Tractor Trailer and Commercial Truck Accidents on the Rise in Florida

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Florida accident attorney Sarah Barkley Raaymakers, of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A. weighs in on Florida’s increase in tractor trailer and commercial truck accidents

Attorney Sarah Barkely Raaymakers

Attorney Sarah Barkely Raaymakers

When there is an accident involving a tractor trailer, things can get complicated very quickly.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) reports that during the first month of 2019, there were more than 3,000 commercial vehicle crashes in the state of Florida. In 2018, Florida witnessed a total of 44,808 commercial vehicle crashes, an increase over the previous year’s total of 43,920 commercial vehicle crashes.

“Trucking accidents are on the rise in Florida,” said Sarah Barkley Raaymakers, personal injury attorney of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A. “Truck accidents – including those involving tractor trailers -- typically cause more serious injuries due to the sheer size and weight of these large trucks. Many different factors can contribute to tractor trailer accidents, including inadequate training of drivers, driver fatigue, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”

There were more than 2.7 million tractor trailers registered in the United States in 2016, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Commercial vehicle drivers are governed by both federal and state regulations; federal regulations establish the guidelines for coupling and decoupling of tractor trailers to ensure safety.

“When there is an accident involving a tractor trailer, things can get complicated very quickly,” continued Attorney Raaymakers. “Personal injury laws protect those who have been injured in tractor trailer accidents that are due to negligence. Commercial truck operators have insurance policies with higher limits than those of standard vehicle operators and there is often more than one entity sharing financial responsibility if there is a truck accident. This may include not only the driver of the tractor trailer, but also the truck’s owner, the company that leased the trailer, the trailer manufacturer, and in some cases, the manufacturer of other parts of the tractor trailer that may have contributed to the accident.”

Personal injury law is based on the issue of negligence and it must be proven that negligence was the cause of the accident and subsequent injuries. In Florida, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims – the legal time frame for filing in the civil court -- is four years from the time the accident occurred.

“It is important to note the legal deadline for filing a personal injury claim in Florida,” added Attorney Raaymakers. “Failure to file the claim in the court system within the four-year window will result in your case being dismissed, and you will have lost your opportunity to recover any compensation for your injuries.”

To learn more about Florida’s personal injury law and your rights if you have been involved in a tractor trailer accident, contact the attorneys at Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A. Located in Clearwater, Florida, the law office of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A. has been serving the Tampa Bay area community for more than 46 years. Innovative strategies and proven litigation skills make the firm Tampa Bay’s premier legal team, with a proven track record of success and a reputation for excellence. For more information about Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A., visit the firm website at CarlsonMeissner.com or contact the office directly at 877-728-9653.

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Mary Ann Bounacos
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