Belle Glade is surrounded by many other agricultural areas that are also famous for the produce they grow. And, because of this, those surrounding areas are also subject to having horrific crashes related to tractor-trailers operating on their local roads. Yes, our law firm does advertise on television. However, most of our trucking accident cases come into our office from either attorney referrals or searches on the internet and one of the most popular search terms that show results for our lawyers is when people ask for a Belle Glade truck accident lawyer near me and get the contact info for our local offices located in Belle Glade.
For instance, South Bay is located just south of Belle Glade and is known for high-quality vegetables. Well, those vegetables need to be transported throughout Florida and thus, the 18-wheelers on the roads in South Bay cause as many accidents as other areas.
Pahokee Florida is located just north of Belle Glade and is known for great fishing and fruit production. These tractor-trailers are constantly driving on the local roads -often just two lane roads. Because of the inherent dangers of these large and hard to maneuver trucks, accidents often happen. So, unfortunately, these types of significant crashes occur in Pahokee as well when the truckers fail to respect normal traffic signals and safe driving rules.
In addition, Clewiston is located just to the west of Belle Glade. Clewiston, known for its sugar cane, has thousands of trucks coming in and out of the area every year. Because of this highly trafficked area, our lawyers have seen and represented people who were hurt because of a trucker’s negligence in failing to stop at a traffic light or running a stop sign. These types of accidents are certainly devastating and cause not just broken bones, lacerations, spine injuries, headaches, amputations, but also often result in wrongful death.
Table of Contents
2. Who Can Be Held Liable for a Truck Accident?
3. Determining Liability After a Truck Accident
4. Contact Our Experienced Belle Glade Truck Accident Attorneys
Have you been injured in a truck accident in Belle Glade Florida?
As many people know, Florida is known for its wonderful agriculture businesses and the great produce grown locally; in fact, Belle Glade is known for the wonderful produce grown here locally from oranges to sugar cane. And, as expected, with so much produce grown those farmers and produce distributors need to transport the produce throughout Florida and the rest of the country. Therefore, it is very common to see 18-wheeler trucks on the local roads and highways in and around Belle Glade. Unfortunately, however, these large trucks have difficulty braking, stopping, or turning because of how much they weigh, especially when they have a full load of cargo. In many cases, these tractor-trailers are the direct cause for car accidents that occur in the more rural areas of Florida and especially around Belle Glade. It is also important to remember that 18-wheelers are also considered commercial vehicles and thus they generally have better insurance coverage for accidents caused by the driver’s carelessness.
These tractor-trailers are a necessity for the local farmers to haul produce – nothing quite has the large capacity and abilities to move food like an 18-wheeler. In addition, it would also be expected that these 18-wheelers – filled with thousands of pounds of goods – would weigh many tons. Again, this is great for the farmers and end-users since it usually keeps the overall costs lower when moving fruit and vegetables more efficiently. However, these tractor-trailers weigh several thousand pounds making it hard for them to stop or maneuver on the roads. It is all too often that our team of personal injury lawyers has represented individuals who were hurt or killed because an 18-wheeler failed to stop and crashed into a smaller, less protected passenger car.
But first, a little more about Belle Glade. If you have driven towards the middle of the state, just north of the everglades national park, then you have probably visited Belle Glade Florida. Belle Glade is a very important area in Florida. Not only is Belle Glade known for its wonderful agriculture areas, fertile ground, and is perfect for growing crops and especially for Sugarcane. Belle Glade is an agricultural town with most of its residents working on the surrounding farms (agricultural land).
With so much sugar cane and other framing activity in Belle Glade and the surrounding areas, one should expect to see a higher percentage of commercial traffic moving products, equipment, and chemicals through Main Street and the Belle Glade community. With the increase in commercial trucking, traffic comes a higher risk of getting injured by a commercial vehicle such as an 18-wheeler.
Being in an accident involving a truck is much more different and harmful than a typical car crash, these traffic accidents are more catastrophic and cause more severe injuries as well as fatal injuries because of the larger size and the force of the impact.
