- Why Truck Accidents Cause So Much Damage
- Legal Aid for Tampa Truck Accident Victims
- What Should I Do After a Tampa Truck Accident?
- Call Your Insurance Company and File a Claim
- What Will a Tampa Truck Accident Lawyer Do for Me?
- Where Does the Fault Lie?
- Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents
- Common Injuries of Commercial Truck Accidents
- How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Suit?
- Contact The Law Place for a Free Consultation
Nobody wants to plan for the eventuality of a truck accident, but unfortunately, Tampa is one of the most dangerous places in America statistically to be both a pedestrian and a driver. There are 400,000 motoring accidents in the state of Florida every single year, and truck accidents alone account for 1 in every 10 highway fatalities, according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV). Just this year, three people died in a truck accident involving a cement mixer on the i-75 highway in Florida. This is why it is so important to hire a skilled truck accident lawyer.
Tampa Truck drivers actually have a much lower risk of receiving an injury or being killed than all other road users. In 2018 over 2,500 people were killed in a truck accident, but only 500 of them were the actual truck drivers.
If you have been in a truck accident, we highly advise you to speak to a skilled and experienced lawyer. At The Law Place, we deal with cases like this all the time, and with our 75 years of combined experience in dealing cases just like yours, you will have the best chance at seeking reasonable and fair compensation for the injuries and damages you may have suffered. Call us today on (813) 544-4444 for a free case review.
Why Truck Accidents Cause So Much Damage
The most common types of truck accidents in Tampa involve large trucks like 18 wheelers and dump trucks. The common causes that we often see include:
- Trucks weighing significantly more than a normal Tampa passenger vehicle. This means trucks take a longer time to brake. This longer break time makes it harder for a truck driver to avoid a truck accident if a driver suddenly brakes in front of them.
- Truck driver fatigue is a huge cause of truck accident cases.
- Passenger car drivers driving aggressively and trying to pass a truck driver without being mindful of the truck’s blind spot can also cause an accident if the truck driver decides to change lanes and fails to see the smaller passenger vehicle.
Legal Aid for Tampa Truck Accident Victims
With a long history of offering legal services for Tampa truck accident victims, The Law Place deals with large numbers of traffic-related incidents. They also deal with accident-related crimes like hit and runs, accidental deaths, and leaving the scene of the accident.
Our strong and skilled legal team of personal injury and truck accident lawyers know how to use their high levels of specialized knowledge to pursue the compensation that you deserve. Our phone lines are open 24/7, and we offer a free consultation to give you free advice on what we would advise you to do.
What Should I Do After a Tampa Truck Accident?
Hopefully, you are reading this pre-emptively, and you will never have to use the following advice, but if you do find yourself in a Tampa truck accident, here is what you should do.
- Firstly, your safety and your health should always be your first priority. If you are not injured and able to move, get to a safe place as soon as possible. If you can help others to do so, do that too, but only if they are not injured. Always leave an injured victim for the emergency services to deal with as they may have injuries you could make worse by moving them. Get out of the flow of traffic and to the side of the road, then call the emergency services. Florida Statute 316.062 also requires that the police are called to the scene of the accident.
- Once you have dealt with the immediate danger and gotten yourself to a safe place, wait for the emergency services. First responders will be able to look after the injured, and the police will begin to make the area safe.
- When everything is safe, begin collecting evidence. Get the name, number address, and all the details of the other driver. Get their registration number and their insurance details, if possible. Take pictures of everything, the vehicles involved, the damage, and the location it happened. If there are any witnesses, get their details too. You should also get the badge number and name of any police or first responders, and this will make getting a police report later on much easier.
- Once you have done all of this, get to a hospital immediately. Even if you have no visible injuries, you still need to be checked over by a health professional. Some injuries can remain dormant for days or weeks. Florida Statute 627.736 states that you have 14 days to seek medical assistance for the accident, but for your claim, it will help your case if you seek treatment for the accident as early as you can.
- Once you have been checked over and you are in a stable mindset, it is time to contact a Tampa truck accident attorney. Tell them the details of your accident and get their free advice on what you should do next. The sooner you do this, the sooner they can take on your case and lighten your load by doing the investigation, liaising with other companies and paperwork, giving you more time to spend recovering, and focusing on your own health.
Call Your Insurance Company and File a Claim
Florida is a no-fault insurance state, in line with Florida Statute 627.7407, which means that drivers are required to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) insurance with their auto insurance policy. It also means that you have to file a claim with your insurance company for damages, even if you were not at fault in the accident.
If you have decided to hire a Tampa trucking accident lawyer, they will do this for you, if not, you will need to call them yourselves as soon as possible.
Your insurance company will likely pay for minor injuries, including a certain amount of compensation (exact amount depending on your policy) for the following expenses:
- Medical bills.
- Hospitalization fees.
- Lost wages due to the inability to work.
No-fault laws also allow you to sue the other party in case you and/or your passengers suffer more serious injuries. But the other party—not you—must be at fault for you to sue via a truck accident lawyer. In most cases, you will be suing a trucking company and not an individual.
What Will a Tampa Truck Accident Lawyer Do for Me?
Usually, when you are involved with an accident with a commercial truck driver, the company they work for will send out their own investigator. They will often seem like they are investigating the accident. In reality, they will most likely be looking for ways to shift fault and lower the companies’ liability.
This is why it is so crucial to get in touch with a skilled Tampa truck accident attorney as soon as you possibly can so we can begin our own investigation before any evidence is tainted or disappears.
These are the steps we will take when we send out our investigator:
- Quick Response – We will send an investigation out as soon as physically possible. Although it is very rare that we can get to the scene immediately. We will still be able to take measurements, photos, and gain valuable information that the authorities may have missed.
- Inspect the vehicles – If you contact us quickly enough, we can make sure we get to investigate the vehicle before it is repaired. This will allow us to take pictures of the damage and look for any clues as to what went wrong. We will also obtain the data from the truck’s black box, which stores crash information like the ones found in a plane.
- Reconstruction – The accounts of those involved in a crash can vary widely, and figuring out who is telling the truth can be a tough task. This is where accident reconstruction experts come so in handy. They can look at the crush damage and the roadway conditions as well as the skid marks and analyze what really happened.
Where Does the Fault Lie?
Often, with less experienced Tramp truck accident personal injury lawyers, they will focus on placing the blame on the driver. In reality, truck accidents are much more complex than that when it comes to legality. There are lots of different parties that could be healed responsible and thus liable for their part in an accident. Such as:
- The Trucking Company – In response to the high number of truck accident cases across the country, many trucking companies have set up their drivers as independent contractors in an attempt to lower their liability. This means that any accidents caused by human error can be placed on the driver. Maintenance of the vehicle is still the responsibility of the company, however.
- Mechanics – If a truck accident has happened due to a mechanical fault. The mechanics responsible for maintaining the truck could be held liable. These mechanics are often freelance and are not hired by the truck companies themselves. This means they can also face liability.
- Cargo Loaders – Some trucks can carry up to 40 tonnes in weight. If this has not been loaded correctly and evenly and the weight shifts mid-journey, this can cause a loss of control. When this happens, the loaders can be held responsible liable.
Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents
Tampa truck accidents can happen for lots of different reasons, but the majority of cases happen for the following reasons:
- Rushing to get the delivery there on time, which causes the driver to speed.
- Pressure to drive longer hours without taking the necessary breaks, causing driver fatigue.
- Negligent hiring of drivers who have a lack of training or drivers with a previous offense record.
- Failing to look after and maintain the safety systems of the truck, including the tires, brakes, axles, and lights.
- Neglecting to properly secure or load the cargo.
- Being distracted while driving. Things like texting, using a mobile phone, or other dangerous behavior.
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
- Dangerous driving such as road rage, driving too closely, cutting off other drivers, speeding, and improper lane changes.
- Failing to stop at red lights.
Common Injuries of Commercial Truck Accidents
Due to the weight and size of trucks, the injuries they cause when they crash are usually more severe than a normal car accident. Common injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury.
- Spinal cord injury.
- Crushed or broken bones.
- Neck and back traumatic injury.
- Herniated discs.
- Internal bleeding and organ damage.
- Severe burns.
The medical costs that arise from these injuries can add up extremely quickly and are more than the average person can afford on their own. On top of that, they may not be able to work to their usual capacity. They may not even be able to work in a normal capacity ever again. When this happens, the damages awarded will need to be high enough to cover the loss of future earnings.
How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Suit?
When you are considering filing an insurance claim or a potential personal injury lawsuit in the state of Florida, it pays note to familiarize yourself with the state’s laws and the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits.
Just as with any other state, Florida has a strict statute of laws that limit the time that you have to file a lawsuit after the incident.
Under Florida Statue 95.11, you have four years to file your personal injury lawsuit from the date of the accident. After this period of time, you are forever barred from making a claim regarding that particular incident.
The only time this law is relaxed is if your injuries prevent you from making a claim in the allocated time period.
Besides the statute of limitations surrounding personal injury cases, there are other reasons why you should not wait to start the process.
Your attorney will be responsible for doing your investigations and building your case. With incidents like car accidents, the further from the date of the crash, the harder it is to gather evidence. Reports can be lost, witnesses can be harder to contact, and first responders may have a harder time recalling the crash. So although you have four years to claim, the sooner after the accident happened, the better the chances of a higher payout and successful case.
Contact The Law Place for a Free Consultation
If you want to get the best possible chance at seeking a reasonable and fair settlement for your injuries and losses, it really helps to hire a skilled, reputable personal injury law firm to fight your case.
Here at The Law Place, our team has a combined experience in dealing with cases like yours of over 75 years. We offer a free consultation. This is no strings attached, and during this quick call, we will give you some free advice on what we think is the best course of action for you to take.
If you do decide to hire one of our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys, you will be able to relax, sit back and work on your recovery, comfortable in the knowledge that our team of knowledgeable attorneys is fighting your corner for the compensation you deserve. Call us today on (813) 544-4444. We are here 24/7 to take your call.