At Florida Lawyers 360, our seasoned and compassionate legal experts have many years of combined experience handling complex personal injury matters, including truck accidents.
It is no secret that a truck accident can wreak havoc on a victim’s life, leaving him or her with severe injuries, buried under a mountain of medical bills, facing long and excruciating recovery periods, and wondering how they will move on with their lives. Large trucks, big-rig trucks, 18-wheelers, and semi-trucks – due to their size and weight – are essentially guaranteed to cause catastrophic damages and injuries when they crash with smaller vehicles. Yet all too often, trucking companies treat crashes as part of the regular course of doing business and simply set aside a budget for insurance and potential liability costs.
At Florida Lawyers 36, our Tampa truck accident lawyers are dedicated to representation trucking accident victims – and will take on even the most complex or challenging case. Our team understands that some injuries related to truck accidents can result in disability, inability to work, and a lifetime of expenses. Our lawyers will dedicate their work and resources to protecting your rights.
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What Should You Do After A Truck Accident?
When a commercial truck collides with a standard passenger vehicle or motorcycle, the outcome can be catastrophic. Besides, truck accidents are often complex, and several parties could be held liable. For this reason, it’s best to know how you can protect your interest right after a truck accident.
Immediately after a crash involving a truck:
Get To Safety
When a collision involving a commercial truck occurs, the first thing you need to do is check that you’re okay and you’re out of harm’s way. That means getting yourself to safety or away from traffic – but don’t leave the scene. Getting to safety could potentially save your life.
Next, even if you think no one suffered any injuries, contact the police and make sure to ask them to make a report of the crash.
Florida law requires that anyone at the crash scene is responsible for helping injured persons. So check on others, including passengers in your vehicle, and offer reasonable assistance where possible.
Make sure to get the contact information of the truck driver, including their employer’s info, their driver’s license number, name, phone number, email address, physical address, and insurance information.
Document The Crash Scene & Speak With Witnesses
You should also note down the truck’s make and model. If you can access your camera or phone, take pictures of every small detail, including debris at the scene, skid marks or the road, traffic signs, the weather, traffic conditions, and so on.
Seek Medical Attention ASAP
Even when there are no visible signs of injury, you should still visit the nearest ER or your doctor for a medical checkup. Oftentimes, truck accident victims sustain injuries that are not readily apparent immediately after the accident. Keep detailed documentation of your injuries and treatment.
Contact An Attorney
Immediately after a crash involving a truck, trucking companies will send insurance adjusters and representatives to gather evidence and even make you a cash offer so they can limit their liability. NEVER speak with any representatives, sign anything, or accept a cash offer without talking to a truck accident attorney. That’s why your first call after contacting the police should be to a truck accident attorney.
What Are The Laws Regarding Liability For Truck Accident Case In Tampa, Florida?
Understanding the laws regarding liability for truck accidents in Tampa, FL, is an essential part of your claim. While several parties can potentially be held responsible for damages arising after a truck accident, proving liability will typically involve two laws. Let’s examine each:
Florida’s Pure Comparative Negligence
Any individual lodging an injury claim can recover compensation from the defendant regardless of their role or degree of fault. That means you can still obtain compensation even if your percentage of fault exceeds that of the truck driver, loading company, trucking company, or other liable parties.
Florida’s Negligence law
Any truck driver, trucking company, loading company, and other parties can be held liable for causing damages and injuries to another road user. A sufferer is entitled to lodge an injury claim. However, they must prove that the responsible party was negligent in causing the crash. There are four elements for demonstrating negligence in Florida truck accidents:
- The defendant owed the trucking accident victims a duty of care;
- The defendant actions or inactions breached or violated their duty of care to the trucking accident victim through their negligence and:
- The defendant’s violation or breach of duty of care was the significant factor in causing the truck accident victim’s losses;
- The plaintiff’s losses and injuries were caused by the defendant’s negligence and nothing else.
How Can A Truck Accident Attorney Help?
Handling a truck accident lawsuit is no simple task. Luckily, our Tampa truck accidents have got you covered. Our truck accident attorneys can help you every step of your claim with:
This may include sending investigators and forensic experts to the scene of the crash, preserving evidence, including electronic logging devices, truck cameras, and trucking company records. We will also collect witness statements to find the information needed to lodge your lawsuit and pursue the compensation you deserve.
Filing Your Claim
Your lawyer will help you bring your claim within Florida’s personal injury statutes of limitation.
Trucking companies have big insurance companies and law firms at their disposal. Often, they have two objectives: to settle your claim fast and for as little settlement as possible. Our experienced injury lawyers know how to deal with insurance companies and their big law firms and will take care of all communications with the liable party, their insurers, and layers to negotiate a favorable settlement on your behalf.
The truck accident lawyers at Florida Lawyers 360 have the experience, resources, and confidence to fight for your compensation in Florida civil courts.
What Types Of Compensation Can I Receive In Tampa For My Truck Accident Case?
Recoverable damages for a truck accident case in Florida can be divided into either of the following categories:
Include financial or tangible losses and may include:
- Legal fees
- Property loss/damage
- Lost wages
- Medical costs
- Vehicle repairs
- Future medical treatment
- Home care and home remodeling costs
- Rehabilitation and psychological treatment costs
These cover non-financial losses and may include:
- Emotional distress
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death
These damages are awarded when the defendant’s conduct is found to be malicious or grossly reckless.
Is There A Deadline For Filing A Truck Accident Lawsuit?
When deciding whether to lodge a lawsuit after a truck accident, sufferers are encouraged to act quickly as Florida’s statute of limitations sets strict deadlines for filing an injury lawsuit. In truck accident cases, the time limit is four years – starting from the accident date.
The longer you wait to file your claim, the more challenging it will be to pursue and recover the compensation you are owed.
Determining Who Is Liable After A Truck Accident
While each truck accident is unique, multiple parties could be held liable for the crash, including:
Truck drivers found to be in violation of Florida’s safety regulations and cause a collision may be held liable for the sufferer’s injuries or losses. A truck driver’s negligence may include drunk driving, distracted driving, not abiding by set safety regulations, etc.
A trucking company that intentionally or negligently violates transportation or safety regulations may be held liable for damages and losses linked to a truck accident if these violations contributed to the crash. A trucking company’s
negligence may include poorly maintained trucks, allowing unqualified drivers to operate the trucks, and encouraging truck drivers to forego sleep.
Other parties that may be liable for a truck accident:
- Vehicle Or Parts Manufacturer
- Loading Company
File Your Claim With An Experienced Tampa Truck Accident Lawyer
A truck accident claim is complicated, especially where there are multiple parties responsible and you’re suffering from serious injuries. That’s precisely why you need to make sure that your life won’t be turned upside down. We invite you to call our Tampa car accident lawyers at (954) 448-7355 to book a free case review. We can help.