Anyone who’s ever driven on the highway knows that there are more trucks on the road today than ever before. These trucks are more than just a minor inconvenience. They are actually responsible for transporting goods all over the country. They have to drive thousands of miles every year. They have to travel the highways at all times of the day and night.
The problem with trucks is that they’re so large. No passenger vehicle stands a chance against a tractor trailer in a motor vehicle accident. Miami personal injury attorneys understand this. They handle dozens of these cases every year.
We could just blame truck drivers for all truck accidents. It seems as if they take control of the highway with no regard to what cars are on the road. Some of them drive too fast. They carry oversized loads. They have to cover a lot of miles which causes them to take risks they shouldn’t take.
In reality, truck drivers do try to drive safely. Most of them take pride in their work and do the right thing. The problem is, a lot of them work too many hours and cover a lot of ground. They make mistakes. They are, after all, human.
If you or your family member have been injured in a truck accident, you should call a Florida truck accident attorney.
Florida Truck Accident Attorneys Know the Statistics
Florida truck accident lawyers know that trucks can be dangerous. They understand the statistics. Over 11% of all motor vehicle crashes involve trucks. In fatal truck accidents, it’s usually the car passengers who die – not the truck driver.
This makes sense. No car can withstand the impact of a tractor trailer. If that much metal collides with a passenger vehicle, the results will be devastating.
At least 250 people die in truck crashes in Florida every year. If you think about it, that’s larger than most graduating high school classes. Last year, there were 450,000 truck accidents in this country.Clearly, they happen more often than most people think.
Your Florida truck accident attorney will do what it takes to get you the compensation you deserve.
What are the Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
An easy answer would be to say that it’s all the truck drivers’ fault. But this would be entirely true. Most truck drivers are careful. But, every now and then, they make a mistakes. The problem is that, when a truck driver makes a mistake, people can die.
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Overloaded trucks – Many tractor trailers are overloaded. Carriers want to get as much product moved as quickly as possible. They don’t want to let their clients down. So, they end up loading way too much on the truck and getting into an accident. The truck becomes imbalanced and the truck could jackknife or hit another car.
- Driving while overtired – Truck drivers get overtired. They work way too many hours and drive way too many miles. Despite the laws limiting how many hours a driver can work without a break, they still get tired. Overtired drivers can fall asleep at the wheel. This causes all sort of dangerous accidents.
- Distracted driving – Truck drivers get distracted like the rest of us. They text when they shouldn’t. They try to eat their lunch while on the road. In just 2-3 seconds, you can lose control of your truck. It ends up hitting an unsuspecting vehicle and causing serious injuries.
- Improper truck maintenance – Truck drivers need to maintain their vehicles on a regular basis. If they don’t, they can end up having mechanical problems. This leads to accidents.
- Speeding – Truck drivers get paid by the mile so they try to cover as much ground as possible. They end up driving too fast which can cause accidents.
- Drunk driving – Some truck drivers stop at local bars while on the road and drink a few beers. Then they get behind the wheel. Thankfully, since commercial drivers are held to very low DUI levels, most don’t take this risk. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t cases of drunk truck drivers.
Your truck accident lawyer in Florida understands these causes and have decades of experience handing them. They know just what they need to do to prove your case.
What if the Insurance Company Denies Your Claim?
If you get in a truck accident, you need to file a claim against the insurance company. In most cases, your claim will be filed and paid within a week or two. However, sometimes things don’t work out this way. Your claim may be denied. There are several reasons this can happen, including:
- They claim you weren’t injured
- The insurance company believes you were at fault
- You have pre-existing conditions or old injuries
- You have a history of filing claims against commercial drivers
- You were drunk or under the influence of drugs at the time of the accident
- The commercial driver was not insured
- The policy wasn’t valid
There’s nothing your attorney can do if the policy isn’t valid. No company is going to pay a claim on an invalid policy. They’d go bankrupt if they did this. But, for the other reasons, your Miami truck accident lawyer will try to get it approved. If this doesn’t work, he’ll have no choice but to file a lawsuit.
Even if you have to sue, your case will probably still settle. Nobody likes going to trial. They’re expensive and time consuming. Plus, there’s always the risk that you’ll lose in court. Your attorney will try to negotiate a settlement with the defendant’s lawyer and their insurance company.
What Kind of Damages Are You Entitled To?
