Accidents that involve trucks can be catastrophic and very hard to recover from. Truck accidents are most common on highways mainly because the roads are congested with traffic and everyone is in a hurry to get somewhere. The car accident lawyers in Tampa at Winters & Yonker have managed to win hundreds of similar cases because we live and breathe personal injury law, so we know what works. We can get you the compensation you deserve, with no risk to you. Our free consultations and contingency agreements allow everyone, regardless of the financial situation, to get expert representation. Truck accidents often involve pedestrians, other motor vehicles, cyclists and motorcycle riders. Sadly when you are involved in a truck accident, the injuries are often very serious and life-threatening. If you were injured by a tractor-trailer it is important that you speak to a Tampa truck accident lawyer so that you can get the maximum compensation you deserve.
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Why do I Need a Truck Accident Attorney to File a Claim?In Florida, there is a four-year time limit for filing a lawsuit from the date of your accident. If the truck is owned by a state or federal agency, then the time limit to file a case is three years. Depending on your situation, it is best that you speak to a truck accident attorney so that you know exactly what your options are and how you can get compensation for your loss. Additionally, hiring an attorney gives you access to someone with years of experience handling injury claims. Our accident lawyers have built the reputation as one of the best injury firms in Florida and throughout America, meaning you will have an expert fighting for you. They know who to file suit against, how much your claim is worth, how to negotiate settlements, and how best to argue your case should it go to court.
What Usually Happens After A Trucking Accident?For the most part, a trucking accident is handled the same way as any other auto accident. But there is one exception. Since trucks are used for commercial business, usually a truck accident expert is called in to determine the cause, such as poor maintenance, failure of equipment or other factors. A lawyer will usually employ the services of a trucking accident expert to help them assist with their cases. Also, as far as liability is concerned, a semi-truck accident is often more complex compared to regular car accident cases. Trucking companies can be held accountable if the issue was with the truck itself or if the accident could have been prevented had the trucking company ensured the truck was repaired or that it wasn’t on the road in a condition where it would be unsafe for others. Therefore, if an accident happens, both the truck driver and the trucking company are evaluated for the role they played in the accident. Talk to a truck accident lawyer for more information on how to best pursue your claim.
What Compensation Can I Get After a Trucking Accident?The amount of compensation you can get after a trucking accident depends on the type of accident and the seriousness of your injuries. In general, if the accident was not your fault, you can expect to recover the following:
- Payment for all your medical bills and prescription drugs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Cost of rehabilitation
- Payment for damage to your property or vehicle
- If you live alone and need help with daily living activities, you will be reimbursed for any expenses you incur for this purpose. Also, if you require any modifications in your home due to your injuries, that will also be included in your payments.
Who Pays for My Injuries After a Truck Accident?As mentioned above, determining liability in a truck accident is different compared to regular road accidents. If the truck driver was the sole owner of the truck and was working independently and if an accident occurs, the driver’s insurance company will be responsible for paying for all your injuries and damages. If the truck driver was working for a company and the accident was the result of an issue with the truck or the fact that the truck driver was forced to work at odd hours or on a new route without proper training, the trucking company may be held liable for the damages that you incur. If the truck driver is employed by a trucking company, but the accident was caused by the driver’s negligence – such as distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, etc. – it will be the truck driver who will be held responsible. Keep in mind that you can only make one claim- either against the driver or their company. You cannot seek a claim with both entities. It is best to discuss this with your truck accident lawyer to find out what your best course of action would be.
What Happens If The Truck Driver Is Uninsured?If you were in an accident with a truck driver and you find out that the truck driver is not insured, this can make your compensation claim even more complex. However, keep in mind that in Florida, the minimum insurance coverage required for all drivers includes coverage for underinsured or uninsured drivers as part of every vehicle policy. If this turns out to be the case, your insurance company will be the one compensating you for the damages. But it is important to remember that the extent of damage after truck accidents can be quite great. Your insurance coverage may not be sufficient to compensate for all the damage that you may have incurred. It is thus recommended that you speak to a truck accident attorney to find out how you can get additional compensation.
