When to Hire a Truck Accident Attorney

If you sustained injuries in a recent truck accident, hire experienced legal counsel as quickly as possible. If you wait too long to retain a truck accident attorney in Tampa, you may ultimately jeopardize your right to recover the monetary compensation you deserve.

A skilled truck accident lawyer can:

  • Investigate your accident circumstances and file a personal injury claim with the appropriate insurance company.
  • Negotiate with a claims adjuster and pursue the favorable settlement compensation you deserve.
  • File a lawsuit on your behalf if necessary and achieve a favorable result in court.

Throughout the entire claims-filing and litigation process, your lawyer can address your legal concerns, represent you at hearings, and aggressively advocate for you. Your lawyer will do everything possible to secure a favorable monetary result in your truck accident case.

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Categories of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents come in various shapes and sizes, often depending upon the force of the collision, the accident location, and the surrounding environment. Most truck accidents happen when truck drivers – or trucking companies – are negligent in some way.

When truck drivers and companies fail to follow the applicable standard of care, various types of truck accidents may result.

Some of the most common types include:

  • Head-on collisions, where the front of a tractor-trailer or other large truck strikes the front of an oncoming vehicle that is traveling in the opposite direction, frequently leading to permanent or fatal injuries
  • Tailgate accidents, where a truck driver follows another vehicle too closely, negligently causing their truck to hit the back of the other vehicle
  • Sideswipe accidents, where the side of a commercial truck hits the side of another vehicle that is traveling in the same direction
  • Jackknife accidents, where the tractor and trailer portions of a large truck fold in on themselves, resembling the shape of a jackknife, and hitting other vehicles in their path
  • Explosion accidents, where a truck is carrying flammable materials and catches on fire during an accident
  • Rollover accidents, where a truck driver negligently speeds around a sharp curve or drives too fast for the weather conditions, causing their vehicle to overturn in the middle of the road and often leading to a multi-vehicle pile-up
  • Broadside or T-bone accidents, where a large truck hits the side of a vehicle on an intersecting roadway, usually because the truck driver does not yield the right-of-way at the proper time

You are not alone if you recently sustained injuries in one of these types of truck accidents. In addition to getting all the medical treatment you need for your truck- accident injuries- you should consult with legal counsel near you immediately. Doing so helps increase your chances of recovering favorable monetary compensation through settlement or litigation.

Your truck accident attorney can help you file a claim with the right insurance company and assist you with every aspect of the process.

Truck Driver Negligence

Most accidents involving large trucks directly result from driver negligence. A driver might be speeding too fast for road conditions or otherwise acting unreasonably under the circumstances. When a truck driver behaves negligently, the chances are good that an accident will occur, possibly leading to multiple injuries.

Many truck drivers are negligent when they fail to follow standard motor carrier regulations at the state or federal levels. Motor carrier regulations establish truck load limits, loading and unloading procedures, and procedures for properly securing cargo to the trailer bed. Federal motor carrier regulations also prescribe overhead and undercarriage lighting guidelines on tractors and trailers.

When commercial truck drivers and trucking companies fail to follow these regulations, cargo may slide off the trailer and into the road, causing a severe accident. Moreover, if truck drivers fail to perform the necessary pre-trip and post-trip inspections, especially concerning lighting, other drivers may be unable to see their trucks on the road.

Truck collisions may also happen when drivers violate traffic laws and safety regulations.

For example, a negligent truck driver might:

  • Exceed the speed limit
  • Tailgate slower-moving vehicles
  • Fail to yield the right-of-way to another driver at the proper time
  • Fail to use their mirrors
  • Fail to use turn signals when switching lanes or executing a left-hand or right-hand turn onto a different roadway

Another common cause of truck accidents is fatigued driving. When a driver is not well-rested and later gets behind the wheel of a large truck, they may experience a lack of concentration and inattentiveness to the road, preventing them from safely driving their large truck.

In addition, a fatigued truck driver might fall asleep at the wheel, causing them to lose control of their vehicle and cause a series of accidents.

Truck driver fatigue may result from a driver not getting enough sleep or resorting to so-called stimulant drugs to keep themselves awake for long hours. However, these drugs sometimes cause a driver to become drowsy and inattentive, potentially leading to a severe accident.

Truck accidents may also happen when drivers are under the influence of alcohol. While passenger vehicle drivers are criminally liable for driving under the influence, or DUI, with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher, the standard for commercial truck drivers is much stricter.

Truck Accident

If the driver ultimately sustains a DUI conviction, they may lose their CDL license, face monetary fines, jail time, and other penalties. Moreover, if they cause a traffic accident due to drug or alcohol intoxication, their insurance company may have to pay the accident victim monetary compensation and damages.

Driving a truck while intoxicated may slow a truck driver’s reaction time and delay their reflexes, preventing them from stopping their large truck in time to avoid an accident. Similarly, drunk drivers may experience blurred vision, preventing them from seeing other vehicles and pedestrians.

Finally, truck accidents may happen when drivers fail to watch the road attentively. Instead, a distracted driver might listen to loud music or use electronic devices in their vehicle, such as a GPS navigation system, cell phone, or tablet. These activities often prevent a truck driver from paying full attention to the road, and they might miss seeing an approaching vehicle or pedestrian, causing an accident.

