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Clearwater Truck Accident Attorneys

Helping Truck Accident Victims in Clearwater

Clearwater Semi Truck Accident AttorneysAny type of traffic collision can be frightening. However, a crash involving a large commercial truck and a smaller vehicle can be absolutely terrifying. At the Dolman Law Group, we have seen firsthand the devastating effects that a truck accident can have on victims – ranging from significant financial losses to life-changing disabilities. Our legal team is dedicated to protecting the rights of injured victims and ensuring that they are fully and justly compensated for everything they lost or suffered after a crash.

Cases involving commercial vehicles and trucking companies can be extremely complex and often involve a variety of legal issues that may not arise in other types of traffic accident cases. You want to have a law firm on your side with specific experience with truck cases and a record of success representing victims.

Dolman Law Group has the resources and commitment to see your truck crash case through to the best results possible. Please do not wait to call our Clearwater semi accident attorneys for a free consultation today.

Commercial Truck Crash Statistics

Each year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) releases facts and statistics regarding commercial vehicle accidents, injuries, and fatalities. While these trends and statistics are intended to help increase safety and education efforts about truck crashes, they also demonstrate how big of a problem commercial truck collisions can be in the United States.

Consider the following statistics regarding trends in 2015:

  • 11,777,983 commercial vehicles were registered in the United States
  • About 138,000 people sustained injuries in commercial truck accidents
  • 4,337 people died as a result of commercial truck crashes
  • 716 fatalities were occupants of the commercial vehicle – the rest were occupants of smaller vehicles or bystanders

These statistics mean that, on average, 16 people are injured every hour by truck collisions across the country. In addition, an average of nearly 12 people died each day in these accidents. Such information should make it clear that a truck accident can happen to anyone who is out on the roads alongside these giant vehicles. Therefore, you should always be aware of safety around large trucks and what to do in the event that you are injured. If you have specific questions or concerns about a truck accident, call Dolman Law Group for help today.

What to do Following a Clearwater Semi Accident

While you may understandably be shaken up and uncertain in the moments and hours following a truck crash, it is important to take certain steps – if you are able – to protect your rights as an accident victim. The following are some things you can do in the aftermath of an accident:

  • Call 911 – If someone else has not already called the authorities, you should do so immediately if you can. Because truck accidents can result in such severe injuries, it is imperative to have emergency medical personnel arrive on the scene and evaluate your condition. If EMTs recommend that you go to the hospital via ambulance, you should never fight it. Stabilizing your physical health is the most important goal if you are seriously injured. If you can remain on the scene, take the following steps if possible.
  • Gather information – Gather the information on the back of the truck including the truck registration number and trucking company name. Also, get the name of the truck driver involved and contact information for anyone who witnessed the crash. Use your phone or camera to take pictures of the scene of the accident and vehicles involved.
  • Be careful what you say – When speaking to law enforcement or to other parties involved, do not say anything that may be misconstrued as admitting fault. For example, too often, accident victims may blurt out comments like “I didn’t even see the truck” or “I didn’t realize how fast I was going,” not realizing that these statements can be used against them later.
  • Seek medical attention – If you did not need emergency transport, you should still undergo a medical evaluation to identify any possible injuries that you may have. Having a timely diagnosis is essential for your health and for a future legal claim.

Finally, you should always discuss your legal rights with a highly skilled truck accident attorney as soon as you can following your accident.

Common Causes of 18-Wheeler Collisions in Clearwater

Like any kind of crash, accidents involving large tractor-trailers can happen in many different ways and for a wide variety of reasons. Determining the exact cause – or causes – of your truck accident is critical to obtaining any financial recovery. The following are some of the causes claimed in truck accident cases:

  • Distracted driving, including using a smartphone or having distracting passengers in the truck
  • Truck drivers who are driving under the influence of illegal substances or alcohol
  • Aggressive driving behaviors, such as excessive speeding, following too closely, or risky lane changes (“cutting off” other drivers)
  • Having inadequate lights or reflectors on a trailer to be seen at night
  • Fatigued driving, which can result from hours of service violations
  • Failing to perform the required pre-trip inspections of the semi truck
  • Inadequate securement of cargo or overloading a trailer
  • Operating a truck with a serious health problem that can lead to medical events behind the wheel
  • Violating any traffic laws, including speed limits or yield requirements
  • Negligent hiring of risky or unqualified truck drivers
  • Failing to adequately inspect and maintain commercial vehicles
  • Manufacturing and selling defective truck parts
  • Violations of any FMCSA safety regulation

Of course, these are only examples of common causes of truck accidents, as many other negligent acts can lead to these devastating events.

