Tampa Truck Accident Lawyer
Have you been injured in a truck accident?
Truckers and trucking companies have a great responsibility to ensure that they meet and follow all applicable regulations to ensure the safety of not only other drivers, but also the safety of the actual truck operator. In fact, the Florida Department of Transportation has created a guide of the basic requirements for operating a commercial truck in Florida:
- A valid and current tag registration;
- Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles fuel decal if the vehicle combination exceeds 26,001 pounds gross vehicle weight or if the power unit has three or more axles, regardless of weight, and if operating interstate;
- Correct size and weight;
- All parts and equipment in safe working condition; and
- Display a valid Florida or USDOT number.
When truck companies and drivers fail to uphold their responsibilities and an accident results, their insurance company will try to insist that the blame rests with the other vehicle's driver or road conditions. Our legal team is prepared to get take action quickly on your behalf. Whether your case involves injuries sustained in a jackknife accident or underride accident, or you have questions about the causes of truck accidents and the types of truck accident injuries, we are here to assist you.
You can learn more about truck accidents, their causes and what you can do if you have been injured by reviewing the information on this website. Several key topics are highlighted below.
You are also always welcome to call our offices at any time to talk to us about your particular case and concerns.
Dangerous Lane Changes
The trailer portion of a semi-truck alone can measure 53 feet long, necessitating extreme caution on behalf of the truck driver when changing lanes. The larger the vehicle, the larger the blind spot, which is why dangerous lane changes are a common cause of big rig accidents.
Defective / Poorly Maintained Trucks
A considerable amount of stress is placed on truck systems and parts, and if these are defective or are improperly inspected and maintained, serious collisions may result. Our team handles cases for clients injured by defective or poorly maintained trucks.
Distracted Truck Drivers
Experts estimate that the average time it takes to send or receive a text message diverts the driver’s eyes off the road for five seconds. Traveling at highway speeds, this is much like driving the entire length of a football field… blind. Now insert an 80,000-pound semi-truck and you have a recipe for catastrophe.
Truck Driver Fatigue
Budget cuts, shortages in drivers, and pressure from employers can all contribute to truck driver fatigue. Many fatigue-related accidents also have more to do with time of day/night than how many hours of sleep the driver got. If you were involved in an accident with a tired truck driver, you may have a claim against that trucker’s employer for Hours of Service violations.
A jackknife accident is one of the most serious types of truck accidents, and occurs when the cab and trailer essentially fold in on one another, like a jackknife. If a car is caught between, it may be crushed. The truck may travel across multiple lanes on the street or highway, causing catastrophic damage to any vehicles in its path.
Liability in Truck Accidents
Who is liable for my medical expenses and lost earnings? This is a question often asked by truck accident victims, and for good reason. If you were seriously injured, you may be facing astronomical medical bills and other unforeseen financial losses. We can help determine liability, or legal responsibility, for these expenses to help you rebuild.
Overloaded Trucks & Unbalanced Loads
Federal regulations dictate how heavy truckers can load their trailers. Exceeding this weight limit or loading a truck improperly can result in serious accidents – most commonly, jackknife accidents.
Truck Driver Alcohol and Drug Use
Alcohol and drug intoxication is dangerous for any driver, but the consequences can be even more catastrophic considering the size of commercial motor vehicles. Inebriation and 80,000 pound semi-trucks don’t mix. Trucking companies must comply with federal and state regulations to ensure their drivers are not driving while intoxicated, and that drivers who do commit these violations are fired.
Trucking Regulation Violations
State and federal trucking regulations are meant to prevent truck accidents, but they may be violated by truck drivers or trucking companies. Potential violations include overloading trucks, driving for too many consecutive hours and failing to perform routine or random commercial driver drug/alcohol tests. Our firm knows how to spot these violations and hold offenders accountable.
In this type of truck accident, a smaller vehicle becomes wedged or crushed under a truck, usually the trailer it is towing. The height of a cab and trailer makes this possible, and it places occupants of the smaller vehicle at great risk of life-threatening injury.
In a similar manner to overloaded trucks, unsecured cargo in big rigs can throw the entire vehicle off-balance, prompting a jackknife accident.
Pursuing the Correct Legal Course
Truck accidents cannot be treated in the same way as a car accident. When a serious truck accident happens, the insurance company will dispatch an investigator to examine the scene of the accident and collect information. The insurance company investigator's purpose is to locate the cause or causes of an accident which absolves the insured (trucker and trucking company) of any liability, and the investigator may arrive at the accident while you are still there. While you should tell the investigating police officer what occurred, you should never talk with insurance company personnel. Any information that you give will probably be twisted and used against you.
Instead, you should contact a truck accident attorney who can come to the scene of your accident and conduct a separate investigation. An AV® rated lawyer from our firm will take immediate steps to prevent vital evidence from being lost or destroyed, including the driver's logs, truck inspection records, maintenance records as well as the truck itself so that an independent investigation can be carried out. This is very important as trucking companies are only required to retain records for a short period of time.
Help from a Tampa Truck Accident Attorney
Recovering from the severe injuries caused by truck accidents can take a long time and result in great medical expenses. Failure to act quickly after the accident may greatly reduce your chance of receiving fair compensation for your losses so call Givens Givens Sparks, PLLC to talk to an aggressive personal injury lawyer about your case.
For Further Reading:
The process of filing a claim or lawsuit can be complex, and insurance companies often deny certain types of valid claims or offer a low settlement in the hopes that you will accept it. Fortunately, our firm never relents until you receive a fair settlement or verdict. How do you know what amount is fair?
That is where our team of lawyers can help. There are many types of damages that are possible in any injury case, and evaluating your case before moving forward is a key factor in the amount of the settlement you will receive. We are well versed in all aspects of personal injury law and know how to present your case in a way that brings about the optimum results.