In addition to truck drivers, trucking companies are also sometimes negligent. For example, the trucking company might hire or retain a driver who has prior moving violations on their record. Alternatively, the trucking company may not properly supervise drivers or ensure they comply with continuing licensure requirements.

When a trucking company negligently entrusts its truck to a problem driver, and the driver subsequently causes an accident, the trucking company may share in some or all of the resulting liability.

A truck accident attorney can review your accident with you and help you identify potentially responsible parties. Your lawyer can then file a claim with your own insurance company, or with the at-fault truck driver or trucking company’s insurer, depending upon your jurisdiction and the circumstances of your accident.

Potential Injuries in Truck Collisions

When large trucks hit smaller vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, and bicycles, they can do serious and sometimes fatal damage. In fact, when a commercial truck hits a smaller vehicle, it is usually the occupants of the smaller vehicle who sustain the most severe injuries.

The injuries that a truck accident victim may experience will depend upon various circumstances, including the force of the collision, the accident victim’s bodily movements inside their vehicle, the type of vehicle, and the type of truck accident.

Common truck accident injuries include open lacerations, bruises, road rash, rib fractures, bone fractures, soft tissue injuries, spinal cord damage, paralysis, internal organ damage, traumatic head and brain injuries, and death.

If you sustained any of these injuries in a recent truck accident, you should follow through with all medical treatment recommendations and protocols.

For example, you may need to:

  • Consult with your primary care doctor about your treatment options
  • Consult with a medical specialist, such as a neurologist or orthopedic doctor, depending on the injuries you suffered
  • Attend physical therapy sessions
  • Attend pain management sessions
  • Undergo one or more medical procedures, such as surgeries

By completing your medical treatment regimen, you show the insurance company that your injuries are serious and that you deserve to recover reasonable compensation. You also improve your chances of fully recovering after completing your medical treatment.

A knowledgeable truck accident attorney in your area can begin working on your personal injury case while you focus on getting the medical treatment you need. Your lawyer can also help you take the necessary steps to file your claim promptly and efficiently.

Qualities of a Good Truck Accident Attorney

A truck accident attorney can greatly help to maximize the financial compensation you receive for your accident-related injuries. First, your truck accident attorney can determine your eligibility for filing a claim.

If your accident occurred in a no-fault state, you will likely need to turn to your insurance company and file a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim under your policy. However, in certain situations, you can involve the at-fault truck driver or trucking company’s insurer immediately, especially if you suffered a disabling or debilitating injury. If your accident occurred in a fault-based state, you can turn to the at-fault truck driver’s insurer right away.

Next, a good truck accident attorney can file the appropriate claim on your behalf, forward the insurance adjuster the necessary documents, and begin negotiating settlement compensation from the adjuster.

In some situations, negotiating a fair settlement in a truck accident claim may take a long time. Insurance companies are in no hurry to settle personal injury claims – especially costly ones. Many insurance companies will do everything they can to undervalue a truck accident claim and offer the accident victim as little monetary compensation as possible.

Your lawyer can highlight the strong points of your case, including your medical reports, in pursuit of a favorable settlement award. In some circumstances, depending upon your jurisdiction, your lawyer can litigate your case in court by filing a lawsuit against the at-fault truck driver or trucking company directly. Your attorney can review your legal options with you and help you select the best option for your case.

Potential Truck Accident Compensation 

As part of a truck accident, an injured accident victim may be eligible to receive various types of monetary recovery. The types and amounts of monetary damages you can recover in your truck accident case will depend on the jurisdiction where your accident happened, the type of claim that you file, the nature and extent of your injuries, and whether or not you may need additional medical treatment in the future, such as a future surgery or physical therapy regimen.

If you are filing your claim in a no-fault jurisdiction, you must first involve your insurance company. PIP claims only compensate accident victims for a portion of their medical expenses and lost income, up to a maximum of $10,000. However, in some situations, the accident victim can file a third-party claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

In a third-party personal injury claim, the accident victim can recover additional types of compensation, including monetary damages for inconvenience, mental anguish, pain and suffering, permanent disability, lifetime care costs, loss of spousal companionship, loss of the ability to use a body part, and loss of life enjoyment stemming from their physical injuries.

Your attorney can identify the monetary damages you may recover. Your lawyer can also set realistic goals and expectations for your case and pursue the highest compensation available.

Tatiana Boohoff
Tatiana Boohoff, Truck Accident Lawyer in Tampa

Contact a Truck Accident Attorney Today

If you sustained injuries in a recent truck accident, you must retain skilled legal counsel to represent you as quickly as possible. Otherwise, the statute of limitations may prevent you from filing a claim or lawsuit for monetary compensation. An attorney can enter an appearance on your behalf right away and begin taking the appropriate steps to file a claim or lawsuit.

Your attorney can also assist you through a settlement negotiation and, if necessary, represent you at in-court legal proceedings that may occur throughout your case. Your attorney will keep you well-informed at every stage of the proceedings and help you make the best possible decisions.

Request A Free Consultation Today!

Boohoff Law, P.A. — Auto Accident Lawyers – Tampa Office

829 W Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Tampa, FL 33603

Phone: 813-725-5606

August 21, 2023
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