Experienced Florida tractor-trailer accident law firm focused on injury victims' rights
Commercial truck accidents in Florida can lead to complex injury and wrongful death claims. If you or a loved one was injured or a loved one died in a truck-related accident - whether it was on I-4 in Orlando or County Road 417 in Longwood - you will need a strong advocate at your side. The trucking companies and their insurance carriers typically launch investigations immediately after accidents to look for ways to minimize liability. That's why it's critical you have someone working for you who has experience handling accident claims involving tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, delivery truck and anyone else with a commercial driver's license (CDL) in Florida.
Located in Longwood, Fla. and serving accident victims throughout the state, Scott M. Miller has been assisting injury victims for nearly 20 years and has a proven track record of results. The Law Office of Scott M. Miller knows how to investigate such accidents and find the evidence you need to build a strong case. We will reach out to top experts who can examine the accident scene and pore over medical reports to make sure you are on track to get full compensation.
Trucking companies and insurance providers don't intimidate us. If necessary, we will take legal action and file a truck accident lawsuit in an effort to resolve your case in your favor. Remember, you didn't do anything wrong. You shouldn't have to face long-term financial hardship because of a truck driver's or trucking company's negligent actions.
What types of truck accidents does Florida attorney Scott M. Miller handle?
- Drivers Who Are Fatigued
- DUI Truck Drivers
- Texting, Multitasking and Distractions
- Ignoring Speed Limits
- Improperly Loaded or Overloaded Truck
- Poorly Maintained Trucks
Experienced Seminole County truck accident attorney focused on results
For more information about trucking accidents in the Orlando area and what you can do to protect your rights, visit the following pages on our website:
- Determining Fault in a Truck Wreck
- Severe or Fatal Injuries in Truck Crashes
- Large Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Trucking companies and their insurance carriers typically have a team of attorneys working behind the scenes to protect their interests. That's why we strongly encourage you not to take them on without legal counsel of your own. Get the help you need now to fight for the money that will need tomorrow and for many months or years to come. Tractor-trailer accidents often have serious consequences.
Why should I hire Florida attorney Scott M. Miller to handle my case?
Attorney Scott M. Miller knows how to handle complicated truck accidents. As an attorney who worked in Chicago before founding his practice in Florida, he has developed a reputation for taking on big cases and getting results. His high-profile cases have led to features on ABC's "Good Morning America" and CBS' "The Saturday Early Show."
He also belongs to the "Million Dollar Advocates Forum," a prestigious group of trial lawyers with a membership limited to attorneys who have one million and multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts.
Drivers Who Are Fatigued
High-profile trucking accidents involving truck drivers who were exhausted have captured headlines and prompted calls to re-examine "Hours of Service" rules. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that as many as 40 percent of all heavy truck crashes can be traced back to truck driver fatigue. Without question, tired truck drivers or drivers who fall asleep at the wheel can cause serious accidents. When truck drivers nod off, they often crash into other vehicles at a high rate of speed. A sleeping truck driver fails to slow down and is unaware of his surroundings in the moments before crashing into another vehicle.
Strict federal guidelines exist concerning mandatory rest periods for truck drivers. Under the "Hours of Service" rules, truck drivers cannot driver more than 11 hours per day and cannot work more than 14 hours per day, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website. The "Hours of Service" rules also place limits on the maximum number of hours a commercial truck driver can work each week.
Unfortunately, some truck drivers ignore these rules by their own choice or under pressure from trucking companies to work longer hours. Trucking companies may put pressure on the driver to deliver the load quickly. A driver's boss may even be aware the driver is exceeding the Hours of Service limit, but chooses to say nothing. Whatever the reason, you or a loved one injured or killed in a truck accident shouldn't have to suffer due to someone else's reckless behavior.
We can begin an immediate examination to determine whether the driver was too tired or fell asleep before your crash. Drivers must keep a log to ensure they are following the regulations. We can obtain a copy of the log and closely examine it. We can look at the electronic on-board recorder, which some trucks have. Some trucks are equipped with on-board video cameras, which may show if the driver fell asleep in the moments before the crash.
<Return to Top>
DUI Truck Drivers
Drunk truck drivers put everyone sharing Florida's highways and roads at risk. Drinking and driving has long been a dangerous combination. But when the vehicle driven by the impaired driver weighs more than 80,000 pounds (the weight of a fully-loaded tractor-trailer), the consequences can be deadly.
