Large trucks are a common sight to see on the roads, highways, and expressways of Florida. Semi-trucks can weigh on average between 10,000 and 80,000 pounds, so a truck accident has the potential to be very dangerous. Unfortunately, in Florida, 1,345 people have died in truck accidents across a five-year period, according to data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Trucks, as well as any type of vehicle, can become even more life-threatening if improper passing occurs. If a truck driver does not follow the correct protocol for passing a vehicle, they can be charged for this offense.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a Bradenton truck accident resulting from a semi-truck changing lanes unsafely, then you may be entitled to compensation. Here at The Law Place, our accident attorneys boast over 75 years of combined legal experience in dealing with cases such as your own, so you can be confident your case is being well handled. The Florida legal system can seem very complicated, but a truck accident attorney at our law firm will be able to talk this through with you and take on this unnecessary stress so that you can focus solely on your own recovery.
Call our law firm in Bradenton, FL., today to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer on our team using the toll-free number (941) 444-4444. Phone lines are open 24 hours, 7 days a week!
What Is Improper Passing?
It is almost an unavoidable occurrence that you will, at some point, pass another driver on the roads of Florida. Because of the duty of care that all drivers owe to each other, it means that all passing maneuvers must be performed safely and so that they do not cause an auto accident. In order for a truck to safely pass another vehicle on the road, then legally, they must use their blinkers to make a signal, check all of their blind spots, check all of their mirrors, and make sure the lane they will be moving into is clear and there is enough space/time to safely pass. If a commercial truck driver fails to do a single one of these actions, then they could run the risk of causing a truck accident and could then be held at fault in a negligence case.
The most commonly noted types of unsafe passing that run the risk of causing truck accidents are as follows:
- A pass endangering others – Most drivers will know what it is like to be ‘cut off’ whilst they are driving. If truck drivers were to do this, then it could be deemed as an unsafe maneuver, of which they could be cited if they are caught by a police officer. Any pass that has the potential to put themself or/and other drivers at risk is illegal.
- Passing on the right – In pretty much all situations making a pass on a vehicle to the right of you is classed as an illegal pass. The exception to this is in the case that the motor vehicle the driver wishes to pass is turning left onto a road with two or more lanes with enough space to make the pass safely.
- A blind pass – It is both illegal and dangerous to pass a vehicle if this pass would require the driver to go into an oncoming traffic lane and when there is a blind spot whereby the driver is not able to see the possible oncoming traffic approaching them in that lane. For example, if a truck driver attempts to make a pass on a hill or bendy road, whereby they cannot see oncoming traffic, this would be classified as a blind pass.
No matter what specific type of improper pass has caused your trucking accident, if you have been injured or negatively affected by it, then it is important you get the compensation you rightfully deserve. If you want to know more about what The Law Place can do for you, call our office today to organize a free consultation with a lawyer at our law firm.
What Injuries Can Occur in a Truck Accident?
Semi-truck accidents are, on average, some of the most dangerous types of auto accidents to occur on the roads of Florida, purely because of their sheer size and weight. A commercial truck can weigh around 80,000 pounds, whereas the average car only weighs around 4,000 pounds. Because of this size difference, if a truck is to crash into a vehicle such as a car or a motorcycle, the consequential damage can be life-altering. Some examples of commonly reported injuries sustained in a truck accident include:
- Cuts, scrapes, and bruising on the skin.
- Burns to the skin.
- Head or brain injuries.
- Spinal cord injuries.
- Loss of limbs.
- Organ damage.
- Internal bleeding.
- Broken, crushed, or/and fractured bones.
These serious injuries can also cause the accident victim(s) to be left with psychological damage or life-long trauma. Examples of psychological distress include anxiety, depression, isolation, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Such mental distress can be classed as an injury and will be considered when deciding on a settlement amount.
If you have sustained serious injuries in a truck accident, contact The Law Place today to speak to one of our dedicated personal injury lawyers. We can offer a no-strings-attached free consultation so you can freely receive any information you may require without worrying about any hidden costs.
What Type of Compensation Could I Be Owed After a Truck Accident?
If you have been injured in a Bradenton truck accident due to improper passing, then you could be entitled to a good amount of compensation. Depending on what you have experienced and how severe it is deemed will affect the amount. Examples of damages commonly rewarded in truck accident cases include:
- Lost wages – If your truck accident meant that you had to have time off from work and thus lost out on wages, then you could be owed back this loss of income. Similarly, if you are unable to return to work or have to change your profession (e.g., to a less physically demanding role) because of your crash, then you could also be owed for a loss of earning potential.
- Medical bills – It is common that after a truck accident, you will spend some time in a hospital for professional treatment. For any bills that you have to pay because of injuries you sustained in your truck accident, you should be able to claim these back. But remember to keep evidence of all of these costs. Additionally, you could also claim for projected ongoing costs if your injuries are long-lasting. This includes if you have to hire a carer or amend your home to make it wheelchair friendly, for example.
