What should I look for in a Truck Accident Lawyer in Tampa?
If you have been in an accident with a truck, you need a law firm that has truck accident injury attorneys to help you receive the compensation you deserve.
When you are involved in a truck accident, it can be complicated and stressful. Not only do you have to deal with the aftermath of the accident, but you also have to deal with insurance companies, the trucking company, and sometimes even the police. And if you’re injured, you have to worry about medical bills and time off work!
A crash involving a commercial vehicle is a much more complicated case than when two ordinary vehicles collide. And companies push much harder to label you at fault for the accident.
They may have vehicular technologies that hold crucial evidence for or against your case. This technology may include:
This data is beneficial to trucking companies looking to avoid car accident insurance fraud and can provide them with a simple way to prove that they are not at fault. But if they were negligent, they may keep this data quiet.
A car accident injury attorney will not only look into the telematics data of the trucking company, but also the manufacturer of both the truck and equipment involved in the accident. A skilled lawyer can evaluate the truck’s driving logs and records of maintenance to figure out who was at fault for the accident.
But Florida is a no-fault state.
In a no-fault state, drivers are responsible for their own vehicle damage and medical claims, and their vehicle insurance covers them. An injured motorist must use their auto insurance, despite whether they caused the accident or not.
No-fault states like Florida mandate $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP) coverage which protects drivers from minor incidents.
Until it’s a major truck accident incident.
What are you supposed to do if your vehicle damages and medical care totals more than $10,000?
Your medical insurance may cover your medical expenses, and you should pursue a lawsuit with a personal injury attorney like those at the Law Office of Brooks.
If the collision caused serious injuries, you may be eligible to file a liability claim.
So what meets the standards of a “serious injury threshold” in a no-fault car accident case? Injuries that are permanent, such as those that disfigure, scar, or cause loss of body function.
This is why it’s so important to be properly represented by a Florida car accident lawyer after crashes involving large trucks.
Speak with an associate from Brooks Law Group today for a free consultation! We have been committed to serving accident victims throughout Florida since 1992.
Substance Abuse and Drinking in Trucking Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration forbids truckers to have alcohol in the truck unless it is commercial cargo. Most reputable trucking companies inspect the driver’s cab to ensure that they do not have alcohol in their truck.
Simply sleeping in their cabs while under the influence is considered “operating while intoxicated,” and it is punishable by law. Still, some truckers choose to take that risk.
Why are Commercial Vehicle Accidents More Dangerous?
When you consider that:
- The average motor vehicle’s length is around 15 feet.
- The minimum commercial truck trailer length is 48 feet in the trucking industry.
It becomes easy to understand why truck crashes are often the most catastrophic of auto accidents. Many times, the driver and the passengers are severely injured or killed.
Companies that own and drive commercial vehicles have to follow certain rules. People who get hurt badly or lose a loved one because of a trucking accident should hire an attorney to get money from the trucking company.
As cities in Florida continue to grow, many people have turned to raising their families in smaller communities. Unfortunately, 68 percent of fatal trucking accidents happen in more rural regions than big cities.
Statistics on Trucking Accidents
- Polk County Commercial Vehicle Crashes in 2015: 411
- Hillsborough County Commercial Vehicle Crashes in 2015: 493
- Pinellas County Commercial Vehicle Crashes in 2015: 183
Overworked truckers often work too many hours with too little sleep. A lack of sleep combined with poorly maintained or overloaded trucks can cause a very dangerous situation on the road.
This sort of negligence results in one out of every eight traffic fatalities involving a trucking collision.
How a Truck Accident Attorney in Florida Can Guide you through an Accident Case
Auto accident cases typically involve the people in each position in an accident and their respective parties. In the event of a trucking accident, the case becomes more complicated because the company that owns the truck or commercial vehicle is also involved.
A trucking accident attorney is able to file a car accident claim against the trucking company. To do this, the lawyer must be familiar with auto accident law and several layers of regulation that govern commercial vehicles as well. From there, your attorney is able to seek compensation for your injuries and losses.
