Traffic accidents can always be traumatic events no matter what type of vehicles are involved. If the vehicle that hits your car is a large commercial truck, however, a crash can often be life-changing. The experienced legal team at Dolman Law Group have worked with many truck accident victims throughout the state of Florida and have witnessed the extreme hardships victims suffer after this type of crash. We know that truck collisions can cause extensive physical, emotional, and financial injuries.
We also know how complicated it can be for victims to receive the compensation they deserve after a truck accident. so we are committed to providing the highest quality of representation for every truck accident victim. We have a thorough understanding of the trucking industry, including laws and regulations that commonly arise in truck accident cases. Our firm also has the resources needed to take on trucking companies and their insurers to ensure your rights to compensation are protected.
Because truck accident cases can be very different from other traffic injury cases, you want to have an attorney handling your case who has specific experience representing truck accident victims. To learn more about how Dolman Law Group can help you, please call our office for free today.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the federal agency dedicated to ensuring safety when it comes to commercial trucks and drivers. As part of its efforts, the FMCSA regularly releases statistics to educate motorists on the prevalence of truck accidents in the United States. The following statistics from 2015 should illustrate how common these dangerous crashes can be:
There were 11,777,983 commercial trucks registered to drive in the U.S.
Commercial truck crashes caused an estimated 138,000 injuries that year
More than 4,300 people did not survive their truck accident injuries
Almost 85 percent of fatalities were motorists in other vehicles or individuals outside the truck, not the truck driver
According to these statistics, every hour brings about 16 new injured truck accident victims in the United States. It is important to realize that anytime you drive alongside large commercial vehicles, you are personally at risk of being one of these injured victims. For this reason, you should be prepared in the event of a crash and should never hesitate to call the Dolman Law Group for assistance.
After any type of accident – especially a serious truck accident – it can be difficult to know what to do and what not to do. The truth is that taking certain steps can work to protect your rights if you later file a legal claim. Following a crash, please try to keep in mind the following steps:
Call emergency services – Someone on the scene should call 911 as soon as possible after an accident. Many people may require emergency medical attention because of the severity of a truck crash, so it is critical for EMTs to arrive on the scene and make determinations regarding the status of victims. If you are advised to be transported in an ambulance, you should listen to the medical professionals. Your health and physical stabilization should be your top priority after a crash. If you are cleared to remain at the scene of the crash, the police can provide assistance by gathering information and writing a report regarding what happened.
Collect information – Though police officers should also be collecting information, you should also gather as much as you can. Take photos of the truck, your vehicle, and any other conditions at the scene of the crash. Write down all contact information for the truck driver, the trucking company that employed the driver, and any witnesses who stopped after the crash. See if anyone got a video of the accident on their cell phone.
Don’t admit fault – The moments after an accident are often chaotic, with many people asking you questions including the truck driver and law enforcement officers. It can be easy to say something such as, “I only looked down for a second” or “I was in a hurry.” However, such statements can be used against you to prove that you may have been at fault in the crash and not the truck driver. You should consult with an attorney before you make any statements that may be construed as admitting fault.
Get medically evaluated – Even if you did not need an ambulance ride, you should still seek medical attention to diagnose and treat any injuries you may have. Even seemingly minor injuries can require costly treatment and can keep you from working and a timely examination is important to receive compensation for your losses.
Perhaps one of the most important steps you can take as a truck accident victims is to discuss your options with an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can help you navigate the legal process from this point forward.
There are many different causes of commercial truck accidents and at Dolman Law Group, we know that determining the cause of a crash is essential to helping truck victims. The following are only some causes of truck accidents in Florida:
These are only some of the many causes of commercial truck crashes and our law firm has the resources to investigate what happened and determine the cause in your specific situation.
Preserving your rights after a commercial truck collision is so important because the injuries commonly sustained in this type of accident can be serious or even catastrophic. Some examples of severe truck accident injuries include:
Truck accident injuries can require emergency medical attention and some victims will undergo a lengthy course of treatment before they recover. Other victims may never fully recover from their injuries and may face lifelong disabilities and impairment, including the need for ongoing medical care for the remainder of their lives. Medical treatment for severe injuries can include the following and more:
All of the above can result in thousands of dollars of medical bills. Such bills can cause severe stress in addition to concerns over physical recovery.
Medical bills are far from the only losses commonly incurred by truck accident victims. Many serious injuries will require a victim to take a substantial period of time off work, which can mean lost wages that can cause additional financial stress. Furthermore, a disabling injury may prevent you from ever returning to your previous job – or even from working at all. This lifetime of lost earning capacity is also an important loss to consider after a truck crash.
In addition to past and future lost earnings and medical expenses, you can also recover for intangible losses, as well. Such losses may include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of everyday life, emotional distress, and similar effects of your injuries. Because these losses are not directly measurable, it can require the assistance of expert opinions to show proof of the value of your losses. The attorneys at Dolman Law Group know how to identify all types of losses you incurred and will always seek to prove you deserve the maximum amount of compensation in your case.
Once you have determined the cause of your truck accident and the losses you incurred, you must then identify who you can file a claim against to seek financial recovery. Different parties may be held liable for causing a truck accident, including the following:
Truck drivers – The majority of truck crashes are caused by an error on the part of the commercial driver, who can be held liable for the losses of victims.
Trucking companies – Trucking companies can often be held legally responsible for the actions of their employees (e.g. truck drivers). In addition, trucking company management can also be negligent in hiring practices or supervision of drivers that contributes to a crash happening.
Truck manufacturers – Some trucks crash because part of the truck malfunctioned and caused the driver to lose control. In such cases, is the malfunction was due to a defective truck part, the manufacturer that sold the part may be held liable.
Aside from the above parties, third party cargo loaders and truck mechanics may also be at fault in certain truck accidents. In many cases, multiple parties may be held responsible, which can help to ensure you receive the full amount of financial recovery you deserve. The team at Dolman Law Group knows how to identify all possible defendants in your truck accident case to best protect your rights to recovery.
Aside from determining negligence, losses, and any possible liable parties, several other legal issues may arise in truck accident claims that are not in play in other types of traffic cases. For example, the following laws may play a role in your truck accident case:
Commercial DUI limits – Drunk driving laws are different for commercial drivers in Florida, as they are held to a lower legal limit (0.04 percent) than drivers of non-commercial vehicles (0.08 percent).
Alcohol and drug testing – Employers of truck drivers are expected to administer random drug and alcohol tests on drivers and if they fail to do so, they may have liability for an impaired driving accident.
Commercial driver’s license (CDL) requirements – Drivers must meet strict requirements to get or to renew a CDL. If a driver does not meet certain requirements, they should not be operating commercial vehicles.
Record-keeping requirements – Both drivers and companies are expected to keep certain records and such records – or lack thereof – can demonstrate a violation of regulations or other types of negligence.
Hours of service restrictions – Drivers are limited to a certain number of consecutive hours or days on the road. Violating these limits can lead to fatigued driving.
It is important for your Florida truck accident lawyer to be familiar with all relevant trucking regulations and laws and know how to apply these laws to your case in your best interests.
If you were a victim of a commercial truck accident and you incurred losses due to injuries, you should not wait to have an attorney at the Dolman Law Group evaluate your situation. Our attorneys can assist you in a variety of ways, including:
At Dolman Law Group, we provide personalized representation for every client and are available to address your questions and concerns. We assist clients throughout the state of Florida and will stand up for your rights to compensation after a truck accident.
Please call our office at 727-451-6900 for a free consultation today.