Estero Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyer
Beginning during coronavirus lockdowns and continuing to the present, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has steadily watered down a number of safety rules, mostly HOS (hours of service) requirements. For example, these bureaucrats recently, and quietly, changed the definitions of long-haul and short-haul trips, allowing drivers to avoid HOS issues if they failed to take proper rest breaks. These legal changes do not affect the duty of care, which is the foundation of a negligence case.
The experienced Estero tractor trailer accident lawyer at Cardinal Law routinely handles these matters in Charlotte County and nearby jurisdictions. Our legal team knows the law, and we know how to make it work for victims. Additionally, we know all the local rules of evidence and procedure, including the unwritten ones. So, we’re well-suited to obtain maximum compensation for your serious injuries. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic loss, such as pain and suffering.
What Causes Large Truck Crashes?
Aggressive driving, operator impairment, or some combination of the two causes about 98 percent of tractor trailer crashes in Florida.
Most shipping companies pay drivers by the mile, not by the hour. This compensation system encourages dangerous aggressive driving, mostly speeding. Because tractor trailers are so large and so hard to stop, these drivers have a legal duty to drive as slowly as possible.
Florida law reflects this difference. Usually, the posted speed limit is lower for large trucks. However, whether or not the speed limit is lower, the duty of care is unchanging.
On a related note, the duty of care, which is a duty of utmost care in Florida, is the same for all drivers, whether they have ten years of experience or ten minutes of experience. The duty of utmost care requires large truck drivers to avoid even moderately aggressive driving, like traveling 5mph over the limit.
Operator impairment, mostly a combination of fatigue and drug use, also causes many tractor trailer accidents in Florida.
As mentioned, the FMCSA has rolled back some HOS rules. These rollbacks don’t change the effect that fatigue has on the human body.
Most jurors harshly punish truckers who drive drunk. Driving while drowsy has the same effect on the brain and body. Operating a motor vehicle after eighteen consecutive awake hours, not eighteen consecutive working hours, is like operating a motor vehicle with a .05 BAC level. That’s above the legal limit for commercial operators in Florida.
Many truckers use amphetamines to counteract the effects of fatigue. These drugs help drivers feel more alert. They also magnify the underlying effects of fatigue. Amphetamines make truckers edgy and suspicious, further clouding their judgment. Furthermore, these drugs make truckers jittery, further impairing their motor skills.
Additionally, the moment that amphetamines wear off, these users crash very hard and very quickly.
Estero Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyers and Electronic Evidence
The Event Data Recorder in a large truck provides critical data about vehicle speed and other operational details. This evidence is almost bulletproof in court. Computers, unlike human eyewitnesses, cannot possibly be incorrect or biased, assuming the computer was working properly.
An Electronic Logging Device provides critical information in drowsy truck driver claims. This electronic evidence is so critical to victims that the trucking industry fought the ELD mandate all the way to the Supreme Court.
Back in the day, truckers used paper logbooks to record their HOS. These logbooks were easy to fake. An ELD is an onboard computer attached to the vehicle’s drive train. When the vehicle is in motion, the ELD clock is ticking.
This electronic evidence usually resonates very well with tech-savvy Lee County jurors. As a result, they usually award additional compensation in these cases. Insurance company lawyers know what’s coming, so they’re highly motivated to make favorable deals.
Work With a Tough-Minded Lee County Lawyer
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Estero tractor trailer accident lawyer, contact Cardinal Law, P.A. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.