Truck accidents can be one of the scariest things to happen on the road. When a large truck is speeding, the results can be devastating for all parties involved. Trucks usually weigh many times more than your average motor vehicle. When a truck speeds into a smaller car and causes an accident, the driver of the small vehicle is almost always the most injured and has the most damage to their vehicle. For this reason, truck drivers have a higher level of responsibility and liability on the road than other motorists do. State law monitors trucking companies and scrutinizes the behavior of the truck drivers in their employ. There are strict rules regarding blood alcohol content (BAC) and how many hours and miles a truck driver is allowed to drive safely.
Tampa and the state of Florida as a whole are some of the most dangerous places in the country when it comes to truck accidents. Statistically speaking, as a pedestrian or a motorist, you have a higher chance of being involved in a speeding truck accident than other states. 400,000 truck accidents happen in Florida every year, with over 200,000 car and truck accidents being hit and runs, and over 3,000 leading to fatalities.
Having a personal injury and car insurance company isn’t enough. You need a truck accident lawyer on your side.
Here at The Law Place, we specialize in speeding truck accidents. Our Tampa personal injury lawyers hold over 75 years of experience combined and work together on every case. This ensures a thorough approach to the individual needs of your unfortunate truck accident. Insurance and trucking companies will try to speed up the settlement process, sweeping valuable evidence under the rug and pressuring you to negotiate a lower amount than your case is worth. Schedule a free consultation with us today and find out how much you are entitled to and to get the ball rolling on your truck accident case.
Don’t rely on big companies that don’t have your best interests at heart. Consult with a qualified truck accident lawyer in Tampa today. Our lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.
Call The Law Place today at (941) 444-4444.
What Do You Do After a Tampa Truck Accident?
The first and most important thing to do after you have been involved in any accident is to make sure you are as safe as possible. This includes moving out of the road, out of the way of oncoming traffic, away from a damaged vehicle, and behind a traffic barrier if possible. After you are safe from road hazards, it is important to check yourself for injury. After you have ensured your own safety, look to the needs of others as long as it does not endanger you in the process. Other people may be injured, and you have an obligation to help them as well. Contact the authorities if possible, and wait for their arrival. Police, fire, and medical aid should be there soon.
After you have ensured your safety and the safety of others, if possible, start collecting evidence. It is essential to start gathering evidence as soon as possible because you have no idea how long it will be available. Evidence can include:
- Take details of the truck’s number plate, the make, and model
- Take details of the driver; their name, address, truck driver number, the trucking company, and insurance provider
- Safely take photos of everything possible; your vehicle, the truck, the road, weather conditions, everything in your vicinity
- Try to draw a sketch of the accident and what happened to cause it
- Talk to as many witnesses as possible and get their personal details to contact them again
- When the police arrive, take down a badge number and name. This will make locating a police report much easier down the road
After you have gathered evidence, contact a lawyer immediately. Their investigative process will begin, and they will help you in any negotiations with your insurance company before you contact them. Doing all or most of these things will bolster the strength of your case and ensure your lawyer has all the details necessary to maximize your potential claim.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Tampa?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration lists the most common reasons for semi-truck accidents. These are broken down into three categories:
- Non-performance – The driver fell asleep at the wheel or suffered medical distress and was physically impaired.
- Recognition – The driver failed to pay attention to the road or conditions that may lead to an accident.
- Decision – The driver misjudged the situation. For example, miscalculating the speed of his own vehicle relative to the braking speed of a car in front of him.
- Performance – If a driver panics or exercises poor vehicle control.
- Brake problems
- Tire problems
- Road conditions
- Dangerous weather
- External hazards
The FMCSA also lists the most common factors associated with a collision, even if they might not directly cause it. Among others, they include:
- Speeding driver
- Intoxicated driver (over the counter, prescription or illegal drug use)
- Driver fatigue
- Drunk driving
- Illegal maneuvering
- Pressure from motor carrier
How Is a Truck Accident Investigated?
When the unfortunate event of a big rig truck accident happens, it is advised that victims contact a truck accident lawyer immediately or as soon as possible. This will begin the investigation into the incident and ensure that your case is being handled in a speedy and efficient manner. Our experienced Tampa, FL lawyers at The Law Place, can guarantee that no stone will be left unturned, and any investigation carried out on your behalf will be rigorous and timely.
Much of the evidence in a personal injury case might not be apparent to the individuals involved in a semi-truck accident. A driver may not have the time or legal knowledge to know what counts as evidence in a truck accident. Our team of lawyers are veterans in this field, drawing from their experience in other cases involving truck drivers, small-vehicle operators, the motor carrier, and any other parties that may be liable in your case.
