Seeing large trucks on the roads, highways, and expressways in Fort Myers and the rest of Florida is not uncommon. Trucks are essential to transport goods to local shops and restaurants so that they can stay fully stocked. Truck drivers have a huge responsibility to get these goods delivered on time, but they are also responsible for ensuring they drive safely and cautiously whilst doing their job.
However, sometimes truck drivers neglect their duty of care, usually due to trying to meet a deadline or because they are fatigued, causing truck accidents. They might drive too fast for the road conditions or change lanes in an unsafe manner. Trucks are large and heavy vehicles, so it only takes one small error on the behalf of a truck driver for there to be a catastrophic accident that could take someone’s life or leave them with a long-term condition.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a car accident as the result of a truck changing lanes recklessly, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries. The Law Place law firm in Fort Myers, FL, has over 75 years of combined experience, and our accident lawyers have dealt with cases similar to yours before. We take the time to build a strong attorney-client relationship, so you feel comfortable and supported every step of the way. If you choose to seek representation from an attorney at our law firm, we can assure you that you will be in the most capable legal hands in Southwest Florida.
Contact us today on (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation and talk to one of our injury lawyers. We are available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call.
What Is Improper Passing?
In simple terms, improper passing is when a vehicle passes unlawfully or negligently in a way in which puts themselves and other drivers at risk. The correct way for a truck, or any vehicle, to safely pass another vehicle on the road, is to use their indicator to make a signal, check all of their blind spots, check their mirrors, and make sure that the lane is clear and that there is enough room and time to safely pass another vehicle before they move. If a truck driver fails to do any of these things, they risk causing an accident and can be held liable for their negligence.
The most common ways truck drivers can pass other vehicles unsafely are:
- Passing on the right – Drivers should not pass on a vehicle on the right; this is illegal. However, the one exception to the rule is when a driver trying to pass is turning left on the road with two lanes. They should only do this if there is enough room to make the pass safely.
- A blind pass – If a driver does not have a clear view of the oncoming traffic, they should not attempt to pass another vehicle as this can be extremely dangerous and is also illegal. For example, if a driver attempted to make a pass on a bendy road or approaching the top of a hill without a clear view of the oncoming traffic heading in the other direction, this would be a blind pass.
- A pass endangering others – Most road users will know what it is like to be ‘cut off’ whilst driving in Florida. If a truck driver does this, it is classed as an unsafe maneuver, and they can be cited by an officer if caught. Any driver who disrupts the safe passage of another vehicle on the road is illegal.
Whichever way a truck passed you improperly, if they caused an accident and left you with injuries and damage to your vehicle, you should seek advice regarding whether you can claim compensation. At The Law Place, our accident attorneys are here to help you gain the justice you deserve as a victim of the accident. Simply contact our law firm today for a free case evaluation and get advice from one of our personal injury lawyers.
What to Do After a Truck Accident in Fort Myers, FL
When a truck accident has occurred, if you were the victim, you could find yourself seriously injured and might be lucky to escape the accident with your life. There is a chance that the truck driver may panic and leave the scene of the accident. If this happens, your case could be classed as a hit-and-run, which is a major offense.
If your injuries aren’t severe, your first priority should be to move our of the way of any dangers, such as oncoming traffic. You should check on any passengers you may have had, and if anyone else was involved, check that they are safe too before calling for the emergency services. If someone is severely injured, it is advised that you do not try to move them as this can worsen their injuries. Instead, call for an ambulance straight away.
In Florida, in accordance with Florida Statute 316.062, you are required to call the police to the scene if there has been an injury or substantial property damage. If you are unable to call the police to the scene of the accident, Florida Statute 316.066 allows you up to ten days after the crash to report it.
If you are feeling able to do so, here is what you should do at the scene of the accident, once you’ve checked that everyone is safe:
- Start collecting evidence – It’s important to start collecting evidence at the accident site as you are able to because it is likely that if the truck driver works for a large company, they will be calling in a legal team to come and collect evidence shortly to start to build their defense. You should take photographs of the vehicles, any injuries you and your passengers have sustained, and anything else that could be relevant to your accident, such as road conditions or signs. However, you should never put yourself in the way of danger to gain this evidence; your safety is more important. You should also write down the name, phone number, truck model and make and insurance information of the truck driver, as well as contact details for any eye-witnesses. You should also take down the badge numbers and names of any police officers who attend the scene too.
