Have you or one of your loved ones been seriously injured in a truck accident in Tampa, Florida? Or, has your insurance company undervalued your claim or blamed you for your accident? Are you looking for a Tampa Truck Accident Lawyer? Help is here!
In Tampa, truck accidents are a major cause of fatal traffic accidents. Truck accident injuries are often far more serious than they may seem on the surface. Injured individuals can face mounting medical bills and the inability to work due to their condition. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you pursue compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain, suffering, and other damages.
The truck accident attorneys of Coleman Law Group have a proven record of success in helping victims in all types of accidents. Call us today for a free review of your case.
Is it Safe to Drive Trucks in Tampa? Let’s Find Out
Tampa is a very safe city for trucking. Despite its rough and tumble past, Tampa today is one of the safest cities in Florida, with only 3.07 violent crimes per 1,000 residents as compared to 4.77 in Miami, a city that is notorious for having high crime rates. (Source)
In fact, out of all interstate highways which cross through Tampa, I-4 is the safest and has the lowest fatality rate of any highway in America. With good weather, low crime rates, safe highways, and abundant truck parking opportunities, it’s safe to say that Tampa is one of the most desirable places to drive a truck in Florida.
However, a mishap can happen anytime due to any reason.
Let’s Have a Quick Snippet On Truck Accident Statistics in Tampa
Tampa has the highest number of truck accidents in Florida and the second-highest in the United States. Each year, Florida’s roads and highways account for thousands of injuries and deaths caused by careless or reckless drivers in the state of Florida.
- The annual average of truck accident deaths in Tampa is 1.4 per 100,000 people.
- Over the past 5 years, truck accident fatalities in Tampa were below the national average annually by -0.1 and was above the national average annually by 0.2 starting in 2018
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that large trucks, including tractor-trailers and semis, were involved in approximately 112,000 accidents in 2012 alone. These accidents often result in serious injuries for the occupants of the other vehicles involved and can also take a financial toll.
What are the Damages You Can Claim in a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
After a commercial truck crash, the damages can be devastating. Your Tampa truck accident lawyer will calculate the potential financial losses, including present and future medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Such as:
- Lost wages
- Commercial/residential property damage
- Medical bills
- Other accident-related expenses
- Counselling fees
Apart from the financial losses, you can also claim for the emotional losses such as
- Mental stress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical and mental pain and suffering
You shouldn’t have to pay for the health care costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering caused by an 18-wheeler or any commercial truck. You might be able to recover compensation for these losses if the accident was caused by a negligent driver or trucking company. Our Tampa truck accident lawyers team will listen to your story and help you determine whether you have a case.
Prime Reasons for Truck Accidents in Tampa
The roads are full of logging trucks and other commercial trucks, so it’s not a matter of if you’ll be involved in a trucking accident, but rather when. Therefore, understanding what causes common trucking collisions can help you avoid them or know how to respond. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
A study released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration concluded that of all large truck accidents, around 13% are caused by driver fatigue. Truck drivers who don’t follow federal regulations in order to reach their destination on time or carry more cargo tend to drive while they’re tired. Therefore, they should always avoid driving while exhausted and stay on the lookout for drivers who doze off. This can prevent life-changing injuries and save lives.
Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol
Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is the reason for thousands of road accidents every day. You are much more likely to get into an accident after consuming a few alcoholic beverages and should always be avoided at all costs.
When truck drivers are distracted, they pose serious risks to everyone on the road. Potential sources of distraction while they drive include: eating and drinking, listening/talking to passengers, using the radio equipment, talking on a cellphone, texting, and changing the radio station. If you were injured in a semi-truck crash caused by distracted driving, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Every year in the U.S., about 116,000 people are injured or killed in truck accidents. A leading cause of these accidents is driver error: distraction, drowsiness, impaired driving and overcorrect steering.
Accordingly, high speed increases the distance needed to stop. Driving at very high speeds decreases the time that a driver has to make a decision or react to an emergency. Highway speeds, even 5 to 10 mph above the speed limit, reduce the ability of drivers and passengers to survive crashes.
Commercial vehicle drivers and owners who do not take proper steps to maintain their vehicles are required by law, but some still neglect maintenance. In doing so, they risk faking safety check documents, creating unsafe roads for everyone, and fines that could be used for maintenance.
Overloading the Truck
Exceeding a truck’s legal weight limits can result in fines, possible imprisonment, and other penalties. Overloaded trucks are also dangerous — not just for the driver but for everyone on the road.
Common Injuries & Damages Caused by Truck Accidents
A tractor-trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds fully loaded. Added to that weight is the weight of a semi-truck, typically in the approximate 20,000-pound range. Compared with a standard passenger vehicle that usually weighs between 2,000 and 4,000 pounds, the damage is astounding.
