Causes of Truck Accidents in St Petersburg - Paul Knopf Bigger
When you’ve been injured in a truck accident in St. Petersburg, you may have the right to pursue legal claims to recover money for injuries and losses you suffered from the crash. Which parties have liability for your harm and loss depends on the cause of the truck accident. Causes of truck accidents in St. Petersburg may include truck driver or trucking company negligence, mechanical problems from truck/trailer defects, inadequate maintenance, or adverse road conditions.
An experienced St. Petersburg truck accident attorney from Paul Knopf Bigger can investigate the crash. We’ll recover the available evidence our firm can use to determine the cause of the truck accident and pursue compensation for you from those responsible.
Contact our law firm today for a free initial case review. You’ll learn how our attorneys combine big firm resources with small firm service to provide clients with commitment, hard work, and passionate pursuit of justice.
What Common Factors Contribute to St. Petersburg Truck Accidents?
Truck accidents in St. Petersburg usually occur due to factors such as negligence, mechanical problems, or adverse driving conditions. Some of the most frequent causes of truck crashes include:
- Driver fatigue/drowsy driving
- Speeding and driving too fast for conditions
- Impaired driving
- Distracted driving, including texting/emailing while driving, adjusting the radio/navigation, eating/drinking, or daydreaming
- Following too closely (tailgating)
- Failing to check blind spots
- Poor driver training, including inadequate training in turning or backing up a truck or tractor-trailer
- Making hours of service violations
- Overloading or driving an overloaded truck
- Improperly securing loads so that cargo can shift during travel and change the truck’s weight balance, potentially causing a truck driver to lose control of the vehicle
- Failing to replace worn brakes or using defective brake pads or air/hydraulic systems
- Using poor maintenance practices, including deferring maintenance and repairs or failing to conduct pre-trip inspections
- Driving on defective roadways, including broken pavement/potholes, slick road surfaces/standing water, roadway debris, or negligently designed highways or intersections
Common Types of Commercial Truck Accidents in St. Petersburg
Commercial trucks can get into many of the same types of collisions as other motor vehicles. However, trucks may also cause particular types of accidents unique to 18-wheelers. Common types of truck accidents that occur in St. Petersburg include:
- Rear-End Collisions – Truck accidents may be rear-end collisions where a commercial truck rear-ends another vehicle or where a vehicle runs into the back of a truck or trailer.
- Head-On Collisions – Head-on collisions occur when a moving truck runs into the front of another moving vehicle, including when a truck veers over the center of the road into oncoming traffic or travels the wrong way on a one-way street or access ramp.
- Side-Impact/T-Bone Collisions – Side-impact collisions occur when the front of one vehicle hits the side of another so that the two vehicles form a “T” shape. T-bone accidents usually happen when drivers run a red light or stop sign at intersections.
- Sideswipe Collisions – A sideswipe collision results when the side of a truck hits the side of another vehicle in an adjacent lane, usually when the truck driver tries to move into that lane without signaling or checking their mirrors/blind spot.
- Underride Accidents – An underride accident is what happens when a car becomes wedged underneath a truck trailer’s side or rear overhang.
- Wide-Turn Accidents – Commercial trucks usually must make wide turns at intersections in dense cities or residential neighborhoods. Using an improper procedure during a wide turn may lead to a truck driver hitting another vehicle or trapping a vehicle or bicycle inside the truck’s turn.
- Jackknife Accidents – A truck jackknife occurs when the rear tires of a trailer lose road traction and the trailer swings forward toward the truck cab, causing the cab and trailer to fold like a pocketknife. Jackknife accidents can also occur when a truck driver tries to take too sharp a turn and causes the trailer to decouple from the cab or to get stuck.
- Rollover Accidents – Unbalanced cargo loads, taking turns or ramps too quickly, or jackknifing can cause a truck to roll over.
- Cargo Accidents – Overweight or unbalanced cargo loads or unsecured items can cause an accident in which cargo either causes the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle or falls out of the truck onto other vehicles or the road.
Who Could Be Responsible for a Truck Crash in St. Petersburg?
