clearwater truck driver dui crashes lawyer
Truck crashes are already one of the scariest things to happen on the road, but when a driver is intoxicated, the results can be even more catastrophic. Clearwater and New Port Richey are some of the more dangerous car and truck accident areas in Florida. Knowing your rights and what to do in the event of a truck accident is extremely important if you decide to move forward with a lawsuit.
If you have suffered a personal injury due to a DUI truck crash, you may be entitled to compensation.
Contact a qualified truck accident attorney at The Law Place today. Our team has over 75 years of combined experience and can guarantee a thorough investigation on your behalf and an excellent attorney-client relationship. We offer a free consultation with a partner of our law group, where we will go over your options and our fee structure.
Our lines are open 24/7, and our law firm representatives are waiting for your call.
Call The Law Place at (727) 217-9795.
What Is a Clearwater, FL, Truck Driver DUI?
Truck drivers and other commercial drivers are regulated by strict alcohol intake laws relative to your average motorist. Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles regulations state truck drivers are considered to be drunk driving at half of the state’s allowed BAC. Under Florida law, this means having a BAC of .04 instead of .08. Due to the truck’s size and heavy load, a driver with any alcohol or drugs in their system poses a much bigger threat to other drivers than a smaller vehicle would.
A truck accident can be devastating for all parties involved, and the laws regulating large trucks are equally severe.
Police can determine alcohol consumption by using field sobriety tests and a breathalyzer, which measures BAL (Breath Alcohol Level). Prescription or illicit drug use is harder to detect without a blood or urine test. However, police are trained to spot the signs of intoxication and are within their rights to detain an individual for suspected consumption and impound the vehicle. If the truck driver is found to be driving under the influence, their commercial driver’s license (CDL) will be revoked, and they may have criminal charges pressed against them.
It is important to note that a DUI case and any potential civil lawsuit are two separate processes. Even if a truck driver is not convicted of DUI, they may be held liable for damages in a pain and suffering case.
Can I Sue a Trucking Company?
In the course of an investigation into your trucking accident case, liability will be determined to fall on the truck driver, trucking company, independent contractor, or other involved parties. If trucking companies are held responsible for the crash, even if the truck driver was at fault for being over the legal BAC limit, you have legal rights to sue them for damages.
If you choose to sue the trucking company, you will need a qualified personal injury and Clearwater truck accident lawyer on your side to help fight your case. A large truck company will have a team of lawyers and a big insurance company to help defend them and devalue your case.
If your accident resulted in serious injury, you have legal rights to pursue a lawsuit against negligent and responsible parties. However, if you only sustained minor injuries or property damage, Florida No-
Fault law rules that personal insurance companies will have to cover damages related to the incident, regardless of responsibility.
How Is Responsibility Determined in a Clearwater Truck Accident?
Liability is a key factor in any motor vehicle accident claim. Accidents occurring in the trucking industry are unique in that multiple parties may be liable to any potential claim. A catastrophic injury can, unfortunately, happen in the case of a trucking accident. Who is held liable is determined through investigations performed by insurance representatives, police, and lawyers hired by various parties involved in the crash.
Commercial truck drivers are often not the only party considered liable in an accident claim. Depending on the cause of the incident, different entities may be liable for your compensation claim. Although the truck driver may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol, culpability does not end with them. Liability can be determined to fall on the shoulders of the following parties:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The motor carrier
- The truck manufacturer
- The truck parts manufacturer
- Third-party companies
- Other drivers
Determining which party is liable can be complex and confusing. Hiring a qualified truck accident lawyer from a reputable law group will help to start the investigative process as soon as possible. Finding out whether it should be the truck drivers or trucking companies who should be held responsible is an integral part of this process and will dictate which parties can be sued by victims of the crash.
Do Clearwater DUI Truck Accidents Go to Trial?
These types of cases can definitely go to trial. However, it is usually in the best interest of a trucking company and insurance company to settle with the victim if they have a strong case in their favor. If, for some reason, the companies choose to fight the case, your lawyer will take your pain and suffering claim to trial where a judge or possibly a jury will issue a verdict.
