Liability in Florida Log Truck Accidents
As noted by The Orlando Sentinel, the timber industry in Florida is booming as the demand for timber grows globally. Northern Florida is home to dozens of lumber mills and pine-straw, bark, and wood-pellet processing plants. It’s a multi-billion-dollar industry with hundreds of millions of that invested in Northern Florida, where the unique soil composition, long growing season, and warm, moist climate is perfect for the cultivation of pine trees.
As our Jacksonville log truck accident lawyers can explain, transport of this timber can be an intensive and expensive operation. And it’s no place to cut corners because log truck accidents have a high rate of fatality.
The news has been filled in recent months with reports of log truck accidents. One incident reported by WTSP occurred in Pasco County, when a 46-year-old middle school principal was killed when he rear-ended a log truck that had slowed to make a right turn. The logs in the truck smashed through the front windshield of the principal’s vehicle, and the entire load was spilled onto the roadway, creating an additional hazard.
In another case that happened not too long ago, a log truck driver on U.S. 301 in Lawtey reportedly rear-ended a school bus full of children, resulting in injuries for seven elementary students and the bus driver. It was later revealed the log truck driver had numerous prior infractions, including those for speeding and driving a vehicle in an unsafe condition.
Log Truck Dangers
Log truck drivers have a huge responsibility. They operate some of the biggest trucks you see on the road. These trucks can stretch anywhere from 20 to 100 feet or more and can weigh up to 44 tons. These drivers are often pushed to work long hours to ensure deliveries are made. Proper loading of these trucks is imperative, and failure to do so may be a form of negligence if it results in a crash leading to serious injuries or death.
Some other issues that may be grounds for negligence:
- Driver qualifications. Log trucks are huge, and they can be quite a challenge to operate properly. Drivers must be thoroughly screened and adequately trained to ensure they are up to the task.
- Truck maintenance. Log trucks must be regularly and properly maintained and repaired. However, because they are often used on rough roads and conditions, most trucks are only in marginally good shape. This can be a form of negligence.
- Poor lighting. Not having proper reflectors, headlights, or rear lights can be the catalyst of a truck crash.
- Overloading. Logging trucks are commonly overloaded because many truckers and carriers don’t have much fear of enforcement, as they operate in the early morning hours. But overloading can be deadly, especially if the truck tips over.
The Pajcic Firm has handled countless log truck crash cases over the years, including one that resulted in a $13 million dollar verdict. If you or a loved one have been injured in a log truck accident, our qualified attorneys may be able to help you recover damages.