From rear-end collisions to vehicle rollovers, any type of automobile accident has the capacity to become critical â€“ and wrecks that involve commercial trucks are more likely to be devastating. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, a total of 3,852 people died in large truck crashes in 2015 â€“ a 22 percent increase from 2009. A flatbed truck crash, specifically, can present its own set of unique hazards. At Fried Rogers Goldberg, we understand too well the injuries and dangers resulting from commercial trucks and vehicles accidents.
If you or your loved one has been involved in a collision involving a flatbed truck, or any other class of commercial truck, speak to a truck accident attorney. Our team of attorneys have more than 60 years of combined experience fighting for our clientâ€™s just compensation from the trucking companies and the insurance industry.
At Fried Rogers Goldberg, we dedicate more than 75 percent of our practice to handling truck and commercial vehicle cases. Contact us today by calling (404) 591-1800. We offer free, no-obligation consultations.
What is a Flatbed Truck?
Commercial vehicles range from semi-trucks to taxicabs â€“ each one having the itâ€™s own safety requirements to address each vehicle’s unique set of risks and to prevent specific dangers. A common type of commercial vehicle is a flatbed truck, which also has its own capabilities of becoming hazardous.
A flatbed truck carries cargo, but doesnâ€™t have walls or sides where that cargo is placed. They are known for moving items that cannot fit into closed-in trailers (i.e. cranes, building materials and machinery). Flatbeds can either be mounted permanently to the frame of the truck, or be pulled, meaning that the truck is connected to a detachable trailer. There are two different styles of detachable flatbeds: standard and lowboy style.
Detachable flatbed trailers can haul wide ranges of material. Standard detachable flatbeds are often used for items that include hauling logs, machinery and building materials. Lowboys are for moving construction vehicles, such as track loaders, cranes and heavier types of machinery.
Flatbed Truck Accidents
Due to their ability to carry more weight than enclosed tractor trailers, flatbed truck accidents can be more serious than other commercial trucking accidents. Because flatbed trucks can carry more weight, it is necessary for the driver or trucking company to not only spend additional time ensuring items are properly loaded and strapped down but also to make periodic stops over the course of a trip to re-check the security of the transported material. When a load is either unbalanced or not appropriately tied down, a wreck is more prone to happen, often in the form of:
- Brake Failure
- Steering Failure
- Driver Negligence
Though the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the loading and transporting of all materials on flatbed trucks, it is still common to see these trucks on freeways, moving with pieces of materials and tools that have been just tossed onto the bed. Drivers who get behind the wheel of a flatbed truck are required to have extensive training; yet, this does not always happen. One of the most common causes of flatbed truck accidents is due to truck driver negligence or lack of experience.
Types of Flatbed Trailer Accidents
A flatbed truck wreck can affect anyone who is in the commercial vehicleâ€™s vicinity. There are generally two different types of flatbed truck accidents: on-road and off-road.
On-road accidents refer to crashes that occur due to unsecured items falling off the truck, or moving and invading the cab of the truck, which can injure the driver. During a crash, these loose objects can become lethal projectiles.
Off-road accidents takes place during the loading process. Those who are tasked with loading the materials need to be exceptionally cautious; cargo can be unexpectedly dangerous especially if the use of heavy machinery is required to complete the job.
Falling Cargo and Other Risks
The severity of a flatbed crash is often directly related to its cargo. For example, because of their size and weight, steel beams and logs that come loose can create casualties. Though truckers are required to make frequent stops to check the security of their cargo, and strict requirements for securing that cargo are in place, mistakes still happen.
Unfortunately, these mistakes can lead to tragedy, and mostly for the other automobiles involved. If a flatbed truck and smaller car collide, it is more likely that the car will end up under the truck, because of the difference in the vehiclesâ€™ heights. In other situations, flatbed trucks can overturn onto automobiles, smashing them.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a flatbed truck, we offer our sympathy â€“ commercial truck crashes are often traumatic and lead to critical injuries. Contact our firm and learn more about why you should consider hiring an experienced truck attorney when going up against the trucking industry.
Common Causes of Flatbed Truck Accidents
As with any type of vehicular accident, the reason for the collision can vary. However, a flatbed truck wreck is commonly caused by one of the following:
- The trucking company didnâ€™t properly screen and test drivers before hire them
- The driver or other accountable parties failed to safely and adequately secure the cargo
- The driver or trucking company bypassed a required and routine maintenance check on the truck
- The driver of the truck was under the influence of alcohol or drugs
These common causes of a flatbed truck crash all center around a driverâ€™s negligent actions, which is not taken lightly with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. For example, if a driver is found guilty of being under the influence of either alcohol or drug, itâ€™s possible that he or she will be banned from commercial driving for life. In respect to trucking company acting negligently â€“ the company could be sued for not ensuring trucks are road-worthy (i.e. failing to replace worn tires, brakes and the transmission). Itâ€™s imperative to note that while most companies do follow all guidelines associated with the trucking business, there have been examples of owners hiring unqualified drivers at a lower wage, in order to keep costs low, and increase profits. These actions are not only illegal, they could be grounds for a lawsuit.
How to Contact Truck Accident Attorneys
Have you or someone you know been the victim of a flatbed trucking accident? If so, the attorneys at Fried Rogers Goldberg is ready to represent you. Our career is built on helping people like you move on with their lives. From phone calls to medical records, we handle all aspects of your case, allowing you to focus on whatâ€™s important: healing. Contact us today by calling (404) 591-1800.Â Let us be your advocates.