The injuries sustained due to a truck accident can turn into:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Death from crushing and other crushing injuries
- Loss of limbs and amputations
- Severe burns
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Broken bones and complex fractures
- Soft tissue and nerve damage
- Neck and back injuries
- Severe disfigurement and scarring
What Kinds of Damages Can I Recover If Someone Hits My Car With a Truck?
In a truck accident lawsuit, you can seek compensation for all the damages that stem from the accident. It starts with easily identifiable financial losses–medical bills, repair estimates, and loss of income. The value of pain, mental anguish, and suffering are harder to pin down. Your truck accident lawyer will work to determine a reasonable value for your claim based on the circumstances surrounding your case.
However, the damages you can seek depend on the nature and severity of your losses. Often, truck accident victims can collect compensation for:
- Property damage
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional distress
- Medical bills, including emergency and home care
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Mental anguish
- Reduced quality of life
Furthermore, punitive damages might also be available to you depending on what occurred during your crash and where it happened. Further, if a loved one was killed in a truck crash, surviving family members can pursue wrongful death benefits.
Who is Liable When I get into an Accident with a Tractor-Trailer?
Since there are so many potential at-fault parties and factors, it can be complicated to understand who is liable for your tractor-trailer accident. The trailer’s driver, their company, the trailer manufacturer, maintenance company, or a third-party vehicle, can all be held responsible.
What Can I Do to Protect My Rights After a Truck Accident in Tampa?
After any Tampa truck accident, make sure you take the right steps to protect yourself and your rights. Fortunately, our experienced truck accident attorneys are here to help.
We understand exactly what steps you will need to take to win your claim.
Report the Accident Immediately
After a tractor-trailer accident, contacting the police is extremely important. If you are seriously injured, call 911. Officers can help direct traffic and make sure both you and your truck are safe while an accident investigation takes place. Plus, they’ll also complete an accident report that will document important details about your accident – including the time, date, weather, and specific location.
Seek Medical Care Right Away
You may be able to establish a causal link between your crash and an injury you got later. If you have less than 6 months between your crash and your check-in, the law requires your doctor to fill out a report that states his or her opinion of the cause. This is when you’ll ask for medical records from the doctor who treated you after the accident or from any other healthcare provider that examined or treated you.
Document the Scene
When you are dealing with the aftermath of a trucking accident, you might not know what details could help in your claim. A photo or video can show so much more than memory alone. We encourage our clients to capture as much detail as possible at the scene of the collision. It could make all the difference in your case. Moreover, take pictures of skid marks, damage to vehicles and property, and even tire tracks. Your attorney and their team may be able to use these photos and videos to find clues that will help build your case.
Call a Tampa Truck Accident Lawyer
It’s natural to want to quickly resolve the accident if it caused only minor damage and no injuries. But, insurance companies often use initial discussions and your recorded statements to try to limit their liability. Let our professionally trained auto accident lawyers step in and protect you from insurers who try to shortchange accident victims of the compensation they need and deserve.
Remember, tractor-trailer truck accidents are complex cases that require a skilled investigation to determine the liable parties. There may be three or more cars involved in the accident, and sometimes, the trailer is defective. That’s why seeking legal representation is imperative for protecting your rights and claiming the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.
How much time do I have to file a lawsuit?
If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident in Florida, you might be entitled to compensation. However, Florida law imposes a time limit on filing a trucking accident claim. Known as the statute of limitations, it gives you only our years to sue and seek damages for your injuries. Our attorneys can help you understand Florida’s trucking laws and begin building your case so that you get the compensation you deserve as quickly as possible.
Can I still get compensation if I’m partially at fault?
You can. It’s not uncommon for the parties to be partially at fault in truck accidents, as well as motorcycle and car accidents. In fact, the partial fault is so common that Florida follows a legal rule that allows you to receive compensation even if you were partially at fault.
Contact a Tampa accident lawyer for a free case evaluation about your accident today
When victims are involved in a truck accident, they can sustain life-changing injuries. The cost of medical care and lost wages can be astronomical. Victims often rely on insurance companies to help pay the bills. Unfortunately, after an accident, these companies’ last thing on their minds is paying out a fair settlement.
We know how traumatic it is to be in a truck accident, but we are here to help you through this difficult time. We will stand beside you as we guide you on what steps to take after the crash, who to talk to and what to say.
It is important that victims hire a legal team as soon as possible, as some insurance companies will try not to provide adequate compensation or may ask victims to sign an unfair settlement. The Coleman Law Group conducts full investigations of these truck crashes and will do all we can to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
The team of personal injury lawyers at Coleman Law Group are passionate about protecting the rights of personal injury victims in Orlando, Tampa and surrounding Florida communities. Our lawyers help injured people to recover the compensation they deserve from negligent parties that caused their injuries. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation, and let’s get started on your case.