Truck drivers charged with a DUI will face criminal prosecution as well. This will be a separate matter from any lawsuit you may bring against the driver or company found responsible for the crash. Lawsuits are settled in civil court, while a DUI is tried in criminal court.
What Does No-Fault Law in Florida Mean?
Florida is one of around twelve states that abide by the No-Fault law in relation to car and truck accidents. According to Florida Statute 627.7407, this means that car accident claims cannot be brought to civil court and that insurance companies must cover the accident, no matter whose fault it is. How much is covered depends on the individual policy of the insured. Only when a serious injury occurs can additional damages be claimed and sued for in court.
Florida Statute 627.7407(4) states all operators of a motor vehicle must be covered by auto insurance. Without insurance, involved parties must pay the determined damages out of pocket and may be subject to fines for being uninsured. Truck drivers are usually covered by their employer’s commercial insurance. If they freelance and own their vehicle, they must carry commercial insurance themselves.
What Is the Serious Injury Threshold in Florida?
Victims of truck accidents can only pursue damages for pain and suffering if their crash resulted in:
- Permanent or significant injury
- Loss of mobility or function
- Significant disfigurement or permanent scarring
Unless your injuries meet these criteria, you will not be able to claim general damages for serious injury and will be directed to your insurance coverage under Florida No-Fault law. A personal injury lawyer can help you determine whether your injuries qualify for additional damages.
What Is the Average Settlement for Clearwater, FL, DUI Truck Accidents?
You may be getting frustrated by the lack of information online about the average settlement amount for Clearwater drunk driving truck accidents. This is due to the simple fact that there is no average. Each case is unique, and calculations for economic and non-economic damages are equally unique to the individuals involved. Personal income, injuries sustained, and the specific amount of trauma endured all factor into any settlement amount. One victim may receive $150,000 in a settlement, while the next may take their case to trial and be awarded $1 million.
The only caveat to this is that claims made against state or county bodies in Florida have a maximum pain and suffering claim of $200,000. Legally, you will not be able to get more than that. Any car accident involving government vehicles or employees may fall under this rule.
FAQ – Clearwater Truck DUI Crash Lawyer
Why is it essential to hire Clearwater truck accident attorneys if involved in a crash with a drunk driver?
Drunk driving accidents involving trucks can lead to severe consequences for the victims. Clearwater truck accident attorneys are dedicated to navigating the complexities of such cases, understanding the nuances of local laws, and ensuring the drunk driver is held accountable, thereby helping you secure the maximum compensation you deserve.
How are drunk driving accidents different from other types of truck and car accidents?
While all auto accidents can lead to significant damages, drunk driving accidents involve an added layer of negligence. When a truck driver is above the legal limit for alcohol, their judgment, reaction time, and overall driving ability are impaired, increasing the likelihood of severe injury accidents due to driver error.
What should a truck accident victim do immediately after a collision involving a drunk driver?
First, ensure your safety and that of any passengers. Call 911 to report the accident and request medical assistance. Even if you don’t feel hurt, always seek medical attention, as some above injuries might not be immediately apparent. Gather evidence, document the scene, take photographs, and get witness details. Finally, contact Clearwater truck accident lawyers for a free case evaluation to understand your legal options.
Can the trucking company also be held liable in drunk driving accidents?
Yes, in certain scenarios, the trucking company can be held liable. For instance, if the company failed to conduct proper background checks or knowingly allowed a driver with a history of alcohol abuse to operate their vehicle, they might be considered negligent.
What is the legal limit for alcohol for truck drivers, and how does it compare to regular drivers? The legal limit for commercial truck drivers is typically lower than that for regular drivers. While the legal limit for most drivers is 0.08% BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration), for commercial truck drivers, it’s often 0.04%. If a truck driver is found operating above this limit, they can be held liable for any accidents caused due to their impaired state.
How can a qualified truck accident lawyer assist victims of drunk drivers in Clearwater?
A qualified truck accident lawyer can help in various ways. They can guide you through the legal process, represent your interests against insurance companies, conduct thorough investigations to establish the at-fault party, and ensure you receive the maximum compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related damages.
