The sheer size of a semi, 18-wheeler, or other big rig is an indication of the massive devastation that can result from a truck accident, but statistics are solid proof of the dangers. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) reports that there are 8,706 commercial vehicle collisions every year in Miami-Dade County alone, causing around 24 fatalities and almost 1,400 injuries to victims. Plus, the highest percentage of people killed in truck crashes are occupants of the smaller vehicle, at 68%.
While truck accidents may be caused by many of the same factors as other motor vehicle crashes, there are unique considerations when a longer, heavier, wider vehicle causes a collision. It is essential to discuss your rights with a Miami truck accidents lawyer if you were involved in any of the most dangerous types of crashes in Florida.
- Underride Collisions: This type of truck crash occurs when a smaller vehicle following the semi cannot stop in time to avoid an impact and becomes wedged underneath. Often, the smaller car’s roof is shorn off, so underride accidents are often fatal. Trucks should be equipped with underride guards that prevent a smaller auto from traveling beneath the tractor or trailer. However, not all trucks have this safety equipment installed, and improperly installed guards can also lead to devastating injuries.
- Truck Rollovers: It is possible for any vehicle to roll in an accident, but the distribution and weight of a truck’s cargo makes it prone to rollovers. The most common underlying cause for this type of crash is speeding, either in excess of the posted limit or too fast for conditions. When the operator cannot slow in time to turn or take a curve, the momentum can lead to rolling.
- Jackknife Accidents: When a semi driver brakes too quickly or loses control, the tractor and/or trailer can swing and become perpendicular; the shape resembles an open jackknife, giving this type of truck crash its nickname. An18-wheeler has multiple sets of brakes, all of which are linked through a braking system, so errors can snowball and cause several axles to fail.
- Crashes Caused by Tire Blowouts: Tires that are not properly maintained, repaired, and replaced can blow out under the massive load of the cargo, sending the entire tractor-trailer rig out of control. The semi may careen over into another lane with traffic moving either in the same direction or opposite. In addition, the blown-out tires themselves can become dangerous obstacles if a motorist comes across one left behind on the roadway.
Discuss Your Legal Remedies With Our Miami Truck Accidents Lawyers
Whether you were affected by these or other types of truck crashes in South Florida, retaining experienced legal representation gives you the best chance for success with your legal options. Our team at Gerson & Schwartz, PA will advocate on your behalf throughout the process, so please contact our firm to learn more about our services. We can schedule a no-cost case assessment at our office in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL.