Wide-Turn Truck Accident Lawyers in Orlando - Paul Knopf Bigger
Due to its length, a commercial truck such as a tractor-trailer needs a wider turning radius to complete turns at intersections. Although truck drivers receive training to complete wide turns safely, truckers’ negligence can cause devastating accidents while turning their trucks. If you suffered injuries from a wide-turn truck accident in Orlando, you may have the right to seek compensation for your harm and loss.
The seasoned truck accident attorneys at Paul Knopf Bigger can help you pursue the financial relief you deserve. We have a track record of winning cases against some of the nation’s largest companies and recovering maximum compensation for our clients. Our legal team is dedicated to fighting injustice and making a difference.
Contact our office today for a free consultation with a wide-turn truck accident lawyer in Orlando, Florida.
What Is a Wide Turn Truck Accident?
A wide-turn truck accident is a crash that occurs when a commercial truck attempts to make a wide right or left turn at an intersection. Wide-turn truck accidents result when trucks collide with other vehicles while swinging wide to make the turn. These maneuvers can also trap vehicles in adjacent lanes while the truck turns.
Why Do Trucks Need to Make Wide Turns?
Drivers of commercial trucks, especially tractor-trailers, who need to turn on narrow or residential streets must account for their vehicles’ size. The length of a single-vehicle truck can make it impossible to turn without turning wide or running over the curb. The truck trailer will follow the truck cab directly behind rather than the cab’s turn path.
What Are the CDL Turning Rules?
Truck drivers undergo special training to learn how to operate large commercial trucks. Truckers must follow specific rules and procedures to turn trucks and 18-wheelers safely. The turning rules that a trucker must learn when obtaining their commercial driver’s license (CDL) include the following:
- Truck drivers must slow down when approaching a turn. Taking a turn at a slower speed will help the truck turn more sharply and give the truck driver more time to react to problems or stop their vehicle if necessary.
- For right turns, if the truck cannot make the turn without swinging into another lane, truck drivers should turn wide after rounding the corner, turning into the left lanes next to the rightmost lane or into the opposing lanes of traffic. Truck drivers should not swing left before turning right because other motorists might assume the truck driver intends to change lanes or turn left and attempt to pass the truck on the right.
- Truck drivers should turn from the rightmost left turn lane for left turns if an intersection has multiple left turn lanes. Truckers should not use the leftmost left turn lanes because drivers may need to swing right to complete the left turn.
- Truck drivers should pull straight ahead into the intersection before starting their turn at the last possible moment, a maneuver sometimes called “boxing” the corner since an off-tracking trailer may hit another vehicle or object.
- If a truck driver needs to use multiple lanes to complete a turn, they should check those lanes for any approaching vehicles, especially when using opposing lanes of traffic. Drivers should wait at the intersection until the lanes they need have cleared of other vehicles before starting their turn. Truckers should spend the minimum amount of time in opposing lanes of traffic necessary to clear the turn.
- Truck drivers should ensure they can clear the intersection before starting their turn.
- Truckers should frequently check their mirrors to ensure their truck or trailer will clear the curb or any other obstacles at the corner.
Common Causes of Wide Turn Accidents
Wide-turning trucks can get into accidents when drivers disobey the rules or make careless mistakes. Some of the most frequent causes of wide-turn truck accidents in Florida include:
- Swinging left before making a right turn
- Not turning left from the rightmost left turn lane
- Attempting a right turn from a lane other than a right turn lane or the rightmost lane
- Failing to signal before turning
- Not checking mirrors before and during the turn
- Not checking for other vehicles in additional lanes needed to complete a turn
- Failing to “box” the corner
- Reckless driving, including excessive speeding or swerving through traffic
- Drowsy or fatigued driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Distracted driving
- Truck driver inexperience or lack of training in making proper turns
Injuries Caused by Wide Turn Truck Accidents
When a wide-turning truck collides with or traps another vehicle, cyclist, or pedestrian, those crash victims can sustain catastrophic, life-altering injuries. Some common injuries caused by wide-turn truck accidents include:
- Lacerations, abrasions, or degloving injuries
- Burns from post-crash vehicle fires
- Dislocated joints
- Ligament sprains and tears
- Muscle and tendon strains and tears
- Broken bones
- Herniated spinal discs
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Internal organ injuries and internal bleeding
- Facial injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Crush injuries
- Traumatic amputation or limb loss
Who Is Liable for a Wide Turn Accident?
Often, a truck driver will bear responsibility for a wide-turn accident when they fail to follow the rules and guidelines for turning a commercial truck or tractor-trailer. The trucking company could also have liability for a wide-turn accident victim’s injuries if the company employs the at-fault truck driver. Furthermore, a trucking company may have liability for a wide-turn accident if it fails to train and supervise the truck driver appropriately, or if it negligently hires a truck driver who poses a substantial risk of causing an accident due to a history of traffic violations or safety infractions.
Determining liability for a wide-turn accident will require various evidence from the accident. Examples of evidence that lawyers often use to assign fault for a wide-turn truck crash include:
- The truck driver’s hours-of-service logs
- The truck’s event data recorder or electronic control module (“black box”) logs
- The truck driver’s post-crash alcohol and drug test results
- The truck driver’s cell phone records
- The truck driver’s driving record, trucker certifications, and employment records
- The truck driver’s pre-trip inspection reports
- The truck’s maintenance records
- Accident scene photos and videos
- Dashcam or surveillance/traffic camera footage
- Eyewitness statements
- Post-accident vehicle inspections and repair reports
- Police accident reports
- Accident reconstruction expert reports and testimony
What Are Recoverable Damages or Compensation in a Wide Turn Truck Accident in Florida?
If you’ve been in an accident with a truck attempting a wide turn, you may have the right to recover compensation from a negligent truck driver or trucking company. A successful wide-turn truck accident claim could provide you with money for economic or personal losses such as:
- Medical treatment and rehabilitation expenses
- Long-term care and support expenses for permanent disabilities caused by injuries
- Ongoing and future losses of income and employment benefits when you cannot work due to injuries or disabilities
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced enjoyment or quality of life
- Vehicle repair expenses and temporary alternative transportation costs or reimbursement for the value of your car if totaled in the accident
What Should I Do If I Was Injured in a Wide Right Turn Truck Accident?
If you’ve been hurt in a wide right-turn truck accident, you can take steps to preserve your legal options for seeking compensation from a liable truck driver or trucking company. You should do the following after suffering injuries in a semi-truck wide-turn accident in Florida:
- Call law enforcement to report the accident.
- Get the truck driver’s license number and insurer or employer information.
- Seek prompt medical attention to get checked for any injuries you may have suffered in the crash.
- Follow your physician’s treatment recommendations and recovery instructions.
- Remember to request copies of the police accident report and your treatment and rehabilitation medical records.
- Notify your auto insurance provider about the accident and file a personal injury protection (PIP) claim to obtain reimbursement of medical expenses or lost income.
- Keep all bills, invoices, and receipts of expenses due to the accident.
- Gather your paystubs and income records to calculate your lost wages if you need to take time off work or cannot return to your job.
- Document the pain, emotional distress, and physical difficulties you experience due to your injuries and subsequent medical treatment.
Finally, contact an Orlando wide-turn truck accident lawyer from Paul Knopf Bigger as soon as possible to pursue the financial compensation and justice you deserve from a negligent trucker or trucking company.
Contact an Orlando and Florida Wide Turn Truck Accident Attorney
If you’ve suffered injuries in a wide-turn truck accident in Orlando, get legal help immediately to pursue compensation for your medical bills, vehicle repair expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
The seasoned attorneys at Paul Knopf Bigger have experience going up against large companies to help our clients obtain the financial relief and justice they deserve. We can advocate for your rights and interests to help you move forward after a devastating wide-turn truck accident.
Contact our office today to speak with an Orlando and Florida wide-turn truck accident attorney during a free consultation.