Truckers Blind Spot Accidents in Tampa - Paul Knopf Bigger
Because the mirrors in motor vehicles cannot provide a 360-degree view, all drivers experience “blind spots” that obstruct their view. For a trucker, these blind spots are significantly larger due to the size of commercial trucks. While truckers receive training on how to carefully operate their vehicles despite these blind spots, careless errors or recklessness by a truck driver can quickly result in a devastating blind spot truck accident.
If you’ve suffered injuries in a blind truck spot accident in Tampa or elsewhere in Florida, contact Paul Knopf Bigger for a free initial case review with a seasoned lawyer. We can evaluate your situation and explain your legal options for pursuing compensation.
What Are Blind Spots?
“Blind spots” refer to the areas around a vehicle obstructing a driver’s view when looking through the forward windshield or in the side or rearview mirrors. Blind spots are most often located along the sides of vehicles, so drivers angle their side mirrors to provide views behind the vehicle and to the side. However, side mirrors have limited fields of view. Blind spots may also be next to a vehicle’s windshield or the rear pillars. Thicker pillars create more prominent blind spots. Blind spots can create a hazard for drivers because they can obstruct the view of other vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians.
How Many Blind Spots Do Trucks Have?
Large commercial trucks have more blind spots than smaller passenger vehicles. Trucks also have more significant blind spots than other types of vehicles. Depending on the size and design of a commercial truck, blind spots might be located in any of the following areas:
- In Front of the Cab – Many trucks have a long hood to accommodate the truck’s large engine. Depending on the driver’s seating position, the driver may have a blind spot in front of the truck extending forward several feet.
- Behind the Truck or Trailer – The rear of a truck or trailer has a blind spot cone that extends back several yards.
- Along the Driver’s Side of the Truck/Trailer – A truck driver will have a blind spot on the side of the vehicle, starting behind the driver’s window and extending several feet toward the truck’s rear.
- Along the Passenger’s Side of the Truck/Trailer – Truck drivers will also have blind spots on the passenger sides of their vehicles alongside the cabs, extending roughly along a 45-degree angle into the adjacent two lanes.
Common Types of Truck Blind Spot Accidents in Florida and Tampa
Trucker blind spots can lead to various truck accidents. Some of the most common types of blind spot accidents include the following:
- Sideswipe Accidents – A sideswipe accident can occur when a truck driver hits a vehicle in the truck’s side blind spot when trying to move into the adjacent lane.
- Underride Accidents – A vehicle hidden in a truck’s side blind spots can get wedged underneath the side of a truck trailer when the truck driver tries to move into the other vehicle’s lane. A vehicle might also get stuck underneath a trailer’s rear overhang if the truck driver slams on the brakes because they don’t see the vehicle behind their truck due to the rear blind spot.
- Rear-End Collisions – A truck driver might rear-end another vehicle hidden in the truck’s front blind spot.
Blind Spot Accident Statistics from the NHTSA
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in one recent year, more than 1,500 fatal motor vehicle accidents in the United States were caused by obstructed vision, representing nearly 3 percent of all fatal accidents nationwide.
What Can I Do to Avoid Being in a Truck Blind Spot Crash?
As a motorist, you can take steps to avoid a blind spot truck accident, including using awareness in staying out of a truck driver’s blind spots when possible. Here are some tips for avoiding a truck driver’s blind spots:
- Signal your intentions to change lanes or turn clearly and early.
- Leave extra room between your vehicle and a large truck. Large trucks need more space to slow down or maneuver.
- If you need to pass a truck on the highway, do so quickly, safely, and always on the left. Avoid driving next to a large truck in an adjacent lane on the highway. Even if the truck driver sees you enter their blind spot, they may forget you are there or assume you have passed them.
- Leave extra distance when following a truck to avoid pulling into the truck’s rear blind spot.
- Do not pull out directly in front of a truck because you may enter the driver’s front blind spot. The driver may not see you if you hit the brakes.
Finally, remember that if you cannot see the truck driver’s face in their side mirror, the driver probably cannot see you.
How Is Liability for Blind Spot Trucking Accidents Determined?
Truck driver and/or trucking company negligence often causes blind spot trucking accidents. After a crash, a Tampa truck accident attorney can gather evidence from the blind spot accident scene to determine what happened and identify who is liable for injuries and damage. Examples of evidence that lawyers use to determine liability in a blind spot trucking accident include:
- Accident scene photos and videos
- Surveillance or traffic camera footage
- Dashcam footage
- Eyewitness testimony
- Vehicle event data recorder (“black box”) logs
- Pre-trip inspection reports
- Truck maintenance and repair records
- Post-accident vehicle inspections
- Police accident reports
- Accident reconstruction expert reports
What You Should Do After a Truck Accident Caused by Blind Spots
After a truck accident caused by blind spots, you can take steps to protect your right to pursue compensation for injuries and other losses. You should do the following after a truck accident:
- Report the accident to law enforcement and wait for the police to arrive. Request a copy of the police accident report after the crash.
- Remember to get the truck driver’s license number, insurance details, and employer information.
- Go to the hospital or see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident to get examined and treated for injuries. Follow your healthcare provider’s treatment recommendations, and keep all follow-up appointments.
- Report the accident to your auto insurance company and file a claim under your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
- Request copies of your medical records from your treatment and rehabilitation.
- Keep records of the medical treatment you receive, repairs to your vehicle, and other crash-related expenses.
- Gather your pay stubs or income statements to calculate your lost earnings if you need to take time off work or transfer to a part-time or light-duty role while recovering from your injuries.
- Keep a diary or journal to document physical pain, emotional distress, and difficulties with daily living you experience because of your injuries or medical treatments, such as post-surgical pain or other complications.
Finally, contact a Tampa truck accident attorney as soon as possible to learn more about your legal options for pursuing compensation from the truck driver and trucking company.
Why You Need a Tampa Lawyer When Filing a Blind Spot Crash Claim
Trucking companies and insurers will fight hard to avoid liability for blind spot truck accidents. They may even argue that an injured crash victim bears responsibility for the accident. Don’t go up against these large companies alone. You need an experienced Tampa lawyer to fight for the compensation you need for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. An attorney can help you by:
- Investigating the blind spot truck accident and gathering evidence to prove that the truck driver or trucking company is liable for injuries and damage
- Calculating the extent of your financial and personal losses, accounting for past, current, and future costs
- Preparing and filing the necessary paperwork for your case and negotiating with insurance adjusters and trucking company representatives on your behalf
- Advocating for your rights and interests if you take your claims to court
A Tampa lawyer can also help you pursue compensation for all your losses from a blind spot truck wreck, including the following:
- Medical treatment, including hospitalizations, surgeries, doctor’s visits, diagnostic tests, specialist care, medications, and mobility equipment
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages if your injuries prevent you from working or force you to work part-time or light-duty
- Loss of future earning capacity if your injuries result in a permanent disability and you cannot return to work or be gainfully employed
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Loss of quality or enjoyment of life
- Costs to repair or replace your vehicle or other damaged personal property
Contact a Tampa Blind Spot Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you’ve been involved in a blind spot truck accident in Tampa, get legal help to pursue compensation for your injuries and other losses. The lawyers at Paul Knopf Bigger can fight for justice and help you move forward with your life.
You should not bear the financial burden of injuries caused by someone else. Contact our office today for a free no-obligation case review with a Tampa blind spot truck accident attorney. We can advise you of your legal options for seeking the compensation you deserve.