Are settlements higher in truck accident cases involving drunk drivers compared to other causes?
Often, settlements can be higher in cases involving drunk drivers because the act of driving under the influence is considered gross negligence. This can lead to punitive damages in addition to regular compensatory damages. Clearwater truck accident lawyers can provide insights specific to your case during a free case evaluation.
How long do I have to file a truck accident case if I’m a victim of a drunk driver in Clearwater?
Generally, there’s a statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including truck accident cases. It’s crucial to consult with Clearwater truck accident attorneys as soon as possible after your accident to ensure all legal deadlines are met.
Can I still pursue compensation if I was partially at fault in the accident with a drunk truck driver?
Florida follows a comparative negligence rule. Even if you were partially at fault, you could still seek compensation. However, the amount might be reduced based on your percentage of fault. Legal services from experienced attorneys can help you navigate these complexities.
Are there any additional charges or penalties for truck drivers convicted of DUI in Clearwater?
Yes, truck drivers convicted of DUI can face severe penalties, including license suspension, fines, and even jail time. These penalties are in addition to any civil liabilities they might face from the accident victims.
What kind of legal services does The Law Place provide for Clearwater truck accident cases?
The Law Place works hard to offer comprehensive legal services for victims of truck accidents. This includes gathering evidence, negotiating with insurance providers, representing clients in court, and ensuring that all legal procedures are correctly followed to maximize compensation.
How do Clearwater truck accident lawyers establish driver error or negligence in drunk driving truck accidents?
Clearwater truck accident lawyers use various methods to determine driver error. They gather evidence from the crash scene, interview witnesses, analyze police reports, and often collaborate with accident reconstruction experts. They also look into the truck driver’s blood alcohol level to check if it was above the legal limit at the time of the accident.
How do Clearwater truck accidents compare to regular car accidents when a drunk driver is involved?
Clearwater truck accidents involving drunk drivers can often be more devastating than regular car accidents. Given the size and weight of commercial trucks, the damage and injuries they can cause are generally more significant. The legal aspects can also be more complex, considering multiple parties might be involved, such as the trucking company, the truck driver, and other third-party entities.
How can victims of Clearwater truck accidents receive a free case evaluation?
Most reputable law firms, including The Law Place, offer a free case evaluation for victims of Clearwater truck accidents. During this consultation, lawyers assess the case details, provide sound legal advice, and guide victims on the best course of action.
Can injuries from Clearwater truck accidents due to drunk driving lead to a wrongful death lawsuit?
Absolutely. If the negligent actions of a drunk driver result in the death of a victim, the family or personal representative of the deceased can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Such a claim would seek compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost wages, loss of companionship, and more.
How can Clearwater truck accident attorneys help victims navigate interactions with insurance companies?
Insurance companies often attempt to minimize compensation or deny claims. A clearwater truck accident lawyer can shield victims from these tactics, handle all communication with insurance providers, and aggressively negotiate to ensure victims receive the full and fair compensation they deserve.
Are there certain steps truck accident victims should follow to strengthen their truck accident claim?
Yes, after ensuring safety and seeking medical attention, truck accident victims should document the accident scene, gather witness details, keep all medical records, and avoid making any statements to the insurance company without legal counsel. Collaborating with a Clearwater truck accident attorney can further strengthen the claim, ensuring all required evidence is in place and legal procedures are meticulously followed.
Consult The Law Place Clearwater, FL, Drunk Driving Truck Crash Attorneys Today
Have you been injured in a car accident involving a drunk driving truck driver in the Clearwater or New Port Richey area? Are you being intimidated by truck drivers, the trucking company, and insurance adjusters trying to devalue your claim?
Contact a Clearwater and New Port Richey truck accident attorney at The Law Place today. Our law group guarantees an excellent attorney-client relationship and a strong, aggressive lawsuit on your behalf. We have the combined experience of 75 years, so you know your case is in good hands. We offer a free consultation with a qualified Fort Myers truck accident attorney who will go over your options and our fee structure.
Our lines are open 24/7, and our law group representatives are always waiting for your call.
Call The Law Place now at (727) 217-9795.