All vehicles carry an element of risk on the road. But moving van accidents have been found to be responsible for more fatalities than they should be when considering the percentage of vans on the road and the accidents they are involved in. Fort Myers, FL, witnesses multiple accidents each year. According to Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were roughly 32,000 accidents involving a truck in 2017. Of these accidents, 27 people died, 57 were incapacitated, and a further 1,053 suffered undisclosed injuries. Truck accident statistics in Southwest Florida, such as these, are shocking. So, it is important to always be aware whilst driving and behave in a way that prevents such life-threatening truck accidents.
If you or a loved one have sadly been involved in a truck accident in Fort Myers, FL, that was not your fault, then you could be owed compensation and should contact The Law Place today. Truck accidents can often lead to complex legal battles, so it is important you have a personal injury lawyer on your side who you can trust and depend on. Our law firm is made up of accident lawyers possessing a combined 75 years of experience, most of which are also AVVO 10.0 rated. So, you can be confident that you and your case will be treated with the utmost professionalism and unwavering dedication. Our phone lines are open 24/7. So contact our Florida operating law firm today using our toll-free number (941) 444-4444, to organize a free consultation with one of our accident lawyers.
What Commonly Causes a Fort Myers Truck Accident?
Truck accidents in Fort Myers, FL, can have a number of causes. Listed below are some of the most common examples, it is important to remember that this list does not include all possible causes:
- Distracted driving – It is easy in this day and age to be distracted behind the wheel, but this can easily cause an accident. In 2016 over 50,000 accidents were caused by distracted driving, according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. This includes being on your phone, talking to passengers, and eating whilst driving.
- Maintenance of the truck or cargo being carried – This includes failing to properly maintain the safety systems of the truck. For example, the tires, brakes, axles, and/or headlights on the vehicle. Poor maintenance can easily lead to an accident. In relation to the cargo on board, truck drivers may overload the vehicle or incorrectly secure it. This could potentially lead the driver to lose control of the vehicle because of the poorly distributed weight of the cargo.
- Affected performance – Poor driving can be caused by fatigued driving, driving under the influence, and operating the truck with a serious health issue. All of these examples can affect the driver’s ability to drive or react to hazards, therefore leading to collisions.
- Adverse weather conditions – The state of Florida is prone to periodic and potentially heavy rainfall. Such weather conditions can often increase the likelihood of a collision as the driver struggles to maintain control of the vehicle.
- The trucking company – It is a common occurrence that in some truck accidents, the fault will rest with the trucking company. Often, companies demonstrating negligent hiring cause the employment of unqualified drivers or drivers with a poor track record, increasing the risk of truck accidents. Furthermore, the pressure put on drivers by their employers to deliver quickly can then lead to speeding. Long hours with improper break times can also cause driver fatigue that limits their attention to the road and the ability to drive safely.
- Poor road conditions – Anything on the road that can cause a collision. This includes potholes, a lack of stop signs, or debris in the road, etc.
No matter the exact cause, if you’ve been involved in a truck accident that was not your fault, then contact our law firm, The Law Place, to organize a free consultation and discuss your legal options regarding a potential personal injury claim.
Most Common Types of Truck Accidents in Florida
There are five common kinds of truck accidents that are seen in the Southwest Florida area. The type of accident can heavily influence the severity of any injuries or damage to the vehicles involved. The most common types are:
- Override – This is when a truck rear-ends a smaller vehicle.
- Under-ride – The opposite of an override collision; this is when a smaller vehicle rear-ends a larger one, in this case, the truck.
- Rollover – If truck drivers travel too fast around a corner, trucks can tip over because of their unbalanced height. This can then cause damage if they land directly onto any nearby vehicles or lanes, or can cause blockages that can then lead to domino-effect crashes further on.
- Cargo spill – Simply put, when cargo falls from the truck. This can cause widespread damage, either through directly falling onto vehicles or into the road where cars will then crash into the cargo.
- Head-on collision – When the front ends of the truck and other vehicles hit each other when traveling in opposite collisions, can occur from improper lane usage.
Truck accidents may cause differing effects depending on their type, but all are just as important as the next when seeking justice following such accidents, so it is important you receive the best legal aid. Contact The Law Place today to get in contact with our experienced personal injury lawyers operating from our law firm and to organize a free consultation.
What to do Following a Truck Accident in Southwest Florida
If you have been involved in a truck accident in Fort Myers and are looking for advice, then here are some quick tips to be aware of at the scene. It is, however, important to remember your health always comes first, so do not anything that could put you at risk, or if you are not physically stable at the scene.
- Contact the emergency services – If you’re well enough, you should call 911 as soon as possible. It’s likely that a witness would have already done this, but if not, ensure they’re called, this is necessary as per Florida Statute 316.062.
- Gather any witness information – It is advisable to gather any witness information. This includes full names and the contact information of any vital witnesses. Officers can often miss out on this, which can later affect your case further on down the line.
- Take photos of the scene – Memories can fade as time progresses, so it is important you have multiple photos of the scene, even if you think it might be unnecessary. This could be very important in your case later on.
- Be careful with what you say – It is highly likely the other driver will try to place the blame on you and use your own words against you. You should not say anything that could be interpreted as you admitting you had some fault in the accident, even apologizing could do this. You do have to tell the truth at all times when talking to emergency services, but you do not have to volunteer every bit of information.
- Seek medical care as soon as possible – As per Florida Statute 627.736, you have to seek medical care within two weeks from the accident; otherwise, an insurance company could devalue or deny your claim.
- Hire an experienced personal injury lawyer – The trucking company will prioritize devaluing your claim, so they will hire a lawyer as soon as possible to offer a low-ball settlement. It is best to have a personal injury lawyer on your side who can prevent you from being exploited in such a way after your Fort Myers truck accident. Contact our law firm to get in contact with one of our personal injury lawyers today.
