Driving any motor vehicle will always, unfortunately, carry some element of risk that an accident may happen. Clearwater FL sees multiple truck accidents occur each year; according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there were around 24,622 vehicle accidents in Pinellas County in 2013, 80 of these caused fatalities. In 2015 this rose dramatically to 4,337 people dying in commercial truck accidents. The Clearwater roads can be dangerous, specifically in regards to moving van accidents due to the added danger of sheer size.
If you or a loved one have been affected by a moving truck accident in Clearwater that was not your fault, then you could be owed compensation. Because it can be difficult to determine fault and prove specific damages, it is important to consider hiring a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer. Our team has a combined 75 years of experience, so you know your case will be in the best hands. We have offices in Clearwater, FL, Tampa, FL, Orlando, FL, and Sarasota, FL. Contact The Law Place, on (941) 444-4444, today to organize a free consultation.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Clearwater, FL
There are multiple possible causes behind a truck accident. Listed below are some examples of the most noted causes in a Clearwater moving truck accident, where a moving vehicle is involved:
- Maintenance of the vehicle or cargo onboard – Failure to properly maintain the safety systems of the truck is a commonly found cause of truck accidents; this includes the tires, brakes, axles, and/or lights on the truck. Such instances of poor maintenance can lead to a bad accident. Additionally, in terms of cargo onboard, a truck driver may fail to properly secure the cargo or overload the vehicle. This can lead to the truck driver losing control of the truck because of the unbalanced weight of the cargo.
- Distracted driving – This includes using a smartphone whilst driving or having distracting passengers in the truck.
- Poor performance – This includes driving under the influence, aggressive driving, fatigued driving, operating a truck with a serious health problem which affects your ability to drive or react to hazards, failure to perform the required pre-trip inspections of the truck, and more.
- Poor weather conditions – Florida is prone to periodic and often heavy downpours across the state. These conditions can often be a factor in causing collisions because the driver struggles to keep control of their truck.
- The fault of the trucking company – It has been found that in lots of truck accident cases that the fault rested with the trucking company. Negligent hiring is often the cause of the employment of unqualified drivers or drivers with a poor track record. This increases the risk of trucking accidents. Additionally, the pressure placed upon drivers by the trucking company to deliver quickly can then lead to speeding and/or the long hours with little breaks can cause fatigue, which therefore limits their driving ability. Trucking companies should always ensure their trucks and drivers adhere to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations.
If you have been involved in a truck accident in the Clearwater or New Port Richey, FL area, then do not hesitate to contact our Clearwater office to organize a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.
Types of Truck Accidents in Florida
There are four different kinds of truck accidents common in Clearwater, Fl. The severity of the accident often depends on which type of accident occurs, as does any injuries acquired from the crash. The most common types of truck accidents are:
- Override – When a truck rear-ends a smaller vehicle.
- Under-ride – Opposite of an override crash; when the smaller vehicle rear-ends a larger one, i.e. the truck in this case.
- Cargo spill – When cargo falls from the truck. This can cause widespread damage, either through falling directly onto vehicles or indirectly into the road where cars will then crash into the fallen cargo.
- Rollover – Trucks can tip over if the driver travels too fast around a corner due to their height. This can then cause damage if they land directly onto any vehicles or in nearby lanes or cause blockages, which can then lead to a chain-reaction crash.
All types of accidents are just as important when seeking justice, so you must seek legal aid in all cases. Our firm operates across Florida, including Clearwater FL, Tampa, FL (New Port Richey FL), Sarasota FL, and Orlando, FL, so contact your local office today! If we are unable to answer your call immediately, leave your name email and phone number and we will return your call as soon as possible.
Common Injuries That Follow a Moving Truck Accident
A truck accident can cause multiple extremely severe, potentially long-lasting or even permanent injuries, and in some cases can be fatal. Typical injuries that can occur from a truck accident include:
- Brain injuries.
- Spinal cord injuries.
- Internal bleeding.
- Whiplash and other neck injuries.
- Cuts, bruises, and soreness.
- Crushed, fractured, or broken bones.
- Skin burns.
As well as physical injuries, a truck accident can also lead to psychological distress. This includes isolation, depression, PTSD, and loss of enjoyment in life.