- Property damage – If your motor vehicle was damaged in your Bradenton truck accident and you now face repair or replacement bills, then these expenses can also be factored into your final settlement. But, as with any expenses you wish to claim for, you must keep evidence such as the receipts.
- Pain and suffering – Pain and suffering include any physical or mental distress occurring because of your truck accident, as well as any loss of enjoyment in life. An example of loss of enjoyment would be unable to play in a sports team you once did because of your injuries. These damages are, however, hard to prove and translate into a settlement, so it is best to have a personal injury attorney on your side to ensure you get what you’re owed.
- Wrongful death – Florida Statute 768.21 means that if you have sadly lost a loved one because of a truck accident that was not their fault, you can file a wrongful death action. The settlement from this lawsuit should cover all funeral expenses as well as loss of consortium.
If you believe you could be owed any of these damages following a Bradenton truck accident that was not your fault, contact our law firm in Bradenton, Florida, today to see what our accident lawyers can do for you.
Comparative Negligence Laws in a Bradenton Truck Accident Case
Florida Statute 768.81 clearly outlines all of the necessary information relating to comparative negligence laws in Bradenton, Florida. These laws mean that the element of the fault will be a central point of any tractor-trailer accident case. Courts will assign liability to whoever is proven to be at fault, and then a suitable settlement will be presented based on the rules of comparative negligence. In relation to your truck accident, this means that the Judge will reduce your settlement by whatever percentage of fault was proven to be your own, if any.
For example, in an improper passing case, it is likely that the truck accident was mostly caused by a truck driver performing an improper pass. However, if you were also proven to be on your phone at the time so did not react appropriately, then the Judge on your case could reduce your settlement by up to 10%. This reduction reflects your own liability and is reduced based on the fact that the improper pass was the more serious driving offense in this case.
An accident lawyer from The Law Place will be able to carry out their own investigation to ensure there is enough evidence to prove that you receive a suitable settlement based on the rules of comparative negligence. Contact the Bradenton, FL., law firm to organize a free case evaluation with a truck accident attorney on our team.
There Is a Time Limit on Your Personal Injury Claim!
If you or somebody you know has recently been injured in a Bradenton truck accident because of improper passing, it is vital you act quickly and hire an accident lawyer as soon as possible. In Bradenton, Florida, Florida Statute 95.11 means that there is a very strict time limit on how long any personal injury case can be presented in court or/and to the appropriate insurance companies. The statute of limitations means that after truck accidents, those involved will have four years from the date of the crash to ask for a settlement. If this time period elapses, then the case will be permanently barred, and you will be unable to receive any compensation. If you have unfortunately lost a loved one and wish to file a wrongful death lawsuit, then the statute of limitations on this is two years.
Furthermore, Florida Statute 627.736 means that you are legally required to seek medical treatment within two weeks of a Bradenton truck accident. Truck accidents can be very dangerous, so even if you are visibly healthy, there could be an injury only a medical professional could detect, such as internal bleeding. As well as this statute being for your own health benefits, it is also for insurance purposes. If two weeks pass and you have not sought medical attention, insurance companies can use this against you to devalue or completely disregard your claim.
What Will a Bradenton Truck Accident Lawyer Do for Me?
It is advisable that after a Bradenton truck accident, you should consider seeking legal representation. A truck accident lawyer will be able to explain the legal system Bradenton, FL., operates on and will take on all of the legal stress so that you can focus your energy on your recovery.
The accident attorneys at The Law Place will dedicate their efforts to ensuring your truck accident case is airtight so that you can receive the best possible outcome. This will involve:
- Contacting any witnesses for statements.
- Accident attorneys will gather statements from yourself and those close to you so that there is enough evidence to highlight how severely the truck accident has affected you, both physically and mentally. This will help to prove pain and suffering.
- Gathering videos and photos of the accident scene, as well as the police reports made on the day.
- Approach the trucking company for any necessary records. This will include the driver’s logbook to investigate whether there were any violations of the law or possible driver fatigue that contributed to the improper pass being carried out.
- Accident attorneys will try to retrieve the black box from the tractor-trailer involved for potential evidence.
Call The Law Place Today!
If you have been involved in a Bradenton truck accident caused by improper passing, then contact The Law Place today! Our accident attorneys possess 75 years of combined experience in fighting for truck accident cases such as your own, and many of our accident lawyers are also AVVO 10.0 rated. Truck accidents can potentially completely alter your life, so it is best you focus your energy on recovering and instead leave the difficult legal battle to us. Our team realizes no matter of money can turn back time and fix what has been done, but it is a step forwards in recovery and can help you start to move on.
Contact The Law Place today to organize a free case evaluation with a Bradenton truck attorney at our law firm. We will be happy to talk you through any queries you may have and explain what we can do for you. Call our toll-free number today, (941) 444-4444. Phone lines are open 24 hours, 7 days a week, for your convenience.