Additionally, trucking accidents tend to be more complex than a typical car accident because there may be several parties responsible for the accident. This is why hiring an experienced personal injury attorney with knowledge of trucking accidents is essential to recovering damages. To this point, if you were involved in a trucking accident you should know that there are very strict timeframes that you must adhere to protect your rights and obtain proper information to prove the 18-wheeler was negligent in causing the crash and resulting injuries.
One of the most important things to remember after being involved in an accident of any kind, but especially a trucking accident is to see a medical professional, during your medical care, maintain a detailed recording of all your medical treatments, including the dates and time you saw a doctor, the name of the doctor and location, and the procedures or treatment provided. That said, there are some medical offices in Belle Glade and the surrounding areas that are experienced in helping injured people get better after a tractor-trailer accident, however, it is important to make sure your doctor knows how to best treat your injuries and document that it was the truckers’ negligence that caused your injuries.
You should also hire a competent attorney from the Belle Glade offices of Shiner Law Group, who will immediately start to protect your rights as a victim. We will secure evidence and identify all potential parties responsible, to protect you the victim.
By the way, as an aside, even with so much farming, Belle Glade is also known for producing high-quality football players, at least 60 players from Belle Glade and the surrounding communities have joined the ranks of the National Football League (NFL). Pretty significant and proud accomplishments that any city should be proud of.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Truck Accident?
As previously mentioned, there may be several parties responsible for the trucking accident, which is why it is extremely important to hire an attorney with experience in these legal cases. Because this is a commercial vehicle accident, the driver may not be the only party responsible in a trucking crash. The employer of the driver may also bear some responsibilities for the accident. For example, if the driver was not properly licensed or trained, or if the driver had been working for a long number of hours and should have been resting rather than driving, then the employer can be held liable for the accident as well. In addition, others may be responsible which include:
- The manufacture of the truck or its parts
- TOwner of the truck
- TOwner of the trailer
- TBrokers or shippers
- TVendors providing services to the trucking company
- TThe loaders of the truck
- TThe owners of the cargo
- TLocal or state governments if the roadways were not properly designed or the roadways not properly maintained.
Operating commercial trucks is an extremely dangerous profession, which is why there are many state and federal regulations mandated for commercial trucking vehicles, drivers, and companies. Companies that own or operate these commercial vehicles spend thousands of dollars on compliance and safety training, and sometimes they take shortcuts that can adversely affect the public. Understanding these rules, regulations and safety standards is critical to protecting the victims, which is why hiring the lawyers at Shiner Law Group, experienced in handling trucking accident cases is important to ensuring victory and justice for the victims.
Because Federal law requires certain commercial vehicles, like tractor-trailers, to maintain logbooks to record their routes, time it takes to drive, etc. it is important to act quickly to secure this information. The law only requires these trucking companies to maintain these records for a short period of time. In addition, if there is a tractor-trailer wreck Federal law also requires those companies and drivers to maintain logs of information which includes, the date of the crash, the city or town where the crash occurred, the driver’s name, and the types of injuries sustained. There are other Federal guidelines that cover the information and duties of a truck driver to maintain post-crash that are addressed by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Therefore, if you or a family member was hurt because of an accident with a truck or commercial vehicle then it is important to know time is of the essence to take action.
On the surface, an untrained attorney will only find fault with the driver, however when you truly understand the industry you realize that there may be many more responsible parties. Therefore, our trucking team will seek all potentially liable parties responsible to ensure the victim receives full compensation for the damages caused.
Belle Glade Truck Accident Responsibilities
Truck manufacturer and parts makers: In some cases an accident of a commercial vehicle such as a truck are caused by a failure of the vehicle itself or one of its parts, some crashes may be caused by an aftermarket part such as tires or breaks, if the wrong tires were installed or the breaks were not up to industry standards than those parts or those installing those parts may be liable for the accident and a product liability claim may be brought against the manufacture of the truck, manufacture of the parts or those installing the parts or servicing the commercial truck.
Other vendors: If the trucking company hired a vendor to find, hire and train drivers they could also be held responsible if it is found that the drivers were not properly licensed, or trained. What if they failed to conduct a background check on the driver? They could also be held liable for that. Basically, any third-party vendor may be held liable if it is found that their negligence contributed to the truck accident.
