Are you in need of a Commercial Semi-Truck Accident Attorney St Petersburg? When do i need a personal injury attorney?
No matter how vigilant a driver you are, traffic accidents are an all too regular occurrence on our Florida highways. Even as the most cautious motorist on the interstate, it’s still possible to find yourself a victim in an unfortunate collision. Particularly with the growing number of trucks and semis on the road and increased pressure on such drivers.
What you need to know is exactly who to turn to in the event of an incident with a semi. If you encounter an accident in the Tampa Bay area, you should seek representation from a commercial semi-truck accident attorney in St Petersburg. This way, you’ll receive a fair settlement for any personal injuries sustained by the incident.
In the US alone, over 3.5 million people work as truck drivers. This equates to 15.5 million trucks on the roads – 2 million of which are commercial semi-trucks. A semi is a truck (or tractor) that contains an engine. These vehicles can run independently, with or without a trailer. Other terms used to describe semis include ‘big rigs,’ ’18-wheelers’, and ‘tractor-trailers,’ among others.
Semis transport consumer goods, hazardous materials, construction matter, and other freight. Unfortunately, these vehicles frequently put other motorists in vulnerable situations and wreak havoc on the roads. And when they do, the fault can rest with either the driver or the mechanics.
According to a recent survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industry of transportation is one of the most dangerous jobs in the US. Transportation accidents accounted for over 2,000 work-related deaths in 2018 – 40% of all work-related fatalities. Specifically, when it comes to working as a truck driver, there were 26 fatalities per 100,000 full-time workers in 2019. Truck drivers will each drive an average of 2,000-3,000 miles per week – that’s a lot of road time.
Meanwhile, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported 4,136 fatalities resulting from collisions involving large trucks. 16% of these deaths were truck occupants. In fatal crashes involving one passenger vehicle and one large truck, 96% of the deaths were in passenger vehicles. Large trucks were involved in 11% of all motor vehicle crash fatalities.
Common causes of semi-truck accidents
There are many factors to consider in the event of an automobile accident involving a semi-truck. Sometimes it’s human error; in other instances, it’s a fault with the vehicle mechanics. But, four of the most common reasons behind semi-truck accidents are:
- Driver sleep deprivation & fatigue: Long hours, disrupted sleep patterns, and lack of human interaction can contribute to a semi driver becoming drowsy. Fatigue is one of the greatest culprits behind collisions involving semis and other automobiles. Of course, reckless driving can also play a part.
- Poor maintenance & failed mechanics: Semis travel thousands of miles every week and require much more maintenance than your average family saloon. When minor wear and tear complaints are not dealt with swiftly, a major motoring accident becomes a heightened risk. Break pads, tires; all are subject to regular checks. Your commercial semi-truck accident attorney in St Petersburg can investigate exactly who is liable for mechanical negligence.
- Inappropriately loaded cargo: A fully loaded semi in the US can weigh 40 tons (80,000 pounds – or 20 times the amount of a regular car). If the cargo is not loaded in accordance with the regulations, spillage could occur. This can cause a catastrophic hazard on the highway.
- Adverse weather and road conditions: Rain, snow, and ice can cause an 18-wheeler to roll over – as can poorly maintained roads. Due to their immense size and weight, semis are more challenging to break suddenly. This is why it’s even more critical that drivers obey the local speed limits for semi-trucks and drive with caution in bad weather.
Do I need a Commercial Semi-Truck Accident Attorney?
When it comes to seeking a claim for an accident involving a semi, you can face more than your fair share of roadblocks. Many of the complications come down to insurance. Truck driver policies are often valued at millions of dollars. So, as you can imagine – the insurers will fight to avoid a payout. They will often quote a settlement that may seem high to you. However, it is, in fact, a fraction of what you are entitled to receive.
It’s also important to note the complicated matter of insurance. Commercial semis are often subject to multiple cover. It’s common to have to dance around individual policies against the driver, the truck, and the trailer. The experts at Growney, McKeown & Barber, PA, can navigate the paperwork on your behalf if the driver or insurers deny liability. Besides, in some cases, more than one party is liable, which can result in a more complicated claim. For example, if the collision was a result of another driver behaving recklessly and causing the truck driver to do an emergency stop.
Our renowned attorneys can investigate the accident thoroughly – across both dashcam or CCTV footage and any witness reports. In the event that compensation cannot be settled outside the courtroom, we can take your claim to trial.
Find a commercial semi-truck accident attorney in St Petersburg
If you or a loved one encounters an accident with a semi, do seek legal representation to handle your claim.
Here at Growney, McKeown & Barber, PA, we have the expertise and tenacity to fight your corner. Mary McKeown has represented the rights of injured individuals for over 25 years. As a testament to her abilities, McKeown has been ranked by the judiciary as AV Preeminent. Less than 10% of all attorneys receive such prestige. Working alongside McKeown is Katie Jackson, who specializes in personal injury claims, including automobile and trucking accidents.
Whichever attorney takes your case, they will provide you with personalized care and support.