Miami Lakes is a vibrant city with a thriving industrial park that sees a significant amount of commercial vehicle traffic daily.
The Graham Companies developed the industrial park and commercial zones in Miami Lakes in the 1980’s. “The Master Plan began over 50 years ago, when the Graham family began development of what was their dairy farm. Unlike many cities and towns created during the early 1960s, the Grahams decided to create a master plan for the city that would allow for decades of growth, construction, and changing market conditions. Lester Collins, former Dean of the Harvard School of Architecture, was enlisted to create a Master Plan for the area that would become the center of Miami Lakes. Collins laid the foundation for an integrated community, including residential, commercial, industrial and mixed uses.” From school busses to community transportation, town trolleys, dump trucks, fuel trucks, moving vans, and even livestock trucks, Miami Lakes has commercial vehicles actively operating all around its roads and highways throughout the year.
Unfortunately, accidents involving commercial vehicles can occur and often result in devastating injuries and damages. In such a situation, it is essential to have a knowledgeable and experienced legal team by your side. This will protect your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation for your losses. With over 10 years of experience representing clients in commercial vehicle accidents, The Ward Law Group has a proven track record of success resenting victims of commercial vehicle accidents in the Town of Miami Lakes.
Recent Commercial Vehicle Accidents in Miami Lakes Include:
2012: A fuel tanker truck overturned on the Palmetto Expressway in Miami Lakes, spilling thousands of gallons of gasoline onto the roadway. The resulting fire caused extensive damage to the road and nearby businesses, and one person was killed in the accident.
2012: In a multi-vehicle accident a Nissan Altima slammed into a Miami-Dade Transit Bus in Miami Lakes. Passenger riding in the front seat died on the scene from injuries.
2016: A tractor-trailer collided with a school bus on the Gratigny Expressway in Miami Lakes, injuring several students and the bus driver. The driver of the tractor-trailer was cited for failure to stop at a red light.
2018: A FedEx delivery truck collided with a car on the Palmetto Expressway in Miami Lakes, causing the car to burst into flames. The driver of the car was killed in the accident, and several others were injured.
2019: A garbage truck collided with a van on the Gratigny Expressway in Miami Lakes, injuring several people. The driver of the garbage truck was cited for failure to maintain a safe distance.
2022: Driver killed in wrong - way crash involving Amazon tractor trailer.
2023: Overturned Tractor – trailer causes closure in Palmetto Expressway, no injuries.
The above examples are only a few of the many commercial vehicle accidents that occur in Miami Lakes and the surrounding areas every year.
How are Commercial Vehicles Defined?
The first step in understanding your commercial vehicle accident claim is to review Florida's definition of a commercial vehicle. According to Florida Statute 320.01(25),“Commercial motor vehicle” means any vehicle which is not owned or operated by a governmental entity, which uses special fuel or motor fuel on the public highways, and which has a gross vehicle weight of 26,001 pounds or more, or has three or more axles regardless of weight, or is used in combination when the weight of such combination exceeds 26,001 pounds gross vehicle weight.
The following vehicles can be registered as commercial motor vehicles:
- Multipurpose vehicles
- Cargo or Moving Vans
- Oil Equipment Trucks
- Dump Trucks
- Flat Bed Trucks
- Semi-Trailer Trucks
- Livestock Trucks
- Tractor Trailers
- Passenger-type vehicles transporting workers
- Pickup trucks with a camper
- Cement Mixers
- Fuel Trucks
- Motor trucks
- Cargo Trucks
Commercial Vehicle and Automobile Accidents: Key Differences
A commercial vehicle accident differs significantly from an automobile accident in several ways.
Vehicle Types: Commercial vehicles are large trucks, trailers, buses, and other large commercial vehicles. Passenger cars, SUVs, and other vehicles are involved in automobile accidents.
Size: Commercial vehicles are typically larger and heavier than personal vehicles. Because of this, commercial vehicle accidents tend to be more severe and often result in significant damage, injuries, and even death.
Governing Laws: Commercial vehicles follow different laws and regulations than personal vehicles. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) establishes safety standards for commercial vehicle drivers, hours of service, and vehicle maintenance. Drivers of commercial vehicles in Florida must possess a commercial driver's license and adhere to all state regulations.
Liability: There may be greater complexity in determining liability in a commercial vehicle accident than in an automobile accident. There may be several parties involved, such as the driver, the owner of the vehicle, the driver's employer, and the vehicle's manufacturer.
Types of Insurance: A commercial vehicle is required to maintain a higher level of insurance coverage than a personal vehicle to operate legally. The risk of severe injury or even death increases if an accident occurs with a commercial vehicle.
Common Causes of Commercial Vehicle Crashes in Miami Lakes
It is less common for a commercial vehicle driver to hit a pedestrian or bystander, but the damage caused by such incidents can be severe. Accidents of this type can occur for various reasons, and some causes are more common than others. Commercial vehicle accidents are usually caused by:
Braking late: To stop safely, some trucks and their cargo require a longer lead time due to their sheer operating weight. It is possible for a driver to fail to react to a traffic slowdown or a red light if they are fatigued or distracted.
Improper use of lanes: Passenger vehicles and other motorists can be seriously injured by commercial vehicles that fail to notice a car in their blind spot when changing lanes.
Mechanical failure: Often, commercial vehicle accidents occur due to equipment failures, such as bald or damaged tires or misaligned brakes. It may be possible for the manufacturer or brake manufacturer to be liable for a victim's injuries when faulty equipment causes an accident.
