18 Wheeler Accident Lawyer in Sarasota, FL
All car accidents are traumatic, but a collision with a commercial truck can be especially devastating. If you’ve never been in a truck accident before, you may feel entirely overwhelmed by mounting medical expenses and loss of work while you attempt to recover from your injuries.
Getting back on your feet may feel impossible. Most of us are completely unprepared for the physical and emotional disruption an accident can cause. A lawyer for truck accidents in Sarasota understands the financial, physical, and emotional losses you’re dealing with.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident due to someone else’s negligence, contact James Horne Law today.
Read on to learn more about the common causes of truck accidents and how a Sarasota truck accident lawyer can assist you in your potential lawsuit.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration found that in 2020, 4,965 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks, and 71% of those killed were occupants of other vehicles. Understanding the risks associated with sharing the road with tractor-trailer trucks can help keep you and your family safe the next time you leave the house.
Many truck drivers experience pressure from their companies to meet deadlines and skip mandated sleep breaks to deliver loads on time. Sleep deprivation poses as significant a risk as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If you notice a truck driving unusually fast or weaving through lanes, stay away from the vehicle and consider reporting the truck driver to local law enforcement.
Carrying an Oversized Load
Commercial trucks often carry large cargo such as cattle, boxes, bulk liquids, metal, and other items. Although truckload sizes and weights are regulated, some truckers may violate these laws so they can transport more items.
Unfortunately, an oversized load is more susceptible to becoming unbalanced and can quickly become unsecured while the truck is in motion.
Excessive Speed and Aggressive Behavior
Truck drivers may engage in risky behavior like speeding to reach their scheduled destination on time. Truckers may also tailgate or drive aggressively to express their impatience with other drivers on the road. Unfortunately, these behaviors increase the risk of causing a collision.
Poorly Maintained Vehicles
Although commercial trucks are required to maintain their fleet, when regular maintenance fails to occur, tire blowouts, brake failures, light failures, and other serious malfunctions can happen. When these issues arise while a truck is driving, the results can be disastrous.
Any driver who consumes alcohol or drugs while operating a vehicle increases the risk of causing a collision. This risk is compounded when a truck driver engages in this reckless behavior because of the weight and size of commercial trucks compared to other vehicles on the road.
Cars traveling in front or behind commercial trucks should be aware of a truck driver’s blind spots. When other vehicles are in these blind spots, a truck driver may not see the other vehicles and can cause a collision when they change lanes, stop suddenly, or accelerate.
How Is Liability Determined in Florida?
Florida is a no-fault state. No-fault states require all drivers hurt in a car accident to turn to their own insurance policy coverage for their injuries.
Although Florida requires all drivers to carry at least a $10,000 personal injury protection policy, many find this sum does not cover their full losses. You may pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the liable party if your costs are greater than your insurance coverage limits.
To prevail in a personal injury lawsuit, you must prove the truck driver’s negligence. Your Sarasota truck accident attorney works to establish proof of four required elements, which are:
- The truck driver owed you a duty of care;
- The truck driver breached that duty of care;
- The truck driver’s breach caused your injuries; and
- The truck driver’s breach harmed the injured victim.
Establishing negligence is difficult to do without the help of a lawyer and is crucial to obtaining any compensation for your losses.
Do I Need To Tell My Insurance Company?
After an accident, you must inform your insurance company about the incident. However, insurance adjusters may not have your best interest at heart. It’s best to speak to an attorney before speaking to your insurance company.
It’s also important to check the terms of your policy because some insurers require you to report your accident within 24 hours. If you do speak to your insurance company without a lawyer’s assistance, recount only the facts about the collision until you have had an opportunity to speak to an attorney. Remember to avoid accepting full or even partial blame for the accident.
How Can a Sarasota Truck Accident Lawyer Help Me?
You might feel hesitant to contact a lawyer after a crash. However, a truck accident attorney near Sarasota provides many advantages to injured victims. It’s important to remember your lawyer is there to assist you in multiple ways, including:
- Investigating the accident. Your attorney investigates all aspects of your case by interviewing involved parties and witnesses, speaking to insurance companies, and collecting evidence related to the accident. Evidence can include photographs of the scene, physical evidence, video, witness statements, and more.
- Filing your lawsuit. Understanding the rules of procedure for filing a case requires the help of a lawyer for truck accidents in Sarasota. Failing to file correctly may result in delays and other issues.
- Valuing your case. Understanding the value of your case is vital to guide settlement discussions with potentially liable parties. A lawyer understands how to analyze the evidence in your case to calculate your damages.
- Negotiating on your behalf. Insurance adjusters often offer lower settlements than injured victims deserve. Accepting a quick settlement often leaves injured victims with considerably less compensation than they need to move forward. Your attorney negotiates on your behalf to help you receive settlement offers that adequately compensate you for your losses.
Allowing a lawyer to diligently pursues the above tasks lets you and your family focus on healing and recovery.
Contact a Sarasota Truck Accident Lawyer Today
At James Horne Law PA, our primary value is our commitment to our clients. We understand that most people don’t contact a lawyer until they genuinely need help.
Here, you are never viewed as a file number. We get to know you and work diligently to obtain the best possible result in your case. If you suffered injuries due to the carelessness of another, you need an experienced legal team on your side.
James Horne Law understands the strategies and tactics insurance companies and other attorneys will use to avoid giving you the compensation you deserve. Contact our truck accident attorney in Sarasota today by phone or online for a free case evaluation to find out how we can help you.