Legal Advocacy for North Tampa Truck Crash Victims
If a truck is forced to make an abrupt stop, there may not be enough distance between it and other vehicles to avoid a collision. The team of North Tampa truck accident lawyers at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC can help you if you are involved in a truck crash. Our attorneys handle all types of truck accident cases, including those caused by insufficient stopping distances. We can investigate your case to see if the truck driver’s lack of stopping distance caused the collision. Please contact us to see how we can help you.
Stopping Distance for Commercial Vehicles
Stopping distance is the distance a vehicle has to travel from the moment a driver applies the brakes to the moment the vehicle stops. Trucks are significantly larger than the average-sized car, so they may need up to twice the distance to stop in time to avoid a crash. In addition to the truck’s size, several other factors can affect a truck’s stopping distance, including:
- Driver reaction time
- Cargo weight and proper loading
- Whether the brakes meet federal safety standards
- Tire wear-and-tear
- Traveling at a safe speed, particularly in poor weather conditions.
Both truck drivers and trucking companies are responsible for inspecting their trucks to ensure timely repairs and maintenance of brakes, tires, and other key components. In addition, drivers should be familiar with their vehicle’s braking systems so they know when and how to apply the brakes to prevent a crash.
Negligence and Stopping Distance in Truck Accidents
Serious truck accidents can occur if a driver does not have enough space to come to a complete stop and avoid a collision with another vehicle. When a crash occurs, it is usually the result of negligence on the part of the driver, the trucking company, or another careless actor. A truck accident victim can file a personal injury claim to try to hold the defendant accountable for the victim’s injuries.
A victim must be able to prove the defendant’s negligence. Negligence is the failure to act as a reasonably prudent person would act in a similar situation. There are four elements to a negligence claim that the victim must establish: duty of care, breach of the duty of care, causation of injuries, and damages.
Drivers, including truckers, have a duty to drive with care. A truck driver may breach this duty if fatigue slows his or her reaction time and results in a crash. Moreover, trucking companies have a duty to ensure that the brakes on their vehicles meet federal safety requirements. A company may be shown to have violated this duty if it failed to meet these standards and caused an accident. These are some examples of how a victim can establish a defendant’s duty and breach. If the victim can show that the breach caused his or her injuries and related damages, the victim can hold the defendant responsible for the injuries.
Truck crashes can have numerous causes. To hamper the victim’s case, a defendant may “lose” important evidence, such as driving records, logs, or even the vehicle itself. This intentional tampering or destruction of evidence is called spoliation of evidence. If a court determines that a party intentionally spoiled evidence, it can impose sanctions to punish the spoliator for its actions. Seeking the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney soon after the accident may prevent spoliation in some instances.
Damages a Victim May Recover
Truck accident victims usually suffer catastrophic injuries that require intense and lengthy medical care, as well as time off from work. A victim may potentially get compensation from a defendant that includes costs associated with medical care and treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. If the victim suffered fatal injuries, certain relatives can recover damages through a wrongful death action.
Serving Spring Hill Victims of Vehicle Collisions
At Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, our truck crash attorneys focus on providing Spring Hill accident victims with knowledgeable and tenacious representation in their personal injury claims. Let us use our collective 50 years of legal experience to help you seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries. We provide our services to clients in and around Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus Counties. Call our office today or contact us online for a free consultation.