Causes for tractor-trailer accidents
- Unrealistic schedules
- Aggressive driving
- Driver fatigue
- Failure to maintain tires, brakes, or lights
- Long work shifts
- Ignoring the reduced truck speed limit
- Cell phone use
- Failure to install blind-spot mirrors
In 2015, There Were More Than 1,000 Commercial Vehicle Crashes in Polk, Hillsborough, and Pinellas County.
The Cost of Getting in an Accident with a Truck
Florida law requires drivers to have mandatory PIP coverage as part of their car insurance coverage. Personal injury protection insurance can help recover the cost of medical expenses and lost wages in the event of an accident.
However, it’s important to note that due to how severe truck accidents can be, you may exceed the amount of your PIP coverage. In this situation, you need the help of an experienced truck accident lawyer to make sure you get all the money you are owed.
It’s also good to keep in mind that you do not have to put down money or a deposit in order to get legal help for a trucking accident from Brooks Law Group. We only get paid if we help you win your case.
Featured Truck Accident FAQs
This is a difficult question to answer and will vary from case to case. While many insurance providers prefer to settle cases out of court in order to avoid a costly legal battle, it isn’t always the case.
Some truck accident cases can be resolved in 1-2 years, while others may take additional time to reach a fair settlement. Choosing the right attorney can speed up the process and ensure you’re receiving an appropriate settlement for your case. The length of each case will be different from case to case.
- Advice: The moment you are involved in a car accident, you are likely to experience thousands of questions that need answers. You need to have a clarification of whether the accident has been caused by acts of negligence or misconduct so that you can claim for medical treatment, but you can as well have hundreds of questions that need answers.
- Direction: After the car accident, there are probable directions that you can follow to ensure that everything has been covered. For the sake of minor injuries, your car insurance can help you to cover everything and prevent out-of-pocket expenses.
- Communication: In the case of the wrongful death case, communication is very vital. It becomes critical when death has been caused by negligence or misconduct.
- Investigation: In most cases, truck accidents need to be investigated with much precision, care, and professionalism. Authorities are interested in every detail concerning the accident, and they would like to know who was fault for the accident.
- Evaluation: The amount of money that you will be compensated will specifically depend on the injuries, the pain, and mental torture that you have experienced. The insurance company will always be interested in contesting the amount that you will be paid.
- Negotiation: In most cases, it is important to settle the accident case without involving the courts. This involves high-level negotiation between the parties involved.
- Advocacy: Studies show that most of the car accident cases are settled out of the court. However, everything might go out of the window where the only reliable solution is seeking the intervention of the courts.
- Seek medical attention: One of the first things you should do after being involved in a truck accident is to get medical attention. Whether you feel like you’re obviously hurt or not, it’s crucial you get looked at by a medical professional.
- Report the accident: Another important step to take is reporting the accident. A police report will document exactly what happened to cause the crash and be a crucial piece of evidence.
- Call an attorney: Once you’ve received medical care and have documented the accident, it’s time to call a lawyer. Overloaded trucks, equipment failure, and driver error can all result in an accident — and if another party was at fault, it can be beneficial for you to seek compensation.
- The names and contact information of all drivers and passengers involved. *eyewitnesses may be helpful
- The other drivers’ insurance information
- The year, make, model, and VIN for each vehicle involved
- The reference number for the police report and the responding officer’s name
- Pictures of the accident scene and vehicles involved
- Pictures of specific vehicle damage
It is a good idea to take detailed notes with details from the accident as soon as possible. Include road names, time of day, weather conditions, etc.
- The Driver: Like other vehicle accidents, the truck driver can be at fault for an accident. Distracted driving, driving while fatigued, and failing to comply with traffic laws can all result in the truck driver themselves being responsible for causing an accident.
- The Manufacturer: Sometimes, a truck driver can do everything right, but if something is wrong with the truck itself, they may still end up getting in an accident.
- The Trucking Company: Along with drivers of commercial vehicles, the company they work for could also be liable for an accident. All trucking companies are responsible for doing thorough background checks on all of their drivers, ensuring their drivers a properly trained, and making sure their drivers aren’t over-scheduled.