If you or a loved one have sustained any injuries, listed or unlisted, following a moving truck accident, then you must consider seeking legal help through hiring a reputable truck accident lawyer. The severity of your injuries will aid in determining your settlement. Contact The Law Place in Clearwater, Florida, today to organize a free consultation. An experienced personal injury lawyer from our law firm will ask you a few simple questions and analyze your case so that we can determine whether your case is strong enough to go forward with.
Damages Available After a Truck Accident
Following a Clearwater truck accident, you may be able to claim for damages to compensate for your suffering. Our accident lawyers realize money will not make up completely for your pain and suffering, but seeking justice is beneficial in the road to recovery. Here are just some of the damages you can claim for:
- Medical costs – It is highly likely that following a truck accident, you will have sustained some injuries and probably had to receive medical care. Because of this, you should be able to claim compensation, which will cover any medical bills you had to pay. Similarly, if your injuries are permanent, you may be able to claim for any future medical costs too.
- Lost earnings – If the injuries you sustain mean you have to have time off work, you will be able to claim for any lost wages. Additionally, if you’re unable to return to work, then you may be able to make a case for claiming loss of projected earnings.
- Pain and suffering – This covers any emotional and/or mental suffering and also includes a loss of enjoyment. This form of damages is, however, difficult to both prove and then to quantify into monetary compensation due to it being quite subjective. For this reason, it is advisable to have an accident lawyer on your side to calculate this and find evidence.
- Property damage – It is practically unavoidable that a truck accident would’ve caused damage to your vehicle, and therefore you may be able to claim for any repair/replacement costs.
- Wrongful death – In the very unfortunate scenario that you have lost a loved one in a truck accident that was not their fault, then you will be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit under Florida Statute 768.21. This will cover any funeral expenses and loss of consortium.
How to Cooperate With Your Clearwater Accident Lawyer
Health is always the top priority, but if you are stable enough following your truck accident, there are a number of things that can be done to aid in the success of your case. Examples of ways you can help with your case include:
- Call 911 – The first step, if you’re well enough, is always to contact 911 and alert the emergency services. This is likely to have already been done by witnesses, but if not, do so yourself if possible. Do not let a truck driver dissuade you from doing so.
- Be careful with what you say – After some truck collisions, the driver may try to blame you instead. It is thus important that you do not say anything that could be construed as admitting you were at fault for the accident. Even when talking to emergency services, be careful with what you do say as it can all be used against you in your case. You do have to tell the truth at all times, but you don’t have to volunteer all information.
- Gather any witness information – Unfortunately, officers can often fail to get all important details, such as the full names and/or contact information of vital witnesses to the truck accident. It is thus important to write down any names, addresses, phone numbers of any witnesses if it is possible given your state following the crash.
- Take photos – Memories can be unreliable, so it is advisable to take as many photos of the scene as you can, even if you think it might be unnecessary.
- Ensure you receive any medical care you may require – Not seeking medical attention may, unfortunately, devalue your claim.
- Hire an experienced accident lawyer – It is likely that the trucking company that employs the driver involved will try to prevent liability from resting with them. The company will act as soon as possible and maybe offer a low-ball settlement. It is important you act quickly, so you are not exploited in this way.
Your Case Is Time Sensitive!
In Florida, there is a statute of limitations for personal injury claims per Florida Statute 95.11. This expresses that from the date of your truck accident, you will only have four years to make a claim after this your case will be permanently barred, and you will not be able to receive any compensation you would otherwise be owed. In the case of a wrongful death lawsuit, this is further reduced to two years before a claim will not be allowed.
You should also get medical attention as soon as possible if necessary. If two weeks pass after the truck accident, then the insurance company representing the other driver or your own insurance company may argue your injuries are not serious enough to be owed a payout.
Speak to The Law Place today to start your legal battle and fight for the compensation you may be owed following your truck accident.
Contact The Law Place Today
If you or a loved one have been involved in a moving truck accident that was not your fault, get in contact with The Law Place today. Many of our lawyers are AVVO 10.0 rated so you can feel comfortable that your case is being dealt with professionally by professional lawyers with years of experience dealing with similar cases. The Law Place operates across Florida, so do not hesitate to call your closest office to organize a free case evaluation. Call us on (941) 444-4444; this line is open 24/7 for your convenience.