It is a known fact that the roads in the U.S. today are far from perfect. However, did you know that one of the most dangerous things an American can do each day is getting behind the wheel of a vehicle? Accidents can occur in many shapes and sizes, but one of the most common forms of catastrophic accidents usually involves trucks. Due to their size and bulk in comparison with most road vehicles, they have a much greater chance of inflicting damage to both property and people.
There are lots of reasons why a truck accident could occur. It is usually the case that a truck driver is often at the behest of their trucking company to cover an unsafe amount of mileage in an equally unsafe amount of time. This means that there is a greater risk of truck accidents happening as these drivers will be cutting corners, ignoring clear signs of fatigue, or showing signs of negligent driving.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a truck accident, it is crucial that you contact The Law Place today. It is possible that you have sustained damages from this accident that you have the right to claim compensation for. At The Law Place, we have a combined experience of 75 years in dealing with the Floridian legal system and helping clients in similar cases to yours. You can place trust in us and feel comforted in knowing that we have the knowledge and skills to help you. We offer a free consultation when you call to discuss your case and see if you have a valid claim. Our telephone lines are open 24/7, meaning that there is never a bad time to contact us. Call us on (941) 444-4444 to arrange your free case evaluation today.
What Are the Causes of a Truck Accident?
As mentioned previously, a truck accident often happens due to the truck driver’s negligence. Listed below are more examples of the circumstances that can lead to a truck accident:
- Complications with the intersection – Although used daily, it is not impossible for an intersection to be working improperly, which means truck accidents happen. In some cases, the road might not be marked properly, or a traffic sign could be damaged or broken, causing drivers to miss it. If this is the case, your attorney can establish if your accident was caused by this, a third-party driver, a government entity responsible for the road markings, or something else.
- Distracted driving – Human driver error is one of the biggest contributors to how truck accidents occur. These encompass a wide variety of different cases. There are countless distractions available, such as using your cell phone when driving, changing the radio station, eating and drinking, or speaking to another passenger. Truck drivers spend a lot of their time on the road and have a long task to fulfill. Therefore, it is likely their attention will swerve from the task at hand as they try to continue other tasks, such as eating, in order to meet their deadlines. Unfortunately, this distraction means that all other drivers and passenger vehicles are placed at risk. Even though most distracted driving activities are illegal under federal trucking regulations, distracted driving continues to be a leading cause of trucking accidents.
- Intoxication – If commercial truck drivers are driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs, their reaction times and overall perception of the road becomes compromised. An accident attorney will work hard to ensure that you receive full compensation for someone else’s recklessness.
- Poorly maintained trucks – The trucking company is responsible for ensuring that the trucks their drivers operate are fully functioning before setting out on the road. However, despite there being laws in place that require regular inspection for safety before a journey, many trucks fail to meet the requirements. The trucks could have inadequate breaks or bald tires that later cause a tire blowout. It could also be the case that there is a problem with the mechanics of the truck. In this case, it may not have been the truck driver’s fault. A strong personal injury lawyer will be able to help you determine who is liable for the accident.
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Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident?
Determining who is liable for the damages following a truck accident can be a complicated process. There are many parties who could be held accountable or deemed at fault. Some of the most common examples are listed below:
- The truck driver – As mentioned previously, if the commercial truck driver’s driving was in any way dangerous or negligent, then they could be held liable for the accident.
- Government entity – The government body whose job it is to ensure that roads and road signage are functioning properly can assume liability for the truck accident if it is determined that the accident was due to road complications
- Truck manufacturer/service company – If it is determined that there was a technical problem that led to the truck accident, liability may lie with the truck service company responsible. Truck maintenance is crucial in order to prevent large truck accidents. It is important to note that this can vary from case to case. It might be the original truck’s design is flawed or that the most recent service it went through failed to spot a fault that later contributed to the accident.
- Third-party driver – U.S. roads are often busy, which can be the cause of a chain reaction accident. If your accident attorney determines that a third-party driver was responsible for the accident, then they may be liable for compensating your injuries sustained as a result of the accident.
