Truck rollover accidents occur in nearly any location, including roadways in and around Fort Lauderdale. These accidents often result in severe damage and injuries, potentially destroying the truck and causing harm to the truck driver, other motorists, and pedestrians. Additionally, accidents involving cargo trucks can spill hazardous substances or debris causing additional damage.
If a Fort Lauderdale truck rollover accident injures you, and you believe that the negligence of another party caused the accident, you may qualify for compensation. The Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyers at The Levin Firm have extensive experience handling truck accidents. Our lawyers can represent you or a loved one injured in a truck rollover to get you the compensation you deserve.
The Most Dangerous Areas for Truck Rollovers in Fort Lauderdale
Rollover accidents happen all over the country, with frequency across Florida due to road curves and other contributing factors. In Fort Lauderdale, some roadways are more dangerous than others, making them more likely to cause accidents if drivers don’t take precautions.
Some potential danger areas posing risks for truck drivers and other motorists in Fort Lauderdale include:
- I-95 and West Sunrise Boulevard ramps
- I-95 and Northeast 62nd Street ramps
- The interchange at U.S. Route 1 and East Sunrise Boulevard
- Southeast 17th Street west of U.S. Route 1
- The ramps at I-595, I-95, and U.S. Route 1 around Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
7 Causes Truck Rollovers in Fort Lauderdale?
Rollover accidents tend to be deadlier compared to other types of accidents, according to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). The report found that vehicle occupant deaths were higher in truck rollover accidents than in other accidents and rollovers involving smaller vehicles. Specifically, the report concluded that 47 percent of large truck occupant deaths occurred in rollover accidents.
These statistics show the danger of rollover accidents. Truck drivers must practice extra caution when driving to avoid rollovers and other collisions. The added size, weight, and mass of trucks make them more dangerous than other vehicles and capable of causing more severe damage and injuries.
The main causes of Fort Lauderdale truck rollover accidents include the following:
1. Curved Roads
Over the years, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) found that curved roads are a leading cause of truck rollovers, according to FDOT’s Large Truck Crash Analysis for Freight Mobility and Safety Enhancement in Florida. When making tight turns on curved roadways, truckers risk losing their balance and tipping over due to trucks’ high center of gravity. This risk makes it important for truckers to practice extra caution when taking tight turns on curved roads.
Some rollover accidents result when a truck travels at high speeds, regardless of whether they’re on straight or curved roads. If truck drivers go too fast, they’re more likely to lose control over their vehicle, resulting in rollovers or other truck accidents.
A speeding truck is particularly dangerous on curved roads. Greater speeds cause the perpendicular force of the truck body to increase, eventually causing the truck to tip over and roll. Accidents such as jackknife collisions occur on straight roads if the cab and trailer swing toward each other.
3. Driver Negligence or Inexperience
Human inexperience or negligence also contributes to truck rollover accidents, as drivers who carelessly speed or engage in other potentially dangerous behavior on the road create a bigger risk of an accident.
Distracted driving also leads to truck rollovers, including behaviors such as:
- Talking on the phone
- Browsing social media or the internet
- Texting others
- Drinking, eating, or engaging with the radio
- Looking at billboards or other surrounding objects outside the view of the road
Truck drivers often drive for long periods, leading to exhaustion and fatigue. This practice is almost as dangerous as drinking and driving. While drivers can only drive for certain lengths of time based on federal hours-of-service regulations and employer requirements, drivers may choose to continue driving without taking necessary breaks.
4. Inadequate Truck Maintenance
Another potential cause of rollovers and other trucking accidents is improper maintenance. Drivers and trucking companies must inspect vehicles to ensure they function properly.
Drivers must inspect:
- Wheels, rims, and tires
- Reflectors and lights
- Rear-view mirrors
- Horns and emergency equipment
- Windshield wipers
5. The Use of Drugs and Alcohol
Impairment resulting from drug and alcohol use also leads to rollover accidents. While most drivers’ blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08 percent in the U.S., the limit is 0.04 percent for drivers possessing a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
Drinking and driving can significantly affect drivers’ ability to safely operate a vehicle, impairing their judgment and causing them to lose control and get into an accident. Even small quantities of alcohol impair a driver’s faculties, leading to rollovers or other accidents.
Drugs also impair drivers, including prescription or over-the-counter drugs.
6. Imbalanced Cargo
Tractor-trailers pulling tankers or other cargo are more susceptible to rollovers than other vehicles because of their high center of gravity. Tankers may be full of liquids, other substances, or items that could cause an imbalance if the driver turns or suddenly hits the brakes.
An imbalanced load can cause a truck to tip and roll over, posing a hazard to other motorists and pedestrians. Tankers contain gasoline and other hazardous liquids that cause fires, explosions, or poisoning.
Tankers carrying partial loads of liquids also pose a risk because the liquid moves back and forth within the tanker, potentially causing the truck to lose balance.
