Fort Lauderdale is no stranger to semi-truck traffic. Far from it. With more than 20 shipping lines shipping over a million TEUs annually, Port Everglades is the number one container port in Florida and the 12th largest in the United States. Nearby, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport ships thousands of tons of air freight every month with carriers such as FedEx and UPS. Cargo from these ports is loaded onto tractor-trailers and sent across the country from Fort Lauderdale via I-95 and I-595 with its connection to I-75.
All of this non-stop truck traffic day and night creates special dangers for passenger vehicles on the road. In 2019, Broward County saw 4,312 commercial motor vehicle accidents, yielding 1,083 injuries and 12 deaths. Broward ranks as the number two county in the state when it comes to truck accidents. Far and away, injuries and deaths in truck accidents fall to the occupants of the smaller and lighter passenger cars as opposed to the drivers of the big rigs.
Collisions with an 18-wheeler are highly likely to end in catastrophic injury or wrongful death. In situations like these, it’s imperative to get help from an experienced and successful truck accident lawyer who knows what to do to make sure you get the appropriate level of care and compensation. Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyer Eric Rosen is a Florida Board-Certified Specialist with a record of success taking on large corporations and winning significant verdicts. Let Rosen Injury Law, P.A. help you if you’ve been the victim of an 18-wheeler truck accident in Fort Lauderdale.
Causes of Fort Lauderdale Truck Accidents
Overworked truck drivers are a leading cause of truck accidents in Fort Lauderdale. Drowsy driving and fatigue can affect any driver, but commercial truckers are more at risk due to the long, punishing hours they put behind the wheel of their rig day in and day out. Under current federal regulations, truck drivers can lawfully be on the clock for 14 hours at a stretch, including 11 hours of driving time, before being required to take as little as ten hours off. Even these limits can legally be extended in certain circumstances. Truckers can also work as much as 60 hours in a seven-day period or 70 hours over eight days before having to take off just 34 hours to restart. Truckers can go eight hours at a stretch before being forced to take a 30-minute break.
Despite these generous rules for truck driver hours of service, truckers routinely break the law and drive even longer than is legal or safe. Drowsy driving can lead to inattention, distraction, delayed reactions, poor judgment, and even falling asleep at the wheel.
Poor truck maintenance is another serious issue leading to Fort Lauderdale truck accidents. The nation’s truck fleet is in such poor condition that annual roadside inspections result in one of every five trucks inspected being immediately pulled from service due to dangerously defective tires or brakes or serious safety issues with coupling devices, signal lights, mirrors and other vital safety equipment.
Improperly loaded trucks are yet another danger on the road. A truck that is unbalanced or overloaded can cause the driver to lose control, sending the tractor-trailer into a jackknife or rollover accident with frightening results.
Drivers of smaller vehicles are also at risk of serious injury or death in an underride accident. An underride occurs when a car and truck collide, and the car is sent underneath the trailer in the crash. Most trucks are equipped with rear underride guards, but the older guards are no match for later generations of heavier cars. Federal regulations have yet to require guards on the sides of trailers, and few trucking companies bother to install them.
What Happens After a Trucking Accident?
When Rosen Injury Law, P.A. is informed of a trucking accident in Fort Lauderdale, our team goes to work right away investigating the accident and securing evidence that shows what happened. Trucking company insurance carriers are often quick on the scene with a check to make the matter go away, but their offers to unrepresented injury victims are far too low. We use our knowledge and experience to identify all liable parties to a complex truck accident and build cases that prove each responsible party’s liability to the injury victim. When the time is right, we settle for an appropriate amount or take the case to court to secure a significant jury verdict that fully compensates our clients for the harm done to them.
Help With Truck Accidents in Fort Lauderdale
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a Fort Lauderdale truck accident, call Rosen Injury Law, P.A. at 954-787-1500 for a free consultation, and find out how we can help you get the care and compensation you need after being injured in a truck accident through no fault of your own.