Trucking Accident Lawyers in Tampa Bay
Victims Injured in an 18-Wheeler Wreck Should Call Our Trucking Accident Lawyers in Tampa Bay, Florida for Help
Although all motor vehicle accidents can be dangerous and deadly, trucking accidents involving large 18-wheelers, semi-tractor trailers, big rigs, and other large commercial vehicles often result in the most catastrophic, disabling, and fatal injuries. This is because large commercial trucks are heavier and generate more momentum, even at lower speeds, which means this force is dispersed in an impact and can easily cause broken bones, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and other damage to occupants of smaller, passenger vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), light trucks and large trucks cause over 11,000 fatalities and almost 860,000 injuries in traffic accidents each year. In just Florida, trucks classified as light, medium, or heavy cause roughly 35 fatalities, over 150 incapacitating injuries, and over 600 other injuries in traffic accidents each year. Our experienced trucking accident lawyers in Tampa Bay know that many of these accidents result in long-lasting harm to both victims and their families.
That is why here, at Dumas & Sanclemente, our personal injury lawyers in the Tampa Bay Area handle all types of catastrophic and serious accidents involving motor vehicles. This includes trucking accidents involving big rigs and 18-wheelers that result in permanent and disabling injuries or the wrongful death of an innocent person. If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a trucking accident, or if you lost a loved one in an 18-wheeler wreck, please call our trucking accident lawyers in Tampa Bay to schedule a FREE consultation to learn more about how we can help you recover the damages that you deserve.
Common Causes of Florida Trucking Accidents
There are numerous reasons for commercial trucking accidents, with many of the causes being due to some degree of negligence. This means that another driver who was exercising reasonable caution could have avoided the accident. Some of the most common causes of commercial trucking accidents in the Tampa Bay Area include the following:
- Distracted driving – All drivers, especially commercial truck drivers should realize the importance of maintaining full attention to the road while operating their vehicle. They receive special training and must carry a special license in order to operate this type of vehicle due to how dangerous the vehicle can be to others if it is not driven safely. Examples of distracted driving include talking or texting on a phone, talking to other people in the cab, reaching for something on the floor, eating or drinking, playing with the radio or navigation system, looking at billboards or other advertisements, or many other things that constitute as distracted driving.
- Driver Fatigue – This is a big cause of trucking accidents, even though it shouldn’t be. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has guidelines in place to prevent driver fatigue. This includes limiting the number of hours a driver is allowed to consecutively drive, as well as how many days in a row a driver is allowed to drive. These guidelines are referred to as the hours of service (HOS) guidelines.
- Improperly Loaded Cargo – If cargo is not properly loaded, it can create a high risk for trucking accidents such as rollover trucking accidents. If weight limits are not adhered to, it can wear down the tires, creating a greater risk for tire blowout, jackknife, rollover, brake failure, or another type of accident.
- Speeding – Truck drivers often feel a great sense of pressure to meet deadlines set forth by their commercial trucking company. Therefore, some drivers may choose to speed, creating great risk for others on the road.
- Improperly Trained Drivers – Drivers who are not fully trained are at a greater risk for causing trucking accidents as they do not know how to safely operate a truck of that size.
- Failure to maintain – Failure to maintain commercial trucks puts other drivers at great risk. Examples of mechanical failures that can often be avoided if proper maintenance is conducted includes brake failure or tire blowouts.
- Other types of traffic accidents due to violations of the vehicle code.
Common Injuries Caused by Trucking Accidents in Florida
Most people involved in trucking accidents sustain some degree of injury. While some people are fortunate enough to suffer minimal injuries, other people are not as fortunate. The most common injuries seen after being involved in a trucking accident includes the following:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Broken bones
- Emotional trauma
- Wrongful death
- Joint injuries or replacement
- Blindness, and
- Many other serious types of injuries.
Trucking Accident Liability
The question people often ask is who is liable for a commercial trucking accident? The answer is not black and white however. Most of the time, the driver is at least partially to blame, if not completely at fault. When the truck driver is liable, that means his or her employer – the trucking company – is also at fault and liable for the truck driver’s negligence.
However, a trucking company could also be independently liable for some instances of negligence caused by it directly. Examples of when the commercial trucking company may be liable include if proper maintenance was not conducted, or if they knowingly allow a driver to violate the federal guidelines in place by the FMCSA regarding hours of service. Another party who may be responsible for a commercial trucking accident is a third-party cargo loader. If a third-party cargo load company is used and they improperly load the truck or load the truck with too much cargo, they may be held partially responsible for the accident.
Damages for a Trucking Accident in the Tampa Bay Area
Victims of commercial trucking accidents are often entitled to recover damages. The purpose of damages is to provide victims financial compensation for any injuries sustained and any financial losses they suffered or will suffer in the future as a result of the accident. If a victim dies as a result of the accident, their loved ones may be able to recover compensation on the victim’s behalf. Common damages victims are often able to recover include the following:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost future earnings
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Home and vehicle modifications
- Physical rehabilitation
- Nursing care
- Emergency service transportation coverage
- Loss of consortium
- Other damages for victims involved in trucking accidents in the Tampa Bay Area of Florida
How Our Trucking Accident Lawyers Can Help You
Our compassionate trucking accident lawyers in Tampa Bay are ready and prepared to help you recover the compensation you deserve for any injuries you or your loved one sustained. It is important to work with a lawyer who is specialized in working with trucking accident victims. This is because personal injury lawyers who are not experienced with trucking accident cases do not know all of the steps that need to be taken, evidence that needs to be obtained, or laws and federal guidelines that are specific to commercialized trucking. If you choose to work with our firm, our lawyers will help you by doing the following:
- Investigation Your Case – Our lawyers will thoroughly investigate your case and obtain vital evidence that will be invaluable to your case. Evidence we may collect includes the black box of the truck, security camera footage, police reports, photographs, medical records, and medical bills.
- Negotiate on Your Behalf – Our attorneys are prepared to work with the insurance company to resolve your case for maximum compensation before it goes to court. We will make every effort possible to settle the case out of court while preserving your rights and recovering the full amount of compensation that you are entitled to.
- Litigate Your Case – Sometimes cases need to go to trial. Reasons for that include the insurance company is placing the blame on the victim, or they are not offering an appropriate amount of compensation for the victim’s injuries. Whatever the reason may be, we are prepared to litigate your case to get you the compensation you deserve.
Were You Injured in a Trucking Accident in Florida? Call Our Trucking Accident Lawyers in Tampa Bay for Help Today
If you or a loved one were seriously injured, or if a loved one was wrongfully killed, in any type of big rig, box truck, semi-tractor trailer, or any other type of catastrophic trucking accident, call our experienced trucking accident lawyers in Tampa Bay at Dumas & Sanclemente to schedule a FREE consultation by dialing 866-832-1569. We are committed to helping victims and their families recover the maximum amount of compensation that they may be entitled to in a lawsuit. To learn more about our services, call us at the number above or send us a private message through our “Contact Us” box available here.