Common Types of Truck Accidents in Winter Haven, FL
There are many different types of truck accidents. Every crash has its own unique cause and may occur in a wide range of traffic scenarios. But no matter the wreck, all truck accidents have one thing in common — all are capable of causing serious injuries and death to those who are unfortunate enough to be involved.
Were you hurt in a semi-truck accident in Winter Haven? Compensation is possible to help manage your medical expenses, missed wages, and other losses resulting from the wreck. An experienced truck accident lawyer can investigate your claim and make sure that every responsible party is held accountable for their recklessness.
Call or contact Brooks Law Group right away. We’ve been helping victims of truck accidents in Florida get answers and fair compensation since 1992.
During our nearly 30 years in practice, we’ve received numerous professional awards for our work, including being recognized by The National Trial Lawyers as one of their Top 100 law firms. We’ve recovered millions of dollars in compensation for Floridians just like you.
If a truck accident has upended your life, schedule a free consultation with a Winter Haven truck accident lawyer at our firm today. There’s no fee unless we recover money for you.
Winter Haven Truck Accident Statistics
To get a sense of just how dangerous truck accidents can be if you’re a driver in the Winter Haven area, it’s helpful to look at some crash statistics. Here are a few key numbers from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ most recent Traffic Crash Facts Annual Report:
- Across Florida in a single year, there were 1,303 semi-truck crashes in which at least one person was injured. In 115 of those crashes, at least one person received an injury that the state classified as incapacitating. That means that around nine percent of semi-truck accidents that year left people with injuries that were visibly apparent to first responders.
- There were 25 fatal truck accident crashes statewide.
- In Polk County, 1,631 crashes involved commercial vehicles.
- Injuries and deaths from commercial vehicle crashes in Polk County increased significantly. In just a one-year period, truck accident injuries rose 26 percent. Deaths spiked by 11 percent.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
The laws of physics explain why truck accidents are frequently deadly. In a collision between an 80,000-pound tractor trailer and a 4,000-pound passenger car, the truck is bound to win. Unfortunately, that win often comes at the expense of others’ safety and lives.
Examples of common types of Winter Haven truck accidents include:
- Wide-turn crashes: Because of their additional length and weight, semi-trucks have to be particularly careful when turning, especially right. A truck driver will often swing their vehicle slightly to the left before making a right turn to give themselves more room to maneuver. If a trucker isn’t careful, a pedestrian or driver can become trapped between the moving truck and another obstacle.
- Blind spot accidents: Trucks have large blind spots in front, on the sides, and immediately behind them. These areas, often called No Zones, can make changing lanes, merging, braking, or backing up particularly perilous for other motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
- Jackknifes: A jackknife crash occurs when a truck stops suddenly, but the trailer keeps going due to its forward momentum. The trailer ends up pivoting on the trailer hitch, causing the trailer to “fold” in on the truck in a way that resembles a knife folding into its handle. When truck drivers lose control of their trailers in this way, the trailer may collide with vehicles across multiple lanes of traffic.
- Tire blowout crashes: A tire failure can destabilize the entire rig in an instant. These types of accidents can be the result of poor maintenance by the trucking company, negligent inspections, or sharp obstacles on the roadway.
- Rollovers: A truck and/or its trailer can tip if its cargo isn’t properly loaded and secured during transport. Moving cargo can cause a truck’s center of gravity to shift suddenly, especially while braking or during turns. If a truck or its trailer tips over, all neighboring vehicles are in danger.
- Unsecured cargo accidents: Freight must be secured according to regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Cargo that comes loose during transport may fly off a truck’s bed, either colliding with an oncoming vehicle or causing a driver to swerve to avoid the debris.
- Rear-end collisions: Trucks need more time and space to stop. If a truck driver is following too closely or a driver ahead cuts in front of the truck, a rear-end accident can do serious damage.
- Head-on crashes: Truck drivers who are distracted, fatigued, intoxicated, or otherwise compromised may not notice they have drifted into oncoming traffic until it is too late. FMCSA has set regulations limiting distractions, how long a trucker can stay on the road before resting, and lowered allowable blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) to half the legal limit for non-commercial drivers. Nonetheless, head-on collisions remain the deadliest type of crash on U.S. roads.
- Underride and override accidents: In some cases, a vehicle can become lodged underneath the body of a truck. These often-deadly collisions may happen if the semi-truck stops suddenly and the other vehicle strikes it from behind, or if the truck is following too closely and collides with a vehicle in front of it. Anyone inside the vehicle that hits the truck runs the risk of being crushed or suffering severe injuries in override or underride crashes.
- Side-impact crashes: If they’re not careful, trucks can strike other vehicles from the side when merging, changing lanes, or turning. The smaller vehicle is especially vulnerable in these kinds of collisions because cars have less protection from side-impact crashes than from head-on or rear-end crashes.
- T-bone accidents: These collisions get their name from the “T” shape that forms when a truck strikes another vehicle at a perpendicular angle. These types of crashes are common at intersections, stop signs or traffic signals.
What Causes Truck Accidents in Winter Haven?
Some of the common causes of Winter Haven truck accidents include:
- Driving while intoxicated
- Distracted driving
- Inexperienced drivers
- Poor hiring practices
- Failure to perform routine maintenance
- Mechanical defects
- Bad weather
- Poor road conditions
- Other drivers
In many cases, an accident can have more than one cause. A knowledgeable truck accident attorney can investigate your case to discover what happened in your case and identify who should be held liable for your injuries.
What to Do If You’re in a Truck Accident in Winter Haven
Your first priority after a truck accident is to obtain immediate medical care if you need it. Any delay in starting treatment could worsen your injuries and damage your legal claim. Here’s what else to do at the scene if your medical needs aren’t urgent:
- Collect evidence. Get photos or videos of the crash site. Make sure to get pictures of the vehicles from multiple angles, your injuries, and any evidence from the scene that might tell the story of the wreck (e.g., skid marks, broken guardrails, road debris, etc.)
- Exchange contact and insurance information. Get the name, insurance company information, license plate number, and driver’s license number for every person involved in the crash.
- Get a copy of the police accident report. If a crash leads to a serious injury or death, police are required to investigate the scene to determine what happened. You can use the accident report to bolster your case, especially if the investigation shows the truck driver was negligent in some way.
- Save all your medical records and receipts. Medical records are another crucial piece of evidence in a truck accident case. They substantiate the injuries you sustained in the crash and demonstrate how the injuries occurred. Saving your receipts also helps your case by providing a record of some of the financial losses you’ve incurred because of the wreck.
- Hire an experienced truck accident attorney. A lawyer will work with all the relevant insurance companies to negotiate a full and fair settlement that takes all of your losses into account. Getting started right away is key — truck companies get their investigations underway immediately. Catching up quickly can ensure that critical evidence is preserved.
How Can the Truck Accident Lawyers at Brooks Law Group Help Me?
Truck accidents are much more complicated than the average car accident. In some cases, there may be multiple parties to blame for your injuries. That can make it more challenging to recover full compensation because it may mean negotiating with multiple insurance companies, including your own.
At Brooks Law Group, our truck accident lawyers have extensive experience handling truck accident claims in Winter Haven and understand the consequences a crash can have on your life. While you rest and put your life back together, we can build a compelling claim and handle settlement negotiations so that you are not under-compensated. We can also bring your case to court, if necessary, to fight for the full recovery you deserve.