Truck accidents happen every day. With major interstates such as I-75, I-275, and I-4 all crossing through Tampa, truck accidents are a scary, all-too-common reality. They are often the most serious accident cases we see.
Unfortunately, truck accidents, especially when they involve a passenger vehicle, are likely to leave their victims in pain, facing rising expenses, and under the overwhelming stress of not knowing what to do next. Many result in serious physical injury and property damage.
It can take a significant amount of time and money to recover from an accident of this nature, and some unfortunately never recover from their injuries. It takes a lot of will power and effort to get through the treatment for these injuries. With so much to worry about, you don’t needed the added stress of wondering how you will pay for this treatment and dealing with dozens of calls from the insurance company
The aftermath of a truck accident can be a challenging time for you and your family. You may be uncertain whether you have a valid legal claim arising from the accident. You may be at a loss for how to proceed. You need advice and counsel that will help you move forward.
If a collision with a truck resulted in serious injury, personal injury attorneys, can not only investigate to determine if the driver and possibly truck employer were negligent, but also make sure all you have to worry about is recovering. We will take care of everything else. Call us now to speak to a Tampa truck accident attorney, the consultation is free.
Because of their extreme weight and massive size, large truck accidents tend to cause more fatalities than any other type of vehicle accident. Approximately 12 percent of all accidents are caused by large trucks. These trucks are also referred to as semis, tractor-trailers, and transfer trucks.
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For truck drivers and the companies that employ them, time is money. When those commercial drivers are hurrying or driving aggressively to meet a deadline, they put other motorists and pedestrians at risk. While there are many contributing factors to large truck accidents, driver fatigue, has been a long-standing issue in the trucking industry. Criticism has been voiced against the lack of training regulations throughout the country, and trucking companies have been investigated for not complying with maintenance standards.
For occupants of a passenger vehicle, crashes involving commercial trucks are among the most dangerous. Much of this is due to the size differential between most trucks and passenger vehicles. Even large SUVs and pickups are no match for a loaded semi-truck.
Compare a Chevrolet Suburban with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 7,400 pounds to the 80,000 GVW of a tractor-trailer. At over 10 times the weight, in a crash involving a tractor-trailer and a Suburban, the Suburban doesn’t stand a chance. A dedicated Tampa truck accident lawyer could be key in forming a strong claim, even in horrific situations like these.
We Handle Truck Accident Cases Involving:
- Tractor-trailers, flatbed semis, and other over-the-road trucks
- Construction vehicles and heavy equipment
- Delivery trucks and other commercial vehicles
Our Tampa truck accident lawyers are prepared to invest the considerable time and resources required to make you whole again. We advance the costs of hiring accident reconstruction specialists, automotive engineers, and other experts necessary to win your case.
Benefits of Hiring a Tampa Truck Accident Attorney
You are not obligated to work with an attorney to file an accident claim after being injured in a truck accident, but there are many ways an experienced personal injury attorney can greatly benefit you in your physical and financial recovery. Just some of what we take care of includes:
- All communication with the insurance companies
- Keep track of all medical records and bills
- Collect and review evidence that helps prove liability
- Help find you doctors and specialists that will determine how your injuries will affect you in the future.
- After the investigation, we can give you an accurate estimate of the claim and negotiate for a fair settlement.
- If the insurance companies are unreasonable we have the means to take your case to trial.
What are the Common Causes of Tractor-Trailer Accidents?
Some of the most common causes of tractor-trailer accidents are careless driving, failure to yield, drowsy driving, distracted driving, and poor vehicle maintenance.
- Careless driving—One of the leading causes of truck accidents in Tampa is due to careless driving on behalf of the truck driver. This can include the driver eating or drinking while driving, playing with their radio, or doing anything else that takes their eyes away from the road.
- Failing to yield—Another cause of semi-truck collision is when they fail to yield to passenger vehicles that are coming on or off highways. They may also ignore vehicles as they are changing lanes or moving through the intersection. Larger trucks need more space in order to maneuver, but drivers may fail to appreciate the distance required to drive safely with other vehicles.
- Drowsy driving—Unfortunately, there are a lot of drivers who are held to outrageous schedules and required to meet demands that are only possible if they limit the amount of time they sleep. This often results in extreme drowsiness, which means the trucker could accidentally fall asleep at the wheel or at least have delayed reaction times. Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunken driving – and a leading cause of fatal large vehicle wrecks in Tampa, the state, as well as throughout the rest of the country.