A large truck in Tampa is required by law to be outfitted with an EDR (Event Data Recorder) or black box. These devices are essential to the gathering of evidence for your case. Our lawyers have the experience and technical knowledge to comb through data these devices provide. Black boxes are equipped to measure what the vehicle was doing before, during, and after an event, including but not limited to truck speed and brake application. These devices help investigators determine how the event occurred and whether proper safety precautions were taken by the truck driver in the moments before or after an accident. Accident victims are usually unaware of the minute details that our lawyers are, and having a team of legal professionals on your side is essential to presenting the right evidence in your case.
Not only do our lawyers have the technical knowledge to deal with these issues, but they have the street smarts to back it up. The Law Place will guarantee fast action from our investigators. We will ensure that the evidence, in any case, is not tampered with, or even destroyed, by liable parties. A truck driver or trucking company may try to manipulate the evidence in a truck accident to their favor. Company records, black box recordings, and police reports need to be quickly obtained and evaluated in order to prevent that from happening.
In addition to analyzing the hard evidence provided by black boxes and trucking company records in truck accidents, investigators will need to review the scene of the event in question. Interviewing eyewitnesses, checking local traffic signage, taking statements from the truck driver and trucking company, and examining skid marks on the road are some of the things our team will do to strengthen your case and any claim you may be entitled to. You need a good law firm on your side to help fight your Tampa truck accident case.
Who Is Liable for a Speeding Truck Accident in Tampa?
Liability is determined by the court. In Florida, liability is calculated by measuring the relative culpability in an accident. For example, if fault lies mostly with the trucking company but the small vehicle driver was also to blame, the court may find that the carrier is 70% responsible, and the small motorist was 30%. This would split potential damages along those lines.
No-fault laws in Florida mean that insurance providers are the main source of coverage for any accident. Only when you file for pain and suffering damages do trucking companies and drivers take up liability for a collision.
What Damages Can You Claim in a Tampa Truck Accident?
In addition to economic damages, such as property destruction, lost wages, and medical bills, you can file for non-economic damages in your truck accident case. These are also known as pain and suffering damages. The types of non-economic damages you can claim depend on the nature of your case, the extent of your injuries, and the specific mental anguish you may endure as a result.
It is only possible to file for pain and suffering damages once a serious injury threshold has been met in the eyes of the court. According to Florida Statutes Chapter 627, car accident victims can only pursue damages for pain and suffering if their injuries resulted in:
- Permanent or significant injury
- Loss of mobility or function
- Significant disfigurement or permanent scarring
Unless your injuries meet these criteria, you will not be able to claim general damages for serious injury and will be directed to your insurance coverage under Florida No-Fault laws.
If a loved one has died as a result of driver or trucking company negligence, you may be entitled to file for wrongful death. Wrongful death suits in Florida cover both non-economic and economic damages.
Why Is It Important to Act Quickly After a Truck Accident?
Collecting evidence and contacting your lawyer and insurance company is important to do quickly after your truck accident. This is because truck drivers, trucking companies, and opposing insurance providers will do everything in their power to hide evidence and delegitimize your claim. They have large teams of insurance adjusters, company executives, and investigators who will mobilize as soon as their truck is involved in an accident. It is important that you act as quickly as possible to avoid any interference with your case.
The Law Place always recommends contacting a qualified accident lawyer before your insurance provider. We can get the ball rolling for you, especially during a time when you might need to recover from injury and mental trauma. Schedule a free consultation with us today.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?
The Law Place personal injury attorneys works on a contingency basis, meaning we don’t get paid until you do. Typically, our fee is 1/3 of your final settlement or around 33.3%. You pay nothing until your final settlement. Our fee structure will be outlined to you in your free consultation, so there’s no surprise costs or bills associated with our service.
All contingency fee structuring is monitored by the Florida State Bar Association.
Speak to One of Our Personal Injury and Accident Lawyers Today at The Law Place
Have you been involved in an accident with a truck driver that wasn’t your fault? Was the driver speeding illegally? Did it result in personal injury or an inability to work? Do you think you are entitled to compensation? Book in for a free consultation with The Law Place today. With over 75 years of experience combined, a Tampa truck accident is within our lane of expertise. We work as a team in all our cases to ensure you get the full breadth of our combined skills. This makes us unique in truck accidents claims, giving you the desperately needed time and space to recover.
Contact us today and find out if you have a claim.
Call The Law Place at (941) 444-4444