The number of highways and major interstates running through the Fort Myers area means that drivers regularly encounter large trucks on the road. Semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and other big rigs make much-needed deliveries throughout the state, but they create challenges for other drivers. Truck accidents can end up causing serious personal injuries and in some cases, the truck driver’s employer is to blame. When trucking company policies and practices contribute to truck accidents, they can be held accountable for a victim’s damages through a personal injury claim.
Reckless Rules and Procedures Make Truck Accidents More Likely
According to statistics from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), close to 40,000 truck accidents occur throughout the state each year. The massive size and weight of most big rigs provide protection for truck drivers. Unfortunately, it is the other motorists caught up in these crashes who tend to suffer the greatest harm.
Reckless behavior on the part of the driver is a frequent factor in truck accidents. Speeding, aggressive driving behaviors such as tailgating or improper passing, and driving while distracted or impaired all make truck accidents more likely to happen. However, there are times when the truck driver does not shoulder all of the blame.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) warns that the trucking company policies that drivers follow may be partly responsible. Among the most common policies that can end up increasing truck accident risks include:
- Failure to properly vet drivers: Trucking companies can be held liable for not ensuring drivers have the proper qualifications or the appropriate licensing for carrying different sizes and types of loads.
- Failure to properly train drivers: Trucking companies have an obligation to ensure that drivers are properly trained, which includes safe loading and maneuvering practices.
- Failure to discipline drivers for traffic infractions: Trucking companies have a duty to check a trucker’s record and to sideline drivers who get tickets or otherwise engage in dangerous driving behaviors.
- Failure to ensure trucks are properly maintained: Even if the trucker supplies their own rig, trucking companies have a duty to ensure that it meets state and federal safety standards.
- Failure to provide proper breaks: Overscheduling and not allowing for adequate days off or breaks on the road encourages dangerous behaviors, such as speeding, driving while excessively tired, or using stimulants on the road. All increase truck accident risks.
Our Fort Myers Truck Accident Attorneys Hold Trucking Companies Responsible
When a truck accident happens, it is important to get information on both the driver and the company that owns the truck or employs the driver. Truck accident investigations can help determine whether trucking company policies are to blame for injuries you suffer.
Depending on the situation, you may be entitled to compensation either through an insurance claim against the company or by filing a personal injury lawsuit. However, be aware that trucking companies have teams of attorneys working on their behalf to protect them against liability. To protect yourself, get the Bernardo Law Firm on your side. Call or contact our Fort Myers truck accident attorney and request a consultation to discuss your case today.