Sarasota Truck Accident Attorney
The cities of Sarasota and Bradenton are no strangers to commercial truck traffic, situated just off Interstate 75 on its path from one of the biggest cargo ports in the nation in Miami all the way to the Canadian border, and linking with every cross-country highway on the way. Semi-trucks are vital to the U.S. economy, but they also pose a danger of serious injury or death in a traffic accident for the occupants of passenger vehicles with whom they share the road. The state of Florida saw 275 fatal truck crashes in 2017, along with thousands of injury accidents.
Tragically, more and more truck accidents are happening every year, and the vast majority of them are preventable. Distracted driving, lax hiring and training practices by trucking companies, and pressure on drivers from the trucking industry have all combined to increase the dangers and likelihood of serious truck accidents on the roads in and around Sarasota. Attorney Patrick Hale and his staff at Hale Law, P.A. are committed to holding truckers and trucking companies accountable for their negligence and misconduct while helping truck accident injury victims get the medical care and compensation they need to recover to the fullest extent after a serious Sarasota truck accident. Call Hale Law if you or a family member has been injured or worse in a truck crash in Sarasota or Bradenton, and we’ll go to work right away getting you the care and compensation you deserve.
What causes truck accidents in Sarasota?
Truck driver negligence comes in many forms and is a leading cause of truck accidents in Sarasota. Some of these negligent driving behaviors include:
- Distracted Driving
- Drinking and Driving
- Use/Abuse of Stimulants
- Drowsy or Fatigued Driving
Additionally, trucking companies themselves make mistakes that lead to serious and often fatal truck crashes. For instance, a truck that is overloaded or carries an unbalanced load is more likely to suffer a mechanical failure or cause the driver to lose control of the big rig at a critical moment. Also, poor truck maintenance is responsible for putting thousands of 18-wheelers on the road that are dangerously unsafe due to tire and brake issues and other mechanical problems. Annual roadside truck inspections routinely pull from service around 20% of the trucks they inspect, finding them too dangerous to spend one more mile or minute on the road.
How long can truckers stay behind the wheel without a break?
The hours of service for commercial truck drivers in the United States are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Services Administration (FMCSA). Unfortunately, the transportation lobby has been extremely influential in writing these regulations, so the rules for truckers allow them to drive beyond what may be safe. FMCSA regulations allow a trucker’s workday to be 14 hours long, including 11 hours driving. Additionally, their workweeks can be seven or eight days long, and they can lawfully be on duty up to 60 hours in a seven-day week or 70 hours in an eight-day “week.” The “weekend” for a truck driver can be as short as 34 hours (less than a day and a half) before the clock starts all over again. Based on safety research, the government recently tried to modify the 34-hour “restart” rule by mandating that the period include two periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. for nighttime rest, but that change in the rule was suspended indefinitely before it had a chance to take effect.
Even with these liberal rules, truckers still violate FMCSA regulations and drive beyond the FMCSA hours of service limits, some going so far as to falsify their records and logs to hide their noncompliance. Annual roadside inspections uncover these violations and pull as many as one in 20 truckers from service for licensing issues, hours of service violations, and other flaws.
The Help You Need after a Serious Sarasota Truck Accident Injury
Helping victims of motor vehicle accidents in Sarasota and Bradenton is the driving force at Hale Law, P.A. We go to great lengths to identify the cause or causes of a truck accident and build a strong case that proves the negligence of the truck driver or trucking company. Our aggressive approach with the insurance companies lets them know how seriously we take your case and how hard we’ll fight to get a full and fair amount of compensation for our clients.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, call Hale Law, P.A. for a free consultation with an experienced and successful Sarasota truck accident attorney. There’s no fee until after we recover compensation for you, and if we can’t help you, we won’t charge you a dime.