Truck accidents occur on a far too regular basis on Florida highways. Unfortunately, truck drivers often engage in dangerous behaviors that increase the risk of a potentially fatal collision with a passenger car. One of the most common is failing to check their blind spot before trying to change lanes. When a car is traveling by a huge semi-truck, and that truck suddenly changes lanes with no warning, the results can be catastrophic.
If this has happened to you or someone you love, you need to get in touch with the skilled truck accident attorneys at The Eberst Law Firm as fast as you can. We will get to work investigating why the accident took place, and collect the evidence needed to make your case as strong as possible. We’ll work to obtain a fair settlement on your behalf, but we’ll also be more than ready to take the case to court if necessary.
You can speak with one of our attorneys by calling 1-888-CALL-JON or using our convenient online contact form for a free consultation.
Understanding Semi-Truck Blind Spots
Every vehicle has a blind spot that its side- and rear-view mirrors just can’t reach. The larger the vehicle, the larger the blind spot – and the higher the risk for a potentially devastating accident.
A commercial truck’s blind spots are typically 20 feet in front of the vehicle, and 30 feet behind it. If you’re in either one of these zones, you can pretty safely assume you’re in one of these spots.
A basic rule of thumb – one that you should always keep in mind if you’re sharing the road with one of these huge machines – is to always look at the truck driver’s side mirror. If you can’t see the driver’s face, then they can’t see you.
Who’s At Fault for an Accident that Occurs In a Truck’s Blindspot
There are a lot of potentially liable parties when a truck accident occurs. This can be a very complex type of personal injury case, so you’re going to need the help of an experienced attorney if you’re going to have the best possible chance of obtaining the money you deserve.
When an accident takes place in the blind spot of a truck, the driver of the rig will typically be assigned the blame. Truck drivers – just like the drivers of all vehicles – have a responsibility to check their blind spot whenever they change lanes. They have to be aware of their surroundings, and know they have enough space to make such a maneuver in the safest possible manner.
But commercial truck drivers often make mistakes that are in clear violation of strict federal regulations. They may, for instance, stay behind the wheel too long, violating the federal hours of service rule. They could carelessly make a lane change without checking their blind spot because they’re simply too tired to think straight.
But there could be another reason for a blind spot accident – a malfunction of a piece of equipment made by a third party manufacturer. Many trucks have sensor or video systems that warn drivers when a vehicle is in their blind spot. When this happens, and an accident occurs due to that defective equipment, the injured motorist may be able to sue the manufacturer.
What Steps Should You Take After a Truck Accident?
It’s terrifying to be involved in a collision with an 80,000-pound semi-truck, of course. If a motorist suffers a serious injury, it can almost be impossible for them to act decisively in the aftermath. But they need to try and do just that. Not only will fast action be critically important for their physical health, it could also help provide vital evidence that will increase their chances of receiving full and fair compensation.
Here are just a few of the things you should do if at all possible.
- The first thing, of course, will be to call 911 to obtain medical help immediately. Even if you don’t think you’ve been badly hurt, you’ll likely be running on an incredible amount of adrenaline. This can mask a potentially severe injury. If you don’t get help, you could run the risk of making matters much worse. You could also jeopardize your chances of obtaining maximum compensation.
- Try to take pictures and videos of the accident scene. This not only includes property damage, but also any damage to road signs or guardrails. If there are any skid marks, take pictures of those as well. These could provide clues to who is to blame.
- If anyone saw the accident, get their names, phone numbers and email addresses. Don’t worry about interviewing them – just get their contact information.
- Hire an attorney as fast as you can. Your legal representative will not only talk to witnesses, but also investigate the accident thoroughly. An attorney can also do things injury victims typically can’t – such as getting footage from nearby surveillance cameras, or obtaining so-called “black box” information from the truck. All commercial trucks are supposed to be outfitted with data recording devices. The information obtained from them can make a huge difference in an accident case.
Recovering Damages for Your Injuries
If you’re severely hurt in a blind spot trucking accident, you’re going to incur substantial financial losses, known as “damages” in legal terms. For example, you’ll have astronomical medical bills, and you’ll also lose money because you can’t work.
Many accident victims also suffer what are known as non-economic damages. These are subjective, and include issues such as emotional and mental trauma, and pain and suffering. Non-economic damages can be very complex – not only to prove, but also to calculate. But a skilled accident will be able to do both on your behalf.
Contact Eberst Law Firm to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation ASAP
A truck accident is an extremely high stakes personal injury case, sometimes involving insurance policies of $1 million or even more. There’s no way an accident victim will be able to win against trucking companies, their insurance providers, and their insurers’ high-powered adjusters and lawyers. You’ll need someone on your side to help level the playing field.