- Distracted driving—It is easy for a truck driver to become distracted while operating a large commercial vehicle. Sometimes the driver may be talking on a cell phone, adjusting their navigation, playing with the radio, or even reading and sending text messages. Any time a truck driver’s eyes or cognitive abilities are removed from the road, they pose a danger to the rest of the public.
- Poor maintenance—Trucks are supposed to be well-maintained and safe though that doesn’t mean all commercial fleets follow such practices. There are numerous instances where a semi-truck will cause an accident due to malfunctioning brakes, poor windshield wipers, or other fatal maintenance errors that are easily prevented just by frequently checking the vehicle.
Who May Be Responsible for a Commercial Truck Collision?
Commercial truck accidents in Tampa are often much more complex to litigate than an average automobile accident involving two private parties. With a large vehicle collision, multiple parties could be responsible for the accident. Potentially liable parties include the trucking company, the truck driver, the auto mechanic, the cargo company, a government entity, or the vehicle manufacturer.
- Trucking Companies- Respondeat Superior is the legal concept that one who hires another to perform some task is responsible for any injuries to third parties caused by the person or entity hired. In commercial truck accidents, ultimately, the trucking company that owns the truck and hires the driver has overall responsibility for crashes involving their vehicle and driver. The problem may be determining who “owns” the truck. Often, the truck may not even be owned by the company whose advertising is printed on the side of the truck. The truck and trailer may be leased, possibly by two different companies.
- The Truck Driver- The driver may be an employee of the leasing company, or he may be an independent contractor hired by the leasing company to drive the shipment.
- Truck Repair/Mechanic Shops- The truck, or tractor and/or trailer may be maintained by a third party maintenance firm, instead of the work being done by company mechanics. Figuring out who repairs the truck could be important.
- Cargo Companies – Depending on the product the truck is carrying, the company that loaded the truck may be responsible for part of the accident.
- The Government- Federal, state, county or city governments could also be held responsible for aspects of the commercial vehicle accident due to their involvement in the design, construction, and maintenance of the highway where the crash occurred. This element can be further complicated by the fact that some governmental entities have sovereign immunity and cannot be sued, while others have limited or no immunity.
- Truck Manufacturers- The crash could also be due to a design or manufacturing defect in the truck itself. This question can become very complex if the allegedly defective part or parts could also implicate one or more contractors or subcontractors, and could be answered with the help of a Tampa truck collision lawyer.
National Truck Wreck Statistics:
- In 76% of fatal crashes involving large trucks and 80% of injury crashes involving large trucks, the first harmful event (the first event during a crash that caused injury or property damage) was a collision with another motor vehicle.
- Passenger vehicles were involved in 91% of these fatal crashes and 94% of these injury crashes.
- For two-vehicle fatal crashes involving a large truck and a passenger vehicle: Of the 398 fatal head-on crashes, the large truck crossed the center line in 13% and the passenger vehicle crossed the center line in 87% of the crashes.
- Of the 318 fatal rear-end crashes, the large truck hit the passenger vehicle in the rear in 24% and the passenger vehicle hit the large truck in the rear in 76% of the crashes
Evidence We Might Use In A Truck Accident Case
With such a complex accident, it is crucial to gather as much evidence as possible. Our attorneys may use any of the following to help prove fault:
- Eye witness statements
- Police reports
- Black box recorders
- Truck cameras
- Drug and alcohol test results
- Truck driver logs
- Internal records from the trucking company
- Reports from accident reconstruction experts
A Tampa Truck Accident Attorney Could Help Victims Seek Legal Remedies
The aftermath of a truck accident can be a challenging time for you and your family. You may be uncertain whether you have a valid legal claim arising from the accident. You may be at a loss with how to proceed. Our Tampa truck accident lawyers can help! We can give you the advice and counsel you need to move forward.
After an accident, our attorney will conduct an immediate investigation to determine if trucking companies and drivers did everything they were required by law to do. We will investigate the driver’s background and ensure that evidence such as the truck’s GPS system and driver logbook were preserved and filled out accurately. Even with safety measures in place, trucking accidents still occur.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding a truck accident, remedies may be available for injured victims. If driver negligence is implicated, monetary damages can generally be recovered to pay for medical bills, loss of wages, pain, and suffering. In some circumstances, punitive damages may be awarded, if the negligence was egregious.
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