Trucks are essential for commerce and vital to the transportation industry, but these large vehicles can become incredibly dangerous if the drivers are not cautious. The weight of a truck can total a car, even in a low-speed collision.
Truck drivers are under a lot of pressure to get their loads delivered on time, and there are state and federal laws designed to ensure safe trucking. Even so, negligence continues to play a role in many truck accidents, as operating a tractor-trailer requires a great deal of attention and skill. If a careless or inexperienced 18-wheeler operator struck your car, you have the right to pursue damages.
A Wesley Chapel truck accident lawyer can help you seek compensation that will cover and account for your long-term injuries and damages. Our hard-working lawyers at Hancock Injury Attorneys are prepared to guide you through the legal process and fight for what you deserve.
Potential Causes of Tractor-Trailer Collisions
There are many ways in which a truck accident can occur. However, some of the most common causes are related to trucker negligence. Potential negligent acts include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while fatigued
- Inadequate driver training or supervision
- Poor maintenance of the vehicle
- Mechanical failure
Our attorneys will work with you to uncover evidence indicating the cause of the semi-truck collision. This evidence might include:
- The driver’s employment file
- Cell phone records
- Driving records, schedules, and logs
- The truck’s black box and maintenance records
- The safety record of the make and model of the truck
Gathering evidence can be difficult, especially when you are still recovering from your injuries. When you work with us, you can be assured that our team will get all the information needed to succeed in winning your case.
Is It Possible to Have Multiple Liable Parties?
One of the factors that make truck accident cases complex is the number of potentially liable parties. There are often several people or entities whose negligence might have contributed to the accident. An experienced personal injury attorney can analyze the evidence to identify all the potentially negligent parties who might be liable for damages.
A truck driver who was violating the law at the time of the accident can be liable for damages. However, that person may not have enough insurance or personal assets to cover your damages.
The driver’s employer could be negligent if they were negligent in hiring, supervising, or enforcing federal trucking laws. Furthermore, the vehicle manufacturer or maintenance company can bear liability if a defective or poorly maintained part caused the accident. A seasoned lawyer in Wesley Chapel can advise you on who to name as the defendant in your truck accident claim, or tell you if there should be multiple defendants held liable for the accident.
What If the Plaintiff is Also Negligent for the Truck Accident?
There are often several factors that lead to an accident. In some cases, the injured person was partly responsible for the tractor-trailer crash. Fortunately, Florida follows a pure comparative negligence doctrine, which allows negligent plaintiffs to pursue damages regardless of their degree of responsibility for the accident.
However, it is important to note that the court will reduce your damages award by a percentage equal to your percentage of fault. If you are partially responsible for the 18-wheeler collision, you should talk to a skilled attorney about the amount of compensation you might receive.
What Damages Are Available to Injured Parties Wesley Chapel?
Plaintiffs in truck accident cases can get compensation for various financial and emotional losses. Common examples of economic and non-economic damages include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
A dedicated truck accident lawyer in Wesley Chapel can help you document all your losses to ensure you receive an appropriate amount of compensation. Florida does not limit the amount that plaintiffs can collect in compensatory damages. If you believe the other party’s behavior was especially reckless or egregious, you may choose to pursue punitive damages. The court caps this award at the greater of three times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
The statute of limitations is the legal deadline for filing a lawsuit. According to Florida Statute §95.11(3), you have four years from the date of injury to file your claim. If you miss the deadline, the court will likely dismiss your case.
The sooner you begin working on your claim, the better. Investigators for trucking companies start examining an accident the day that it happens. The early involvement of a legal professional can ensure the preservation of critical evidence that might support your semi-truck accident claim.
Why Choose Hancock Injury Attorneys?
Attorney Mike Hancock has experience that most other truck accident attorneys in Wesley Chapel do not. He worked on the defense side for eight years working for insurance companies like Geico and State Farm, so he knows their negotiating tactics, and how to beat them. This insider knowledge is how we are able to make sure our clients get what is rightfully theirs.
In addition to our unique experience and years of expertise, we are dedicated to making sure our clients can be focused on healing, while we take some of their stress off their shoulders. We make sure your financial hardships related to the accident are taken care of and that you can get your life back on track.
Consult a Wesley Chapel Truck Accident Attorney Today
Pursuing damages in a legal case is a complex undertaking. It requires a thorough understanding of local transportation laws and regulations, as well as top-notch investigatory and negotiation skills.
Working with a professional experienced in these matters can make a positive difference in the outcome of your case. Contact a Wesley Chapel truck accident lawyer today to schedule your free consultation and get the legal advice you need.