Orlando Truck Accident Attorney
Almost every product that is sold in Florida spends some time on a commercial truck. So, these large vehicles are a permanent fixture in the Sunshine State. To quickly move their goods from Point A to Point B, many shipping companies encourage their drivers to stay on the road as long as possible. Moreover, to cope with a shortage of drivers, some shipping companies hire under-qualified drivers. The combination often results in serious crashes and serious injury.
At HD Law Partners, our Orlando truck accident attorneys fight hard to obtain justice and compensation for truck accident victims. We hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions, regardless of their role in the tragedy. Furthermore, since the injuries in these cases are so severe, damages are usually substantial. We do not settle for anything less than the best possible result under the circumstances, because our clients expect nothing less.
Trucking Accident Injuries in Orlando
Fully-loaded large trucks weigh over 80,000 pounds. Even under ideal conditions, it is difficult for any driver to control these vehicles. If the operator is inexperienced, or there is even a little water on the road, the difficult becomes almost impossible.
Large trucks also carry hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel. When the tank ruptures, that fuel usually erupts into a fireball.
The massive weight and fuel capacity team up to create catastrophic injuries. Some of them include:
- Serious Burns: Diesel fuel and gasoline burn at different temperatures. So, large truck accident burn victims usually sustain third or fourth-degree burns. These injuries always require painful skin grafts and intensive hospitalization. Even after that, they usually create permanent scars.
- Head Injuries: The massive force in truck-auto collisions usually causes the victim’s neck to snap violently forward and back, That motion causes whiplash, a serious head and neck injury that’s difficult to diagnose and treat.
- Injured Extremities: Victims are often pinned beneath the large truck for long periods of time. By the time first responders reach them, their arm and leg injuries are so massive that they are difficult to treat.
In a serious injury case, the hospital bill alone often exceeds $100,000. There are lost wages, damaged property, and other economic damages on top of that. There are also additional noneconomic damages, such as loss of consortium (companionship), pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment in life, and emotional distress. Compensation is available for these injuries as well.
Determining First Party Liability in Orlando Truck Crashes
In noncommercial crashes, obtaining the tortfeasor’s (negligent driver’s) driving record is usually easy. But most truck accident cases involve tortfeasors with multiple drivers’ licenses in different states.
Fortunately, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association keeps a driver safety database. The Safety Management System keeps track of multistate information in categories like:
- Crash history,
- Alcohol/substance use,
- Vehicle maintenance history, and
- HOS (Hours of Service) compliance.
The tortfeasor’s driving record is normally inadmissible at trial to prove that the tortfeasor was a bad driver. However, it may be admissible to prove negligence within a certain context.
Orlando Semi Wrecks and Third Party Liability
As mentioned, the shipping company often contributes to crashes in subtle ways. So, the respondeat superior rule usually applies in these cases. Under this legal doctrine, employers are liable for the negligent acts of their employees if:
- The tortfeasor was an employee who
- Was acting within the course of employment at the time of the crash.
Courts define both these elements very broadly. For example, independent contractors and owner-operators are “employees” for negligence purposes, even though they do not receive regular wages. Moreover, any act that benefits the employer in any way is within the scope of employment. That could include something like driving an empty truck back to the warehouse.
Count On Experienced Orlando Truck Accident Attorneys
Large truck crashes usually cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Orlando, contact HD Law Partners. We routinely handle cases in Orange County and nearby jurisdictions.