- Draw a sketch – While everything is still fresh in your mind, draw a sketch of how the accident happened. Draw the road and label the vehicles’ A’ and ‘B,’ with arrows showing where each car was coming from. It may also be useful to draw the angle at which the vehicles collided as when this is matched up against the damage to each vehicle, it could aid your claim.
- Contact a reputable Fort Myers law firm – We highly recommend speaking to a Fort Myers, personal injury lawyer before you speak to your insurance company. Your insurance company will be looking for any slip-ups which may devalue your claim. Speaking to a lawyer first will keep you from saying anything which could negatively impact your defense. Your lawyer will also advise you on what your next steps should be in terms of making a claim.
After you have spoken to your Fort Myers, personal injury lawyer, your priority should be to recover physically and mentally from the aftermath of the accident. Do everything your doctor advises, and be sure to follow your treatment plan because if you don’t, it could affect the outcome of your truck accident claim.
Your attorney will ask you to document as much as possible about how the auto accident has affected your life. Write down all of your medical appointments, any missed work, and loss of earnings. You should also document your pain and any changes to your everyday life. Your car accident attorneys will be able to use this information to strengthen your case.
If you decide to proceed with representation, your truck accident attorney will take over the investigation for you, including dealing with your insurance company and contacting witnesses.
However, if you decide not to have a personal injury attorney working on your case, then you will need to do all of the leg work yourself. You should also contact your insurance company. Check your policy as you may have a limited amount of time to contact your insurance company in order to be covered.
If you decide to face this alone, one piece of advice we would give is to remember that it is in your insurance companies’ interests to pay out as little as possible. This means you should avoid saying anything that could devalue your claim. For example, you might say that your injuries are not that bad, but this could work against you.
The Law Place has a wealth of experience in dealing with insurance companies after a truck accident, and our truck accident attorneys will be able to advise you if you need help after a truck accident. Never hesitate to contact one of the personal injury lawyers at our law firm to get a free consultation following a truck accident.
Typical Injuries Caused in a Truck Accident in Fort Myers
A motor accident involving a truck often leaves victims with severe injuries due to the enormous size of the vehicle. A truck can weigh around 80,000 pounds compared to a car, which may only weigh 4,000 pounds. This is why when a truck passes a vehicle in an unsafe manner, the damage caused can be life-altering.
Some of the most common injuries after a truck accident include:
- Broken or fractured bones.
- Burns, lacerations, and bruises.
- Neck and back injuries.
- Internal bleeding and organ damage.
- Spinal cord damage.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
Unfortunately, it is possible that a victim of a truck accident may lose their life. If this is the case, you are entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit. You will also be able to claim compensation for any funeral costs and loss of consortium, under Florida Statute 768.21.
Truck accidents can have severe consequences, and it is not fair that a truck driver could have potentially taken the life of your loved one because of their recklessness. Regardless of the severity of your injuries, if you have been in an accident as a result of a truck passing a vehicle unsafely, you are entitled to compensation. You can contact one of The Law Place personal injury attorneys today to schedule a free case evaluation to start discussing your options.
What Damages Can I Claim for Truck Accidents in Fort Myers?
If you or someone you know has been the innocent victim of a truck accident as a result of a truck driver’s recklessness in trying to pass a vehicle on the road, you may have suffered serious injuries. Consequently, this could mean that you have been left to endure an immense amount of financial losses. The personal injury that you sustained could be debilitating and life-altering. Not only would you be left to face the initial hefty medical bills to treat your injuries, but you may also incur other financial losses.
For example, you may need to take time off work as a direct result of the truck accident or be unable to return to employment, leaving you without a financial income. Once one of the personal injury lawyers at The Law Place establishes who the negligent party is in your case, they will then work to investigate all of the financial losses you will have incurred as a consequence and ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible. Our attorneys frequently get compensation for our clients to cover the following:
If you have been involved in a tow truck accident in Fort Myers, then you may be able to claim for damages. At The Law Place, our truck accident lawyers will be able to seek compensation for the following:
- Medical bills – If you have had to seek medical help for injuries sustained in the accident, then you should receive damages to help to cover the cost of any medical expenses.
