Truck Accidents: June 2009 Archives

June 9, 2009

Florida Company Sued in Trucking Accident that Killed Two

A Clearwater, Florida, man and his truck driving company, Stan Trucking, Inc., are being sued for negligence after he allegedly struck and killed two honeymooners in Las Vegas.  According to reports, the couple was stranded on the side of the road after their vehicle either ran out of gas or suffered a flat tire when they were struck by the driver and then again by another semi-truck driver that is also being sued.  Both drivers failed to stop after hitting the couple and later claimed they believed they had run over a pothole or bump in the road.  The family of the female victim is suing both drivers for failing to maintain safe distances, failing to pay proper attention, failing to stay in the proper lane, and driving too fast for the conditions at the time which they are alleged to have caused the trucking driving accident injuries and deaths.  The family is also suing the employer of  the second driver for negligent hiring, negligent training, and negligent supervision.

This unfortunate accident is indicative of the devastating effect of truck driving accidents and injuries.  According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 4,860 traffic accidents involved large trucks, including various configurations of tractors and trailers, in Florida in 2007.  These tractor-trailer accidents resulted in 321 fatalities and thousands of injuries.  Adding an additional layer of danger to these truck accidents, 137 accidents involved a truck carrying hazardous materials.

These trucking accidents can cause so much damage to property and inflict such serious injury because the speed and size of the trucks.  Many of these trucks weigh over 26,000 pounds and travel at incredible speeds.  The difference in the size and mass of the semi-truck compared to that of a human body or passenger vehicle makes it obvious why these vehicles cause such damage when they strike pedestrians and cars.

As in the case above, the truck driver is not always the sole party responsible for injuries and deaths caused by truck accidents.  Often times, the truck driving company also has a responsibility to ensure that their drivers are qualified, properly trained and supervised, and have a driving record that indicates they are safe drivers.  Failure to properly screen truck drivers prior to hiring or failure to review their current drivers' records may make trucking companies responsible for the injuries caused by their drivers even when those drivers are independent contractors.

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