Several serious traffic collisions involving dump trucks in Southwest Florida have authorities urging motorists and commercial carriers to use extra caution.
The Florida Highway Patrol continues to investigate a fatal crash involving a dump truck and a Honda in Lehigh Acres, according to The News-Press. In a separate incident, NBC2 reports a dump truck and a UPS truck collided at the intersection of Corkscrew and Alico roads in Estero.
Fort Myers injury lawyers know the risks continue to increase when it comes to being involved in a collision with a commercial vehicle. Southwest Florida’s booming economy means dozens of road construction and community housing projects are underway. And the Internet economy continues to put an increasing number of delivery vehicles on the roads, including traffic from a new Amazon fulfillment center that recently opened in Fort Myers.
Collisions with commercial vehicles are always complex cases best handled by a personal injury or wrongful death law firm with significant experience handling such claims.
Commercial Vehicle Accident Claims in Southwest Florida
The good news for accident victims is that commercial vehicles often carry liability insurance in significantly higher amounts than do drivers of private vehicles. As we’ve reported before here on our Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, the state’s mandatory auto insurance law requires the lowest minimums in the nation: just $10,000 Personal Injury Protection and $10,000 Property Damage coverage. Nationwide carriers are required to have commercial liability coverage of at least $100,000 and most carry $1 million or more, including a general liability policy.
However corporate insurers know defending against the liability of motor vehicle accidents is a primary cost of doing business, and so typically hire the best and most expensive civil defense firms. Consequently, victims are best advised in these cases to consult a Fort Myers accident attorney with extensive experience litigating commercial vehicle claims.
Complexities of handling such injury or wrongful death claims include:
- Federal regulations: Many commercial drivers are subject to federal regulations regarding Hours of Service and other rules that limit drive time and use of electronic devices.
- Employment record, logbooks and data recorders: A driver’s employment and driving history, HOS logbooks, and on-board data recorders may provide invaluable data when it comes to proving accident causation.
- Maintenance and service: Service records and a truck or trailer’s condition may provide significant insight into accident causation.
- Identifying defendants: At-fault parties may include the driver, an employer, owner of the truck or trailer, maintenance contractor, or even the owner of the cargo.
- Vehicle defects: In some cases, a vehicle defect may contribute to collision or injury. Inadequate underride guards that allow vehicles to travel beneath a trailer are the most common example but many other factors may cause or contribute to a serious or fatal collision involving a commercial vehicle.
These collisions do not just involve dump trucks, delivery vehicles and tractor-trailers. Anytime you are involved in a collision with someone who is on the job, you may be entitled to pursue a judgment against the at-fault driver’s employer. While these are more complex claims, they typically result in more coverage being available to compensate victims.
If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.