Crashes involving trucks are some of the most serious types of accidents on our roads today. High-speed truck accidents almost always end up in serious injuries, property damage, and death. Considering the sheer size and weight of commercial trucks, occupants of the other car involved in a truck accident are usually the most affected.
In the sad event that you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, then it is crucial that you contact an experienced Bartow truck accident lawyer. Truck accidents are usually a lot more complex than passenger car accidents, which is why you need to seek the services of a personal injury attorney who has extensive experience dealing with truck accident cases.
An experienced truck accident attorney at Winters & Yonker P.A. will help you file a claim against the truck driver, the trucking company, and any other party that may be liable for your injuries including the loading company or vehicle manufacturer. Recovering and getting back on your feet after sustaining serious injuries and damages in a truck accident can be a long and difficult period. You need all the support you can get. Our truck accident attorneys will aggressively fight for you and your family to ensure that you get the full compensation that you deserve.
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Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Studies show that most truck accidents are caused by one of the following factors:
This is usually the result of a driver driving for long periods of time without getting enough rest. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has stipulated the maximum number of hours that a truck driver may be on the road. However, at times, the trucking company may pressure the driver into breaking this rule, or the driver may disregard this rule on their own leading to fatigue and drowsiness.
This is one of the leading causes of truck accidents in America. Distracted driving encompasses anything that takes away the driver’s attention from driving, for example, texting or talking on the phone. Driving for long periods over barren areas can lead to boredom, which causes the drivers to engage in other things that can interest them.
It is also referred to as aggressive driving. This is when a truck driver commits a number of traffic violations such as speeding, failure to yield the right of way, passing other vehicles aggressively, tailgating, cutting off other drivers, and weaving in and out of traffic aggressively.
Since truck drivers often undergo strict alcohol consumption tests, they often indulge in other types of drugs such as cocaine, meth, and methamphetamines. They use these drugs to help keep them awake for long hours, however, they affect their ability to drive properly.
Oversized or Improperly Secured Cargo
This is caused by negligence on the part of the loading company. When a truck is overloaded, it inhibits the truck driver’s ability to control the truck. On the other hand, improperly secured cargo tends to move about affecting the truck’s center of gravity and it can also break free.
Poorly Trained or Inexperienced Drivers
The FMCSA requires that truck drivers meet special training requirements in order to operate a truck safely. Trucking companies have a duty to ensure that they only hire fully trained and qualified drivers. An inadequately trained or inexperienced driver increases the risks of a trucking accident.
Lack of Truck Maintenance
Truck owners and trucking companies are required to ensure that their trucks are regularly serviced and repaired. Failure of proper maintenance can lead to issues, which can make the truck unroadworthy.
The failure of crucial safety parts and features such as the braking system, lighting, and power trains can result in a truck accident. Faulty manufacturing of parts is a major cause of accidents.
Poor Road Conditions
There are government authorities mandated the task of taking care of roads. If a road is in poor condition or has a bad design, then this increases the risks of accidents, for example, the presence of potholes can cause truck drivers to lose control leading to an accident.
What Should You Do After a Truck Accident?
To ensure that you safeguard yourself and your compensation claim, here are some important steps that you need to take after a truck accident:
In any type of accident, it is always crucial to inform the police. When they get to the scene, make sure that they file an official police report. This will be very helpful in proving your case later on.
If you are in a position to do so, check to find out whether there is anyone who needs urgent medical attention. Do not move anyone who is seriously injured until the paramedics arrive unless they are in a position that puts them in greater danger.
Ask the truck driver to give you their name, contact details, and insurance information. You should also ask for the name and contact details of their employer. You should also provide them with yours.
Document the Scene, Speak With Witnesses
You can use your phone to take photos and videos of the accident scene. Take photos of the damages on both vehicles, your injuries, and the presence or absence of skid marks. You should also speak to any witnesses present at the scene and collect their contact information. Their statements will significantly help to prove your case.
