- Semi-Truck Accidents in Fort Myers, Florida
- Types of Truck Accidents in Fort Myers, FL
- Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents in Fort Myers, FL
- Laws in Place to Prevent Truck Accidents in Florida
- Potential Injuries Following a Truck Accident
- Determining Liability in a Fort Myers Truck Accident Lawsuit
- Comparative Negligence Laws in the State of Florida
- Potential Damages Available After a Fort Myers Truck Accident
- The Clock is Ticking on Your Truck Accident Case!
Semi-trucks are a common sight on the roads of Florida, but unfortunately, being involved in a truck accident has the potential to be very serious and can be completely life-changing in some scenarios. A semi-truck with a full trailer can weigh roughly around 80,000 pounds. In comparison, an average car only weighs around 3,000 pounds. Because of such a sheer size difference, an accident involving each could cause an immense amount of damage for any car involved. Unfortunately, truck accidents are much more likely to cause severe injuries, and 32,000 occurred in Florida in 2017 alone, according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
If you or a loved one have been involved and consequently received damages in a Fort Myers truck accident that was not your fault, contact The Law Place today. Our team at The Law Place realizes how life-altering a truck accident can be. We are here for you in such challenging circumstances to take on all of the legal burdens. Contact our law firm today to organize a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer on our team. Call us using our toll-free number, (941) 444-4444; phone lines are open 24/7.
Semi-Truck Accidents in Fort Myers, Florida
Trucks are a common addition to the roads and highways of Florida, transporting goods and materials for businesses across the state and nationally. The United States relies on these vehicles to transport plenty of necessary goods across state borders, so it is not a shock to see so many of them on our roads. In fact, in 2018, 8,733 private and commercial trucks were registered in Florida alone.
However, no matter the benefits they provide, it does not change the sad fact surrounding how dangerous semi-truck accidents can be. On average, there are roughly 11 accidents a day involving a commercial truck in Florida. Additionally, there were 41,088 commercial vehicle crashes in Florida in 2016, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Due to a truck’s vast size, a truck accident has the potential to cause a severe degree of damage. Such an accident can result in a serious, life-changing injury, or even death. At our law firm, The Law Place, we recognize how severe a truck accident can be, and we are on your side in the fight for justice, to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Types of Truck Accidents in Fort Myers, FL
There are multiple types of truck accidents that can occur in Fort Myers. Examples of these include:
- Head-on crashes – Occurs when a vehicle collides with a truck head-on. These accidents are often very severe or even deadly, certainly so at high speeds.
- Rear-end crashes – A truck requires more time and distance to react to hazards in comparison to a smaller vehicle, like a car. A rear-end collision is when a vehicle goes into the back of another. If this is a truck going into a car, it can be particularly dangerous.
- Jack-knifes – If a truck driver is too heavy on their brakes, this can cause the behind trailer to skid, making a V-shape with the front. This can cause a direct collision or a multi-vehicle pileup.
- T-bone accidents – Also known as a broadside collision, occurs on the passenger side of a vehicle. A T-bone accident typically occurs at intersections or because of distracted driving. They are not as common with large vehicles such as trucks, but can still happen.
- Spilled cargo accidents – A truck accident can occur if the goods inside have not been secured correctly or the truck was overloaded. This can lead them to roll over and spill because of the truck’s instability.
- Underride collisions – This is quite rare but occurs when a vehicle gets lodged underneath the trailer of the truck. Smaller vehicles get stuck and ‘ride under’ the truck. Sadly, most underride collisions are fatal.
- Rollover accident – If truck drivers lose control, then they could potentially roll or tip over the semi-truck. These are extremely dangerous and have the potential to cause a severe multi-car accident.
No matter what type of truck accident you’re involved in, it is important you receive the necessary compensation for your damages. Call our law firm today to organize a free consultation where we can discuss the strength and details of your case.
Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents in Fort Myers, FL
Similar to any auto accident, a truck accident can be caused by a range of possible reasons. It is necessary that with any truck accident lawsuit, that the cause is determined so that liability is established, and the correct amount of financial compensation is awarded. In some scenarios, truck drivers can be at the center of the cause, but they can be the victim too. Some examples of causes behind a truck accident include:
- Overloading or incorrectly loading the truck.
