Florida Trucking Accident Attorney

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FLORIDA TRUCKING ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
Truck accident law consists of reservations for personal injuries that may have been sustained by individuals in a passenger vehicle after a collision with, say, a commercial truck. In such cases, the liability of compensation is based on the doctrine of negligence.

Since the negligent party in this case is a professional truck driver, various sources of the law will come into play. These include civil liability and traffic law rules as well as regulations imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Department of Transportation.
Types of Truck Accidents
1. Fatigue
Commercial truck drivers have been known to drive an approximate 140 billion miles per year, out of which every single driver drives an average of 100,000 miles (or more) per year. Keeping these numbers in mind, fatigue tends to be one of the most serious threats against the safety of these drivers and those who share the road with them.

For this reason, there are not many strict regulations regarding the hours of service each CDL operator is assigned on any given day of the week. These hours should also take into account how much rest is required by each driver. However, even despite these regulations, there is no guarantee that a well-rested driver will avoid fatigue and might just be tired because of external reasons.

2. Speeding

A truck that is hauling an extra load takes a lot more to bring to a complete stop as compared to any passenger vehicle. Due to their enormous weight, the brakes on these trucks have to exert more force to bring the vehicle to a complete stop.

In addition to these longer braking distances, every speeding trucker also has to deal with issues such as gravity and balance since they can cause the vehicle to roll or jackknife. These are just two reasons why truck drivers are required to maintain safe speeds throughout their assignments, although, like most non-commercial drivers, the temptation to go over the speed limit is always present.

3. Mechanical Failure

A semi-truck or an 18-wheeler is a very complex piece of machinery since they have been designed to haul loads along long distances securely and safely. This also means that commercial drivers have a lot to pay attention to with regards to maintenance.

Each commercial truck comes equipped with an extensive maintenance log which will turn out to be a central piece of information for the accident investigation, especially if the cause for the accident turns out to be the result of mechanical failures.

In some cases, this failure signifies that the truck driver is no longer liable for your accident and your attorney will not have to identify parties responsible for the maintenance of the truck (if, in fact, the driver wasn't responsible for it in the first place).

4. Drunk or Drugged Driving

As is the case with passenger vehicles, to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious problem among commercial drivers too. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that DUI is a huge contributing factor for many trucking accidents across the country.

Getting into an accident with a drunk or drugged commercial driver can be an exceptionally frustrating experience, because you know that if they had chosen to act responsibly, everyone would have avoided serious injuries. Since you've already suffered from their negligence, your Florida truck accident attorneys will fight to get the compensation you deserve.

5. Distracted Driving

Most drivers on the road will admit that fighting to drive effectively with distractions can oftentimes be a losing battle. Drivers are often trying to multitask and keep up-to-date via radios, GPS units, app alerts, text message notifications, etc. However, all of these gizmos can easily cause a distraction that ultimately leads to serious accidents.

Unfortunately, when commercial truck drivers are distracted by any one of these, they present a higher risk of catastrophic accidents, based on how heavy and/or large their vehicle is.
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Florida Truck Accident Statistics and Information
As published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in 2017, over 170,000 commuters were injured while 120,000 were crushed (with fatal injuries), due to bus or truck accidents in the United States.

The average passenger vehicle weighs around 4000 lbs., while semi-trucks weigh a minimum of 80,000 lbs.! Now, if we take into account many other differences between the two vehicles, such as the driver's field of vision, stopping distance and ride height, it is easy for us to better understand how problems may occur when both of them share the same roadway,

In addition to this, commercial truck drivers are typically compensated for traveling long distances in the shortest time possible. While they try to maximize their financial incentives, commercial truck drivers may not make the safety of nearby passenger vehicles their top priority.

Finally, commercial trucks are known to have a lot more complicated insurance policies, which often add up to over $1 million. Dealing with an insurance company following a truck accident can be far from a simple affair. For this reason, finding a reliable Florida trucking accident lawyer via 1800 SOS-ACCIDENT's attorney referral network could make the whole process easier to navigate through.