Seek Medical Attention
This is not only important to ensure your recovery, but documenting your injuries will also help in proving the extent of your injuries during the claims process. You should get a full-body examination from a medical professional. Remember that they are some types of injuries that take time to develop and show symptoms.
Contact an Attorney
You should get in touch with a Bartow truck accident lawyer as soon as possible to initiate the claims process and while the evidence is still fresh.
Can a Lawyer Prove the Truck Driver Was Negligent?
Our professional Bartow truck accident attorneys have extensive experience handling truck accident cases. They also have deep knowledge of truck accident law. They will collect all the crucial and necessary evidence to ensure that they build a strong case for you. The lawyer will conduct witness interviews, take images of the scene, obtain any and all video footage of the accident, and work with forensic experts to reconstruct the accident to help prove that the accident wasn’t your fault.
What Types of Compensation Can I Receive in a Bartow, Florida Truck Accident Claim?
When filing a truck accident claim an attorney can help you recover the following types of damages:
Economic damages encompass all the expenses that you pay out of pocket as a result of the accident. Truck accidents will almost always lead to economic damages. They include medical and treatment expenses, rehabilitation, stays at the hospital, car repairs, and property damage. Lost income as a result of staying out of work is also included in economic damages.
This covers damages for non-tangible things such as pain and suffering, emotional trauma, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship, and so on. In Florida, there is no limit on the amount that you can receive for your pain and suffering.
Punitive damages do not cover any of your economic damages or pain and suffering, rather they are there to punish the capable party for deliberate and very serious unlawful behavior.
How is Fault in a Truck Accident Determined in Bartow, Florida?
As mentioned earlier, truck accident cases are a lot more complex than passenger car accidents. This is because there is a long chain of potential negligent parties who can be held liable for your injuries. From the truck driver, trucking company, loading company, vehicle or parts manufacturer, and even the government. Various factors regarding the accident will need to be looked into in order to determine which parties are at fault. This is why it is crucial to work with an experienced Bartow truck accident lawyer to determine liability and negligence.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
The following entities can be held liable in the case of a truck accident:
In most truck accidents, the truck driver is usually the at-fault party. They are prone to making similar mistakes as other passenger car drivers such as distracted driving, aggressive driving, fatigued driving, failure to observe signs, and so on. To determine negligence on the part of the truck driver, the scene of the accident will need to be thoroughly investigated.
The FMCSA has put in place regulations that trucking companies must follow to ensure safety on the roads. However, some trucking companies still continue to flout these rules. For example, they may fail to exercise proper caution when hiring drivers, pressure drivers to exceed the number of required hours without breaks, force drivers to drive in unsafe conditions, or fail to maintain and service their trucks. All these factors may lead to accidents and the trucking company can be held liable.
The Loading Company
The company that loaded the truck may also be held liable if it is determined that the truck was overloaded or the cargo wasn’t properly secured at the time of the accident.
Vehicle or Parts Manufacturer
Faulty parts or vehicles are a leading cause of truck accidents. Design flaws and faulty parts can cause a truck to be unsafe for use, and if the truck accident was caused by a mechanical issue caused by either of these, then the manufacturer will be held liable.
Our Bartow Truck Accident Lawyers Will Get the Compensation You Deserve
If you or a loved one are trying to recoup damages resulting from a truck accident, then you need to seek the services of an expert Bartow truck accident lawyer. A truck accident claim is a very complicated process and you shouldn’t attempt to undertake it on your own.
Trucking companies normally have insurance policies with much higher limits and this is for very good reason. The damages that they can cause are much more severe, and if you are a victim you are entitled to full compensation. An attorney will leave no stone unturned and will use everything in their power to secure maximum compensation. They will guide you through the process and handle the bulk of the work, considering that there are a lot of things that need to be handled throughout the process. This way you will be able to focus on your recovery.
Winters & Yonker has represented victims in personal injury cases for over 20 years. Call or fill our contact form to schedule a free consultation with a Bartow truck accident lawyer.