Although the above list might be complicated, with the right law firm behind you and a passionate lawyer on your side, it won’t be as daunting as it seems. An attorney from The Law Place will have the knowledge and experience necessary to identify the liable party for you. It is worth noting that without legal representation, this legal process can become very difficult. Don’t take this risk, as the compensation you rightfully deserve may be affected. Contact The Law Place today and have a free legal consultation in order to achieve the fair settlement you deserve.
What Laws Are in Place to Help Prevent Truck Accidents?
Truck accidents are incredibly damaging, meaning that there must be strict regulations in place that apply to truck companies and drivers in order to try and prevent accidents. If these regulations are not correctly adhered to, this can later be used against the driver or company in an insurance claim. Listed below are examples of these regulations:
- Hours of service – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is in place to limit how many truck drivers can work at once. This is in place in order to prevent driver fatigue, something that is a common cause of truck collisions.
- CDL requirements – These allow a person to receive or renew their driving license. This also includes a driving skills test and medical exam, which helps promote safe driving.
- DUI laws – Due to a truck’s size and overall weight on the road, the DUI law for a truck driver is set at a lower threshold for blood alcohol content than that of a normal driver. It is at 0.04% rather than 0.08%.
- Record requirements – Trucking drivers and companies are legally required to keep records of inspections, drive times, and other necessary compliance matters that will contribute greatly to truck accident prevention.
- State traffic laws – As well as FMCSA regulations, a truck driver must also comply with any existing state traffic codes. This includes speed limits and one-way systems. This helps reduce their chances of collision with other vehicles.
- Alcohol and drug testing – A huge help in preventing truck collisions is if a company carries out randomized alcohol and drug testing on their truck drivers before they employ them. This accident prevention technique could help the lives of many other people.
If it is proven that one or more of the above regulations were violated in a truck accident, this will greatly aid your case. If you or a loved one have been involved in a truck accident, contact The Law Place today for a free case review and advice on what your next steps should be. If you choose us to represent you, our attorneys will get to work right away and pursue the compensation that you are legally entitled to.
What Damages Can I Claim in a Truck Accident?
According to Florida Statute 95.11, you have four years from the exact date of your incident to claim damages. Although that seems like a long time, it is important to do it sooner rather than later in order to benefit from the full compensation, especially while evidence is still fresh.
There are several different types of damages that your personal injury attorney can prove in order to increase the compensation you are entitled to following truck accidents. A list of the common damages are listed below:
- Medical expenses – Medical expenses can occur from injuries sustained following truck accidents, meaning a lot of medical bills to deal with. This can cause financial stress to an already stressful situation. If you require medical attention, it is important to retain any documentation referring to medical expenses. Your lawyer will be able to help you claim this money back.
- Lost wages – If you have sustained serious injuries from an accident, it might mean you need to take time from work. This results in a loss of wages. Keep all correspondence with your employer relating to your time off to show to your attorney, as this will make it easier to claim this money back following your case.
- Pain and suffering – These damages consider any additional complications that have happened due to the accident. They take into account the length of time and pain involved in your recovery process. Equally, it factors emotional recovery, including the level of mental distress and the lasting impacts on your life going forward from the accident.
- Death – In the most serious of cases, if a loved one has lost their life due to this truck accident, your lawyer will be able to claim wrongful death damages. Wrongful death claims seek to establish compensation for the financial complications and lasting family impacts which are commonplace in the aftermath of the loss of a loved one. While we are aware that no amount of money will help with this grief process, these damages can assist in funeral costs which will make the financial burden easier for you and your family during this incredibly difficult time.
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Contact The Law Place Today
The aftermath of a truck accident can be heartbreaking for those involved. Our team can help you maximize the amount of compensation available in your case and take care of all things legal – so that you don’t have to worry.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a truck accident, you should seek legal advice immediately. Hiring a reputable law firm means that you are taking active steps to have the legal protection necessary for fighting your case. The team at The Law Place will work tirelessly, combining all the knowledge and resources available, in order to build a strong case for you, therefore increasing your chances of receiving the maximum amount of compensation that you rightfully deserve.
Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so contact us now! Call us at (941) 444-4444 and schedule your free consultation.