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Florida Trucking Accident Lawyers

LEGAL HELP FOR FLORIDA TRUCKING ACCIDENT INJURY VICTIMS

The Sunshine State is known across the world for its beautiful beaches and plentiful tourist attractions. In addition to being a vacation hotspot, Florida is a booming economic powerhouse and an overall great place for businesses to operate. Like many states, Florida relies on the commercial trucking industry to transport goods within the state and to the rest of the country. Many trucking accidents occur on the interstate system, which in Florida may include I-10, I-75, I-4, or Interstate 95.

Florida is the third most populous state in the country, with an estimated 20.6 million inhabitants. The state also ranks third in most fatalities in motor vehicle crashes involving semi-trucks. In 2014, there were 190 fatalities in crashes involving a large truck, only behind California and Texas. Thousands of others were also injured in Florida trucking accidents. Sadly, truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries, leaving you or loved ones severely disabled or with a diminished quality of life.

The most frustrating aspect of a trucking injury is the fact that in many cases it could have been completely prevented. Commercial truck drivers and trucking companies that skirt the law, ignore guidelines, and do not follow safety regulations put you and your family at risk on the roadways. Whether caused by mechanical issues or human factors, thousands of lives are affected each year due to the negligence of a truck driver, a commercial trucking company, or a truck manufacturer.

Thomas J. Henry has the experience, the resources, and the confidence to bring trucking companies to justice and make Florida a safer place to travel. For decades, Thomas J. Henry has advocated for Florida trucking injury victims and has helped clients receive the compensation and results they deserve. Our team of Florida truck accident lawyers knows how the trucking industry operates, and our record of obtaining large verdicts and settlements for our clients speaks to our ability to win.

LEGAL RESOURCES TO WIN YOUR FLORIDA TRUCKING ACCIDENT CASE

In order to successfully take on the largest trucking companies in the nation, you need a firm with the necessary resources to do so. Thomas J. Henry ensures your case is handled with care from intake to resolution. The firm’s resources and decades of experience allow us to assist you efficiently and effectively every step of the way.

  • Mobility
    • Our Florida injury attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends. Clients can access our experienced team of lawyers at anytime from anywhere in the world. We can visit you wherever you reside through jet services if you cannot make it to one of our offices. Distance is never an issue because our attorneys have access to your files through satellite and cutting-edge mobile technologies, allowing them to hold meetings, draft and review files from anywhere. We make sure you have an advocate fighting on your behalf throughout the entire process, no matter where you live in Florida. We can come to your home, office, or visit you at the hospital.
  • Technology
    • Thomas J. Henry operates with state-of-the-art technology in an environment conducive to efficient and effective legal representation. No punches are held and no exceptions are made when it comes to using top-of-the-line case management, client interaction, and information security technologies when representing our clients. From the first time a new client meets at our office (or we visit them in Florida), a case profile is created and active in our modern computer system — accessible from anywhere in the country. Security and accessibility are of the utmost importance, and the ability to expedite case information to clients and legal professionals at the click of a mouse helps keep you informed with the most up-to-date information possible.
  • Experts
    • Our firm employs a multitude of trucking expert witnesses from across the world for every Florida trucking accident case. Experts can provide invaluable reports and testimony for judges, attorneys, lawyers, law firms, and government agencies in Federal and State court trials and arbitration. Having the right expert for the case is often vital in advancing your case. Experts can shine light on important aspects and details of a trucking accident, and Thomas J. Henry has spent years selecting only the best experts through thorough examining and questioning. Trucking accident experts can include:
      • Accident reconstructionists
      • Forensic engineers
      • Hazardous materials experts
      • Human factors forensic science experts
      • Doctors, surgeons, physical therapists, and other medical professionals
      • Transportation safety specialists

WHO CAN BE SUED AFTER A TRUCKING ACCIDENT?

In a Florida trucking accident, it is important to know who to sue and where to sue. Several parties could potentially be negligent, making trucking accident cases more complex than other motor vehicle accidents. Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys has the knowledge and expertise to make the right call.

Whether it is the truck driver, trucking company, or commercial vehicle manufacturer that was negligent in your case, our experienced team of injury attorneys understand how the trucking industry works and will determine who is to be held accountable. Our firm has consistently demonstrated — through discovery, depositions, and expert testimony — how truck drivers and trucking companies caused catastrophic injuries and deaths that were completely avoidable.

Thomas J. Henry has helped people injured in a trucking accident stand up against major trucking companies and achieve record-breaking verdicts and settlements.

WHAT CAUSES TRUCKING ACCIDENTS TO HAPPEN?

Semi-truck accidents can be caused by several different factors — most of which are preventable. When truck drivers violate traffic laws, severe accidents can occur and leave other motorists with debilitating injuries. Common violations that lead to trucking accidents include:

  • Following too closely
    • The average stopping distance for a loaded tractor-trailer traveling at 55 mph is 196 feet, compared with 133 feet for an automobile.
  • Speeding
  • Driving while fatigued
  • Driving while impaired
  • Distracted driving
    • Commercial vehicle regulations ban drivers from using mobile devices while driving. Doing so is considered a serious traffic violation and could lead to a CDL suspension.
  • Improper lane changing or turning
  • Failure to maintain vehicle

Commercial trucks in the United States can weigh up to 80,000 lbs., or 40 tons. The average passenger car weighs around two tons. The drastic weight differential means that a traffic violation can quickly turn deadly for Florida drivers. It is extremely important that trucking companies and their drivers adhere to rules and regulations made to keep you and your family safe on the highway.