Common Injuries a Truck Accident Can Cause
Truck accidents can be extremely dangerous, and, unfortunately, it is likely you will receive an injury or multiple if you are involved in one of these accidents. Examples of common injuries that can occur from truck accidents include, but are not limited to:
- Whiplash or another neck injury.
- Head injury.
- Organ damage/ internal bleeding.
- Burns to the skin.
- Spinal cord injury.
- Cuts and bruises.
- Broken, crushed, or fractured bones.
No matter what exact injury you sustain, if it was not your fault, then you could be owed compensation. Truck accidents have the potential to be completely life-altering, so call our law firm in Fort Myers, FL, today to make sure you receive the exact compensation you are owed.
Potential Damages Following a Fort Myers Truck Accident
Truck accidents can cause a range of damages, so it is important you receive compensation following one. Here are some examples of common claimable damages that follow Fort Myers truck accidents:
- Lost wages – If you have had to take time off work following your car accident because of injuries you sustained in your collision, then you will be able to make a claim for all wages you lost during this period. Similarly, if you are unable to return to work, you may also be able to make a claim for the loss of earning capabilities, i.e. any wages you would’ve otherwise received had the collision not happened.
- Medical expenses – It is most likely the case that after your truck accident, you will have to receive medical attention for any injuries you sustained. Any costs you encounter from this you will be able to claim back in your final settlement, as long as you have evidence for all of these expenses. If your injuries are permanent or long-lasting and require ongoing care, you may also be able to claim for any projected future costs too.
- Pain and suffering – This form of damages covers any emotional and mental suffering you may have encountered because of your car accident. It also covers loss of enjoyment. This is, however, hard to prove and to translate into a suitable amount of monetary compensation due to the subjectivity of mental anguish. Because of this, it is often best to hire a personal injury lawyer who can gather the evidence and calculate a suitable settlement on your behalf.
- Wrongful death – If you have unfortunately lost a loved one in a truck accident that was not their fault, then you will be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit as per Florida Statute 768.21. A wrongful death lawsuit will involve a settlement that covers any funeral expenses and loss of consortium.
- Property damage – Because of the sheer damage truck accidents can cause, it is unavoidable that your vehicle may become damaged. Therefore, any repair or replacement costs can be compensated for in your final settlement.
If you believe you could be owed compensation following a truck accident in Fort Myers, FL, contact our law firm today to organize a free consultation with our dedicated personal injury lawyers to discuss your case and prospects.
Who Is Liable for Your Truck Accident?
Fort Myers truck accidents can be caused by a range of reasons, and there are also multiple parties that could be found liable for these accidents. Examples include:
- Truck driver – Each driver owes a duty of care to behave reasonably on the road. If this is breached for whatever reason and causes the collision, this could lead them to be found liable.
- Trucking company – If they have been negligent, e.g. via hiring or enforcing illegal hours, they can be found liable.
- Truck manufacturer – If the manufacturer provides a defective part that causes an accident, they will be found liable.
- Truck maintenance crew – A maintenance crew has a duty to check the truck is in a safe and workable condition; if they fail to notice an obvious defect, they’ll be liable.
- Government entity – If the collision was caused by something under government jurisdiction, e.g. a missing stop sign or pothole, they could be found to be at fault.
Fort Myers and the state of Florida as a whole operate using comparative negligence laws. This means that multiple parties can be found liable for an accident if necessary. If you demonstrated some fault, then as long as it was below 50%, you could still be owed compensation for your damages. For example, if you were on your phone and demonstrated 35% fault, then your final settlement will be reduced by this percentage.
If you have been involved in a truck accident that was not your fault in the Fort Myers or surrounding areas, then contact our law firm today to organize a free consultation. Our lawyers will be able to determine who was liable and, if appropriate, the exact percentage of your own fault so that you can receive a suitable settlement.
Act Quickly – Your Case Is Time Sensitive!
If you or a loved one have been involved in a truck accident in Fort Myers, FL, then it is vital you act quickly and hire a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The state of Florida has a set time limit upon how long a civil case has before it is barred from being heard, as set out in Florida Statute 95.11. This means that if you’ve been a victim of an accident in Fort Myers, you will only have four years from the date of the collision to file a claim. If this time elapses, then your case will be permanently barred, and you will be unable to receive any compensation you may have been entitled to. If you have sadly lost a loved one and wish to file a wrongful death lawsuit, then you will have two years, rather than four, to file this lawsuit.
Furthermore, as per Florida Statute 627.736, after a Fort Myers truck accident, you will be required to seek medical care within two weeks after your collision. This is not only for your own safety but also for insurance purposes. If two weeks elapse and you haven’t received medical care, this could be held against you and affect your final settlement amount.
If you have been involved in a truck accident in Fort Myers, then call our law firm, The Law Place, to organize a free consultation with one of our dedicated attorneys.
Contact The Law Place Today!
If you or a loved one have been involved in a van accident in Fort Myers, FL, that was not your fault, then call The Law Place today! We have experience in dealing with cases like your own and understand how devastating truck accidents can be. Here at The Law Place, our personal injury lawyers possess a combined 75 years of experience, many of which are also AVVO 10.0 rated, so you can be confident that you will receive the best possible care and the utmost dedication if you choose us as your legal representation. Our law firm operates across the state of Florida and is well trained in the Florida legal system.
Get in contact with The Law Place today to organize a no-obligation, free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers. We will discuss your case in detail and ask you some simple questions so that we can better understand your circumstances, and, if you choose to carry on with us, begin to build up your claim. Our phone lines are open 24/7 for your convenience, so do not hesitate to call. Contact us today at Fort Myers, FL, 33901, using our toll-free number, (941) 444-4444.