Trucking is a big industry in the United States. Statistics estimate over 3.5 million truck drivers in the country. For the Latino community, it is a common sought-after income source, especially in Florida surrounded by 14 seaports with a thriving import and export industry because of its easy access to the Atlantic. Because of the state’s growing population and its continuous city growth, truck-driving jobs are always available.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) calculates the median hourly rate for truck driving in Florida at $19.54 and an annual salary of approximately $43.140. However, these earnings could reach up to $60.000 depending on the field people decide to work. Some of the most paying areas are:
● Electric power generation, transmission, and distribution
● Motion picture and video
● Spectator sports
● Other pipeline transportation
● Couriers and express delivery services
Driving experience can also influence total annual earnings. In Florida, drivers in the 75th percentile made $51,560. As drivers gain road experience, they are more likely to up their profits.
Truck accidents in Florida
Of course, to every story, there are two sides, and truck driving also has a history of accidents that has increased over the years for many reasons.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has determined that speeding, distraction, and impairment are the most common driver-related factors in truck accidents. Also, even though trucks circulate all over the country 24/7, most of the large-truck accidents happen on weekdays when they deliver their goods.
Safe truck driving requires great concentration because, on average, trucks weigh 20 to 30 times more than cars. There are mental, visual, and manual distractions. With vehicles this size, drivers must always be on the lookout for cars or pedestrians. Truck drivers can be distracted by many elements, such as their phones or GPS devices. Distractions that involve hand-eye coordination can increase the probability of truck crashes.
Tiredness is also a factor in truck crashes. Thus, the FMCSA has established regulations regarding how many hours a truck driver must spend traveling. For example, property-carrying drivers can drive up to 11 hours after they have 10 straight hours off. They cannot drive more than 14 hours and must take 30-minute breaks after driving for eight consecutive hours.
Regulations also consider when there are truck occupants besides the driver. They can drive up to 10 hours after eight consecutive hours off duty, and cannot drive after being on duty for 15 hours.
When drivers push past these regulations, they tend to suffer from driver fatigue, engaging in drowsy driving, which limits their responses as if they were drunk driving.
Another cause of serious truck accidents is Overloading. An overloaded cargo decreases the vehicle’s stability and reduces the driver’s braking time, which increases the odds of a potential truck accident. The danger is greater when the driver is speeding or going down slopes.
The FMCSA has concluded that in 33% of truck and bus accidents, there was at least one of these driver-related factors involved: speeding, distraction, or impairment.
Who do you sue during a Truck accident?
Every year at least 4,000 people are killed in truck accidents, and over 130K people get injured in the US. The most common truck accident are head-on collisions.
Truck accidents present certain complexities seldom seen in regular car accidents. Having an experienced truck accident attorney to advise you can make all the difference when claiming compensation.
But how do you know who to sue in a truck accident? In the case of truck accidents, several parties could share liability, these are some instances:
● The Truck Driver will always be the first one because he has physical control of the truck. For example, if they were under the influence of alcohol, he is liable for the accident.
● The Trucking Company. If a truck company negligently hires a driver that consistently breaks traffic laws, they will also be considered responsible. Then you can sue the driver and the company.
● The Truck Manufacturer, as with cars, defective parts can cause truck crashes. People might file a product liability claim against the truck manufacturer. Since these cases can be difficult, your best strategy is to have an experienced Orlando truck accident attorney on your side, who will make sure the manufacturer’s legal team does not blame you or bullies you into accepting an unfair settlement.
● The Cargo Loader: When the truck is overloaded, or the cargo is poorly secured, the blame can fall on the cargo loader or the loading company.
● Third-Party: it refers to when the accident is caused by the action of another car driver, motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian, which resulted in a truck collision. Your lawyer could recommend suing both parties because they are liable.
Compensation for truck accidents
Usually, nonfatal truck accidents can result in minor, severe, or catastrophic injuries like neck injuries, broken bones, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, cuts, lacerations, and others. Orlando truck accident attorneys know that personal injury protection (PIP) insurance does not cover the medical bills for these types of wounds.
In Florida, a no-fault accident state, if the truck accident caused deformity, disfigurement, or the loss of a body part, the victim can file a compensation claim against the at-fault driver.
If the claim favors the victim, he/she can receive what is known as compensatory damages. These usually cover medical expenses, lost wages, emotional distress, mental anguish, the cost of medical equipment, etc.
Why hire a Spanish-speaking lawyer?
Considering that truck driving has become a common income source in Florida, having an attorney speak your language and understand what you are going through will help you better your chances of getting a fair settlement if you suffer a truck accident.
Having a Spanish Speaking personal Injury attorney will help you better communicate every element of the accident and, at the same time, give your legal council the information needed to devise an effective strategy. Having no communication obstacles gives trucking accident victims much-needed peace of mind. Because they feel they have a person who will put himself in their shoes and fight their case for fair compensation while they take the time to recover their health.