WHAT DO I DO AFTER A TRUCKING ACCIDENT?

As a victim of a trucking accident, you have rights that require protection. Following an incident, there are certain steps you can take to help preserve evidence from your case and make sure you are taken care of physically.

Following a Florida trucking accident, you should:

  • Stop after the crash and assess your health and the health of any passengers. Do not exit the vehicle before checking to make sure it is safe to do so.
  • If possible, make the accident scene visible to other drivers by turning hazard lights on or setting out road flares.
  • Notify the police of the accident and be sure to file a police report. If there are any injuries, make sure a paramedics team is sent to the scene as well.
  • Record accident facts and take pictures of the scene, your injuries, and any other accident factors. Speaking accurately and truthfully to the responding police officer but do not speculate about facts about the incident.
  • Gather names, addresses, and phone numbers of those involved in the trucking accident and any witnesses to the event. In addition, obtain the insurance information of all drivers involved in the wreck.
  • Seek medical attention, even if you aren’t entirely sure you have sustained an injury. It is better to err on the side of caution and receive a check-up from a physician following the wreck. Some injuries or pain will show up days after the accident.
  • Report the accident to your insurance company, and keep a log of any medical or crash-related expenses. Do not speak with other insurance companies (advise them to contact your injury attorney, if you have retained one).
  • Contact an experienced Florida trucking accident attorney.

Attorneys at Thomas J. Henry will assist you with your trucking accident case, protecting your rights as a victim and making sure insurance companies act in your best interest. Our lawyers understand how important it is to acquire evidence immediately following a trucking accident. Available 24/7, nights and weekends, we are always available to answer your concerns and help you get through a very difficult time.

WHAT TRUCKING REGULATIONS EXIST TO KEEP FLORIDA DRIVERS SAFE?

Trucking companies and their drivers are required to abide by a variety of regulations that have been put in place to keep other motorists safe on the roads. Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations contains all of the regulations regarding the operation and maintaining of commercial motor vehicles. Oftentimes serious trucking accidents are a result of a truck driver or trucking company’s failure to abide by these laws.

Truck drivers are required to obtain and hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL). CDL holders are held to a higher standard than regular driver’s license holders, which means they can lose their CDL certification by committing serious traffic violations.

The following are just a few of the many commercial motor vehicle regulations:

  • Drivers must be 21 years of age or older to drive across state lines or operate a vehicle containing hazardous materials.
  • To be eligible for a CDL, drivers must have no prior disqualifying criminal offenses.
  • Prior to obtaining a CDL, drivers must test for and obtain a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) and hold it for 14 days.
  • In order to obtain a commercial learner’s permit, drivers must be cleared by a qualified medical examiner that they are physically able to operate a commercial vehicle.
  • For commercial motor vehicle operators, the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is .04, compared to .08 for regular drivers.
  • Truck drivers are banned from using handheld mobile phones while driving. Trucking companies are prohibited from allowing or requiring drivers to use handheld devices while driving.
  • Drivers are prohibited from holding a CDL issued by more than one state or jurisdiction.

HOURS OF SERVICE (HOS) REGULATIONS

One of the leading causes of truck accidents is drowsy or fatigued drivers. Insufficient sleep can have the same negative effects on driving as consuming alcohol. The Hours of Service (HOS) regulations attempt to prevent drowsy truck drivers from getting behind the wheel. Property-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,

  • may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.
  • may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
  • Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.

In addition, passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,

  • may drive a maximum of 10 hours after eight consecutive hours off duty.
  • may not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following eight consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period.
  • may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
  • Drivers using a sleeper berth provision must take at least eight hours in the sleeper berth, and may split the sleeper-berth time into two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours.

WHAT ARE ECM AND GPS DEVICES?

Many commercial trucks and Department of Transportation-regulated vehicles contain Electronic Control Modules (ECM) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) onboard. Following a trucking accident, these devices can contain vital information and facts about the circumstances of the crash. ECM and GPS track and record the movement of the commercial vehicle, including the habits of a driver and even the routes driven prior to an accident. The acquisition of these devices can be paramount in determining liability in a trucking accident case since they can record how fast a truck was going at the point of impact.

Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys achieve successful, record-breaking verdicts and settlements because we know how the trucking industry operates. Our lawyers understand that the immediate acquisition of these devices could be the determining factor in the case. Your choice of injury attorney matters, and choosing a law firm with the experience, resources, and tenacity to explore every avenue possible in your case gives you the best chance of receiving the compensation you deserve.

CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED FLORIDA TRUCKING ACCIDENT AND INJURY ATTORNEY

When hiring a lawyer to handle your trucking accident case, you want someone who is experienced and tenacious. You want a lawyer who has the financial resources to develop your case properly. You want a Florida truck accident lawyer who can take your call any time of the day or night. At Thomas J. Henry, we can do all of that and more. Our team of trucking accident attorneys are available to assist Florida residents 24/7, nights and weekends. Thomas J. Henry has helped trucking injury victims throughout the nation stand up against large trucking companies and obtain real results.

Disclaimer: Any summary, description, or paraphrase of a regulatory requirement on this site is intended to provide general guidance only.  Please consult the text of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for a full account of the applicable requirements.

HAVE YOU BEEN INJURED?

Contact Us for a FREE Case Review

877-969-8159 • info@tjhlaw.com

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