Trucking Accident Attorney In Gainesville, FL
Aside from being more difficult to control and maneuver, tractor-trailers can cause serious personal injuries and property damages during an accident, especially when a smaller passenger vehicle is involved. Unfortunately for car crash victims, obtaining proper compensation following a trucking accident can prove difficult, especially without legal representation. Unlike most car accidents, truck crashes typically involve several parties, including drivers, pedestrians, trucking companies and insurance companies, which could further complicate the already-complex settlement process. Without the help of a truck accident lawyer, car crash victims are unlikely to receive adequate and fair settlement offers.
If you’re involved in a truck accident, seek legal counsel and representation you can trust. Contact a truck accident attorney in Gainesville, FL, with Stout Defense, P.A., to defend your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve for any resulting injuries, medical expenses, vehicle repairs, and lost wages.
Truck Accident Law In Florida
In addition to stopping in order to exchange basic information, Florida law requires that all drivers involved in a truck accident provide reasonable assistance to those injured during this incident. Drivers who fail to do so and instead choose to leave the scene (known as a hit and run) could face a third-degree or second-degree felony, depending on the severity of the accident.
If a driver is unable to exchange information with the other parties following an accident, they are still required to report the details of the crash to a law enforcement officer. Regardless of who was at fault or what damages were sustained, all drivers must report the accident to the police. Police reports can be valuable pieces of evidence when filing for compensation.
In addition to the reporting and the assistance requirements, Florida law mandates that drivers seek compensation through their own personal-injury-protection car insurance coverage first, regardless of who was at fault.
Common Causes Of Truck Crashes
Aside from the sheer scale and weight difference, truck accidents can be made all the worse by the freight the truck is carrying. Hazardous or flammable materials, in particular, could result in severe personal injuries, property damages, and casualties. The following include some of the most common causes of trucking accidents in Florida.
- Drowsy Truck Driver
- Unsecured & Falling Cargo
- Blind Spots
- Swinging Turns
- Faulty Brakes
- Tire Blowouts
- Jackknifing (Folding Vehicle)
What To Do Following A Truck Accident
As a major international hub for importing and exporting goods, Florida is home to hundreds of large-scale freight shipping operations and thousands of truck drivers. While it’s impossible to predict when an accident may happen, knowing your rights and what to do in the event of a truck accident can go a long way in helping you during an emergency. The following includes the most important steps drivers should take in the event of a trucking accident.
- Check yourself and others for injury: As soon as you’ve regained your senses, check yourself first and then assist others with injuries if you’re able to. Avoid moving any injured persons to prevent causing additional injuries and pain.
- Call the authorities: Regardless of the severity of the incident, contact the local authorities as soon as possible and request medical assistance for anyone injured.
- Exchange basic information: In the event of an accident, all drivers are required by law to exchange basic information, including insurance information.
- Gather evidence: If possible, record the details of the event by taking pictures of the crash scene and jotting down any details provided by the other drivers and the police.
- Call your attorney: Contact your lawyer before giving any statements to your, or to the other driver’s, insurance company. Your attorney can deal with the insurance company on your behalf so you don’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing or agreeing to an unfair settlement offer.
Trucking Accident FAQs
What Compensation Can Be Recovered From A Truck Accident?
Compensation may cover any accident-related expenses, such as emergency and hospital bills, rehabilitative care, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and more. Please note, however, most insurance companies in Florida refrain from compensating drivers for stress-related injuries. An attorney can help you seek additional compensation when needed.
Can A Trucking Company Be Held Liable For An Accident?
Yes! A trucking company can be found vicariously liable for personal injuries and property damages caused by its driver, as long as the driver was on the job at the time of the incident. It should be noted, however, that an increasing number of truck drivers are owner-operators and are not employed directly by a trucking company.
How Long Do I Have To Take A Truck Accident Case To Court?
In most situations, car-crash victims have four years, starting from the date of the crash, to take the case to court. The longer drivers wait to take action, the more difficult it becomes to collect evidence and obtain fair compensation. In addition, please note that once a driver accepts a settlement offer, they may also forfeit their right to seek additional compensation.
What Happens If The Accident Was Partly My Fault?
In Florida, a "pure comparative fault" rule applies when both parties are found to share blame for a car accident. To summarize, juries are required to calculate two factors based on the evidence: the total dollar amount of each party’s damages, and each party’s share of the fault. Based on these estimates, the court then decides who gets compensated and by how much.
How Can A Truck Accident Attorney Help Me?
Like with any other automobile accident, a lawyer can help you review and dispute settlement offers, determine and sue for negligence, and seek additional compensation for serious injuries and losses. Remember that the law often restricts the time you have to take legal action, so make sure to contact a lawyer soon after the incident.