- Driving under the influence.
- Trucks have more blind spots than a car does due to their size.
- Fatigued driving.
- Poor driver training or hiring.
- Poor weather or road conditions.
- Violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations.
- Defective vehicle or part.
- Distracted or aggressive driving.
If the truck accident was not your fault, then no matter the cause, you could be owed compensation if you have sustained a significant injury or damages. A personal injury lawyer from our law firm will be able to offer a free consultation and discuss the necessary legal information with you.
Laws in Place to Prevent Truck Accidents in Florida
Because truck accidents can be so damaging, there are regulations in place across Florida that apply to truck companies and truck drivers to try and prevent these accidents. If such regulations are not adhered to, then this can be used against the truck driver in an insurance claim. Examples of these regulations include:
- Hours of service – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) limits how many hours truck drivers can work. This aids in preventing fatigue, a common cause of collisions.
- CDL requirements – These involve strict rules for a person to receive or renew a driver’s license, including driving skill tests and medical exams.
- DUI laws – The DUI law for a truck driver is set at a lower threshold for blood alcohol content than a normal driver, 0.04% rather than 0.08%.
- Record requirements – Trucking companies and their drivers are required to keep records of drive times, inspections, and any other necessary compliance matters.
- State traffic laws – In addition to FMCSA regulations, a truck driver must also still comply with any state traffic codes, such as speed limits and one way systems.
- Alcohol and drug testing – A truck company is required to carry out randomized alcohol and drug testing on each truck driver they employ to prevent possible DUI offenses.
If it can be proven by a lawyer that one or more of these regulations were violated in a Fort Myers truck accident, then liability can be placed on the guilty party and greatly aid in your case. Contact our law firm today to organize a free initial consultation. If you choose us as your representation, our personal injury attorneys will be able to test whether these laws were broken and build up any necessary evidence.
Potential Injuries Following a Truck Accident
Due to the higher degree of damage caused by trucking accidents, injuries are, unfortunately, highly likely. Common injuries caused by a truck accident include:
- Fractured, crushed, or broken bones.
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries.
- Cuts and bruises.
- Internal bleeding and damage to vital organs.
- Severe burns to the skin.
- Neck injuries, including whiplash.
- Back or spinal cord injuries, which can lead to permanent full-body paralysis in severe cases.
- Loss of limbs.
If you have sustained an injury, it is important you contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible as you could be owed compensation. Any medical bills you encounter can be compensated for. For instance, victims with broken bones can be owed around $2,500 in avoidable medical costs.
Determining Liability in a Fort Myers Truck Accident Lawsuit
In order for you to successfully recover any compensation after your collision, your lawyer must prove which parties can be held at fault for the truck accident. Potential parties which could be found liable include:
- Truck driver – If the accident occurred because of driver error, they would most likely be held liable. This includes distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, and other violations. Every driver owes a duty of care to others on the road, meaning they have a legal obligation to behave as a reasonable person would, to ensure the safety of others around them. If this duty is breached (e.g., speeding), and this causes an accident, they will be found liable.
- Trucking company – It is possible for a trucking company to be held liable for an accident either directly through their own fault (e.g., hiring an unqualified driver knowingly) or via vicarious liability. The FMCSA has made it clear that a trucking company can be held liable for any accident involving one of their drivers or trucks, regardless of employment or ownership status.
- Vehicle part manufacturer – If a company that manufactures parts for the vehicle assembles and distributes defective parts that then cause a malfunction, which contributes to an accident, they could be held liable for the negligent distribution of products.
- Maintenance team – If the mechanics tasked with working on the vehicle make any crucial errors when maintaining, inspecting, or repairing the truck, and this then leads to an accident on the road, this can mean the maintenance team could be found liable.
- A government entity – The state of Florida, Lee County, or the city of Fort Myers could all be found liable in a case if the collision was caused by something under government jurisdiction. For example, poorly maintained roads, bad road design, or missing road signs that are essential.
