- What Is an Oversized Loads Truck?
- What Should I Do After a Fort Myers Truck Accident?
- What Causes Truck Accidents?
- Where Does the Fault Lie?
- How Are Truck Accidents Investigated in Fort Myers?
- The Importance of Acting Quickly
- Damages Following a Truck Accident
- How Much Will a Truck Accident Attorney Cost Me?
- Contact The Law Place Today!
Commercial truck accidents are some of the most dangerous accidents in Fort Myers. Large vehicles always have the potential to cause catastrophic damage, and steps need to be taken to keep people safe. Despite this, sometimes trucks are oversized, meaning that they are carrying more weight than they legally should. Even if the weight is secured and balanced, carrying too much weight will affect how the truck performs, increasing the chances of an accident.
If you or a family member have been involved in an accident with a large truck, then you could be entitled to compensation. At The Law Place, the attorney-client relationship is our top priority. We understand what a stressful time this is, and we want to do everything in our power to put your mind at ease and keep your rights protected.
Our law firm is open 24/7, so contact us now for a free consultation with a Fort Myers truck accident lawyer on (941) 444-4444.
What Is an Oversized Loads Truck?
In Fort Myers, there are strict regulations on the size and weight of trucks. Laws exist to limit the risks posed by a large truck, in order to keep those who could be driving near them safe, including limits on how much right each axle can bear. If a truck exceeds these limits, then it is oversized.
According to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), load restrictions for trucks are strict across the entire of Florida. If a large truck does have an oversized load, then the truck driver must have a specialized permit. Furthermore, the hours when an oversized load can be transported are limited in order to limit the number of vehicles that could be on the road and prevent a truck accident. If a truck is carrying an oversized load, they must also inform other drivers with a clear sign.
While there are several restrictions in place to try and prevent Fort Myers truck accidents, sometimes the worse happens. And unfortunately, accidents involving trucks often lead to serious damage and injuries, with drivers of smaller vehicles almost always being left in a worse position.
What Should I Do After a Fort Myers Truck Accident?
If you are reading this preemptively, or immediately after a truck accident, then there are some initial steps that you can take, which could be massively beneficial for your claim.
- Check for injuries – Your first priority should be to check for injuries. First, check-in on yourself, and then see to anyone else who is in the car if you are able to then move out of the way of any hazards, such as oncoming traffic. But if someone is seriously injured, then moving them could worsen their condition, so you may need to leave them where they are. If anyone needs medical attention, then call emergency services.
- Collect evidence – When first responders arrive, they will work to make the area safe. After they have done this, begin to collect what evidence you can. Get the name, number, and vehicle information of any other drivers involved, as well as the contact information of any witnesses. If there are police at the scene, get their information as well. All of this information will help your attorney to put together a strong case.
- Seek medical care – If you have not left in an ambulance, then you will still need to be checked over by a doctor. Some injuries can lie dormant, or they might be masked by adrenaline. If your injuries go untreated, it could make them worse. Furthermore, in accordance with Florida Statute 627.736, you have 14 days from the date of the truck accident to seek medical attention in order to claim for damages resulting from injuries.
- Contact an attorney – As soon as you are able to contact an attorney at The Law Place. They will offer free advice about what you should do next. Acting quickly can make a huge difference.
- Contact your insurance company – Your insurance policy may require you to contact them soon after an accident. However, insurance companies can be deceptive and don’t always have your best interest at heart. They want to limit how much money they need to pay. Therefore, you need to be careful about what you say to them. Avoid talking about your injuries or simply saying that you ‘feel fine’ and never admit fault. When you seek help from an attorney first, they may be able to speak to your insurance on your behalf or advice you on how to approach them.
What Causes Truck Accidents?
When trucking accidents occur in Fort Myers, the initial reaction is often to blame the truck drivers. However, often a range of factors are involved, and it may be the trucking companies who are to blame.
The most common causes of load-carrying truck accidents are:
- Distracted drivers.
- Fatigued drivers – Truck drivers are often expected to travel long distances, which can impair their ability to drive safely.
- Speeding trucks – For instance, going around a corner quickly.
- Untrained/inexperienced truck drivers.
- Overloaded trucks.
- Negligence – For example, the trucking company is breaching the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations.
Where Does the Fault Lie?
Inexperienced truck accident attorneys will try to place all of the blame on the truck drivers. However, in reality, truck accidents are often complex, and often, there is more than one party at fault.
Under Florida Statute 768.81, Florida operates under a comparative fault system, which means that more than one party can be found liable in a personal injury lawsuit.
- The trucking company – Trucking companies are required to follow certain regulations. For example, they must ensure that their drivers are properly trained and that they have sufficient breaks and time off. However, because of the high number of lawsuits against trucking companies, many use independent contractors, limiting their liability. While this does make it more difficult, large truck companies can still be liable in Fort Myers.
- Mechanics- Sometimes, truck accidents occur because a mechanic failed to properly maintain a truck or resolve a known issue.
