Posted on Jan 12, 2023

On Friday, January 6, 2023 at around 8:50 a.m. in the morning, a 79-year-old driver of an SUV reportedly attempted to make a left-hand turn into a business parking lot while traveling north on St. Philips Highway / US-1. When the driver of the SUV cut across St. Philips, a semi truck collided with the SUV, causing serious damage. The 77-year-old passenger riding in the white SUV was killed in the crash, and the 79-year-old driver was transported to a local Jacksonville hospital in critical condition. The driver of the semi truck was also taken to the hospital but did not suffer life-threatening injuries.

Truck Drivers Are Held to a Higher Standard Than Most Drivers

Semi trucks are very dangerous. These commercial vehicles travel at the same speeds as other vehicles on the road, but they sometimes weigh up to 80,000 lbs, depending on the load. As a result, these vehicles can cause serious damage in a truck accident crash. Traffic is a problem for 18-wheelers because they can't stop quickly. Thus, a brief lapse in attention can result in a serious accident.

Additionally, the blind spots on 18-wheelers are more difficult to deal with than with other vehicles, and other drivers on the road can be hurt or killed as a result of an improper lane change or other improper maneuvers on the road. That’s why commercial vehicle drivers must go through a tough screening process to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Therefore, driver errors that would not be as serious when committed in a car or pickup truck could cause a deadly crash when committed behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle.

Important Steps in a Florida Wrongful Death Truck Accident Case

Our Florida wrongful death lawyers represent people who have lost a loved one due to a semi truck, 18-wheeler, tractor trailer, or other commercial vehicle crash. Below are some of the more crucial steps to take when litigating a Florida wrongful death truck accident case:

  • Send out letters of preservation, sometimes called “spoliation letters,” to prevent the destruction of important evidence, like black box data and camera footage;
  • Document the scene of the accident with video and pictures as soon as possible after the trucking accident;
  • Take pictures and video of the vehicles involved in the trucking accident and document the damage done;
  • Collect dash cam footage from the semi truck or 18-wheeler;
  • Get a copy of the police report;
  • Get the contact information of any witnesses to the trucking accident;
  • Determine who is liable in the accident (i.e., driver, trucking company, cargo loader, maintenance company, truck manufacturer, tire manufacturer, etc.);
  • If necessary, get expert witnesses to the trucking accident scene to perform accident reconstruction or to study any data gathered from the semi truck.

The above evidence is the type of evidence that should try to obtain as quickly as possible. Otherwise, crucial evidence could be lost or destroyed. In addition to the evidence above, we seek to gather all records relating to the victim’s death. That way, we can accurately document compensable costs when litigating a wrongful death trucking accident case.