Truck Accident Attorneys in Brandon

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Truck Accident Lawyers in Brandon

Truck accidents often cause severe injuries due to the massive size differences between the vehicles. They also result in painfully difficult legal battles, as truckers and trucking companies fight hard to limit what they pay you for the damages they caused.

If you or a loved one suffers injuries in a truck crash in this dangerous area, call the Brandon truck accident lawyers at Boohoff Law today.

At Boohoff Law, we care about those who suffer serious injuries in large commercial truck accidents in Brandon. We will work diligently to champion your interests against those responsible for your injuries and help you achieve the recovery you need. We pride ourselves on achieving big results for our clients in the Brandon area. Let us see if we can help you.

Causes of Truck Accidents

In one recent year, commercial drivers operating vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or more were involved in 27,000 motor vehicle accidents in Florida, according to Florida Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). And, when an 80,000-pound or more fully loaded truck hits a car, small truck, SUV, motorcycle, or pedestrian, it will be bad for the smaller party.

The Brandon area saw more than 3,000 commercial vehicle accidents involving 22 deaths and nearly 1,000 injuries in one year. These accidents might occur on I-75 or right in your neighborhood.

The disparity in weight between a semi and a smaller passenger vehicle often leads to severe injuries. Given that these vehicles are often traveling at high speeds and how much they outweigh those they hit, the injuries resulting from these accidents can be catastrophic or fatal. Those liable should cover all the losses of victims and their families.

Some common causes of semi-truck accidents are:

Driver Fatigue – Commercial truck drivers are under tremendous pressure from their employers to deliver often perishable loads as quickly as possible. Despite federal and state regulations regarding permitted driving time and mandatory rest periods, semi-truck drivers often drive when tired and sleepy. This sleepiness slows reaction times—a real problem in an 80,000-pound vehicle—and adversely impacts the driver’s decision-making ability.

Usually, the fatigue results from:

  • Insufficient sleep
  • Driving excess hours
  • Pressure to deliver on time
  • Ignoring federal regulations

Improper Vehicle Maintenance – Federal and state regulations also require that companies maintain their trucks well. However, worn tires, worn brakes, and malfunctioning engine and trailer parts leave a vehicle vulnerable to accidents. The truck owner or the trucking company is responsible for this maintenance and may be liable if its omission or poor performance leads to an accident.

Distracted Driving – As is the case with all motor vehicle accidents, distracted driving is one of the fastest-growing causes of semi-truck accidents. A distracted driver is doing something else while driving an 80,000-pound vehicle. That may include texting, eating, adjusting the music volume, or even playing computer games. The long, boring hours that truckers work make them especially prone to distracted driving. Seeking entertainment, they find potentially fatal distractions instead.

Inexperienced Drivers – Inexperienced and inadequately trained truck drivers cause many accidents. Trucking companies will often pay to train a new driver and then force that driver behind the wheel of a large dangerous truck too soon. The new driver may not even know the type of vehicle assigned to that driver. Inexperienced drivers are generally cheaper per mile, which makes them more attractive to a trucking company.

Some ways these newly trained drivers can cause accidents can include:

  • Not fully understanding the dangers of speeding
  • Failing to understand the danger of distracted driver
  • Getting insufficient rest
  • Not being sufficiently familiar with safety laws and regulations
  • Carrying improper or excessive cargo
  • Disregarding traffic signs and signals
  • Failing to maintain the vehicle properly

All of these are dangerous, and any truck driver may fall into these behaviors at any time, but new, inexperienced drivers are more likely to do so. Inexperienced drivers also often get involved in similar types of accidents.

They include:

    • Jackknifing – occurs when the truck and the trailer come to a sharp angle, leading to sharp forces that can push the vehicles off the road or into another vehicle.
    • Side-impact collisions – usually occurring at intersections, when a semi-truck moving at full speed crashes into the side of a passenger vehicle. The occupants of the smaller vehicle can sustain catastrophic results.
  • Rollovers – usually caused by an improper or moving load, the turnover can injure the driver and slam the truck into other vehicles.
  • Blind spot collisions – occur when an inexperienced driver pulls into another lane occupied by an unseen smaller vehicle.

Bad Loading – The set of a load on a large truck can hinder its ability to stay upright. An unbalanced load changes the center of gravity on the truck and can cause rollover accidents. It can also cause jack-knifing or make maneuvering the truck difficult. Liquid loads in tanker trucks are particularly prone to problems because of the movement of the liquid in transit.

What We Can Recover for You

The point of a civil lawsuit—or settlement negotiations with an insurance company—is to make you whole from the injuries you suffered in the car accident. The law cannot make your injuries disappear, but it can force those who caused your injuries to compensate you for the costs of those injuries. Courts can award three kinds of damages in Florida, which are:

Economic Damages – These are compensatory damages awarded to make the plaintiff whole.

Economic damages are objective and usually easily ascertainable through paid bills or pay stubs.

  • Medical and Hospital Bills – includes all treatments and drugs, surgeries, anesthesia, room costs, etc. If you paid for it for your health, it’s covered here.
  • Mental health treatment expenses – if your accident left you with a mood disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder, you will have mental health costs.
  • Lost wages – time off work resulting from your accident is considered economic damages. You can prove them by providing older pay stubs demonstrating what you would have made.
  • Property Damage and Loss – it’s easy to forget among your pain and doctor bills, but your recoverable damages also include the damages to your vehicle.
  • Rehabilitation Costs – short-term rehabilitation, focusing on the immediate treatment of your injuries and necessary to return you to functioning, is covered here, supported by the bills for your sessions

Non-Economic Damages – These are another type of compensatory damages. Non-economic damages are somewhat more subjective than economic and require analysis to determine for the future.

