Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

A truck driver that was arrested in a crash on Interstate 80 that killed a Minnesota couple and their three children has his first court appearance Tuesday.

The Keith County Court’s office said the 53-year-old Baker, Florida man, is facing five counts of felony motor vehicle homicide and one count of reckless driving.

He is being held on $100,000 bond.

A Nebraska State Patrol affidavit says the man was inattentive and speeding through a construction zone Sunday when his semitrailer smashed into the back of a minivan and other vehicles. The minivan was carrying a 29-year-old St. Paul couple, and their three children.

Collisions with large trucks usually end in fatalities. Sadly, passenger vehicles are no match for the size and weight of semis and tractor trailers. While nothing can bring back loved ones killed in truck accidents, the law does provide a legal remedy for surviving family members to ease any financial burdens through what is called a wrongful death lawsuit. If a truck driver’s reckless or negligent actions resulted in a crash that killed another person, they can be held legally liable for any harm caused.

Wrongful death claims can be complex when dealing with a trucking company. There are many aspects that must be properly investigated, including the driver logs, the truck itself and all other relevant documents that could point to regulation violations.

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According to police, a city solid waste truck collided with a sports utility vehicle early Thursday in Tallahassee.

The SUV’s driver died of his injuries at a hospital.

The truck’s driver was not injured.

No additional information is available at this time.

Homicide investigators are interviewing witnesses and reviewing evidence from the crash.

Garbage trucks provide a critical service to the community – they haul and dispose of waste.  But just like any large vehicle on the roadway, when an accident happens, garbage trucks can cause serious injuries like brain injuries, spinal cord trauma and even wrongful death.

Our Truck Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melon know that trucking accidents are quite serious matters, which is why we conduct an in-depth investigation into the cause of the crash so that we can hold all negligent parties accountable for your losses. We leave no stone unturned and will obtain and analyze the driving history of the garbage truck driver and the maintenance records for the vehicle, interview witnesses, review the accident scene, and even hire accident reconstruction and engineering experts to inspect the crash site. We make sure your rights are protected.

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A man in a wheelchair died Tuesday morning after he was hit by a box truck in Osceola County.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the crash happened at about 9:45 a.m. on U.S. 192 at the intersection of International Drive.

The 82-year-old Celebration man was travelling southbound in a motorized wheelchair on International Drive when he tried to cross U.S. 192. That’s when a box truck driven by a 35-year-old Kissimmee man struck the man in the wheelchair as the truck tried to turn right onto U.S. 192, troopers said.

The man in the wheelchair was taken to Florida Hospital Celebration Health, where he passed away.

The crash is currently under investigation.

Did you know that everyday drivers share the roads with countless 80,000-pound semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles whose drivers are working to complete their routes in the least amount of time possible? Due to time constraints, they often cut corners when it comes to safety regulations, not to mention they can become easily distracted from the primary task at hand – driving their truck safely.

The sheer force of a collision with a commercial vehicle, especially a fully loaded 18-wheeler, is far greater than the force of just your typical car wreck between passenger vehicles. The weight of a truck combined with speed and a negligent driver is truly a recipe for disaster.

Truck drivers, just like drivers of other vehicle, can be easily distracted due to:

  • Texting or talking on cell phone
  • GPS system or radio use
  • Eating, drinking or smoking while driving
  • Reading while driving
  • Driver fatigue

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Truck drivers with untreated sleep apnea have a five times greater preventable crash risk than those who are being treated or do not have the ailment at all, according to a new study published in the journal Sleep on Monday.

Driving trucks while drowsy is quite dangerous. Even riskier are those with sleep problems.

“It’s estimated that up to 20 percent of all large truck crashes are due to drowsy or fatigued driving, which would account for almost 9,000 fatalities and up to 220,000 serious injuries,” says senior author Stefanos Kales from the Harvard Chan School.

Fitness tracker evidence has begun to make an appearance in personal injury claims. Fitness trackers, like Fitbit, Garmin, and Jawbone are widely popular as an aid to help with exercise regimens. Along with the popularity among consumers, they have also come to the attention of the legal industry and insurance companies to uncover health data to use as evidence in accident injury cases, and even criminal cases, too.

