Tampa Truck Accident Lawyers
If you suffered injuries in an accident involving a commercial truck and someone else is at fault, contact the Tampa personal injury attorneys of Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers immediately. You might be entitled to compensation from the negligent party to cover your lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, and other costs.
Truck accidents can occur because of various contributing factors. Tractors trailers, oil tankers, and other commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and cause significant destruction during a collision with a small car. Drivers must obtain a special license and meet multiple training requirements to operate an 18-wheeler or other big rig. Unqualified and careless truckers could cause an accident and injure the occupants of other vehicles.
The drivers and passengers of small cars often sustain debilitating injuries. The impact between a truck and a car is violent and causes sudden changes in direction that a person’s body can’t handle. The physical trauma is severe and often requires extensive medical treatment to heal.
It’s common for accident victims to be in shock and feel confused in the immediate aftermath. Many injuries are painful, and determining how to handle the next steps can be overwhelming. It’s critical to contact Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers so we can start working on your case. You should focus on seeking medical care and recovering. Our truck accident lawyers in Tampa, FL, can complete the necessary aspects of your insurance claim or lawsuit, so you don’t face the responsibility yourself.
Call Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers at (619) 233-5020 for a free consultation and let us represent you against the negligent truck driver or trucking company.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
Individuals and companies use different types of trucks for various purposes. Someone might rent a delivery van to move furniture into their new home or call a tow truck to pull their car out of a ditch. A business owner will purchase a fleet of tractor-trailers to transport consumer products to their warehouse. Construction workers use various types of trucks to haul away waste and dig holes in the ground.
Although commercial trucks are useful, they can cause severe injuries and fatalities in accidents. The most common types of truck accidents include:
- Underride and override accidents – These kinds of accidents can have deadly consequences for the occupants of smaller vehicles. An underride accident happens when a car collides with the back or side of the trailer and slides underneath. An override accident results from the cab of a truck running over the back of another vehicle during a collision.
- Jackknife accidents – A truck can jackknife for many reasons, whether the truck driver brakes suddenly, turns too fast, or swerves to avoid a vehicle in their path. A jackknife accident occurs when the trailer and cab of a commercial truck slide towards each other at an angle.
- Head-on collisions – When the front end of a large truck and small car collide, life-threatening injuries and fatalities are likely. According to statistics, 30 percent of truck accident deaths resulted from a head-on crash.
- T-bone accidents – A T-bone accident occurs when one vehicle crashes into the side of another. A large truck could crush a small car and trap the driver or passenger inside. T-bone collisions commonly happen in the middle of intersections if a driver runs a red light or fails to yield the right of way.
- Rear-end accidents – Tailgating is a common contributing factor to rear-end collisions. It’s nearly impossible for someone to bring their commercial truck to a complete stop and avoid an accident if they’re following another driver too closely.
- Rollover accidents – Large trucks are top-heavy and have a high center of gravity. This makes them more susceptible to rolling during a collision. Various circumstances could lead to a rollover accident, including sudden maneuvering or speeding around a sharp turn.
If you suffered an injury in any type of truck accident, reach out to Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers immediately. We can investigate the crash and determine who we can hold liable for your injury.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
A range of circumstances can cause a commercial truck accident, such as:
- Speeding – Driving over the speed limit is dangerous, especially in a commercial truck. Trucks need more time and distance to come to a complete stop the faster they travel. If a trucker speeds, they likely can’t stop and prevent an accident if traffic comes to a standstill or a hazard is in the middle of the road.
- Failure to check blind spots – Large trucks have a blind spot behind the trailer, in front of the cab, and on either side. Truck drivers must check these blind spots before turning, changing lanes, merging onto a highway, or speeding up. Otherwise, they could sideswipe a small car or turn into a vehicle in their path.
- Loading cargo improperly – There are weight and size limits for cargo on commercial trucks. Overloading the vehicle places too much weight on the tires and could lead to a blowout. Excess items in the trailer could throw the entire truck off-balance, preventing the driver from having total control.
- Driving under the influence – Federal law considers a driver to be under the influence if they operate a commercial motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04 percent or higher. Alcohol impairs a person’s faculties, making it more challenging to understand road signs, react quickly to dangerous situations, and use good judgment.
- Lack of maintenance – Every truck needs routine maintenance to run smoothly. If the motor carrier doesn’t repair or replace a defective or recalled part, the truck could malfunction and cause an accident.
- Tailgating – Driving too close to the back of a vehicle could result in a rear-end collision. Bringing an 80,000-pound truck to a complete stop requires plenty of space. Tailgating doesn’t allow enough distance for the truck driver to brake, so they don’t crash into the back of the car ahead.
- Fatigued driving – Truck drivers can’t spend more than eleven hours driving after ten consecutive off-duty hours. Federal regulations limit driving hours to prevent truckers from driving while tired. However, some will drive beyond the limit to make more money or stay on schedule, increasing the risk of falling asleep at the wheel and crashing.
Anyone could be at fault for an accident. Truck drivers aren’t the only people responsible for keeping others safe on the road. The motor carrier must perform a background check on prospective employees to ensure they hire qualified and experienced drivers. Manufacturers must supply vehicles and parts that don’t contain defects. Other parties, such as maintenance and repair companies, should inspect the trucks and promptly address any issues.
Common Injuries in Truck Accidents
Truck accidents often cause severe injuries. However, minor injuries are also possible. A range of injuries can result from a collision with a commercial truck, such as:
- Emotional or psychological trauma
- Loss of limb
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Burn injuries
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
It’s not uncommon for accident victims to spend months recovering from an injury after a truck accident. Some people can’t return to work while a broken bone heals. Others need household assistance because they can’t walk or shower on their own. Unfortunately, the consequences of an accident can be long-term and disrupt every aspect of a person’s life.
Compensation for Injuries in a Truck Accident
Every driver in Florida must purchase personal injury protection (PIP) insurance with a minimum of $10,000 in coverage. It pays 80 percent of reasonable and necessary medical treatment up to the limit on the policy. It can also compensate for up to 60 percent of lost wages if the injury causes a disability.
Since Florida is a no-fault insurance state, you must file a claim with your auto insurance carrier before you can pursue action against the other driver. Many people decide to buy the minimum required PIP limit. Since $10,000 rarely covers all expenses incurred from a truck accident, you might have to file a claim with the truck driver’s insurance company.
However, you can only step outside the no-fault restrictions and file a liability claim if your injury meets the serious injury threshold. That means your injury consists of, in part or whole, at least one of the following:
- Permanent and significant loss of a vital bodily function
- A permanent injury, other than scarring or disfigurement
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
The settlement you receive from a liability claim might compensate you for accident-related losses, such as:
- Emotional distress
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Property damage
You might also be able to recover punitive damages. This form of compensation is available in a lawsuit and punishes the defendant for their actions. You must provide clear and convincing evidence of the defendant’s gross negligence or intentional misconduct to receive this financial award.
Statute of Limitations on Truck Accident Cases
You must file your lawsuit before the filing period set up by the statute of limitation expires. Florida has a four-year statutory time period. That means you have four years from the date of the accident to initiate your lawsuit against the at-fault party.
The Tampa truck accident lawyers of Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers are ready to help you fight for the justice and compensation you deserve. We have a proven track record of success and a reputation for achieving favorable outcomes for our clients. When you hire us, we will tirelessly work to try to reach the best possible result.
If you sustained an injury in a truck accident due to someone else’s negligence, call us at (619) 233-5020 for a free consultation.