- Loss of wages – If you lost wages because you couldn’t go to work for a period of time because of the accident, then you deserve compensation.
- Pain and suffering – This covers emotional and mental suffering, as well as a loss of enjoyment in activities you may no longer be able to partake in because of the accident. As these are difficult to prove, so it’s important you have an experienced and local injury lawyer fighting for you.
- Damage to property – If your vehicle or any other property you may have was damaged in the accident, then you deserve compensation to pay for any repair bills.
- Wrongful death – If you have lost a loved one because of the accident, then you deserve compensation to cover funeral costs and loss of consortium.
- Loss of future employment – If the car accident has left you with a personal injury that is going to keep you out of work for some time while you recover, your accident attorney should be able to claim for this because it is not your fault that you cannot work.
- Disability or permanent damage – If the car accident has left you with a permanent, life-changing disability which you would not have sustained otherwise, then you are entitled to claim compensation through your accident attorney. This can be either a mental or physical disability.
- Future medical bills – Truck accidents can leave you with a condition that may require trips to the doctors or hospital for months or years to come. Your accident attorney can help you to calculate how much this is going to cost you and help you to seek compensation for the money you will be spending on medical bills as a result of the accident.
However big your settlement, we know it will never take away the trauma or pain suffered. It won’t be able to restore the quality of life you experienced before the truck accident or bring back someone who you have lost. However, your accident attorney at The Law Place, however, can ensure that you are properly compensated for the suffering the accident has caused you.
Our personal injury lawyers in Lee County and Fort Myers will work tirelessly to hold these truck drivers and trucking companies accountable for your car accident. Our car accident lawyers will help you get the justice that you deserve. Contact The Law Place today for a free consultation with an accident attorney for your next steps.
How Our Accident Lawyers Can Prove Your Case in Fort Myers
Our accident lawyers at The Law Place are experienced in dealing with truck accidents like yours before in Fort Meyers, Cape Coral, and the rest of Florida. It is crucial that you seek legal advice from an experienced law firm because any wrong move you make can be used against you by insurance companies in their attempts to devalue your case. Our accident lawyers will immediately begin to investigate your case as soon as you choose them for representation. Your accident attorney will be able to do the following:
- Gather any photographs or videos taken of the scene which can be used as evidence, as well as the police report.
- Contact as many eye-witnesses as possible and document their statements to strengthen your case. They will also look for any CCTV which may have caught the accident.
- They may enlist an accident reconstruction expert, who will be able to deduce how the truck accident happened from the evidence given.
- Gather statements from both you and your family to determine how the injuries you have sustained has affected your life. Your attorney will do all they can to ensure that you’re compensated for the pain and suffering caused.
- Approach the truck company to seek records such as the truck driver’s logbook to investigate whether violations of the law and driver fatigue contributed to the driver making an unsafe pass and causing your injury.
- Attempt to retrieve the black box from the truck involved, as it may include vital evidence showing how the truck was being driven. Your attorney will have to act quickly as sometimes trucking companies try to tamper with black boxes so that the data is irretrievable.
It is important that you seek legal advice quickly after your accident because as the longer it takes to claim compensation, the weaker your claim can be. This is because the evidence required to form your case eventually becomes less credible and harder to find. For example, witnesses’ memory becomes more unreliable with time, and cameras that may have caught the accident could have been wiped. Call The Law Place to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our accident lawyers as soon as possible to give yourself the best chance of retrieving the compensation you deserve.
Talk to a Fort Myers Personal Injury Lawyer
Truck accidents can have seriously devastating consequences that can completely alter your life or the life of someone you love. If you or someone you know has suffered as a result of the improper passing of a truck, then you should not have to deal with this alone.
Our experienced accident lawyers can help you to seek the compensation you deserve. An accident attorney can take care of all of the investigations on your behalf, and you can relax in the knowledge that you can focus upon your physical and mental recovery. With over 75 years of combined experience, our accident lawyers have the knowledge to build a strong case and help you gain the maximum compensation for your injuries. Our lawyers will establish a strong attorney-client relationship with you so that they can gain all of the evidence necessary to get you the compensation you deserve.
Our practice areas cover the whole of Florida including Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Lee County, and all of southwest Florida. Your case is important to us, so call us today on (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation.