, or looking at social media then they are breaching their duty of care. An examination of phone records, and social media accounts, may be able to show that the driver was engaging in such activities at the time of the accident.
- A failure to screen and supervise drivers – The owner of a semi truck has an obligation to adequately screen their employees before hiring them. They must also properly train and supervise their employees after they are hired. These obligations can include pre-employment drug screening, ongoing drug testing, and closely monitoring the hours which the driver logs on the road. While the owner of the truck will be vicariously liable for the driver’s negligence, they can face additional liability if they fail to adequately screen and supervise their employee.
- Faulty or improperly maintained equipment – The driver of a semi-truck as well as the owner have an obligation to ensure that the big rig’s equipment is properly maintained. This can include, for example, ensuring that the tires are not overly worn and prone to blow outs. This obligation can also include regularly checking the braking system, turn signals, and other necessary safety equipment. An examination of the truck, after the wreck, may reveal whether necessary safety equipment was faulty.
What To Do After a Truck Accident
If you have been involved in a trucking accident then there is a good chance that you have been seriously injured. The victim of such an accident will often be transported to the hospital by ambulance. Even if your injuries are not as severe, it is important that you do not refuse medical care. Doing so can provide the defendant(s) with an opportunity to claim that your injuries, in fact, did not stem from the accident.
Once you have received immediate medical care, the next step is to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Counsel will immediately help you to file a claim against your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. This is a necessary first step under Florida law. Once it is established that your injuries are in excess of your PIP coverage then counsel will assist you in identifying all possible defendants and submitting a demand for payment. If a settlement is not reached then counsel will file a lawsuit on your behalf.
It is important that you follow your attorney’s advice while the case progresses. Matters which involve serious injuries can take some time to settle. If you do not allow this process to run its course, and you accept a “quick” settlement, then there is a chance that you will not receive the money you need to cover your future financial losses and medical expenses. Remember that your attorney is charged with protecting your best interests. They will give you an objective opinion as to when is the optimal time to accept a settlement offer.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney For Assistance
If you or a family member have been hit by a semi then you should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Counsel will take the immediate steps necessary to file a PIP claim and deal with the insurance adjusters. This allows you to concentrate on regaining your health. Our firm is proud of the level of service which it provides and we look forward to speaking with you. Contact us online to speak with a Florida truck accident attorney or call us at 800-780-8607 today.