Truck driver: The driver of the commercial truck may have caused the crash due to their negligence. The driver could have been speeding or distracted at the time of the truck accident. In Florida, there is a new law that requires all drivers to keep their hands of their mobile devices such as cell phones and iPad, the attorneys at Shiner Law Group will review all communication devices utilized during the operation of the truck to determine if the driver may have been using one of these devices during the operation of the truck which may have caused the accident. Our team will also exam the driver’s log to determine if the drive was fatigued at the time of the crash. Other factors could be the blood and alcohol content of the driver, if the operator was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs his negligent behavior will factor into the final settlement.
Trucking Company or the Trucking Operator: The company or the operator is responsible for the trucks and the drivers they own or contract with, they are ultimately responsible for the hiring, training, and safety practices of the drivers and trucks when on the road. If it is determined that the truck was not properly maintained, or they did not conduct a background check on the driver or they failed to properly train the driver, or if they pushed the driver to drive past their regulated hours then the company or operator may be held liable.
Shipper or Cargo Loader: The shipper, the carrier contracted to ship the cargo or the cargo loaders are responsible for maintaining federal and state safety laws if the Cargo loaded the shipment incorrectly which caused the accident due to a weight imbalance or another loading issues they may be held accountable.
Federal or State agencies and / or the construction contractors and engineers: The State or federal government are responsible for maintaining roads and ensuring the road hazards are cleared if they knew or should have known of potential road hazards and failed to fix them or failed to properly maintain the roads the local government responsible or state or federal agency responsible may be held accountable. If the construction company or the engineers did not build the roadway according to proper safety regulations and the faulty roadway is found to have caused the accident then those agencies, construction companies, or engineers responsible may be held liable for damages.
Determining Liability After a Truck Accident
The trucking industry spends millions of dollars a year to prevent liability and paying out claims, after an accident they have their own investigators on the scene immediately, they know how to obscure or complicate the matter to help hide evidence or have evidence misplaced, this tends to shift fault away from the trucking company or operator and driver and onto the victim of the accident, they do this to reduce their damages during a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death case.
After an accident, if you are able to, document all evidence related to the truck crash, take pictures and videos, and get witness statements, when you hire us we will follow up as well, we will gather all the pertinent documentation, take additional pictures of the scene, gather pictures and videos from others who may have been on the scene at the time of the accident, obtain accident reports from the crash scene investigators, we will request or subpoena relevant text messages and phone usage logs, as well as voice mails related to the case. The important thing is also to understand that there are strict statutes of limitations that must be followed after a trucking accident. So, in order to make sure you can make a financial recovery post truck crash, you should hire an experienced trucking accident law firm to protect you and your family’s interests.
Besides communication logs, there are a variety of other imperative data points which will be collected and reviewed which includes the GPS and other electronic monitoring devices attached to the commercial truck. We will also request that they maintain the truck in the condition it was at the time of the crash to examine the truck for evidence. Most of the modern commercial trucks have data recording devices onboard and we will obtain and download the records from the device. Our office has the ability to obtain accident reconstruction experts and forensic consults when needed. In many cases, a court order will be required in order to obtain these records and our team has that ability as well as the knowledge to ask the pertinent questions. After a truck crash, an injured person must make sure that they, or their attorney, secures this critical information to help them in the insurance claim or at trial to be used in front of a jury.
Contact Our Experienced Belle Glade Truck Accident Attorneys
Speak with a Belle Glade Truck Accident Attorney Today!
The attorneys at Shiner Law Group have the experience and the commitment needed to investigate crashes involving commercial trucks and have the ability to bring a claim against any and all parties found liable for the traffic crash. If you were unfortunately injured because a tractor-trailer, 18-wheeler, or some other type of commercial vehicle was negligent call our experienced lawyers today for a free consultation. Our trucking accident lawyers have been representing the injured in Belle Glade, Clewiston, Pahokee, and South Bay for decades and we are waiting for your call so we can help you to get the money you deserve because a negligent driver caused you damages. Call our office today for a free no-obligation consultation and let us help your recovery from your injuries. David I. Shiner has decades of experience defending victims of truck accidents all through Florida, and he wants to help you win your case. Speak with an attorney today by calling (561) 777-7700 or filling out our online free consultation request.