Trucking Accident Attorneys Helping Victims in Stuart, Florida
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there is a higher volume of large trucks on the nation’s highways now than ever before. With an increased volume of traffic, there are more large truck accidents, killing thousands of victims and injuring tens of thousands every year.
In 2015 alone, the FMCSA reports that 3,536 fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred, resulting in the deaths of 4,067 people. Another 83,000 trucks were involved in injury crashes, resulting in injuries to 116,000 people. In Florida, 244 people were killed in truck accidents in 2015 alone.
A tractor-trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. The sheer weight and size of these large vehicles pose much greater risks of catastrophic injuries and accidents when they have collisions with smaller vehicles because of the significant physical forces that are released during the crashes. The experienced personal injury lawyers at The Eberst Law Firm, P.A. represent victims of truck crashes in Stuart, FL, Gainesville, FL, and throughout the surrounding area to help them to recover the maximum possible damages for their losses.
Holding Drivers and Trucking Carriers Liable
Many factors may lead to large truck crashes. Some of the common truck driver and truck-related reasons include the following:
- Driver distraction
- Improper securement of loads
- Drugs and alcohol
- Failures to obey traffic control signals
- Poorly maintained equipment
- Defective truck parts
- Texting while driving
- Improper lane changes
All of these causes are preventable and may form the basis of liability. Unlike car accidents, the liable party isn’t always the driver. While the truck driver may be liable for accidents caused by their own negligence, such as distracted or drunk driving, other parties are frequently liable too.
Other liable parties include:
- The trucking company — in the case of an accident caused by overscheduling a driver, mechanical problems due to lack of maintenance or safety checks, inexperienced drivers, negligent hiring, or disregard of trucking regulations, the trucking company may be liable. The trucking company may also share liability with the driver in some cases.
- The loading company — if the truck is improperly loaded, it could cause a rollover or lost-load accident. In this case, the loading company could be liable.
- The truck rental company — if the truck was rented from another company and an accident occurs because of a maintenance issue, the trucking company may be liable for failing to ensure the truck was safe to drive.
- The manufacturer of the trucks or truck parts — in the case of an accident caused by a defective part or mechanical failure, the company that manufactured that part could be liable.
Types of Injuries Caused by Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can result in injuries ranging from mild to severe. They may take a few weeks to even years to heal. Unfortunately, for some, injuries may be life-long. Injuries can result in chronic pain, disability, disfigurement, or scarring. The more severe the injury and the more treatment required to treat it, the more damages you’ll incur.
The most common types of injuries caused by truck accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Upper extremity injuries
- Lower extremity injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Cuts and bruises
- Internal damage
- Soft tissue injuries
Types of Damages You Can Recover After a Truck Accident Injury
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you may be able to receive compensation for your damages. “Damages” are the losses you’ve experienced as a direct result of your injury. Damages can be both monetary (economic) or abstract (non-economic).
Economic damages include things like:
- Medical bills
- Past and future care
- Physical therapy
- Emergency room or hospital visits
- Doctor/specialist visits
- Ambulance rides
- Medical equipment
- Modification to your home (for example, building a ramp to use a wheelchair or accommodating a medical bed)
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
Non-economic damages include things like:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
- Disfigurement and scarring
While we calculate economic damages by using their associated monetary values, we calculate non-economic damages by looking at your quality of life. How much has it changed because of your injuries? Are you able to partake in the same tasks? Are you able to do the same things that used to bring you joy? Can you still work in the same industry?
Those with a great change to their quality of life will receive higher compensation for non-economic damages than others.
Steps to take after a truck accident
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, it can be hard to keep your head on straight. In many cases, you won’t have a chance to do anything at the scene of the accident. This is because most victims of truck accidents are taken away in an ambulance to receive immediate medical attention.
If your injuries are minor, and you’re able to stick around at the scene, you should. Call the police to report the accident, and stick around to speak with the officer. If you were taken to the hospital, you may be contacted by the police later to give your statement.
Pictures and videos are a great way to showcase liability. If you’re able to stay at the scene, take pictures and videos of your vehicle, the truck, and the surrounding area. We’ll also look into any security cameras in the area to see if we can receive further documentation.
Once you leave the scene of the accident, go immediately to the emergency room, hospital, or another treatment center. Even if you don’t think you’re injured, it’s important to be examined. Some injuries may not present themselves immediately, especially because of all the adrenaline coursing through your system.
Once you’ve received medical attention, contact the Eberst Law Firm to speak with one of our talented attorneys. Speaking with an attorney before the insurance company is vital. We can help protect you from accidentally damaging your claim before it’s too late. Insurance companies will try to get you to settle early for little money. They’ll ask you to sign away your right to file in exchange for a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Don’t fall for it. Eberst Law can get you the settlement that you deserve.