Most people use their fitness trackers to monitor and record their activity levels throughout the day or while working out. These gadgets give a documented record of the level of activity and endurance of an individual and may also record heart rates, sleep patterns and other health data.

The first court case using fitness tracker evidence in a personal injury claim took place in 2014. The Canadian case used evidence from a fitness tracker to show that the plaintiff, who had previously been a personal trainer, had substantially lower activity levels than would be expected for someone their age and profession. An analytics company used the data from the fitness tracker to compare it to the general population in determining that the plaintiff’s activity levels were below average. The fitness tracker was supplied as evidence to show that the plaintiff deserved financial compensation for their accident injury.

While this case shows that fitness trackers can prove useful in injury claims, it is important to note that they can also be used by insurance companies to deny claims and can even be self-incriminating in other types of cases.

In March 2015 a Pennsylvania woman’s fitness tracker was used against her in a criminal case. Her story was proven to be false as her fitness tracker results were used against her and she was charged with filing a false report.

The idea of using fitness tracker technology is pretty new for courts to consider and could make an impact in a personal injury claim, potentially good or bad. In general, the extent of a plaintiff’s physical injury is quantified through medical records. This is why it is so important to seek medical attention immediately if you have been injured in any type of accident that was not your fault so that you have a record of your injury, treatment, and any ongoing problems associated with the injury.

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The death toll on U.S. highways rose 8.1 percent in the first half of 2015.

According to new figures from the Transportation Department, low fuel prices have contributed to a jump in miles driven by Americans.

The preliminary figures represent a “troubling departure” from a general downward trend over the past decade, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a report released Tuesday.

In 2014, the fatality rate hit an all-time low.

Americans drove about 51.9 billion miles more in the first half of 2015 than the same period last year, which equates to about a 3.5 percent increase, according to the NHTSA. Job growth and low fuel prices also may be factors in the sudden, unexpected surge in highway fatalities, the agency said. There was also more leisure travel and driving by young people, which can contribute to higher fatality rates.

The sad news is that the death rate also increased. Fatalities per million vehicle-miles driven rose in the first half of 2015 was 1.06 percent, or 4.4 percent higher than the same period in 2014.

In final figures for 2014, 32,675 people died in U.S. motor-vehicle crashes, a 0.1 percent decline from 2013. The fatality rate declined to 1.07 deaths per million vehicle-miles traveled, which was a record low for a complete year.

States in the Southeast — Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee — saw a 15 percent increase in fatalities. The second highest increase, 11 percent, was recorded in a group of Western states: Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. California and Arizona saw no increase in fatalities, and the New England region saw an increase of 1 percent.

The biggest factors in traffic fatalities remain the lack of seatbelt use and drunk driving, according to reports. Nearly half of all people killed in road crashes do not wear seat belts, and one-third of all fatalities are in crashes involve intoxicated drivers.

Distracted driving accounted for 3,179 deaths in 2014, about 10 percent of the total. Drowsy driving was involved in 2.6 percent of the fatalities.

States without mandatory motorcycle helmet laws saw a “far higher” number of fatalities than states with mandatory helmet laws, according to reports. There were 1,565 motorcycle deaths in 2014.

Bicyclist deaths declined by 2.3 percent, but pedestrian deaths rose by 3.1 percent from the previous year. In 2014, there were 726 cyclists and 4,884 pedestrians killed in motor vehicle crashes.

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An 82-year-old Hawthorne man was killed last week when he was crushed while his tractor towed another tractor in a pasture in Putnam County.

Just before 1 p.m., the man was using a Masse tractor to tow a Ford tractor from a field at 125 McMeekin Lake Lane for repair. The man and another person were moving the Ford from a pasture and the inoperable machine failed to stop when the man stopped his machine, according to a release by the Florida Highway Patrol.

Emergency crews were called to the location about six miles east of Hawthorne, and Putnam County paramedics took the man to UF Health Shands Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

No charges will be filed at this time, according to reports.

