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Tractor Trailer Injuries Caused by Flying Debris in Florida

In a freak accident, four bike riders were struck by a wheelchair liftgate that came off of an 18-wheel truck as it drove by. According to the Port Richey Police, the liftgate was on a truck hauling medical equipment for Florida Cancer Specialists mobile PET/CT as it was making a left turn onto Ridge Road from U.S. 19 when the lift broke free. The accident happened Monday night before 8 p.m., April 29, 2019, and the driver of the truck was unaware that the liftgate had come off the back. Some witnesses followed the driver to his stop and alerted him, and he is cooperating with authorities. All four cyclists were seriously injured with two undergoing emergency surgery. The Port Richey Police Chief says he’s never seen or heard of anything like it, and his office will conduct a thorough investigation.

Flying Debris Accidents

Large commercial trucks are dangerous and put all motorists and others around them at risk. Most of this risk is because of their size and mass, but they also can cause injury by flying debris. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are almost 500 fatalities and thousands of incidents of damage and injuries each year from debris flying from large trucks. Much of this is loose debris on the road, while in other cases, objects fly off the truck after coming loose or breaking away from the truck. The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration has regulations for all interstate trucks and trucks that travel on federal highways. Each truck driver is responsible for their load and must make sure the load is secure so that nothing will come loose, leak or come off the truck and put the public at risk. Also, there are rules and regulations about maintenance of the rigs and the trailers to ensure that incidents like the liftgate accident doesn’t happen. However, even with all the regulations and safety precautions, accidents happen.

Injuries from Flying Debris

People are injured in many ways while traveling on the road, and just as there are common injuries that come form certain types of auto accidents, flying debris injuries follow a pattern as well. Some of the common injuries are:
  • Head Injuries: Traumatic Brain Injury, concussions, skull fractures are all common as most motorists and pedestrians don’t wear helmets.
  • Broken Bones: The impact of objects flying at a high rate of speed cause different types of bone fractures.
  • Deep Contusions/Lacerations: Debris that impacts the body can produce deep bruises and cuts, some which can be serious if not treated quickly.

Commercial Truck Liability

When an object comes off a truck, the driver/owner of the truck may be liable for all damages. In some cases when the object is kicked up by the truck, then the law will require the injured to show how the truck driver was negligent and did something to cause the injuries. This usually means that it must be proven that certain safety requirements weren’t met or that the driver wasn’t operating the vehicle properly. For example a truck operator has to have mud flaps that prevent debris from flying up as well as follow the requirements to keep the truck free of dirt, rocks and other objects that can fly off. Federal law requires that all commercial large trucks have $750,000 worth of liability for property and bodily injuries, and most commercial companies carry at least one million to protect themselves against the financial losses caused by accidents.

Do I need an Attorney?

If you’ve been injured by objects or debris that flew off of another vehicle, then you should talk to an attorney about your case. The insurance companies will try to claim that their driver wasn’t negligent and isn’t liable for any injuries. Don’t let them get away with it, call RHINO Lawyers today to get the compensation you deserve. RHINO Lawyers is the powerful, results-driven law firm, that takes Insurance Companies and Bullies “head on!” We describe our bold modern approach to “Accident & Personal Injury Law” and “Our Personal Mission” to empower Florida’s families to “Take Charge!”


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Rhino Lawyers, Personal Injury Lawyer, Tampa, FL


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