Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorney in Boca Raton, FL
Being involved in a car accident is a traumatic experience. Such a traumatic experience can become even more complicated when you are involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle. Tractor-trailers, commercial cargo vans, public buses, and big rigs come with large blind spots. Many of those vehicles have sluggish steers, and they take a longer time to brake. There are over 120 million estimated commercial vehicles on the road. The average unladen big rig weighs about 25,000 pounds, while the average passenger car weighs about 3,280 pounds.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Board reports that there were over 538,000 accidents involving large trucks in 2019. Over 4,030 people died in those accidents, with another 125,000 people injured. An accident with a commercial vehicle is most likely going to be more severe than an accident with another passenger car. If you have been in an accident with a commercial vehicle, you should contact an experienced commercial vehicle accident attorney in Boca Raton for help.
What Counts as a Commercial Vehicle?
Under Florida law, a commercial vehicle is any motor vehicle that a business uses to transport passengers or property. Commercial vehicles weigh at least 10,000 pounds, and all vehicles that weigh over 26,000 pounds are automatically classified as commercial. This includes vehicles that are designed to transport toxic materials or at least sixteen passengers. At maximum capacity, commercial vehicles can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. Some more examples of commercial vehicles include:
- Construction vehicles/equipment
- 'City and private tour buses
- Delivery trucks
- 18-wheelers, semi-tractor trailers, trucks, or full tractor trailers
- Dump trucks
Being involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle can be scary, stressful, and even life-threatening. If you were involved in such an accident, you should contact an attorney to discuss your legal options.
Next Steps after an Accident with a Commercial Vehicle in Boca Raton
The aftermath of an average car accident differs from the aftermath of a commercial vehicle accident. If two passenger vehicles bump into each other, the drivers usually can pull over and inspect the other’s car. If everyone agrees that the damage is minimal, they exchange insurance information, shake hands, and make a Personal Injury Protection claim with their insurance, if needed. This is not the case when a commercial vehicle is involved.
Florida law demands that any collision with a commercial vehicle, without regard to the extent of the damage or injuries, requires a crash report by law enforcement. You or the commercial driver need to contact law enforcement immediately after an accident. If both you and the driver are injured and cannot make that call, Florida law requires witnesses to report the crash, stop near the accident, and wait for police to arrive.
Failure to stop if you are a witness to the commercial vehicle accident and failure to report such an accident are third-degree felonies. If the accident has a fatality, that charge is increased to a second-degree felony. Third-degree felonies in Florida can result in a $5,000 fine and/or five years in prison. Second-degree felonies result in $10,000 fines and/or fifteen years in prison. For the sake of everyone’s well-being, you should pull over and call the police if you witness a commercial vehicle accident.
Contact a Boca Raton Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorney at Baker Legal Team Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident involving a truck or other commercial vehicle, you may be entitled to receive compensation for any damages you have sustained. To build the best possible case, you will want to contact a Florida-based personal injury attorney.
Baker Legal Team is proud to be led by Board-Certified attorney Robert Baker. With over thirty years of experience helping victims of accidents in Boca Raton, our legal team provides each client with award-winning representation. To speak with one of our attorneys, you can contact us here or call (561) 320-0000.