Comparative Negligence Laws in the State of Florida
The state of Florida operates using comparative negligence laws for all of its personal injury cases. This means that multiple parties can be found liable, if necessary, following a truck accident. Any possible liability of the involved parties will be determined by their respective contributions to the collision. If you possessed some fault for the collision, then do not let this put you off filing a claim. As long as your fault can be proven to be below 50%, you will still be able to be compensated for the degree at which you were not at fault.
An example of comparative negligence laws in action is if you demonstrated 30% of the fault for the truck accident (e.g., you were texting), then your settlement will be reduced by 30%. Therefore, you will still receive 70% of the original settlement agreed had you not acted recklessly.
If you have been involved in a collision and are in need of an experienced personal injury lawyer, contact our law firm today. Here at The Law Place, we offer an initial free consultation and will be able to ensure you are compensated to the highest possible degree if you choose us as your representation.
Potential Damages Available After a Fort Myers Truck Accident
If you or a loved one have been involved in a semi-truck accident in Fort Myers, then you could be owed compensation for the damages you encountered. Examples of possible damages that could be awarded in your settlement include:
- Medical expenses – It is sadly very likely that any collision will result in an injury or multiple. For any medical bills you encounter due to these injuries, you will be able to claim back these costs as damages if you have proof of these costs. If your injuries are long-lasting and will require future care, you may also be able to receive any projected medical costs too.
- Lost wages – For any time you are required to take off work because of physical or mental suffering, you will be able to make a claim for any lost earnings from this period. Similarly, if you are sadly unable to return to work for whatever reason, as long as it was caused by the collision, you may also be able to claim for lost earning potential, i.e., any future wages you will miss out on.
- Property damage – It is likely that in any kind of car accident, your vehicle will receive some degree of damage. Any repair or replacement costs you encounter can be claimed back for in your total settlement.
- Pain and suffering – These forms of damage include any physical or mental suffering that occurred because of the collision, as well as any loss of enjoyment in life (e.g., not being able to play a sport or instrument you once did). These types of damages are hard to prove and to translate into monetary compensation because of the subjectivity surrounding what can be classed as pain and suffering, and to what degree it impacts your life. For this reason, it is best you have a personal injury attorney on your side who will be able to do this for you and gather all the necessary evidence.
- Wrongful death – If you have sadly lost a relative in a semi-truck collision that was not their fault, then Florida Statute 768.21 allows you to file a wrongful death lawsuit. A settlement from such a lawsuit will often cover any funeral expenses and loss of consortium.
If you believe you could be owed any of these damages after a truck accident in Fort Myers, contact The Law Place today. Our law firm possesses a combined 75 years of experience in dealing with cases such as your own.
The Clock is Ticking on Your Truck Accident Case!
For every civil case in Florida, there is a set time limit on how long a claimant has to submit a claim. For a personal injury case in Florida, the limitation is set out in Florida Statute 95.11. The statute states that you will only have four years from the date of the accident to put forward your claim. If this time elapses, then your case will forever be barred, and you will be unable to receive any compensation you would otherwise be owed. In addition to this, in the case that you’ve lost a loved one and wish to file a wrongful death lawsuit, this time limit is reduced further. A wrongful death lawsuit has two years from the date of the collision to be filed.
Additionally, Florida Statute 627.736 sets out that you will have two weeks following your truck accident to seek medical care. If you don’t seek medical care during this time, then this will affect your insurance claim and can devalue it significantly.
Contact The Law Place Today
If you’ve been involved in a Fort Myers truck accident, contact The Law Place today! Here at The Law Place, our team is AVVO 10.0 rated and possesses a wealth of skill and experience in navigating Florida civil law. You can be ensured that your case will be in the best possible hands if you choose our team to represent your case.
Contact us today to organize a free consultation with a truck accident lawyer from our team so that we can provide you with the information you require, and you can better understand the legalities of your case. Call our toll-free number (941) 444-4444 today; our phone lines are open 24/7.