A Trucking Accident Can Be Serious & Complicated
The large Mac Truck hauling freight down the highway is a common sight for most Americans, and Florida is no exception. Florida’s position is both as a tourist destination, as well as a major port of call for ships looking to bring in cargo to the southeastern United States. So it’s no surprise to any Florida resident to see fleets of trucks making their way into and out of various towns and cities to deliver the goods we rely on. Everything from the food we buy at the grocer to the latest 4K HDTV is carried on trucks around the state.
However, that also means that when things go wrong with a truck, especially an accident, things can get very serious. It can also mean that if you’re thinking of taking legal action due to an injury for which the truck driver is at fault, this can often be a far more complex undertaking than against another driver in a car.
The Injury Factor
On the physics side of things, a truck is bigger and heavier than a typical automobile. But when that huge mass is amplified by the addition of even more cargo, often adding literal tons to the weight, and then moving at high speeds, any impact with this type of vehicle on the road is going to cause significant damage. Simply put, in a confrontation between a car and a truck, the truck will always win.
This also means that unless a person in an automobile is lucky and experiences only a glancing blow, such as a side-swipe, any direct impact will be devastating to the vehicle and the people inside. This is why in collisions involving trucks, the truck driver tends to be unharmed, while the occupants of a car tend to be severely injured, or even dead.
In addition, it’s not just the impact from the truck itself that is capable of causing injury. Depending on the type of cargo being carried, the freight a truck is carrying may be exposed to the elements. If that freight is not properly secured, it can sometimes disperse on the road, causing serious injuries to any drivers behind the truck who are unlikely to dodge stray cargo in time.
The Legal Factor
The other consideration with taking legal action in a trucking accident is that it may not be clear where a lawsuit should be directed. In cases of one car hitting another, it’s quite simple; if the other driver is at fault, he or she is sued. With a trucking accident, many other parties may be responsible.
If a truck driver is drunk, is driving distracted or drowsy, then this may still be a clear case of the driver being at fault. But if an accident occurs because a truck’s tire blows or the cargo wasn’t properly secured, that may not be the fault of the driver. That could be an issue with the owners of the truck itself not properly maintaining the vehicle, or the facility packing the cargo not securing it properly. So there may be other parties involved aside from a truck driver that would be engaged with in a lawsuit, and if that’s the case, these may be big, well-established businesses with their own arsenal of lawyers ready to defend against this type of legal action.
This is one of the reasons why some lawyers make a distinction between a typical car accident with another vehicle and a trucking accident. The scope of the injuries involved, and the possible legal complexities of assigning fault and then successfully litigating require a specialist lawyer for truck accidents.