Tampa Truck Accident Attorney
Port Tampa Bay is the largest cargo tonnage port in the state of Florida. Well over 50,000 containers every year pass in and out of the port, loaded onto tractor-trailers coming to and from Tampa from all over the country via I-4 and I-75. Residents of Tampa are accustomed to sharing the highway with 18-wheelers, but one never gets used to the fear and anxiety of having to drive too closely around these big rigs. Passenger car drivers know which vehicle will fare the worst in any collision with a tractor-trailer, and they are right to be anxious. Truck crashes happen every day in and around Tampa, several times a day. To make matters worse, truck accidents are on the rise in Hillsborough County. 2018 saw 3,117 commercial motor vehicle (CMV) crashes, causing 935 injuries and 15 deaths.
Truck accident cases are more complicated than most car accidents. The injuries are more severe, often including catastrophic injuries or wrongful death. With the costs so much higher, trucking companies and their insurance carriers fight that much harder to avoid or lessen their liability. As a truck accident victim, you need an aggressive lawyer on your side who will work to get the most compensation he can for you and your family. Truck accident victims in Tampa benefit from the extensive personal injury experience at Moore Law. Call Moore Law today for help from a seasoned Tampa truck accident attorney who is compassionate and responsive to his clients while aggressively pursuing their claims against the most hardened trucking industry insurance companies.
What Causes Truck Accidents in Tampa?
Semi-truck accidents happen for a number of reasons, including driver error and negligence. Like other drivers, truckers are susceptible to drunk or distracted driving, texting while driving, speeding, and other dangerous driving behaviors. Although truck drivers are trained professionals, they also face tight deadlines that pressure them to drive faster or longer than is safe or take shortcuts when it comes to vehicle safety. All the while, truckers must deal with handling a 40-ton vehicle through all sorts of traffic and weather conditions while navigating routes and trying to reach their destination on or ahead of schedule.
Some of the main causes of semi-truck accidents that are particular to 18-wheelers are driver fatigue, poor truck maintenance, and improperly loaded semis. These issues are discussed below.
Hauling cargo intrastate or cross-country means long hours on the road, often through flat, unchanging scenery. Boredom and fatigue can quickly set in, leading to drowsy driving truck accidents or falling asleep at the wheel. Despite the risks of driver fatigue and the deadly consequences of a truck crash, tractor-trailer drivers put in more hours than workers in just about any other industry. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) limits the number of hours a trucker can work, but these regulations hardly seem like they were written for road safety. Under the rules:
- Truckers can lawfully work fourteen hours a day, including 11 eleven hours behind the wheel, before taking ten hours off and starting all over again. These limits can be extended for two hours in some circumstances.
- Truckers can drive for eight hours before having to take a 30-minute break.
- Truck drivers can put in 60 hours over seven consecutive days or 70 hours over eight consecutive days before being required to take only 34 hours off to restart another seven or eight-day period.
Even these lax regulations don’t satisfy many truck drivers, who actively falsify driver logs and work even longer. These facts don’t come out until the trucker is pulled over for a roadside inspection or in the investigation after a terrible crash.
Poor Truck Maintenance
FMCSA rules also regulate truck maintenance, but the nation’s truck fleet is so bad off that around one out of every four trucks pulled over for a roadside inspection are immediately pulled out of service because they are too dangerous to be on the road. Leading problems include worn-out brakes or missing brake components, bad tires, non-functioning signal lights, and malfunctioning coupling devices. Thousands of trucking companies operate throughout the country, Canada and Mexico, and only a small fraction can be inspected in any given year.
Improperly Loaded Semis
A truck’s trailer might get loaded by the truck driver or trucking company workers, the company that owns the cargo, or a third-party freight shipper. Loading must be done carefully and correctly from the start, and it’s the driver’s responsibility to check the load every day to make sure it stays balanced. An overloaded truck puts too much pressure on the truck’s tires for safety or raises the truck’s center of gravity so that it is more susceptible to a rollover truck crash. If the load is unbalanced, the driver can lose control of the rig, causing a wreck or jackknife truck accident. An unsecured load can fall off of or out of the trailer, leaving a multi-vehicle pileup in its wake.
Serious Accidents Require Serious Legal Representation
Passenger vehicle occupants are at risk of catastrophic injury or death if they get struck by a semi or underride the trailer in a crash. Even the sturdiest SUV is no match for the sheer force imparted by a fully-loaded tractor-trailer barreling down the highway. Attorney Eric Moore and his team at Moore Law fight to uncover the facts behind the accident and hold all responsible parties liable, whether it is the trucker, the trucking company, a third-party shipper or some other entity. We work to obtain significant compensation for our clients and their families who must deal with exorbitant medical bills, lost income and other challenges that come with a catastrophic or fatal injury. Put the experience and dedication at Moore Law to work for you.
Help With Truck Accidents in Tampa
If you or a loved one has been injured or worse in a Tampa trucking accident, call Moore Law at 813-510-5400 for a free case evaluation. Our Tampa truck accident attorney can advance all costs of the litigation, and we only charge a fee after we are successful in recovering compensation on your behalf.