Accidents involving cars and motorcycles often result in serious consequences, but an accident involving a truck can be particularly devastating. Trucks are usually much larger in size and weight than the average vehicle on the road. Therefore, when a truck collides with a smaller vehicle at high speed, the results can be catastrophic. That’s why it is crucial that truck drivers always obey the rules of the road and maintain their duty of care towards all other road users while driving.
Accidents involving trucks are very common in St. Petersburg and across the State of Florida. It is more likely for pedestrians and motorists to be involved in a truck accident in Florida than in most other states in the U.S. According to The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, over 400,000 motor vehicle accidents occur every year in the state, and a concerning number of those accidents involve large vehicles, including trucks.
Many victims of these accidents make the mistake of relying on insurance companies to receive compensation. However, most of these companies do not have your best interests at heart and do everything in their power to make sure they pay out as little compensation as possible, which is why you need a truck accident lawyer to fight your corner. So, if you or a loved one has been involved in a speeding truck accident in St. Petersburg, FL., contact The Law Place today. Our truck accident attorneys specialize in cases such as these and know how to get the best compensation possible for our clients. With over 75 years of combined experience, we are well-versed in Florida law and understand how the state’s complicated legal system works.
Call The Law Place today for a free consultation with a St. Petersburg truck accident lawyer and see how much compensation you may be entitled to.
What to Do After a Truck Accident in St. Petersburg
After a road traffic accident involving a speeding truck, victims are often left in shock and distress. First and foremost, it is crucial that you are safe and out of harm’s way in order to avoid further injuries. Once you are safe, check your body thoroughly for any serious injuries. Some victims do not notice the extent of the injuries they have sustained soon after the accident due to the state of shock they are in. Once you are sure that you are okay, check to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the other people involved in the accident if safe to do so. It is also important to contact the authorities as soon as possible and wait for them to arrive.
We highly recommend gathering evidence while waiting for the arrival of the authorities. This is because evidence often goes missing quickly after a road accident. Evidence that may be worth collecting include:
- Details of the truck’s number plate, model, and make.
- Details of the truck driver including their full name, address, truck driver number, trucking company, and insurance provider.
- Take photos of the scene of the accident, including the vehicles involved, conditions of the road, and the weather conditions.
- If possible, draw a rough sketch of the scene of the accident and what caused it.
- Make contact with any and all witnesses possible and take their details, including their name and phone number.
- Once the police arrive, make sure to take note of the officers’ details, including their name and badge number.
Once you have ensured the safety and wellbeing of you and others around you and have given all necessary information to the authorities, contact a truck accident attorney from our law firm. They will help you take the next step in your case and handle all the paperwork as well as the insurance companies involved. By contacting us as soon as possible, you will strengthen your case and increase the likelihood of getting the compensation you deserve.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents in St. Petersburg, FL?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration finds that the most common causes of these truck drivers are related to the driver of the vehicle. Causes often include:
- Non-performance – This could include the driver falling asleep while driving or being physically impaired. For example, the driver may have suffered from a stroke or heart attack that impeded driving well.
- Recognition – The driver was distracted and was not paying enough attention to the road while driving. Distracted driving could include the driver using their cell phone or listening to loud music.
- Decision – The driver misjudged an important decision that led to a collision. For instance, the truck driver miscalculated the distance between their vehicle and the other party’s vehicle, which resulted in a delay in braking time, thus causing a crash.
- Performance – The driver operated their vehicle poorly, perhaps by panicking or losing control of their vehicle.
The FMCSA recognizes that vehicle issues, including worn tires or problems with brakes, can also play a factor in a truck collision. What’s more, the environment, such as strong winds, heavy rain, and external hazards, could also cause a road traffic accident involving a truck.
How Is a Truck Accident Investigated?
Trucks in Florida are usually equipped with an Event Data Recorder (EDR), which records the speed of the vehicle at the time of the crash, how long it took for the driver to brake, and how the vehicle was being operated before the time of the accident. This evidence is essential when building a strong legal case as it helps the truck accident attorney to determine who was at fault in the accident. Most importantly, the EDR can determine whether or not the truck driver was speeding at the time of the accident. If this is the case, then the truck operator can be held liable for the accident due to negligence.
Our team of truck accident attorneys knows exactly how to gather and analyze technical data from EDR devices to prove negligence from the at-fault party. In some truck accident cases, the truck driver and trucking company try to dispose of evidence or tamper with data in order to avoid liability. Our legal team acts quickly and efficiently to gather all evidence available before other parties are able to discard it.
As well as analyzing crucial data, our top personal injury lawyers will examine the scene of the accident. Our attorneys have a wealth of experience in interviewing witnesses, reviewing traffic signs, and examining police reports in order to strengthen your case as much as possible. Contact a St. Petersburg truck accident lawyer at The Law Place today and take the first step to get the compensation you deserve.
Who Is Liable in a St. Petersburg Truck Accident?
Under Florida Statute 627.7407, Florida is a no-fault state. This means that insurance companies are the main source of coverage for any accident. If the compensation you are entitled to goes beyond the limits of your own insurance policy, you may be able to make a claim through the other party’s insurance company.
Florida uses a system of comparative fault which involves measuring the relative culpability between all parties involved in the accident. In truck accidents, most of the fault often lies with the truck driver. However, sometimes the other vehicle involved may hold some accountability too. For example, the court may find that the truck driver was 70% responsible for the accident while the smaller vehicle was 30% responsible, and the potential damages are then split according to this ruling.
What Can a St. Petersburg Truck Accident Attorney Help You Claim?
If you have been involved in a speeding truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Personal injury lawyers can help you make a claim for the following:
- Medical expenses – Medical treatment can be very expensive, and you may be able to recover the costs of medical care, including surgery, medicine, and physiotherapy.
- Lost wages – If you have been unable to work due to the accident, you could be able to claim past, present, and future lost wages.
- Pain and suffering – An auto accident can be devastating for victims and not only lead to serious injuries but also mental pain and suffering, which you can claim for.
- Property damage – It is likely that your vehicle, along with other valuable possessions, including your cell phone, was damaged during the accident. A truck accident attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve so that you can cover the cost of these damages and also repair or replace your damaged property.
- Wrongful death – Losing a loved one in an accident is devastating, and we understand that no amount of compensation can undo what has happened. However, funeral bills and loss of income can be very costly for family members of the deceased, and covering the costs of these can relieve the pressure of financial burdens after an accident.
Get in touch with our law office today to speak to one of our trusted truck accident attorneys. After a free consultation, an attorney will be able to establish which damages you may be able to claim and offer an idea of how much money you may be owed.
Contact The Law Place Today
At The Law Place, we know that accidents involving large trucks can be disastrous for all involved. After an accident, victims are often left with large debts that can feel overwhelming, especially during such stressful times.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a St. Petersburg truck accident, call our law firm today. We pride ourselves on our ability to get our clients the best amount of compensation possible. At The Law Place, we believe that victims of motor vehicle accidents deserve justice without having to break the bank, which is why we offer a free case evaluation service at no obligation. We have over 75 years of combined experience with personal injury cases, so you can rest assured that your case is in the hands of experienced professionals that know what they are doing.
Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so we are available whenever you need us. Call us and schedule a free consultation with a truck accident attorney today.