Failure To Yield Can Be Deadly
It is a simple truism that tractor-trailers driven negligently are more likely to cause injury or death in an accident, due to their size and weight. One common immediate cause of tractor-trailer accidents is failure to yield – when such a large vehicle does not give way, the occupants of the smaller vehicles that wind up in the way are likely to be injured or even killed. If you have been involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer and you suspect the driver failed to yield, you have the right to seek compensation for what you have been through.
Accidents At Higher Speeds
Florida law is fairly straightforward about when one must give way in most instances – for example, the relevant statute says that when two vehicles approach an intersection from opposite ways, the driver on the left must yield for the driver on the right. While not every driver will be aware of this, most are, and for those who are not, it is often easy to follow the crowd. This arguably goes double for tractor-trailer drivers, who should be aware of the rules of the road as part of their profession.
If a tractor-trailer driver fails to yield at the appropriate time, this can lead to multiple types of collisions, and the likelihood of injury or death is high because failure to yield means no reduction in speed at all. As a result, truck accidents account for a disproportionate amount of fatalities in Florida road accidents, and those who survive are more likely to sustain severe, life-changing injury. If this has happened to you, know that you may be able to receive compensation for the harm you have suffered.
If you decide to file suit against the tractor-trailer driver whose negligence allegedly caused your injuries, you must be able to establish three main facts:
- Florida law, like most other states’, holds that each road user owes a duty to exercise reasonable care toward all other road users. This includes observing the rules of the road – including when to yield to oncoming traffic. If someone fails to observe those rules, they can be said to have breached their duty of reasonable care;
- If the tractor-trailer driver has breached their duty of reasonable care, you must be able to show that their actions were the direct cause of your injuries, with no other intervening cause; and
- You must be able to show tangible injury. Mere shock or minor issues like cuts and bruises are generally not sufficient; harm must be more long-lasting and not clear up within hours or days.
If you can establish a breach of duty, causation, and tangible injury, you will generally have a solid case, but nothing is ever guaranteed. It is not uncommon for drivers or their employers to argue that you were partially at fault, or for an insurer to refuse payment. Florida has comparative fault rules that state that as long as you are less than 50 percent at fault, you may still recover for your injuries.
Contact A Tampa Tractor-Trailer Accident Attorney
If you have been so unlucky as to be in an accident with a tractor-trailer, it is likely that your injuries are severe. A Tampa truck accident attorney from the Rinaldo Law Group can help answer any questions you may have about your accident, and guide you through the legal process going forward. Call our office today for a free consultation.