The State of Florida sees thousands of crashes every year, many of which result in devastating consequences for those involved. The risk of large-scale damage increases significantly when there is a truck involved, potentially leading to huge amounts of property damage and serious personal injury. The sheer weight and size of a truck compared to a standard American car is the reason for such colossal damage, which is why there are restrictions in place that aim to avoid this happening. Truck drivers do not always follow their duty of care, however, failing to follow the necessary steps to avoid a collision. Often, truck drivers are on a tight schedule that leads to them making dangerous decisions like failing to yield, creating the potential for a devastating accident to happen.
In fact, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released findings that show 499,000 truck accidents occurred in 2018 in the United States, which led to 4,415 deaths and 107,000 injuries. This data found that many of these accidents were caused by truck drivers who negligently disobeyed the rules of the road by failing to yield for other vehicles.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a truck accident that wasn’t your fault, then you may be entitled to compensation. At The Law Place, we have a team of lawyers who have over 75 years of combined experience in helping those who have been affected by the negligence of other drivers. We have worked on many cases just like yours and have a wealth of client testimonies that testify to the strength of our attorney-client relationships. Call us today to schedule a free consultation where you will get free, impartial advice, no-strings-attached so that you can find out exactly what options you have. Our lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so contact us now at (941) 444-4444.
Failure to Yield Accidents
Many of the accidents that occur on the roads of St. Petersburg, FL., are caused by truck drivers failing to follow the traffic laws put in place by the government. Failing to give way to cyclists, pedestrians, or other drivers increases the risk of an accident happening, and unfortunately, this happens more often than you think. Commonly, these types of accidents happen at places like intersections, stop signs, traffic lights, and places where traffic merges.
In order to avoid collisions and keep the people of Florida safer, the government has put many traffic laws in place which decide who has the right of way in different circumstances:
- If you are approaching a stop sign, you must stop your vehicle for any other cars, bikes, or pedestrians that may be on the road.
- You must give way to any traffic approaching on the left when you are using a roundabout.
- If you are at an open intersection, you must give the right of way to any vehicle that was there before you. This also applies when you are changing from a paved road to an unpaved road, when you cross a highway, and when you enter a state.
- Road and highway workers must always be given the right of way.
- If there is traffic coming onto a public road without a sign or signal, it must be given the right of way.
- Any vehicle signaling to re-enter the flow of traffic should be given the right of way if they are traveling in the same direction as your vehicle.
- If you are entering an intersection, you must give the right of way to the vehicle entering on your left.
- Give the right of way to any vehicle that is attempting to enter an intersection at the same time as you.
- You must always give the right of way to emergency services, no matter the situation.
It can be extremely difficult to determine who exactly had the right of way before an accident occurred. It is common for insurance companies to attempt to quickly establish that you were liable for your own accident so that they can reduce the total amount of compensation you are given. On the other hand, the at-fault driver may claim that you were, in fact, the cause of the accident, or their lawyer may claim that you did not have the right of way when the accident occurred. For this reason, we highly recommend that you contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as you can. This will help to avoid your case being dismissed or devalued and will increase your chances of receiving appropriate compensation for your suffering.
At The Law Place, we have dealt with large, profit-hungry insurance companies for years and are not afraid to stand up to their tactics. We have a great track record of winning personal injury cases and are confident that we can help you get what you are owed. Contact us today for a free consultation with a member of our team.
Proving Liability for a Truck Accident in St. Petersburg, FL.
There are a number of factors that you must be able to prove in court if you are to make a successful compensation claim for an auto accident in St. Petersburg, FL. When you hire an experienced truck accident lawyer, they will be able to help you collect all the necessary evidence to prove the following:
- Duty of care – The law in Florida has been designed so that anyone driving a car has a duty of care that they owe to other people around them, whether they are drivers, passengers, cyclists, or pedestrians. This means that they must ensure they are following traffic laws in order to avoid causing an accident. This includes yielding when appropriate, avoiding negligent driving, and recklessness.
- Breaching this duty of care – If you are to successfully prove the liability of another party, you must be able to prove that they breached their duty of care. Ways of doing so are collecting evidence showing that they were driving under the influence (DUI), failed to yield, or were distracted whilst driving.
- Causation – You must be able to show that your property damage and your personal injuries were directly caused by the at-fault party’s negligence. Your accident lawyer will be able to help you do this.
- Damages – You must provide evidence that clearly shows the damages you suffered were caused by the auto accident in order to win compensation successfully. There are a number of damages you can claim, including medical bills, property damage, and wrongful death.
Comparative Negligence Laws in Florida
It is not uncommon for the driver of the other vehicle to claim that you were at fault for the accident. A law has, therefore, been set out under Florida Statute 768.81 to explaining the procedure surrounding comparative negligence. This law states that if you are found partially responsible for an accident, the total amount of compensation you are awarded will depend on how much of the fault was yours.