Thousands of people are injured or killed each year due to tractor accidents. Tractor accidents can happen in a variety of ways, but some of the most common causes of tractor accidents include:

  • Tractor rollovers
  • Road collisions
  • Being crushed or run over by a tractor
  • Injuries caused to a third party by operator error
  • Unsafe working conditions
  • Defective parts
  • Manufacturing or design defects

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A federal court has agreed to hear an appeal on whether drivers in Palm Beach County and across Florida should be granted class-action status in their claim that HCA hospitals, including JFK Medical Center in Atlantis, are severely overcharging for services under the state’s car insurance system.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta agreed this week to consider an appeal of a lower-court decision in Florida that drivers could pursue lawsuits individually, but not as a group. The plaintiffs allege that the hospitals are draining Personal Injury Protection benefits by charging up to 65 times what Medicare pays.

4838079960_bea63b1287_zAn HCA statement issues said the case lacks merit and the company intends to defend it vigorously.

Recently, the Florida state legislature has taken steps to reduce the amount of fraud in the insurance system, reduce payment delays and limit use of the court system. The following changes were implemented:

  • In the past, injury victims had an unlimited time frame to make an injury claim, but now injury victims only have 14 days to seek medical treatment that may be covered by PIP.
  • Under the new law, people with minor injuries might be limited on the amount of financial recovery that they will receive from PIP coverage.
  • PIP compensation is limited to 80 percent of your medical costs.

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Fireworks are definitely dangerous, but they are not the only dangers to avoid this Fourth of July weekend. The roadways are especially hazardous during the summer holidays. When you are traveling to or from an Independence Day party this year, please remember to be on the look out for reckless drivers.

Here are a few dangers to try and avoid this Fourth of July:

  • Drunk drivers. Think about it, almost every Florida Independence Day celebration will have alcohol. Partygoers who are drinking at parties and such should not get behind the wheel of a car. If you see a car weaving or dodging in and out of traffic, keep your distance. If you have a passenger with you, consider notifying authorities.
  • 4428561177_831c2f9269_zDrowsy Drivers. Many holiday drivers are travelling lengthy distances to get to their final destination. Those who have been driving for hours may be feeling fatigued. Drowsy driving is often as dangerous as drunk drivers, so stay alert.
  • Distracted Drivers. Keep in mind that many travelers on Florida roadways are from out of town and have never been to the area before. Taking your eyes off the road for just a few seconds to look at a navigation device can have devastating results. Avoid being a distracted driver by staying off your cell phone and having other passengers check your GPS or phone for you.
  • Speeding Drivers. People that are anxious to get where they are going may decide to speed or drive recklessly. Make sure you obey the posted speed limits and monitor your speed if there is heavy traffic.

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As deadly collisions continue to occur throughout the state of Florida, it is quite fitting that citizens of Florida should want answers. While there is not just one answer for the reason why deadly crashes occur, there is some insightful information available on motor vehicle accident causes across the state.

52824625_f3596d1065_z (1)Top Causes for Crashes

  • Distracted Driving
  • Speeding
  • Road Rage
  • Impaired Driving
  • Fatigue

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the top causes of auto accidents in the state of Florida. From texting, talking on the phone, applying makeup, eating or engaging in any other manual, visual and cognitive non-driving tasks while behind the wheel, distracted driving puts Floridians in danger.

Speeding

Speeding is another top cause of motor vehicle collisions in Florida. Going too fast on the roadways can lead to serious injury as well as death. An increase in speed can lead to an increased risk of causing a serious traffic accident.

Road Rage

Aggressive driving maneuvers like tailgating and cutting off cars is another reason why so many auto accidents occur in Florida. Aggressive driving is a form of road rage, and can also include risky behaviors like improper signaling and swerving in and out of lanes.

Impaired Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs also leads to lethal accidents on Florida roadways. While the FHP and local law enforcement agencies have been ramping up their efforts to crackdown on drunk drivers, impaired driving collisions are still happening in Florida.

Fatigue

Fatigue is also a major cause for concern when it comes to car crashes. When a driver is drowsy or sleepy, he or she is not likely to make good decisions behind the wheel. It is vital to be alert when driving any distance. Drowsy driving can easily lead to a serious collision in just the blink of an eye.

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