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If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident, taking legal action may not be your first priority. However, a truck accident attorney from Morgan & Morgan’s Tampa office may be able to help ease the burdens you’ve incurred as a result of the crash.
The injuries sustained in a truck accident can be scary and overwhelming, and dealing with the insurance company certainly doesn’t help. While you focus on recovery, our Tampa truck accident attorneys can create a claim on your behalf to show how another party was at fault for the accident and therefore responsible for your losses, which may include medical bills and lost wages.
Our attorneys have decades of experience handling truck accident claims and we understand the delicate nature of these types of cases. Our goal is to make your pursuit of compensation as simple as possible.
If you were injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident, you may have legal recourse to collect compensation for your losses. Please complete our free case review form today, which will be reviewed by an experienced Tampa truck accident attorney, at no cost to you.
How Can a Tampa Truck Accident Attorney Help?
Dealing with Insurance Companies
After you’ve been injured in a truck accident, it is important to contact an attorney before speaking with anyone else, aside from your doctor.
Immediately after the crash, the police and trucking company’s insurance company will be on the scene recovering evidence, taking photographs, and talking to witnesses. If you are still at the scene of the accident, insurance adjusters will be eager to speak with you.
For truck accident victims and their loved ones, it is important to remember that it is the insurance company’s job to minimize payouts, and any statements you make may or may not be harmful to your claim.
After listening to your account of the accident, a truck accident attorney can speak to insurance companies and other parties on your behalf.
Investigating the Accident
Your attorney will also launch and complete an investigation to create a claim on your behalf. Your claim will be used as leverage in negotiations with insurers and other parties.
During the investigation, your attorney may hire a private investigator to find potentially damaging information against the trucking company, review Tampa police reports and photographs of the scene, examine your medical records, collect eyewitness accounts, and consult with experts, including accident scene recreationists.
If negotiations are unsuccessful, your attorney may decide to file a lawsuit and present their case to the court, which will then determine whether you are entitled to monetary damages.
Causes of Tampa Truck Accidents
To protect other vehicles, as well as the truck drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration created special guidelines for trucks, truck owners, and truck manufacturers.
These laws regulate maximum speed limits, the amount of consecutive time a driver may spend driving, logging requirements, weight and loading limits, and alcohol and drug use.
Truck drivers and trucking entities that violate these regulations can put other drivers at risk of significant injury. Some common violations include:
- Fatigued driving;
- Driving under the influence;
- Falsifying logs to extend driving time;
- Improper loading; and
- Exceeding the maximum weight limit.
Truck Accident Lawsuits
If the truck driver, or another party, failed to operate or manage the vehicle in accordance with Florida state and federal regulations, they may be liable for any damages which directly resulted from their negligence.
Since the likelihood of a devastating accident is much greater when a truck is involved, truck drivers are held to a higher standard of care than other motorists. Trucks are much heavier, longer, and considerably less maneuverable than other vehicles.
For these reasons, this heightened duty of care requires truck drivers to strictly adhere to special trucking regulations, to remain alert at all times to safely operate the vehicle and to exercise extra care while driving among passenger vehicles.
To prevail in a negligence suit, the plaintiff and their attorney must prove:
- Duty of Care: It must be established that the truck driver owed you a duty of care.
- Breach of Duty: This duty must have been breached in some manner. Violations of Florida state and federal trucking regulations, driving while distracted, driving under the influence, or using stimulant prescription drugs to extend the number of hours which can be driven consecutively may constitute a breach of duty.
- Injury: You sustained an injury as a direct result of the breach.
- Damages: Your injury resulted in damages, including personal injury and destruction of property.
If a defect in the truck or any one of its components was the cause of the accident, the product manufacturer may be liable for your injuries. A successful product liability negligence suit will prove:
- A defect exists in the truck;
- The manufacturer knew or should have known about the defect, but still placed it in the stream of commerce;
- You sustained an injury; and
- Your injury was caused by the defect.
In some cases, manufacturers can be held liable for damages even if they were unaware of the defect and executed all due care in the manufacturing process. In these cases, your attorney will only have to prove that a defect exists and that defect led to your injuries.
A truck accident victim or their loved ones cannot file a strict liability suit if the truck was purchased second-hand or significantly altered, as these vehicles are not the responsibility of the product manufacturer. The truck and trailer must have been purchased in the chain of distribution.
If you lost a loved one in a truck accident, Florida law may permit you, or the deceased’s estate, to pursue damages for any losses. To collect damages, your lawyer will have to prove the truck driver or other party was negligent and caused your loved one’s death.
Truck Accident Liability
More than one party can be held liable for a truck accident. These parties may include the following:
- Truck driver;
- Owner of the truck;
- Parent companies of the owner of the truck;
- Truck driver’s employer;
- Municipality in which the accident occurred;
- Third party vehicle, if involved in the accident; or
- Maintenance company.
Are You Eligible for Compensation?
If you were injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for current and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, loss of consortium, funeral expenses, and other damage sustained in the crash. Contact us today.