Statistics Show Motorists Often Share Blame In Truck Driving Accidents
Due to their large size and the combined weight of the vehicle and the cargo it carries, trucks have a much more difficult time responding to sudden changes in traffic conditions than other motor vehicles. While car drivers may be able to swerve to avoid hitting you if you make a mistake, trucks are not as easy to maneuver. Swerving into the opposing lane or slamming on your brakes in traffic can make truck accidents more likely, but even if your actions are partly to blame, you may still be entitled to compensation.
Truck Crashes Due To Car Driver Errors
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), more than 400,000 truck accidents are reported each year in the U.S., resulting in over 80,000 injuries and as many as 4,000 deaths. While 20 percent of these accidents are due to the truckers movements or loss of control on the road, nearly 50 percent are due to driver encroachments or the actions of motorists in the truck’s lane, such as the following:
- Tailgating and following trucks too closely;
- Cutting truck drivers off when attempting to pass;
- Suddenly slamming on the brakes in response to traffic conditions;
- Veering into a trucker’s lane due to reckless or distracted driving.
To get a commercial vehicle license in our state, drivers are required to pass a test based on the Florida CDL manual. This manual does emphasize the need to maintain control of the truck at all times, regardless of traffic conditions or other driver’s actions, and recommends practices truckers should employ to reduce the severity of the impacts in situations where a crash or collision with a motorist does occur.
When You Are Partially At Fault For A Trucking Accident
Even if you are partially responsible for a trucking accident you may still be entitled to compensation for the damages, provided the trucker involved is found to be more to blame. Under Section 768.62 of the Florida Statutes, contributory fault in a claim will reduce the amount of damages you are entitled to, but is not a bar to recovery. For example:
- You were involved in a trucking accident and suffered $100,000 in damages due to your injuries.
- It is determined that you are 30 percent to blame for cutting the truck off as you attempted to pass.
- The trucker involved is determined to be 70 percent to blame for driving at high rates of speed, for being distracted or fatigued due to a heavy schedule, or due to improper maintenance of the truck’s brake system.
- You would be entitled to compensation for 70 percent of your damages, or $70,000.
For this reason, it is vitally important to avoid admitting any liability after a trucking accident occurs. Before making any statements to the trucking company and their insurance representatives or signing any documents, contact the Wexler Law Firm, P.A. first. Gregg Wexler can help protect your rights and assist you in seeking compensation, even if you are partially responsible for your accident. Call or contact our West Palm Beach truck accident attorney online and request a consultation today.