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Truck Accident Lawyer Orlando

Semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles are dangerous for an obvious reason: they are huge and heavy. Because of their immense size, these vehicles can cause horrific crashes that leave people maimed and paralyzed—if they survive at all. Recent statistics suggest this problem is not going away and instead may be getting worse.

Fortunately, the law provides remedies for the victims of truck crashes. But navigating the legal system to pursue all viable claims requires skill and expertise. These are not cases for novices unfamiliar with the area. Our firm knows the rules of the road for trucking cases. And we know what to do when someone is hurt or killed because those rules are broken. Contact our experienced truck accident lawyer today for a free consultation.

Trucking crashes in Orlando continue to injure and kill.    

Recent statistics gathered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reveal an alarming trend. According to the agency, commercial trucks accounted for 114,000 crashes resulting in physical injury, with another 4,479 crashes resulting in one or more deaths, in 2019 alone. And the preceding decade was no better as the number of commercial truck crashes resulting in deaths increased by 47 percent between 2009 and 2019. Likewise, injury-causing commercial truck crashes increased 62% from 2009 through 2015, and then another 13% from 2016 through 2019.

And now there is even more cause for concern due to recent driver shortages and supply chain issues. The problem is that unscrupulous companies may begin throwing untrained and inexperienced drivers out on the roadway. And some have even proposed lowering the driving age—which is currently 21—so that teenagers could be allowed to drive commercial trucks.

In short, trucking crashes continue to be a major danger on the nation’s roadways, and the problem is not likely to go away anytime soon.

Trucking companies break the rules in many different ways.

Semi-trucks and other large vehicles are subject to special rules and regulations because of the severe danger they pose to other vehicles on the road. Those rules exist both at the state and federal levels. The federal rules, known as the “Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations,” or “FMCSR” for short, are the most prominent as they apply across the country.

Examples of FMCSR rule violations include:

  • Requiring, incentivizing, or allowing drivers to violate the “hours of service” rules by continuing to drive the vehicle for extended periods of time without resting
  • Hiring and retaining drivers that do not meet the requisite qualifications
  • Failing to properly inspect and maintain the tractor, trailer, and all components and parts needed to ensure safe operation of the truck
  • Failing to register, or maintain registration, with the US Department of Transportation
  • Placing too much weight on the vehicle
  • Transporting hazardous materials without following the necessary precautions

The safety ramifications of violating the types of rules described above are obvious. But there are also legal ramifications. In a personal injury or wrongful death action, the violation of those regulations and rules can help to establish that the defendant was negligent. That’s not the only way to win a trucking accident case, though, as discussed next.

Looking beyond the rules and regulations.

Trucking crashes happen for many reasons. While rule violations are common, other dangerous practices persist. These dangerous practices are captured by the common law negligence doctrine, which requires all businesses—including trucking companies—to exercise reasonable care. This means that there is no cookie-cutter approach to trucking cases. Trucking lawyers must be flexible and willing to adapt with the case facts and identify all viable theories and all responsible parties.

Examples of potential truck accident claims that are not spelled out in rules and regulations but are recognized in the common law include:

  • Failure to install and use reasonably available and common safety features, such as automatic braking or collision alert systems that can prevent and mitigate crashes
  • Failure to prevent injuries to pedestrians, including through the proper use of spotters and backup alarms as needed to minimize the risk that someone will be runover as the truck reverses
  • Products liability claims against the company that manufactured the truck or any of its parts or components which do not meet industry standards or fail to safely perform their intended purpose
  • Claims against the companies responsible for inspecting, maintaining, or servicing the truck

The variety of potential claims that can be asserted in a trucking crash case further highlights the need to retain attorneys that are knowledgeable and have the dedication to dig into the case and explore all avenues to relief. This may include pursuing cases that are not traditional “trucking” claims, including, as referenced, above, products liability claims against manufacturers or negligent inspection or maintenance claims against service facilities.

truck accident lawyer orlando

We hold trucking companies accountable.

Trucking cases require dedication and resources. We have both. And the proof is in the results we obtain. For example, Rich Newsome, our truck accident lawyer, took on a difficult case involving a large garbage truck that struck a young university student as she was riding her bike. The defense contended that the driver had been intoxicated and that she had negligently ridden her bicycle through the intersection. They supported their arguments with expert testimony stating that the student had used cocaine and alcohol the night before the crash, and possibly that morning, and had only three hours of sleep.

Rich successfully countered the defense argument by eliciting expert testimony that, had the truck driver checked his mirrors while approaching the intersection, he would have seen the student with more than enough time to stop. The jury sided with Rich, finding that the defendant was 80% at fault and awarding a total verdict of $25,000,000. That verdict was recognized by the National Law Journal as being one of the top 100 verdicts in the country that year.

Call Newsome Melton today to speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer in Orlando.

Trucking crash victims and their families need a law firm that knows the rules of the road—and how to hold those who break them accountable. Our firm has the necessary knowledge and experience. And, as always, we are happy to talk to you, free of charge, to discuss whether you may have a case. Check out our profile on Google to find our location or send us a message.