Truck Accident Attorney Serving Lakewood Ranch, FL
In Florida, truck accidents injure and kill thousands of people every year. In 2020, 32,778 truck accidents occurred on Florida roads. And it’s only getting worse. In fact, from 2010 to 2019, truck accidents resulting in death in Florida increased by 93%. If you were in a truck accident, James Horne Law PA can help you get your life back on track. Lakewood Ranch truck accident lawyer James Horne will fight tirelessly to help you get the accident settlement you deserve.
If you were injured in a truck accident, you can rely on James Horne Law to be there for you every step, from case reviews to appeals.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Most truck accidents that occur on Florida’s roadways are preventable. In fact, simple driver error causes 92.3% of all truck accidents in Manatee County. But other common causes of truck accidents include:
- Speeding and other reckless behaviors. When truck drivers speed or encounter dangerous driving conditions, it’s difficult for them to stop their truck fast enough to avoid a collision or avoid losing control of their tractor-trailer.
- Distracted driving. When things like phone calls or texts distract truck drivers, they often fail to see what other vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians are doing around them.
- Driving under the influence. Safely operating a massive 18-wheeler requires precision and focus, which is why in Florida, it is illegal for a commercial motor vehicle driver to operate a tractor-trailer with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 or higher.
- Driving while fatigued. Because navigating an 18-wheeler through traffic requires mental alertness, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has specific rules and hours-of-service regulations restricting the number of hours truck drivers can spend on the road.
- Negligent training and supervision. Accidents happen when companies hire drivers without conducting mandatory screenings, including drug testing and checking the driver’s driving record, work history, and medical certification. A truck company also must ensure their drivers drive safely and responsibly and follow FMCSA regulations.
- Negligent inspection and maintenance. Trucking companies and truckers must routinely inspect, repair, maintain, and document all maintenance for the commercial motor vehicles in their fleet. Failure to do so can lead to serious accidents.
- Overloading or improperly secured cargo. Truck companies sometimes overload tractor-trailers in violation of FMCSA regulations and Florida Department of Transportation size and weight limits. Crashes can also occur when a tractor-trailer carries improperly secured cargo.
- Poor road maintenance. A deteriorating shoulder or a pothole may cause a truck driver to run off the road or overcorrect.
- Defective equipment. Sometimes, the truck itself is defective, and that defect causes an accident. For example, the truck or its parts may have been defectively designed or manufactured or may not have been properly inspected or maintained.
Whatever the reason for your accident, if you’re searching for an experienced truck accident attorney, Lakewood Ranch firm James Horne Law can review your case and explain all of your options.
Determining Liability After a Truck Accident
More defendants than just the truck driver can be liable for a truck accident. Truck drivers may work for a larger trucking company that cuts corners to save costs. Or they may unwittingly drive a truck with a defective part that caused your accident. Depending on the reason for the accident, liable parties in Florida can include:
- Truck drivers—truck drivers are required to make sure their truck is free of maintenance issues and that they’ve secured all cargo correctly, as well as making sure they follow all applicable laws and regulations;
- Trucking companies—commercial truck companies must provide adequate training, inspect and maintain their vehicles, and follow all rules and regulations;
- Cargo loaders—cargo loaders must inspect and secure cargo correctly because unsecured cargo creates a risk of cargo shifting during transportation, falling off a truck, and causing tire blowouts;
- Truck and parts manufacturers—if faulty parts cause an accident and the manufacturer or distributor knew those parts were defective but failed to notify the trucking company or truck driver of the defects, the truck and parts manufacturer may be liable; and
- Government agencies—if defects like loose gravel, broken shoulders, potholes, or poorly designed roads caused your accident, the government agency responsible for the road’s maintenance can be liable.
In some cases, multiple parties may be liable for a trucking accident. Parties often blame each other, and establishing fault when there are multiple defendants can be complicated. A skilled truck accident attorney near Lakewood Ranch can help you identify who is at fault for your accident so you can collect the compensation you deserve.
How Much Compensation Can You Expect From a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
The amount of compensation you can receive from a truck accident in Florida can vary significantly depending on the specific circumstances of the accident, the severity of your injuries, and several other factors. Truck accidents can result in substantial damages, and pursuing compensation typically involves various components:
- Medical Expenses: You can seek compensation for all medical expenses related to the accident, including hospital bills, surgeries, rehabilitation, and ongoing medical treatment.
- Lost Wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages and potential future earnings.
- Property Damage: You can seek compensation for the repair or replacement of your vehicle and any personal property that was damaged in the accident.
- Pain and Suffering: You may be eligible for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Permanent Disability: If the accident resulted in a permanent disability, you can pursue compensation for the impact it has on your life.
- Wrongful Death: In cases where a loved one was killed in a truck accident, family members may be eligible for compensation through a wrongful death claim, including funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and emotional distress.
- Punitive Damages: In cases involving extreme negligence or reckless behavior by the truck driver or the trucking company, punitive damages may be available to punish the responsible party.
The specific amount of compensation you can receive will depend on factors such as the extent of your injuries, the cost of your medical care, the impact on your earning capacity, the strength of your legal case, and the insurance policies involved. Truck accidents often result in more substantial damages than car accidents due to the size and weight of commercial trucks.
Hiring a Lawyer After Your Truck Accident
When deciding on a truck accident attorney, there are several critical things to look for, including:
- An attorney who can establish fault. Proving fault after a truck accident requires evidence of negligence. For this reason, you’ll want an experienced attorney who knows what to look for and who has a proven track record of successfully establishing fault.
- An attorney who can establish liability. Because liability often hinges on the type of crash and the reason for it, retaining a knowledgeable truck crash lawyer who can help you find out why the crash happened and identify all responsible parties is essential.
- An attorney who can negotiate with insurance companies. Insurance and trucking companies often try to take advantage of a crash victim’s inexperience. A skilled lawyer will negotiate with adjusters and vigorously advocate for the compensation you deserve.
- An attorney who will build a strong case. An experienced attorney can conduct a detailed investigation, gather documents, order records, visit the accident scene, and sometimes hire medical experts or an accident reconstructionist to testify for you.
Overall, you want an advocate who can do all these things and do them well. But seeking a compassionate advocate who understands your feelings and concerns is also essential. An attorney who knows you’re more than just a case number will work diligently to set you on the path to recovery.
Contact a Lakewood Ranch Truck Accident Lawyer
If you’re looking for an advocate who believes every case deserves their full, undivided attention James Horne is your lawyer for truck accidents in Lakewood Ranch. James Horne is an AV-Preeminent-rated aggressive litigation counselor and will handle every stage of your claim with the fierce advocacy, skill, and compassion you deserve. Contact James Horne Law online or by phone today to schedule a free case review.