Driving while drowsy: Many drivers skip rest periods required by federal law because they are on the road for long periods of time. Even when drivers follow hours-of-service rules, they can still be fatigued, which leads to many accidents.
Distracted driving: A driver can be distracted by talking on the phone, texting, looking at a navigation system, eating, daydreaming, or anything that takes their eyes and minds off the road.
DUI: Drunk driving can have catastrophic consequences, especially if it involves a commercial vehicle. Drunk drivers may have impaired judgment, slower reaction times, and reduced coordination, which can increase their risk of causing an accident that can result in devastating injuries, fatalities, and extensive property damage.
Speeding: A high number of motor vehicle accidents, including commercial truck accidents, are caused by speeding. Commercial vehicles need a longer stopping distance when traveling at high speeds.
Wide turns: Commercial vehicles have a bigger turning radius than passenger cars. The risk of a severe injury accident increases if the driver fails to take other vehicles into account when initiating a turn.
What are the most Common Commercial Vehicle Accident Injuries?
Accidents involving commercial vehicles can result in a wide range of injuries, ranging from minor cuts to severe disabilities. We name the most common injuries in this type of accident below:
1. Whiplash: Whiplash is one of the most common injuries in car accidents, even commercial crashes. Suddenly throwing the neck forward and then backward damages soft tissues in the neck. The most common symptoms of whiplash are neck pain, stiffness, and headaches.
2. Back and Spinal Cord Injuries: A commercial vehicle accident can result in back or spinal cord injuries. An injury can range in severity from minor strains and sprains to more serious conditions such as herniated discs and damage to the spinal cord. Several symptoms can be experienced, including pain, numbness, and weakness.
3. Brain Injuries: A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when the brain is struck by an object or when the skull is forcedly jolted. The severity of a TBI can range from mild concussions to severe damage to the brain. An individual suffering from a traumatic brain injury may experience headaches, dizziness, confusion, memory loss, and mood changes.
4. Broken Bones: The force of impact in a commercial vehicle accident may cause bones to fracture or break. A broken bone may suffer from a minor fracture or a more severe injury such as a compound fracture or multiple fractures. A broken bone may be accompanied by pain, swelling, and difficulty moving the affected limb.
5. Internal Injuries: A commercial vehicle accident can lead to internal injuries when the body is subjected to blunt force trauma. Damage to organs such as the liver, spleen, and kidneys can result from these injuries. A person suffering from an internal injury may experience abdominal pain, swelling, or tenderness.
6. Burns: Accidents involving commercial vehicles can result in burns caused by fires or explosions. A burn can range in severity from minor first-degree burns to more severe second- and third-degree burns that can leave scarring and disfigurement. Burns can cause pain, swelling, and blisters.
7. Psychological Injuries: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression are also psychological injuries associated with commercial vehicle accidents. An individual's quality of life may be adversely affected for years following the occurrence of these injuries.
Compensation After a Commercial Vehicle Accident
In the aftermath of a commercial vehicle accident, obtaining compensation can be a complex and challenging process. An accident involving a commercial vehicle usually involves multiple parties, including the driver, employer, owner, and insurance company, unlike an automobile accident. It often becomes difficult to determine who is at fault and who is liable for damages because each of these parties may have their own insurance policies, coverage limits, and legal responsibilities.
In addition, commercial vehicle crashes tend to involve more serious injuries and damages, increasing the stakes and making it more challenging to negotiate a fair settlement. In a commercial vehicle accident, damages can include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and other losses. Calculating these damages can be complex and requires specialized expertise. Commercial vehicle accidents are subject to specific state and federal laws that may complicate the claim process. For instance, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates commercial vehicles, and its regulations may affect the driver's qualifications, hours of service, and safety requirements.
How Much Time Do I have To File a Commercial Accident Claim in Miami Lakes?
According to Florida Statute 95.11, a personal injury claim arising from a commercial vehicle accident must be filed within four years.
A commercial vehicle accident claim must be filed within the time frame outlined in Florida Statute 95.11 for various reasons. A failure to file a claim within the statute of limitations can result in your case being dismissed, and you may lose your right to compensation. Secondly, statutes of limitations provide a clear timeline for filing a claim, ensuring that evidence and witnesses are still available and that the case can be properly investigated.
In addition, by filing your claim within the statute of limitations, you may avoid possible complications and legal hurdles. As memories fade and evidence is lost, it becomes increasingly difficult to build a strong case. It is important to work with an experienced attorney and file your claim as soon as possible to ensure that your case is resolved efficiently and that you receive the compensation you deserve.
The Ward Law Group's attorneys understand Florida's statute of limitations and other legal requirements for commercial vehicle accident claims. As a client, we understand the importance of filing your claim promptly, and we are committed to protecting your rights and obtaining the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Why Should I call The Ward Law Group?
A commercial vehicle accident can have a devastating effect on you and your family on a physical, emotional, and financial level, and we will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to. Having a knowledgeable attorney investigating your accident, identifying all responsible parties, calculating your damages, and negotiating with insurance companies can ensure that you receive just compensation for your injuries.
Miami Lakes commercial accident attorneys at The Ward Law Group have the knowledge, resources, and experience to build a strong case on your behalf and achieve the compensation you deserve. It is our goal to protect your rights.
Due to our expertise in maximizing compensation, having our attorneys on your side may enable you to earn a larger settlement than you would have without legal representation. Contact The Ward Law Group for a free consultation if you have been involved in a commercial vehicle accident in Miami Lakes. As a client, you can rest assured that we will work hard to ensure that you obtain the justice you deserve.
Call The Ward Law Group today at 855-DOLOR-55 (855-36567-55.