A tractor-trailer is a large truck in two parts; the front is where the truck driver sits, and behind is where goods are held, which is the element that connects the two can bend to help the truck turn corners. Also known as an 18-wheeler, these trucks are designed in a way that can make it susceptible to several types of accidents, especially if poorly maintained and operated. Tractor-trailers are much heavier than most vehicles and can even contain hazardous cargo.
A truck accident attorney at The Law Place will be able to help you if you have been involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer. Here at The Law Place, we understand how traumatic an accident like this can be, and our team has a combined 75 years of experience to aid in getting you the justice you deserve after your accident. Contact us on (941) 444-4444, to organize a free consultation with one of our accident attorneys where we can discuss your case and the legal journey ahead. Phone lines are open 24/7.
Tractor Truck Accidents in Clearwater, FL
It makes sense that the most affected individuals following 18-wheeler accidents are the passenger vehicle occupants due to the sheer size difference. Trucks are 20-30 times bigger and also have undercarriage clearance meaning cars can get trapped underneath.
Additionally, because of their size, trucks take on average 20-40% longer to stop than cars, making them even more dangerous on the roads. The third factor which can heighten the potential for accidents is that drivers can become fatigued as federal regulations allow drivers to work for 11 hours at a time and up to 77 hours a week.
Due to the contributions of these factors on accidents in 2015, 3,852 people died in large truck accidents across the United States, according to data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 16% of these deaths were the truck occupant, 69% were occupants of a car, and 15% were pedestrians, cyclists, or motorists.
Common Causes Behind Truck Accidents
There are multiple potential causes behind a Clearwater truck accident, here are some of the most common examples:
- Distracted driving.
- Poor weather conditions.
- Negligent hiring.
- Dangerous or aggressive driving.
- Malfunctioning truck/parts.
- Poor road conditions.
Most of these causes of truck collisions will involve negligence claims against the truck drivers, the trucking company, or a truck parts manufacturer. If any negligent acts caused injuries or property damage, then you may be able to claim for compensation and should employ an experienced truck accident lawyer.
What to Do at the Scene of a Clearwater Truck Accident
Following a trucking accident, you may be confused as to what you are supposed to do. Here are some quick tips which can help aid your case and ensure you’re abiding with Florida laws surrounding traffic collisions:
- Call 911 – If you are stable enough after your accident, then you must alert the emergency services of your collision if nobody else has already done so. Calling the police to the scene of the accident is paramount per Florida Statute 316.062.
- Be careful with what you say – Whatever you say to the police could be used against you in your case against the trucking company or truck driver in question. You have a duty to be honest, but you do not have to divulge any information before speaking to a lawyer who can advise you on what to say/not say.
- Gather witness information – Get the name, phone number, and vehicle information of the truck driver or any other parties involved in the collision. Also, gather witness information if you’re stable as the police do not always gather every single important detail.
- Take photos – If you can take photos of the scene. Even if you don’t believe it to be relevant, a lawyer could think differently, so make sure you get everything, e.g. the vehicles, marks on the road, parked cars, etc.
- Don’t leave the scene – If you leave the scene, this could trigger a hit and run claim, which is a felony. Even if you believe you are at fault, you must stay at the scene to talk to emergency services if you are stable.
Common Damages After a Clearwater Truck Accident
If you have been involved in a truck accident that was not your fault, then you could be able to claim for compensation to cover any damages you sustained. Below are some examples of what can be claimed for following a trucking accident:
- Medical expenses – You likely received injuries following a trucking accident. If you had to receive medical attention, then you will be able to claim back for any medical costs you encountered. If your injuries are long-lasting, i.e. need ongoing care, you will be able to claim for any projected bills too.
- Loss of earnings – If your injuries meant you were unable to go to work, you will be able to claim for any wages you would’ve lost from this time. Similarly, if your injuries mean you are unable to ever return to the workplace, you may be able to claim loss of earning capability.
- Property damage – It is practically unavoidable that, following a truck accident, your vehicle will have sustained damage, so, therefore, you may be able to claim for any repair or replacement costs you encounter after the accident.
- Pain and suffering – This includes any physical or mental suffering following your truck accident, as well as any loss of enjoyment. This type of damage is, however, hard to prove and to then translate into suitable compensation due to its subjectivity so, therefore, it is best to have a personal injury lawyer from The Law Place do this on your behalf.
- Wrongful death – If you have sadly lost a loved one to a truck accident, then you will be able to claim for any funeral expenses and loss of consortium. A wrongful death lawsuit can be put forward; this is made clear per Florida Statute 768.21.
Contact a Clearwater truck accident lawyer from The Law Place to discuss your case so we can help you understand what compensation you may be owed following your trucking collision.
The Clock Is Ticking on Your Case!
If you have been involved in a trucking collision in Florida, you must act quickly and hire a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. In the state of Florida, there is a statute of limitations regarding how long a civil case can be presented per Florida Statute 95.11. This statute explains that, following your accident, you will only have four years from the date of your trucking collision to make a claim. Otherwise, the case will be forever barred, and you will be unable to access any compensation you may otherwise be entitled to. If you have lost a loved one, then the time limit for a wrongful death lawsuit is even shorter at two years.
As well as this, as per Florida Statute 627.736, you must seek medical care within two weeks from the collision. If these two weeks elapse, then the trucking company, truck drivers, or the insurance company you’re up against can use this to devalue your case and claim that you left it too late, and thus your injuries must not be severe enough.
If you have been involved in a truck collision that was not your fault and has consequently sustained injuries or damage to your property, contact The Law Place today to organize a free consultation with one of our dedicated attorneys.
What Can a Clearwater Truck Accident Lawyer Do for Me?
It is best to have an experienced lawyer on your side after a collision due to the knowledge and experience they bring with them. Evidence has found that, on average, more than 90% of people who have representation receive a payout, whereas roughly only 50% of cases that did not have representation received compensation.
If it is financial concerns that are holding you back from enlisting representation, then you don’t have to worry. Here at The Law Place, our lawyers operate on a contingency basis, meaning that for all successful cases, fees will be deducted from your settlement – there is no upfront cost. In the unlikely scenario, your case is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay anything at all.
Following a collision, it is vital you focus your energy on recovering from your injuries and any emotional distress. Our lawyers will take any unnecessary legal stress from you, so you and your family do not have to worry and so that you have the best possible chance of receiving all the compensation you deserve.
Contact The Law Place Today
Here at The Law Place, we are committed to helping you in your fight for justice. Truck accidents of any description can be extremely traumatic for those involved, so it is important you focus on your recovery instead of worrying about legal battles. Our lawyers have a combined 75 years of experience, and many are AVVO 10.0 rated so you can be confident that your case is in the best possible hands, and we will fight your legal battle for you.
If you are looking for an accident lawyer in Clearwater, FL, then contact us today to organize a free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers to discuss your case and what we can do for you. Call us today on (941) 444-4444. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for your convenience.