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What are the Most Common Truck Accidents in Tampa?There are many causes of truck accidents, some of which include:
Driver FatigueEven though federal regulations restrict the time a commercial truck driver can log per week, some truckers and trucking companies do not obey the rule. Many truck drivers thus stay on the road even though they are extremely tired. Trucking is a difficult occupation and driving thousands of miles each week can be very exhausting even for the most experienced drivers. If you believe that you were hit by a truck and the cause of the accident was truck driver fatigue, call a truck accident attorney as soon as possible.
Poorly Maintained TrucksWhile trucking companies are supposed to ensure that the trucks are well-maintained and serviced regularly, sometimes this doesn’t happen. There are many trucks out there that are not roadworthy. It is these very trucks that often cause accidents and result in significant injury and damage to other people. Talk to an attorney if you were in a truck accident and need support to deal with the financial challenges of your injuries and damage.
Equipment MalfunctionEquipment malfunction can also be a common cause of truck accidents. This can occur when the brakes fail or the tires burst. In some cases, equipment malfunction may be related to poor maintenance. Again, both trucking companies and truck drivers are responsible for ensuring that the vehicle is in good running condition. Otherwise, they put themselves and other people at risk. If you were hit by a truck, you should call a truck accident attorney to find out how you can get compensation for the damage that you may have incurred.
Poor Road ConditionsRoad conditions are also a common cause of trucking accidents. Since truckers drive all year round, they often face adverse road conditions like ice, snow, oil spills or poorly maintained roads. All of these factors increase the risk of trucking accidents. Sometimes, these accidents occur due to no fault of anyone but sometimes, truck drivers can drive recklessly in poor road conditions. This can result in the truck driving losing control and hitting another vehicle or vehicles. Such a collision can result in significant injuries and damage. Talk to a truck accident lawyer if you have been hit and injured by a truck.
Distracted DrivingDistracted driving is becoming a problem for everyone these days. With so many people constantly occupied with their digital devices, focus on the actual road seems to be dwindling. With truck drivers, the problem becomes much worse. Since truckers spend long hours on the highways, they often get bored. This often leads to multitasking such as speaking on the phone, texting, eating, or even entering data into their GPS system. All these distractions can create danger for others on the road. Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of truck accidents in the US, and it keeps getting worse each year. Talk to an aggressive lawyer if you believe that a distracted driver caused the accident which caused you damage.
Driving on Unfamiliar RoadsOften truckers drive through places where they are not familiar with the roads or the traffic. This could result in frequent stops or erratic driving which could lead to more frustration and fatigue. Trucking companies tend to put too much pressure on their drivers and many times, truck drivers who would prefer not to do a certain route stay silent because they don’t want to risk losing their job. Accidents on unfamiliar routes can thus happen. If you have been hit by a truck and have sustained serious damage, call a personal injury attorney to find out your legal options.
SpeedingTruck drivers are notorious for speeding. Speeding drivers are a complete menace on the road, but when they are driving a truck, the risk of accidents increases, and the potential for damage is much higher. Trucks are huge, and this makes them even more dangerous for other drivers who usually stand no chance of escaping injury if they collide with a truck.
Related: Myths of Low-Speed AccidentsTruckers speed because they usually have to get to their destination on time. They also speed because they take on more than they can handle and then increase their speed when they know they cannot complete their deliveries on time. By doing so, they put many people at risk. Talk to a truck accident attorney if you were hit by a speeding truck driver.
Reckless DrivingMany truck accidents are the result of reckless and dangerous driving. The truck drivers who do so should not even be allowed on the roads, but instead, you can see those drivers on the road, driving at all odd hours. Often the long hours and monotony of driving cause drivers to become reckless and this often results in accidents. You should contact a truck accident attorney if you want to ensure a reckless truck driver who caused you harm is brought to justice. In addition to the above causes, other driving habits that lead to accidents include the following:
- Following too closely
- Failing to check blind spots
- Failing to use the turn signals
- Changing lanes without signals
- Road rage
- Not paying attention to traffic laws
- Road construction
- Bad weather