If someone else’s negligence caused your injuries in an accident involving a commercial truck, contact the St. Petersburg personal injury attorneys of Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers today. You might be entitled to compensation from the negligent truck driver, motor carrier, or another at-fault party. We could represent you in your claim to hold the at-fault person or company liable.
Collisions between commercial trucks and small cars are often catastrophic. Even at low speeds, an 80,000-pound truck can cause significant damage to a small 3,000-pound passenger vehicle. The occupants of the smaller vehicle typically sustain debilitating injuries. Fatalities also commonly occur in truck accidents.
When a dangerous truck driver crosses your path, you might not have much time to react and avoid a crash. Getting out of the way of a large vehicle like a tractor-trailer is nearly impossible. It could pin your car against a telephone pole or drive over your hood or trunk. Seeing a large truck barreling toward you on the road can be a traumatic experience.
At Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers, our truck accident attorneys in St. Petersburg, FL, have years of experience representing truck accident victims. We can provide the guidance and support you need to fight against the at-fault party for compensation. You can count on our team to remain in your corner and be your advocate during this devastating time in your life.
Call Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers today at (727) 605-1100 for your free consultation and let us help you get on the road to recovery.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
Commercial trucks serve a range of purposes. Some companies use tractor-trailers to transport consumer goods, large or heavy items, and manufacturing materials. Box trucks and vans are available to the public for moving furniture to a new home or boxes to a storage facility. No matter which type of commercial truck people or companies use, the consequences of an accident between a truck and a passenger vehicle are often the same.
The most common types of truck accidents include:
- T-bone accidents – A T-bone accident happens when the front end of a large truck collides with the side of a smaller vehicle. The force of the impact is enough to crumple the car like a piece of paper and trap the occupants inside.
- Jackknife accidents – Trucks jackknife when the trailer and cab of a tractor-trailer slide toward each other. Typically, a sudden change in direction or momentum from taking a sharp turn or slamming on the brakes can cause this type of collision.
- Rollover accidents – The image of a commercial truck rolling over might be daunting. However, it could happen if enough force causes the tires to life off the ground. Since large trucks are top-heavy and have a high center of gravity, they are more susceptible to rolling.
- Head-on collisions – Head-on accidents with large trucks can have fatal consequences. According to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, head-on accidents between trucks and passenger vehicles accounted for 30 percent of fatalities in 2020.
- Override and underride accidents – An underride accident happens when a vehicle crashes into the back or side of a truck’s trailer and slides underneath. Override accidents result from a truck colliding with the back of a car and driving on top of it.
- Rear-end collisions – Trucks require a longer stopping distance than small cars. When a truck driver tailgates someone, they don’t have much space to bring their truck to a complete stop when necessary.
If your injury resulted from any type of accident that wasn’t your fault and involved a commercial truck, do not hesitate to contact Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers. We can immediately start investigating the crash to determine who was at fault and obtain evidence to prove that you deserve compensation for your injury.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents happen for a range of reasons. Multiple contributing factors can cause a truck driver to lose control of their vehicle or crash into a nearby car. The most common causes of commercial truck accidents include:
- Driving under the influence – Federal regulations hold truck drivers to a much higher standard than drivers of non-commercial vehicles. A truck driver is under the influence of alcohol if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at or above 0.04 percent. For non-commercial motorists, driving under the influence occurs with a BAC of at least 0.08 percent.
- Failing to check blind spots – Any truck driver attempting to turn, merge, or change lanes must look at their blind spots first. Blind spots on commercial trucks are on all four sides and are much larger than on passenger cars.
- Speeding – Speeding in a large truck is reckless and places the lives of other road users at risk. It’s more challenging for the trucker to have total control over their vehicle and maneuver properly when necessary. A high-speed crash between a truck and a passenger vehicle could be deadly.
- Fatigued driving – Truck drivers must stay within federally-mandated driving limits. They can’t spend more than eleven hours on the road after ten hours off duty. Operating a commercial truck for extended periods can lead to fatigue and prevent the trucker from noticing dangerous conditions or staying awake at the wheel.
- Poor truck maintenance – Motor carriers must maintain all trucks in their fleets. The parts should not contain defects or damage. A lack of maintenance can cause the vehicle to malfunction while the truck driver is on the road, resulting in a crash.
- Improperly loading cargo – Federal regulations impose weight and size limits for every commercial truck. Cargo must stay within these limits and remain adequately secured at all times. Loose cargo could fall off the trailer and create hazards for other drivers.
- Tailgating – The blind spot in front of a truck’s cab could prevent the trucker from noticing a car in their path. Following someone’s vehicle too closely doesn’t allow enough distance for the truck driver to brake if traffic suddenly stops. A rear-end collision could occur and cause severe injuries to the occupants of the smaller car.
Multiple parties could be at fault for a truck accident. Although most people assume the truck driver’s actions are to blame, their employer could share some or all the responsibility.
Employers must hire experienced and qualified drivers but sometimes skip necessary background checks to address a staffing shortage. Maintenance workers could be at fault for a crash by not replacing a defective or recalled truck part.
Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers can review the details of your case and determine who could be held liable. Whether the truck driver or another negligent party caused the collision, you can count on our St. Petersburg truck accident attorneys to fight for you.
Common Injuries in Truck Accidents
Severe injuries are common in commercial truck accidents. The human body can’t withstand the extreme forces it experiences when a large truck crashes into a small car. The most common types of injuries in truck accidents include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of limb
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Burn injuries
- Psychological trauma
- Permanent disfigurement or scarring
- Internal bleeding
Truck accident victims often spend significant time healing from severe injuries. Some might not be able to return to their jobs for a while because of the physical or mental limitations the injury causes. Household assistance might also be necessary if showering or walking independently isn’t possible.
Compensation for Injuries in a Truck Accident
Every motorist must show proof of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to register a motor vehicle in Florida. The minimum required limit is $10,000. This coverage pays for necessary and reasonable medical expenses and can replace up to 60 percent of lost wages after an accident.
The no-fault law requires injured drivers and passengers to file a PIP claim with their own insurance carrier to compensate for financial losses before pursuing compensation from the at-fault motorist’s insurer. You will likely need to file a liability claim with the motor carrier’s insurance company because $10,000 typically isn’t enough to cover all incurred costs.
However, you must meet a serious injury threshold to step outside the no-fault restrictions and pursue compensation in a liability claim. Your injury must consist in part or whole of:
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Permanent and significant loss of a vital bodily function
- Permanent injury other than disfigurement or scarring within a reasonable degree of medical probability
The settlement you recover might compensate you for losses, such as:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage
You could also pursue punitive damages if you file a lawsuit against the negligent party. A judge or jury might award these damages to you if you can show clear and convincing evidence of the defendant’s gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
Statute of Limitations in a Truck Accident Lawsuit
The Florida statute of limitations allows a four-year timeframe for filing personal injury lawsuits. That means you have four years from the crash date to initiate your lawsuit against the at-fault party. If the timeframe passes before you file suit, you could lose your right to pursue compensation in court.
At Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers, our truck accident attorneys in St. Petersburg, FL, are ready to seek justice for the harm you suffered. Someone else’s misconduct caused your injury, and they should face the consequences. Our team will investigate the crash and create a strategy to meet your needs. You can count on us to tirelessly work to try to reach the best possible result in your case.
Call Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers at (727) 605-1100 for your free consultation if you sustained injuries in a truck accident due to someone’s wrongdoing.