If you get into a truck accident, you may be entitled to damages. If you suffer actual injuries, you should be compensated. Truck accident victims can suffer serious injuries, so the damages can be quite high.
Some of the damages your Miami truck accident lawyer will demand include:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills (past, present and future)
- Diminished earning capacity
- Permanent disability
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
Your lawyer will file suit against anyone who may have been responsible for your accidents. He’ll make sure he names all of them in your suit. This may include third parties aside from the driver and his employer.
Depending on the type of accident, your lawyer may have to file suit against the following parties:
- Truck driver
- Company he works for
- Insurance company
- Company who overloaded the truck with product
- The company who services the vehicle
- Manufacturer of the truck or its parts
- Mechanic who repairs the tractor trailer
If you forget to name certain parties in your suit, you won’t be able to add them later. The law requires that you join all parties at the outset.
Make Sure You Call the Police After Your Florida Semi-Truck Accident
One of the most important things you need to do after a truck accident is call the police. Your attorney is going to need the police report for your lawsuit. He won’t have access to a lot of the information the police have to at the accident scene.
The first thing the police will do is see if any of the passengers or drivers need to go to the hospital.
Then they’ll review the accident scene. They’ll test to see if any of the drivers were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident. If so, they will arrest them for DUI.
The police will also prepare your police report. They will include all relevant information about the accident in this report. It’s crucial that you obtain this report. There is information in there that your lawyer will need down the road, including:
- Description of the accident and accident scene
- Pictures of the scene
- Contact information for all witnesses
- Statements made by all parties
- Insurance information for both parties
- A description of the road conditions
Your attorney may not be able to find witnesses. He’ll have no way to get pictures of the scene or the cars. He can lose valuable evidence if you don’t get a police report.
What Kind of Injuries do Truck Accident Victims Suffer?
Truck accident victims suffer serious injuries. Most of these will require surgery and physical therapy. Some may even leave you permanently disabled. The injuries in truck accidents are typically worse than those in car accidents. This is because of the size and speed of the truck that crashes into you.
Some of the most common types of truck accident injuries include:
- Back injuries – It’s hard to imagine a truck accident that doesn’t cause back injuries. Your body is going to be thrown about your vehicle. You may even be ejected from the car. When a tractor trailer collides with your car, you are going to sustain back injuries. These may be as simple as disc issues or as serious as a spinal cord injury.
- Head and Brain injuries – Truck accidents often cause head and brain injuries. You could break facial bones or suffer a concussion. You may suffer something as serious as a traumatic brain injury (TBI.) TBIs occur when you suffer a severe blow to the head. This happens when you whack your head on the steering wheel or windshield.
If you suffer a TBI, you’ll experience the following signs and symptoms:
- Memory loss
- Impaired vision
- Inability to speak
- Impaired hearing
- Internal Injuries – Internal injuries can be quite scary. The thing about them is that you can’t see them. You may not even feel them. Not all internal injuries are painful. Some don’t bother you at all right away. If left untreated, internal injuries can be life threatening. You need to get checked out so you can make sure you aren’t suffering from internal injuries.
Truck accident attorneys in Florida handle many internal injury cases. Some of the most common types of internal injuries include:
- Bleeding on the brain
- Punctured lungs
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
Your Miami truck accident attorney is going to need medical documentation to prove your injuries. If you don’t go to the hospital, the defendant will claim that you were hurt some time after your truck accident.
Once you get to the hospital, the doctors will run all the tests necessary to make sure you don’t have brain damage or internal injuries.
Contact a Florida Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you get hurt in a tractor trailer accident, you are going to need a attorney. You will suffer some pretty serious injuries. You are going to be out of work for a while. The last thing you need to do is worry about legal issues.
Let your Miami truck accident lawyer handle the legal side of things for you. You need to focus on recovering from your injuries. Your attorney will go to battle with the insurance company on your behalf. He’ll do his best to settle your claim.
Call and schedule your free initial consultation today. You can sit down with an experienced truck accident attorney and discuss your case. He’ll answer any questions you may have. He’ll also give you an idea of what your case may be worth.
Keep in mind – it’s your attorney’s job to make you whole. It is not his job to make you rich. You have to actually suffer damages in order to recover.
The consultation is absolutely free and you pay nothing until you win your case. The defendant will have lawyers working for him and you should too.
Contact a Florida truck accident lawyer today to set up your initial consultation.