While your trucking accident attorney is fighting your case, you will have all the space you need to make a speedy recovery too. If you scroll on further, you will find a general overview of what you can expect following a truck collision in Florida. As soon as you're through reading this guide, book a free consultation with an accident attorney to get the justice you deserve!
What to Do If You Have Been Involved
in a Truck Accident in Florida
After you or your loved ones have been in a truck accident, it is extremely vital that you contact a trucking accident lawyer so that they can use their expertise to get the compensation you deserve. The following are just some of the things a Fort Myers truck accident lawyers can help you with while you're still dealing with your trauma and personal injury:

Legal Know-How

Insurance companies have a lot of experience in handling claims and they have tried and tested many different methods of limiting how much they have to pay out to accident victims. However, you should only remember that insurance companies are essentially just a business that makes money until they have to pay full compensation to accident victims.

You and your attorney have the full legal right to fight for whatever compensation you are entitled to and the more experience your lawyers have, the more they will bring to the fight against insurance companies.

Negotiations

Upon concluding their own investigation for claims, you will be shocked at the surprisingly low figure the insurance company offers you, especially in comparison to what your trucking accident lawyer may have calculated in the beginning.

For this reason, the next step from here is a series of negotiations which will be conducted in the hopes of closing the gap between the two figures and avoiding trial. Handling such negotiations, especially if highly-specific items are being denied by the insurance company, may feel almost impossible without experience and understanding of how to negotiate appropriately.

Stress Relief

Other than your attorney's technical understanding, they will also be taking the entirety of the stress of the process so that you can relax and focus on making a full recovery. Studies have proven that stress can have a negative impact on your healing process, and just anticipating negotiations with the insurance provider can be extremely stressful.

By hiring a professional trucking accident lawyer, you will have added a buffer between you and these stressors. In doing so, you will be able to focus on your personal needs without worrying about the experienced individuals fighting on your behalf.
Practical Steps to Take After a Florida Truck Accident
As soon as you experience a truck crash, your first priority is to seek emergency medical treatments. Once this has been done, you should look up a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Even though you might be experiencing trauma or spiking adrenaline, you have to make a conscious effort to preserve any vital piece of evidence you can get your hands on. For instance, you can try to take photographs from helpful angles and record statements of witnesses or other victims.

Doing all of the above is critical because, in your absence, all of these vital pieces of evidence may be misplaced, lost or even intentionally destroyed by trucking companies. For this reason, the preservation of all evidence is going to lead to proving which party the liability for the collision is going to be transferred to.

Trailer and tractor accident trials require thorough investigation, the creative use of discovered evidence and the unbiased opinions of witnesses. You should also know that it is normal for trucking companies to dispatch their own team of investigators while your attorney conducts their investigation of the scene of the accident.

Of course, trucking accident lawyers are trained to routinely visit such gruesome sights to take photographs of the physical evidence available. They are also trained to document radiator, gas or oil stains, accident debris, skid marks and eyewitness accounts at the scene of the wreck.

Additionally, these lawyers will also seek out police reports, witness statements and photographs with the police, motor carrier records and safety logs. Keeping all of these vital pieces of information in mind, the sooner you contact an accident attorney, the sooner your legal team can get to work.

If you are still at the scene of the truck accident, you should try to:
  • Remain calm and inside your vehicle, if it is still safe to be inside
  • Switch on your vehicle's hazard lights
  • Call 911, even if you think your injuries are negligible
  • Not leave the scene of the accident until it is absolutely essential
  • Note down the names, phone numbers and addresses of each party involved or eye witnesses
  • Make a note of the badge number or name of the police officers who arrived at the scene
  • Take pictures of the truck, your vehicle and any injuries you may have received
  • Never admit responsibility or even a percentage of the fault
  • Not discuss the events that led up to the truck accident with anyone except your lawyer or your insurance agent (This also means that you aren't answerable to the truck driver's insurance company)
FAQ
What Should I Do If the Trucking Company Contacts Me Before I Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer?
In such an event, you should not agree to make recorded statements to anyone. In addition, you should not agree to sign forms that may be sent to you via email or mail.

Instead, you should first contact your trucking accident lawyer or get a free consultation from 1800-SOS ACCIDENT. After doing so, you can have professionals go through your paperwork to look for discrepancies.
What Am I Expected to Do in the Days Followed By the Truck Accident?
  • In the days after your accident, you should try to:
  • Get copies of the official police report following your accident
  • Get an estimate valuation of property damages from your insurance provider
  • Keep track of each doctor's visit and the costs of the treatments you receive (try to maintain a journal of your symptoms of pain and make copies of all corresponding medical prescriptions, treatments and all other relevant information)
  • Keep an account of all your sundry expenses related to the crash or the injuries sustained
  • Keep a record of the number of days you missed work or any other events/activities
  • Don't accept settlement offers from insurance providers without consulting with your trucking accident attorney
Who Can Be Filed a Claim Against in a Truck Accident Case?
In such a case, the transportation company, the owner of the truck or the truck driver themselves can be held accountable. In other cases, the facilities that were responsible for loading that truck or the owners of the content inside could be held responsible as well.