- Cargo loaders- Some trucks are able to carry up to 40 tonnes in weight. However, if this has been improperly loaded, then weight can shift unexpectedly, which could result in a truck accident.
- Truck drivers – Other times, the driver is at fault for the truck accident. For example, they may have been driving recklessly or been under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Investigating who was to blame for a Fort Myers truck accident, and why, is essential to any personal injury claim. When several parties are involved, things can become complicated, and victims often walk away with much less then what they deserve. At The Law Place, we will make sure that you are not taken advantage of. We have a combined experience of over 75 years of Florida personal injury law and are dedicated to justice.
How Are Truck Accidents Investigated in Fort Myers?
Firstly, you should contact us at The Law Place for a free consultation. Do this as soon as possible so that we can offer some initial advice. At our law firm, we have truck accident attorneys who are ready to undertake a stringent investigation.
If we think you have a valid claim, we will arrange an in-depth consultation, where we will give you the opportunity to ask any questions. If you agree to representation, we will get right to work. Firstly, we will assess your case as a team so that you benefit from our combined knowledge. We will decide the best course of action and assign you the best attorney for your case.
Your personal injury lawyer will then investigate by gathering witnesses, looking at the damage to the vehicles, obtaining black box information, and collecting CCTV footage.
Most claims end with a settlement, but if an agreement cannot be reached, then our law firm will be prepared to stand up in court. We will stand by your side every step of the way.
The Importance of Acting Quickly
Following a truck accident in Fort Myers, it is important to act quickly. The sooner you speak to a quality law firm, the better they will be able to gather and protect evidence. Over time, witnesses’ memories fade, CCTV is deleted, and the damage is repaired.
Furthermore, although The Florida Senate requires all trucks to have a black box or EDR, sometimes information can be tamped with or destroyed. A black box records data about truck drivers, including the speed and how long they have been traveling. This information could be integral to a successful claim.
Your lawyer will also work to obtain maintenance records, employment records, and information about the trickling company. The longer you wait, the better they are able to cover their tracks.
However, if you are reading this information after some time has already passed following an accident with a large truck, then we may still be able to support you. While it does make things more difficult, we will work hard to continue to seek justice. The statute of limitations in Florida for a personal injury claim is four years. After this time, you will not legally be able to seek compensation, as stated in Florida Statue 95.11. There are exceptions to this rule, where exceptional circumstances apply, such as if you have been in a coma.
To prevent losing integral evidence and potentially devaluing your claim, contact The Law Place today. We will get right to work to seek the justice you deserve.
Damages Following a Truck Accident
All road accidents lead to similar types of damages, although those resulting from a truck accident are often more substantial. Common damages include:
- Medical bills – A truck accident is likely to result in severe injuries. The resulting costs can be life-shattering. We will help you to fight for compensation for both your past and future medical bills, as well as any other related expenses, such as adjustments to your home and transport to and from appointments.
- Loss of earnings – The injuries from a truck accident is likely to cause you to miss work. Therefore, you could be entitled to your lost earnings, as well as future lost earning potential.
- Property damage – Vehicle repairs or a new vehicle shouldn’t be left to you. You should be compensated for this, as well as for any other property that was damaged in the accident, such as a phone.
- Wrongful death – Under Florida Statute 768.21, if the accident, unfortunately, leads to the wrongful death of a person, then their loved ones will be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit and claim for any funeral costs and loss of consortium.
- Pain and suffering – Pain and suffering are used to describe the physical and mental suffering that the victim faces after a truck accident. Such damages, however, are difficult to translate into monetary compensation, so it is in your best interest to hire an attorney who will be able to build a case for this.
- Loss of enjoyment in life – If you or a loved one can now no longer take part in activities you once did before the truck accident, e.g., playing an instrument or going for a run, this is known as loss of enjoyment. An attorney will calculate this into a monetary value and fight for your right to compensation.
How Much Will a Truck Accident Attorney Cost Me?
At The Law Place, we operate on a contingency basis, which means you do not have to find any money upfront; our fees will be deducted from your settlement. If you do not win, then you do not pay, which means that you do not have to worry about the stress of legal fees.
Any contingency work carried out is monitored by the State Bar Associations. Our law firm follows the guidelines set strictly. Our fee structure and what we can do for you will all be covered in your consultation before you commit to representation. We want you to have all the information so that you can feel confident about your decision.
Contact The Law Place Today!
If you or someone in your family has sustained injuries in a truck accident in Fort Myers, then you need an attorney with the knowledge and experience in Florida law required to fight for maximum compensation.
At The Law Place, our truck accident lawyers are dedicated to seeking justice. Floridas roads are some of the most dangerous in the country, and we want to make them safer for everybody. Our experienced accident lawyers will not leave a stone unturned. We will go after all liable parties and make sure that measures are put in place to prevent these types of accidents.
We keep our phones open 24/7 so that you can seek professional advice when you need it most.
Call us today to organize a free case evaluation – (941) 444-4444!