Research released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reveals that up to 4000 people are year are killed in America as a result of trucking accidents involving trucks that have known safety violations. Most Florida personal injury attorneys have worked on trucking accident cases that involve trucks with known brake defects, bad tires, dangerous loads, and other violations. In some cases, these trucks have been cited as unsafe many times but remain on the roads anyway. Some drivers involved in trucking accidents have histories of accidents, substance abuse, or no training. As a result, many experts and attorneys know that many trucking accidents are preventable.
In every state, roadside checks and federal government standards are meant to determine which trucks have less than satisfactory ratings. Although many trucks are given poor ratings, however, many remain on the roads, according to experts. These trucks can easily be involved in accidents which lead to fatalities, spinal cord injuries, and other serious injuries.
Many personal injury attorneys note that the current financial situation is creating even more unsafe conditions on the roads. The trucking industry is facing financial woes and any costly measures – even safety measures – are often seen as an unneeded expense. Many drivers, worried about the economy, are willing to put up with tight deadlines or other unsafe work conditions to make a wage. And, according to some experts, state agencies are overwhelmed and understaffed, making it less likely that traffic violators are caught and persecuted.
Some states have unsafe laws which give trucking companies and truck drivers an “out.” For example, Michigan does not allow punitive damages to be awarded against trucking companies in wrongful death or personal injury suits. As a result, some personal injury attorneys believe that dangerous companies and drivers tend to move to states such as Michigan, where they are protected from laws and allowed to keep working. Unfortunately, these drivers can and do cross state lines, causing dangerous conditions across the country.
Even in states with tougher laws, many companies are not forced to face responsibility for poor business practices. In many cases, insurance carriers pay for the costs of damages in an accident. In some of these cases, the dangerous trucks which caused an accident are put right back on the road.
Speaking to an attorney after a trucking accident can be a powerful way to break this cycle. A qualified Florida personal injury attorney can investigate all the causes of an accident, gather evidence, and compel a driver or trucking company to face their responsibility in an accident. A Florida attorney can also pursue the case and pressure a company to adopt safer practices.