Standing Up for Those Injured In Trucking Accidents
In 2021, although large trucks accounted for only 5% of all registered vehicles in the United States, they accounted for 10% of the total vehicle miles traveled. That same year, a staggering 524,000 large trucks were involved in police-reported traffic crashes, with 155,000 resulting in injuries. Tragically, nearly 6,000 people were killed in those large truck crashes, with the vast majority being the occupants of other, smaller passenger vehicles.
In Florida, large truck accidents were responsible for nearly 400 deaths out of 4,000 total deaths from all motor vehicle crashes in 2021.
The attorneys of Burnett Law, P.A., have handled thousands of motor vehicle accident claims, including trucking accidents. We can help you and your family through this difficult time in your life with fair financial recovery.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
Truck drivers are responsible for operating vehicles weighing thousands of pounds, and the pressure to reach their destination as quickly as possible continues to grow. After all, trucking companies want to make a profit.
What is most disturbing about this fact is that the Large Truck Crash Causation Study found that around 87% of big-rig, tractor-trailer, and semi-truck accidents resulted from human error or negligence.
Many factors can cause or contribute to a commercial truck accident; some result from human error, while others don’t. Common causes of truck accidents include:
- Aggressive driving or tailgating
- Bad weather
- Defective or malfunctioning truck components, likely due to lack of vehicle inspection
- Driver fatigue (drowsy driving)
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- Failing to see vehicles in the blind spot
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Improper cargo loading, such as overloading
- Improper lane changes or turns
- Inexperienced or untrained drivers
- Jackknifing (when the driver brakes, the cab stops, but the trailer slides)
- Road or infrastructure faults or debris
- Rollover (nearly 80% of rollovers involve driver error)
- Underriding (a small passenger vehicle travels under the truck)
- Unfamiliarity with the area
As you can see, there are many causes of truck accidents. That’s why you need a personal injury lawyer to investigate your case. Determining the cause of the accident can take months of laborious work. When healing from your injuries, you need someone fighting for the compensation you deserve.
Why Truck Collisions Are So Dangerous
Large trucks, as the name implies, are large, heavy vehicles weighing greater than 10,000 pounds. Needless to say, large trucks have the propensity to cause much greater damage and injury to others due to their sheer size and weight. This means that truck drivers have a very serious responsibility every time they get behind the wheel of their large trucks, semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and commercial trucks. Many truck drivers take this responsibility with the type of care that is deserved. However, there are still some truck drivers who, for whatever reason, do not, which puts innocent people at risk.
A disturbing trend in the last decade has been the increase in crashes due to distraction-related incidents such as texting, talking on cellular phones, or simply reaching for personal devices. Truckers have certainly not been immune to these distractions.
The Complexities of Truck Crash Litigation
Trucking accident litigation can be complex, even if the cause of the trucking accident appears straightforward. There are often issues related to ownership of the truck versus ownership of the trailer. Similarly, the trucking company that employs the truck driver is not always the trucking company that owns the large truck.
Additionally, multiple owners at the corporate level might be liable for the trucking crash for various reasons, including negligent hiring or retention of truck drivers, improper licensing or certification of truck drivers, or patterns of negligence with respect to the truckloads carried or truck drivers employed.
The damages recoverable by the victims injured in trucking accident cases can sometimes be significant. In the unfortunate case of a death, Florida’s wrongful death statute could potentially allow for recovery for the estate, the spouse, children, and potentially other family members. In these cases, future wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other economic and non-economic losses can be recovered.
Who Could Be Liable for Your Tampa Truck Accident?
Unlike other motor vehicle accidents where the driver is usually at fault, there could be several responsible parties in a truck accident.
For example, if a truck driver was driving erratically or under the influence of alcohol, they would be at fault, and you could claim driver negligence in your truck accident claim.
Conversely, if the trucking company didn’t perform routine maintenance on the truck and a vehicle error caused the accident, the trucking company could be at fault.
- Other at-fault parties may include:
- A third-party vehicle
- Another at-fault driver
- The maintenance company
- The truck’s manufacturer
- The truck’s owner
Because of the complexities of liability in these accidents, you need a truck accident attorney from Tampa, FL, to help you handle your case.
The Damages for Victims Can Be Significant
In cases of serious bodily injury, the recoverable damages for those injured in a trucking crash can be equally or even more significant.
Once again, economic losses such as lost wages can be recovered. In addition, medical expenses (past, current, and future) can be recovered along with loss of earning capacity. Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium can also be recovered.
Finally, in cases of willful, malicious, or intentional conduct on the part of those responsible for a trucking accident, punitive damages can be awarded as well.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing?
Under Florida law, you have two years to file a lawsuit if you sustain truck accident injuries from an auto accident. Additionally, if a commercial vehicle accident resulted in the death of a loved one, you only have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Importantly, to file a lawsuit, you must have already collected the evidence you will present with your case. Don’t underestimate how long it takes to collect the necessary information. Work with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the car accident to ensure you file your case in time.
Our Process: What to Expect When Working with Burnett Law
When you work with a Tampa truck accident attorney from Burnett Law after being in a crash, you can guarantee our team will handle every step in the claims process. Learn what this entails below.
Connect With Your Tampa Truck Accident Attorney
Our law firm offers a free case evaluation so you can get legal advice about your Florida truck accident case right after it occurs without stress. We will let you know what to expect from the claims process and what we will need to start your personal injury case.
If you are too seriously injured to contact us, a friend or family member can reach out on your behalf to start the process.
Gather Supporting Documentation
Our legal team will assist you in completing any forms you need to fill out to file your claim. We will also help you gather the documentation required. This may include insurance policy details and lost wages.
Also, it’s imperative you have detailed medical records noting your serious injuries from the accident and the medical care or treatment you received for them. We will work with your medical team to ensure we submit proof of all your aliments to the court for compensation.
Create a Winning Plan
You need a solid plan to receive financial compensation from an insurance company. We will review every detail, no matter how small, to ensure you receive compensation for property damage, medical bills, and non-economic damages.
Negotiation and Litigation
We won’t let the insurance company or responsible parties off the hook. At Burnett Law, we will work with toughness to negotiate with the defense team to get you the compensation you deserve.
If your case goes to court because the defense cannot agree to a settlement, we will prosecute the case on your behalf to maximize your compensation.
Why Should You Choose Burnett Law as Your Tampa Truck Accident Attorney
When you’re a truck accident victim, the last thing you want to think about is exploring your legal options and filing a lawsuit. Most of the attention is on healing from your severe injuries.
So, skip the hassle and turn to one of the most experienced Tampa truck accident lawyers in the Clearwater-St. Petersburg-Tampa Bay region, Mr. Burnett.
Mr. Burnett has worked for over 25 years to help those suffering from personal injuries and wrongful death. He has won compensation for those who sustained accident injuries, such as:
- Back, chest, and neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Catastrophic injuries
- Internal injuries
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Whatever injury you’re suffering from, we can help you get the compensation you deserve for your pain.
Experienced Truck Accident Trial Lawyers
If you have been in an accident involving a large truck, semi-truck, tractor-trailer, or any other commercial truck, or have lost a loved one in a trucking accident, please contact us for a free consultation at 813-221-5000. Our experienced trial attorneys will sit down with you to discuss your case and, if hired, treat your case with the kind of attention and care that it deserves.