7. Poor Road Conditions
Poor highway and road conditions increase driving difficulty and lead to rollover accidents.
Some dangerous road conditions that drivers may face include:
- Winding roads or sharp curves, particularly in poor weather conditions that make the road slippery
- Downhill and steep roads
- Bumps, potholes, curbs, and debris
- Improperly maintained shoulders
These risk factors and others may cause rollover accidents, particularly if drivers practice negligence on the road. If a driver’s negligence caused a rollover or another truck accident, you may recover compensation with the help of a Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyer.
Common Injuries Sustained in Truck Rollover Accidents
In rollover accidents, victims may sustain a variety of injuries. When rolling over, vehicles flip onto their sides or roof, leading them to collide with other vehicles or objects. In the process, occupants may experience crushing injuries, or the vehicle may eject them, causing severe bodily harm or even death.
Some injuries that more frequently result from rollover accidents include:
- Internal injuries – A rollover accident can pierce internal organs from vehicle parts or external objects.
- Broken bones and lacerations – Rollover accident impact often results in lacerations, crushed bones, and broken ribs.
- Spinal cord injuries – Rollover accident impact could also cause spinal injuries that lead to partial or total paralysis.
- Head, neck, and brain injuries – The head and neck may sustain injuries, including fractures and compressed or herniated discs. Traumatic brain injuries may also develop.
Who Is Liable in Fort Lauderdale Truck Rollovers?
Victims must prove liability when seeking compensation for a truck rollover accident in Fort Lauderdale. Specifically, they must prove who was liable for the accident and injuries. They must then prove that the party was negligent, that this negligence directly contributed to the accident, and that the accident resulted in certain recoverable damages.
One or multiple parties may be liable in rollover and other trucking accidents.
Some potential scenarios and liable parties include:
- Rollovers resulting from speeding, fatigue, alcohol use, or other negligent driving behaviors could make the driver liable. The driver’s employer may also be liable for improper training and supervision that allow the driver to engage in risky behavior.
- Rollovers resulting from dangerous curved roads may indicate that the local government was negligent by failing to properly design, build, or maintain the roadway, leading to unsafe conditions for drivers.
- Rollovers resulting from malfunctioning truck equipment could make manufacturers or maintenance contractors liable for damages.
You may hold multiple parties liable depending on the circumstances of the accident. Work with a lawyer to accurately identify and hold responsible the liable party. These cases are complex, and hiring a lawyer is crucial for recovering full compensation through a claim or lawsuit.
The Types of Damages for Rollover Accident Victims
After establishing liability, you must determine what damages the liable party caused through their negligence. In rollover accidents, different damages can result, including economic, non-economic, or punitive damages.
Economic damages include those that are easier to calculate, including medical expenses, lost wages, and lost earning capacity.
Meanwhile, non-economic damages include subjective damages that are harder to calculate. These damages account for the victim’s short- and long-term experience after an accident, including pain and suffering. Physical pain, psychological distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium are potential non-economic damages involved in these cases.
In cases of severe wrongdoing on the part of the negligent party, victims may also recover punitive damages. These do not compensate victims by making them whole like other damages—instead, they punish negligent parties for particularly egregious behavior and hopefully deter others from engaging in similar behavior.
Why You Should Consult a Truck Rollover Accident Lawyer?
If you’re wondering if you should hire a truck rollover accident lawyer, consider the following factors. Truck rollover accidents often result in serious injuries or even wrongful death, with more than one liable party potentially involved. The complexity of these cases is overwhelming, making them difficult to navigate alone. With the help of a reputable attorney, you can seek full compensation for damages sustained if negligence caused a truck rollover accident.
A qualified lawyer will start by identifying all liable parties involved in the case, including drivers, employers, maintenance contractors, or others. This process entails collecting sufficient evidence to help prove liability, including police reports, evidence left at the accident scene, vehicle damage, medical records, and more.
In addition to determining liability, a lawyer will determine the damages you or your loved one sustained. These cases may involve severe and catastrophic injuries that are often costly and require lifelong care. Victims may also endure pain and suffering, making their lives unpleasant in the days, weeks, months, or even years after an accident, potentially affecting victims for the rest of their lives. An attorney will help determine how much your case is worth based on these and other potential damages.
Lawyers will also assist with insurance negotiations during the claims process. Negotiating with insurers is often tricky as adjusters attempt to get victims to agree to the lowest possible settlement amount. A lawyer will fight for the full case amount to reach a fair settlement. They may also provide legal representation in court if the case goes to trial.
Connect With the Right Truck Accident Lawyer Today
After a truck rollover accident or another type of accident, you may recover compensation for damages through a claim or lawsuit. To determine if you have a viable case, consult a qualified lawyer near you to examine your options and decide whether to pursue a case.