The rules regarding drinking and driving are much tougher for commercial truck drivers. In Florida, truck drivers are considered legally drunk if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is over 0.04 percent. That figure is half the legal limit for other drivers in Florida. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), all commercial driver's license holders must undergo drug and alcohol testing. These tests are administered by an employer before allowing the driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle. Tests also are required after certain accidents.
If you've been injured in a crash caused by a drunk truck driver, we can thoroughly investigate on your behalf. In particular, we routinely review the truck driver's driving record to find out if the driver has previously been charged with drunk driving. We then regularly examine if the trucking company knew about such charges when they hired the truck driver. In addition, we can access results of drug and alcohol tests performed on the driver. We leave no stone unturned in pursuit of justice.
<Return to Top>
Texting, Multitasking and Distractions
Texting while driving is against the law for all drivers in Florida. Nationwide, the rules are even tougher for commercial truck drivers. Some states allow certain drivers to text. In contrast, all commercial truck drivers are prohibited from reading or sending texts or emails while driving nationwide, according to the FMCSA.
The only legally-permitted use of cell phones while driving for commercial drivers includes using a hands-free or voice activated cell phone for phone calls while driving. But even then, many studies have found that simply talking on a cellphone while driving can be distracting.
Accidents involving texting truck drivers can be extremely complicated. The trucking company might try to prevent the truck driver's cellphone records from being released or take other steps. We know how to combat such tactics and take on trucking companies. We fight to win.
<Return to Top>
Ignoring Speed Limits
Truck drivers face tremendous pressure to deliver products as fast as possible. Unfortunately, they may take risks that could result in speeding truck accident. And due to the large size of commercial vehicles, an accident involving an 80,000 pound 18-wheeler and a much smaller passenger car can result in serious injuries or fatalities.
Speeding truck accidents also occur for other reasons. In particular, poorly maintained trucks with defective brakes sometimes fail to stop in time. Trucking companies have an obligation to keep their trucks running safely. But some companies sadly fail to do so, often to save money.
Trained truck drivers also should understand that they may need to drive well under the speed limit if the road conditions or weather conditions are poor.
Whatever the cause of your speeding truck accident, attorney Scott M. Miller can aggressively investigate your accident and help you build a strong legal case. Whether it's examining the road for skid marks (or the absence of them), we vigorously investigate every truck accident.
<Return to Top>
Improperly Loaded or Overloaded Truck
Tractor trailers and delivery trucks need to be properly loaded by professionals. Otherwise, the contents of the truck could shift while the truck is moving. When this happens, especially when trucks are rounding a curve or attempting to stop, seriously truck accidents often occur. Specifically, overloaded or improperly loaded trucks might rollover or jackknife, a term used to describe tractor trailer accidents involving the trailer of the truck swiveling around toward the cab of the tractor trailer.
Overloaded trucks also pose a serious danger. That's because such trucks often cannot stop in time to avoid hitting another vehicle. And since a fully-loaded tractor-trailer can weigh more than 80,000 pounds, trucks that weigh even more can cause catastrophic damage.
Drivers are required to ensure their cargo is secure and make any needed adjustments within the first 50 miles of a trip. In some cases, an unsecured item on a truck might fly off and strike another vehicle, resulting in death or injury.
As your attorney, Scott M. Miller will vigorously investigate your case. We regularly request records verifying whether the trucking company properly loaded the truck or exceeded the legal weight limit. We know what evidence to look for and how to get results.
<Return to Top>
Poorly Maintained Trucks
Properly maintaining commercial trucks serves a vital purpose. When tractor trailers and delivery trucks are serviced regularly, they normally run safely. But when trucking companies put off repairing trucks to save time or money, the consequences can be grave. Vehicles that are improperly maintained can pose a threat to everyone sharing the road.
Some of the most common problems involving poorly maintained trucks include:
- Faulty brakes - Truck brakes need to be inspected and replaced immediately if they're not working properly.
- Bald tires - Tires without sufficient tread can separate and fall off. Trucks with bald tires also often cannot safely stop in time to avoid causing a serious accident.
- Defective truck parts - Manufacturers frequently recall defect vehicle parts for safety reasons. Trucking companies need to stay informed about such recalls and immediately replace the defective parts.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires trucking companies to maintain accurate inspection reports for their fleets. The driver is required to prepare a written inspection report at the completion of each day's work, listing any defect or deficiency discovered or reported to the driver. The report must cover the safety of parts and accessories such as brakes, steering, lighting devices and reflectors, tires, horn, windshield wipers, mirrors and other equipment.