Every trucking accident case is unique, therefore, the best way to determine who is to blame is to consult an accident lawyer. This is why most law firms and lawyer referral services offer free consultations to potential clients.
How Long Do I Have Before It Is Too Late to File a Lawsuit?
In Florida, the statute of limitations for truck collision is 4 years, however, in some other states, this limit has been brought down to 2 years following the date of the incident. Either way, it is best to contact SOS Accident lawyers as your first priority.

Essential pieces of evidence that may be related to driver logs or safety standards can quickly be found, destroyed or simply lost. For this reason, it is considered best to start gathering the evidence as soon as possible.
What Is a Commercial Truck's Black Box and What Is It Used For?
A commercial truck's 'black box' consists of all the information about the vehicle and more importantly, information regarding the crash. This includes the time of the crash, the vehicle's tire pressure (to determine whether the brake was applied), etc.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) had set a standard for all commercial trucks to record and report various forms of information. The 'Black Box' is just an industrial blanket term that includes all the devices used by trucking companies to record this information. These devices include:
  • Electronic Logging Devices (ELD)
  • Event Data Recorders (EDR)
  • Electronic Control Modules (ECM)

Each of these devices, with varying degrees of effectiveness, are designed to record:
  1. The truck's speed before and upon impact
  2. The truck's GPS location
  3. Whether the truck driver was wearing his seatbelt
  4. The angle at which the driver steered the car
  5. Whether if, when and with how much force the driver applied the brakes
  6. The engine's RPM
  7. How frequently the truck driver disobeyed the speed limit
  8. Whether the truck's airbags had deployed
  9. Whether the truck driver had set the car on its cruise control setting
  10. Daily and monthly trucking activities
  11. Tire pressure
  12. Whether the truck driver communicated with or contacted the trucking company
  13. The percent throttle

This kind of evidence can paint a better picture about the driver's actions and the approximate condition of the vehicle prior to the crash. Granted, each truck's Black Box may be different, but the best trucking accident lawyers know exactly how to extract every last bit of data from it.
Why Are These Black Boxes Crucial For Your Case?
From all of the above information, you may have deduced on your own how the information in the Black Box can be used for your case. This information can help illustrate all of the events that led up to the catastrophic accident. Additionally, these records can prove crucial for the plaintiff's chances of proving whether the truck driver was overworked, exhausted or otherwise negligent.

While it may be valuable to the case, the data inside the Black Box can be quite difficult to get your hands on. You see, trucking companies will not be liable to provide you or any other accident victims with their vital tools. In fact, they might even consider destroying it or might just act very slowly to preserve whatever it may contain (because some devices are engineered to automatically restore data after 30 days).

For these reasons, it is very important that you or your loved ones contact an experienced trucking accident lawyer as soon as possible. This lawyer will be able to obtain and preserve all of the relevant information by drafting a 'spoliation' letter that will be sent to the trucking company. This letter will demand possession of the contents of the black box to study their records for your case.
Recover Compensation for Damages Suffered During Your Truck Accident in Florida
Since you're the victim of a trucking accident, you have a legal right to be awarded compensation for your injuries. However, since trucking accident cases involve multiple victims and insurance companies, proving yourself as a victim can be a nightmare.

Without appropriate legal representation, you will most likely be bullied by the stakeholders until you accept an unfair settlement. You see, trucking companies have unlimited resources which also includes a team of lawyers to reduce damages faced by them after a truck accident, regardless of how injured the victims of the collision are.

If you have been hit by a large commercial vehicle or a tractor- trailer, the best way of defending yourself from stress and litigation is to contact experienced trucking accident attorneys, since it is their job to defend your rights and make sure you are fairly compensated.
Contact Our Experienced Florida Truck Accident Lawyers Today
Have you, your relatives or friends witnessed a truck accident?

Contact SOS Accident (rights reserved) to find out exactly how you can recover compensations for your injuries and trouble.

Call us to schedule a free consultation with our team of truck accident lawyers today. As soon as you do, we will review your case and answer all your queries shortly.
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