For example, if it is proven that you were speeding when the truck driver failed to yield, you will receive less compensation. Maybe the judge will determine that you are 20% responsible for the extent of the damage caused by the accident. So if the cost of damages totaled $20,000, you would receive $16,000. As long as you are found less than 50% responsible, you will always be entitled to compensation.
Unfortunately, comparative negligence laws may cause your case to be thrown out entirely, or the amount of compensation you receive to be reduced significantly. This is especially common when the other driver has the representation of a strong legal team, as is often the case with truck drivers and their trucking companies. Our team at The Law Place is confident that we can match the strength of any corporate legal team in fighting for your right to compensation. Make sure that you hire the right legal team by taking advantage of our free consultation service.
Seeking Compensation for Truck Accidents in St. Petersburg, FL.
You are legally required to contact your insurance company as soon as possible following a truck accident. Normally, policies give you 48 hours to make this call. However, it is worth double-checking as your policy may differ.
Florida Statute 624.7407 defines Florida as a no-fault state which means that you must try to claim compensation from your own insurance provider before seeking it from the at-fault party.
As part of this law, every driver in Florida must own personal injury protection (PIP) to a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury and $10,000 in property damage. It is likely, however, that the cost of the damage sustained in a truck crash will exceed this amount. If you have received a serious injury, you may be facing huge medical bills or losing serious amounts of income. In this case, you would claim from the insurance company of the at-fault party. Although, there is a chance that they do not have a high enough level of coverage either. You may find that your only option is to make a personal injury claim against the truck driver so that you receive enough compensation to cover the cost of your suffering.
Damages Available Following Truck Accidents in St. Petersburg, FL.
There are a number of damages that you may have faced following a truck accident. Your accident attorney will be able to help determine exactly what you can claim for and how much you should be entitled to. The following is a list of potential damages that you can include in your personal injury claim:
- Medical bills – There’s a high chance that you have received medical attention after being involved in a truck accident. Unfortunately, medical expenses mount quickly and can easily become overwhelming. This is why you are able to claim for every prescription, appointment, and travel cost you have faced. Furthermore, you can include future expenses that you will be subject to.
- Lost wages – If you have been hurt in a truck accident, you will most likely need to take time off work to recover both mentally and physically. You can claim for any past and potential future earnings you may lose.
- Property damage – When two vehicles collide, there is almost always damage. The chances of this damage becoming extensive increase when there is a truck involved. You can claim for any damage that your vehicle has received, as well as any possession inside, such as your cell phone.
- Pain and suffering – Whilst this can be difficult to calculate in terms of money, an experienced accident attorney will look at all the emotional, physical, and mental stress you have faced and include this in your claim. Examples include losing the ability to practice your hobbies or losing the ability to look after your children properly.
- Wrongful death – In a worst-case scenario, you may have lost a loved one to a truck accident. No amount of money can ease this pain. However, it may be able to help alleviate the financial burden you have been left with following their passing, including the funeral costs and a loss of income.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident that wasn’t your fault, you need the representation of a strong legal team. We recommend that you speak to an accident lawyer at The Law Place in order to find out exactly what options you have. Do not live with the financial burden that a serious accident can cause. You deserve to receive compensation for any suffering that you have faced at the hands of someone else.
How Does a Lawyer Gather Evidence in a Florida Personal Injury Case?
After you have decided on a truck accident lawyer, they will begin their investigation into your case in order to collect evidence to support your claim. Some types of evidence they will look for include:
- Visiting the scene of the accident in order to gather any lasting evidence. This includes taking photographs or skid marks, damage to property, and any traffic signals in the area. Remember that evidence is quickly cleared away after a truck accident, so taking photographs at the time may be your best chance of getting sufficient evidence.
- Discussing your case with reconstruction experts or expert witnesses who will help to build a better picture of exactly what occurred.
- Interviewing witnesses at the scene of the accident.
- Securing and examining any CCTV footage or videos that capture the accident.
What Will The Law Place Do for Me?
At The Law Place, we know how stressful it can be to live with the effects of a serious truck accident. Whether you are dealing with the financial burden of missing work or recovering from injuries, you deserve to be compensated for the ordeal you have faced. Our priority is ensuring that you do not have to face any more hardship, which is why we will deal with all the paperwork, and you will never need to correspond with an insurance company.
We work on a contingency basis, meaning that you won’t face any financial costs until we have successfully recovered your compensation. In the event that your case is unsuccessful, we won’t take any money from you. We can guarantee that you will never face any hidden costs or fees, so you have reason to wait any longer.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our truck accident lawyers, where you will receive impartial advice from an experienced attorney. We will examine the accident and the results of your failure to yield accident before telling you exactly what steps you need to take next. Do not hesitate any longer. Time is of the essence, so call us now at (941) 444-4444.