The trucking industry runs on the work of various parties, from truck drivers to trucking companies to cargo/freight brokers. Any party in the trucking industry may bear fault or liability for a St. Petersburg truck crash. Examples of parties you might hold liable for your injuries and losses from a truck accident include:
- The truck driver whose negligent operation of the truck can cause a crash
- The trucking company or motor carrier, which may have employer liability for an at-fault truck driver or for its negligent actions, such as negligent hiring or inadequate training/supervision
- The truck’s owner (if not the truck driver or trucking company), which may bear responsibility for a truck crash caused by inadequate maintenance of a truck/trailer
- The shipping/cargo company, which may bear responsibility for a truck accident caused by an unsafe cargo load
- The truck’s mechanic, who may bear liability for a truck crash caused by the mechanic’s negligent maintenance or repair work on a truck/trailer
- The truck/trailer manufacturer or truck part manufacturers, who may bear responsibility for a truck crash caused by a design or manufacturing defect in the truck/trailer or its components
What Evidence Could Show What Caused a Trucking Accident?
Trucking accident cases frequently include more evidence than other auto accidents because trucking companies keep extensive records of their operations. These documents can be used as evidence to prove the cause of a truck crash.
At Paul Knopf Bigger, our St. Petersburg trucking accident lawyers will leave no stone unturned to secure all available evidence from the truck accident, such as:
- The truck driver’s hours of service logs
- The truck driver’s pre-trip inspection reports
- The truck driver’s driving and employment records
- The truck driver’s post-accident drug/alcohol test results
- The truck driver’s cell phone records
- The truck’s event data recorder (“black box”) logs
- The truck’s cargo/load manifest
- The truck/trailer maintenance records
- Accident scene photos and videos
- Police accident reports
- Surveillance or traffic camera footage
- Dashcam or in-cab camera footage
- Eyewitness statements
- Post-accident vehicle inspections and repair records
- Accident reconstruction expert reports and testimony
Florida Truck Accident Statistics
The Florida Department of Highway Safety Vehicles reports that Florida had 43,671 commercial motor vehicle accidents in one recent year, which resulted in 361 fatalities and 11,392 cases of injury. Furthermore, Pinellas County had 1,366 of these accidents, accounting for nine fatalities and 308 cases of injury.
How Long Do You Have to File a Trucking Accident Lawsuit in St. Petersburg?
Florida’s statute of limitations imposes a deadline for filing a lawsuit after suffering injuries in a truck accident in St. Peterburg. After a crash, you usually have only two years to file a trucking accident lawsuit. If you file your lawsuit after the limitations period expires on your truck accident claims, you may risk your opportunity to pursue financial recovery from a liable truck driver or trucking company.
Contact a St. Petersburg truck accident lawyer from Paul Knopf Bigger as soon as possible after a big rig collision injures you. We will determine how long you have to file your truck accident lawsuit and get help starting your case on time.
How a St. Petersburg Trucking Accident Lawyer Handles Your Case
Hiring a St. Petersburg truck accident attorney from Paul Knopf Bigger can be critical as you recover from catastrophic injuries from a truck crash. While you focus on your medical treatment and rehabilitation, our trucking accident lawyers will prepare and pursue your legal claims. Turn to our firm to handle all the details of your case, including:
- Thoroughly investigating the crash to recover all available evidence
- Reviewing the facts and evidence and working with expert witnesses when necessary to determine the cause of the crash and identify potentially liable parties
- Documenting your injuries and losses to determine how much compensation, including for future anticipated losses, you may deserve to recover
- Evaluating your legal options for recovering compensation, including insurance claims or potential lawsuits you can file
- Ensuring you understand your rights and what to expect during the claims process to empower you to make decisions in your best interest
- Preparing and filing your insurance claims or demand letters
- Aggressively negotiating with the trucking and insurance companies to secure maximum compensation for you in a settlement
- Filing a lawsuit and advocating your case in court and at trial to fight for the financial recovery and justice you deserve from negligent trucking companies
Contact a St. Petersburg Trucking Accident Attorney Today
After you’ve suffered injuries and property damage in a truck crash, get legal help to pursue money and justice from a liable truck driver and trucking company. Contact Paul Knopf Bigger today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We’ll discuss your options for securing compensation for your vehicle repair bills, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.