Laws Involved in Commercial Truck Crash Cases

There are many laws that apply to the trucking industry and that may be at issue in a truck accident insurance claim or lawsuit. Some examples of such laws include the following:

  • Hours of Service – These regulations limit the hours a driver can work to prevent fatigued driving.
  • DUI laws – The law sets out a lower threshold for blood alcohol content (BAC) for truck drivers (0.04 percent) than for other drivers (0.08 percent).
  • Record requirements – Truck drivers and companies are required to keep records of drive times, inspections, and other important compliance matters.
  • Drug and alcohol testing – Trucking companies must perform randomized alcohol and drug testing on employed commercial drivers.
  • CDL requirements – There are strict requirements for an individual to receive or renew a commercial driver’s license, including driving skills tests and medical examinations.
  • Local or state traffic laws – In addition to FMCSA regulations, commercial drivers are still expected to comply with all local and state traffic codes.

Violations of law can play an important role in any truck crash case. At Dolman Law Group, we are thoroughly familiar with all relevant laws to the trucking industry to best represent the interests and rights of our 18-wheeler accident clients.

Truck Collisions can Cause Devastating Injuries and Losses

Because the sheer impact of a collision, many truck accident victims are diagnosed with serious and long-lasting injuries. Such injuries can include:

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Crushed limbs
  • Amputations
  • Internal organ damage
  • Internal hemorrhaging
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Burns

All of the above injuries require medical attention and some will require extensive treatment that may go on for months or even for the rest of a victim’s life. For example, a traumatic brain injury can leave a victim in a coma, requiring long-term hospitalization, and may cause permanent impairments when a victim does finally become conscious. The costs of hospitalization, rehabilitation, medical equipment, and more can be overwhelming and victims deserve to recover for all costs of their medical care from the responsible party.

In addition, individuals with serious injuries will likely be unable to earn a living for an extended period of time. In some cases, a disabling injury may prevent an accident victim from ever returning to work and can change the entire course of their lives. The law allows you to seek recovery for your past and future lost earnings as part of your truck accident case.

Some important losses incurred by truck crash victims are not financial. A severe injury can impact much more than your wallet and many losses are intangible. These can include:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional or mental trauma and distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

It often takes particular resources to calculate and prove the value of these intangible losses. The truck accident lawyers at Dolman Law Group will always ensure you receive the full amount you deserve for your intangible losses as well as financial losses.

Who is Liable for Your Semi Crash?

In order to recover for your many losses, you must identify which parties may be held liable for causing the 18-wheeler collision. While many truck drivers are to blame for crashes, there are other parties that may be held liable, as well.

  • Truck driver – A truck driver can be responsible if the accident happened because of a driver error, including distracted driving, drunk driving, or other driving violations.
  • Trucking company – In many cases, a trucking company may be held liable for the actions of its employees – namely, the truck driver. In addition, trucking companies can also have negligent hiring and management practices that can contribute to a crash.
  • Cargo loaders – Some companies contract with independent cargo loading crews, which can be held liable for cargo loading mistakes.
  • Mechanics – A mechanic hired by a trucking company can make crucial errors in inspections, diagnostics, repairs, or maintenance of the truck that can lead to a malfunction on the road and cause a driver to lose control and crash.
  • Truck manufacturer – Companies that produce and sell truck parts can design or assemble defective parts and a malfunction can cause a driver to crash.

In many situations, more than one party can be held liable for the losses of a truck accident victim. It is critical to have a lawyer handling your case with the resources and knowledge necessary to identify all possible sources of liability and recovery.

Were You in a Clearwater Truck Accident?

If you have unfortunately been involved in a tractor trailer crash, you should ask yourself different questions to determine what your next steps should be:

  • Was your vehicle damaged?
  • Did you sustain any injuries?
  • Were any of your loved ones tragically killed in a crash?
  • Do you have medical bills to pay?
  • Did you have to miss work?
  • Do you have ongoing medical needs?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you should not delay in discussing your legal rights and options with the experienced truck collision attorneys at Dolman Law Group. Even if you are unsure of your fault in the crash or your ability to recover, you have nothing to lose by calling for a free case evaluation.

How Our Experienced Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help You

The legal team at Dolman Law Group in Clearwater can assist commercial vehicle crash victims in many different ways. Some of our main roles in your case can include:

  • Evaluating whether you have the right to recovery
  • Using our investigative resources to determine the cause of your truck accident and any possible liable parties
  • Calculating the value of your losses
  • Negotiating with the trucking company or driver’s insurance company for a possible settlement
  • Filing a legal claim in civil court if an insurer will not offer an adequate settlement
  • Gathering evidence to use in settlement negotiations or at trial
  • Representing your throughout the entire litigation process

In addition, our attorneys are always here for our clients to address andy concerns or answer any questions throughout their case. We provide personalized attention to every client and will always keep you informed of the status of your case.

Contact the Clearwater Semi Accident Attorneys at Dolman Law Group Today

After suffering injuries and losses in a commercial truck accident, you should look no further than Dolman Law Group for legal assistance. We have handled many 18-wheeler accident cases and understand how to build an effective case strategy and use our resources to stand up to trucking companies and their insurers.

For more information about our legal services, please call Dolman Law Group for a free consultation at 727-451-6900 as soon as possible.

Dolman Law Group – Clearwater Office

800 N Belcher Rd
Clearwater, FL 33765