They are not usually related to specific invoices or other documents.

  • Pain and suffering – this term covers the full range of physical and emotional pain you experience after an accident. It can be short or long-term and can be life-altering.
  • Emotional distress – emotional distress after an accident can even include things like post-traumatic stress disorder, leaving you unable to drive or ride in a car, or sometimes even willing to venture out of your home. Long-term therapy is generally necessary to treat PTSD.
  • Loss of future earning capacity – the loss of motor or cognitive functions may have permanently affected your ability to earn a living in your prior work or profession, leaving you unable to make the income you previously made. If so, you are entitled to recover damages for that loss of earning capacity. Generally, expert testimony about your ability to work and the amount of the lost income will be necessary.
  • Loss of consortium, including loss of sexual relationship and companionship – The court will assign value to the loss of the emotional and physical aspects of your marriage or domestic partnership. Florida does not have a set formula for calculating the worth, but courts will usually base this damage on the severity of the injury. Generally, you must show a valid marriage or partnership between the spouse and injured spouse at the time of the injury, the negligent injury to the one spouse, and the loss of consortium suffered by the non-injured spouse that the at-fault driver caused.
  • Loss of lifestyle – a loss of lifestyle claim essentially relates to your loss of the ability to do something that was once an enjoyable feature of your life. If, for example, you were an avid tennis player and can no longer play due to your injuries, that is a compensable loss of lifestyle.

Punitive Damages – Not intended to compensate the victim (although they do), courts award punitive damages to punish the defendant and deter such conduct. Punitive damages require that the court finds the defendant’s conduct by clear and convincing evidence to constitute intentional misconduct or gross negligence.

Florida law requires that you recover compensatory damages to receive punitive damages.

Contact a Brandon Truck Accident Attorney Today

Let Boohoff Law focus on fighting for your full compensation. If you or a loved one was the victim of a large commercial truck accident, contact an experienced truck accident attorney at Boohoff Law’s Brandon office for a free initial consultation and case evaluation.

You can focus on your physical and emotional recovery while we deal with your difficult legal battles. You can reach out to us at (813) 321-7878, or you may contact us online for your free claim evaluation.

Brandon Truck Accident FAQs

  • Whom Can I Sue After a Truck Crash?

    In a commercial vehicle accident, the driver may not be alone in responsibility for the accident. The company may share in the liability. If you simply sue the driver, you follow the regulator rules of Florida’s no-fault insurance laws as to when you can or cannot sue.

    But, in addition to the driver, you can sue the driver’s employer. Under Florida law, the company may be vicariously liable for the driver’s conduct. For you to file this kind of suit, the driver must have been actively engaged in work duties when the negligence occurred.

    In other words, if a commercial truck driver hits you when they are on duty and performing the job, you can sue the employers. This process can allow you to receive a much higher level of compensation simply because the company will carry bigger policies limits.

    You can also sue the company that owns the truck if they failed to keep it properly maintained. If the problem is with the truck itself, you can sue the manufacturer of the truck or its parts.

    In other words, determining liability when a commercial vehicle is involved is complicated. If you’re in a commercial truck accident in Florida, let the experienced truck accident attorneys at Boohoff Law help you to navigate this entanglement.

  • When Do I Have to File a Truck Accident Claim?

    Florida law gives personal injury plaintiffs four years to file a lawsuit. Four years probably sounds like a long time, but given the amount of work you or your lawyers will need to do to get ready for a trial, it isn’t that much. Take some time soon after your accident to think about how much easier the whole recovery process will be if one of the experienced truck accident attorneys at Boohoff Law’s Brandon office were handling your case.

  • How Does a Truck Accident Lawsuit Work?

    When you sue someone for causing a truck accident, the legal theory behind your case will be negligence.

    When you receive a driver’s license, including a CDL, the law imposes on you an implicit duty to treat everyone else on the road with care. Breaching this duty when a driver causes an accident is a basis for liability.

    The more formal structure for the case is:

    • The at-fault driver had a duty of care to everyone else on the road. We presume this duty because all drivers implicitly agree to act with care when they receive a driver’s license.
    • The at-fault driver breached that duty. Drivers can breach the duty by:
      • Failing to observe traffic signs and signals
      • Distracted driving
      • DUI driving
      • Tired driving
      • Improper loadings
    • The breach was the cause-in-fact and legal cause of the injury. This “cause” means that the negligent act directly and in natural or continuous sequence created or contributed to the creation of the injury. In other words, liability accrues if “but for” the defendant’s conduct, the injury would not have happened. The defendant can avoid liability by showing that some other factor broke the chain of causation, in other words, that there was some intervening cause of the injury.
    • Resulting in damages for which you are seeking monetary compensation. The law will award money damages to make you whole for the short and long-term consequences of the accident.

    The difference, however, with a large commercial truck is that there are several potentially liable parties, not just the truck driver. The owner may be liable and will have much higher insurance limits. In addition, you can hold the manufacturer of the truck and the company that maintains it liable.

Boohoff Law Brandon Office

330 Pauls Drive, Suite 222
Brandon, FL 33511

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