Truck accidents often cause severe or catastrophic injuries that might turn into long-term or permanent disabilities. Retaining a Gainesville truck accident lawyer can increase the likelihood that you can recover the compensation you deserve—and the compensation that is enough to cover long-term medical expenses.
Gainesville is home to the University of Florida, a regional airport, many businesses, and the residential population. Thus, many trucks use Gainesville roads to deliver goods to the college, shops, and grocery stores. While no one plans on getting in a truck accident, it can happen, especially when a city has more truck traffic than others.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a truck accident, contact a Gainesville truck accident attorney as soon as possible for a free case evaluation. You can reach us at any time.
Table of Contents
- Why Choose Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, in Gainesville
- Truck Accident Compensation in Gainesville
- Florida Truck Accident Stats
- Truck Accidents in Gainesville, FL
- Working With Insurance Companies
- Contact Our Gainesville Truck Accident Attorneys Today
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why Choose Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, in Gainesville, FL
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, in Gainesville, FL, has experience representing those who suffer injuries in truck accidents. Over the years, we have recovered millions in compensation for our clients.
Two examples include a $3.85 million reward for a truck accident where the plaintiff suffered a brain injury and a $3.2 million in compensation for another truck accident where the plaintiff suffered a brain injury. While we guarantee no results, Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, is here to help you.
Most accident cases are complex, but truck accidents are even more so because of the number of defendants that might share liability. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, looks at every case individually and reviews your medical records to help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
Even if you are still in the hospital, we can meet with you—either in person or virtually. We understand it is sometimes difficult to travel when you have injuries, so we can conduct a virtual case evaluation while you are home recovering. Our case evaluations are always free and without obligation.
If you suffered truck accident injuries, you need someone to help you recover the compensation you deserve based on your injuries. Instead of worrying about recovering enough money, let us handle that stress so you can concentrate on healing. Contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, for a free case evaluation.
Truck Accident Compensation in Gainesville
The amount you can recover for a truck accident depends on the severity of your accident and who is responsible for the damages. In some cases, the truck driver is not the only person responsible. The trucking company, a truck mechanic, an inspector, or even an independent truck owner who leases their truck to the driver could shoulder some of the liability for your injuries and other damages.
Florida allows you to recover two types of damages: Compensatory and punitive damages. The court orders compensatory damages, which include economic and non-economic damages, as a way to make you whole again. The court only orders punitive damages if the defendant’s actions were grossly negligent or intentional.
Sometimes referred to as special damages, economic damages have a monetary value and include:
- Medical expenses: Doctors’ appointments, surgeries, follow-up appointments, prescriptions, prescribed over-the-counter medications, ambulatory aids, vehicle hand controls, and home updates, including widened doorways, handrails, grab bars, and wheelchair ramps. You can also recover expenses for cognitive therapy, physical therapy, occupational and physical therapy, rehabilitation home expenses, and home health care.
- Income: You can collect lost wages from the time of the accident through the time you settle or receive a trial award. You can recover future loss of earning capacity for the time you cannot work, even right up until you would normally retire.
- Personal property: Those in vehicle accidents, including truck accidents, can recover compensation to replace or repair destroyed or damaged personal property, including their vehicles and anything of value in the vehicle.
- Death-related expenses: You may also recover funeral and burial costs, cremation expenses, and certain probate cases. You might also recover probate attorneys’ fees and expenses.
Gainesville Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me 833-552-7274
Sometimes referred to as general damages, non-economic damages do not have a monetary value and include:
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress.
- Loss of quality of life if you have to make life-long changes, such as taking prescription drugs or using ambulatory aids because of your accident injuries.
- Loss of companionship if you can no longer enjoy time with your family, including sitting as a family at dinner or attending family activities and events.
- Loss of consortium if you can no longer have a physical relationship with your spouse.
- Loss of use of a body part, such as a hand, or a bodily function, such as your eyesight.
- Inconvenience if you have to hire someone to do the chores you usually do, such as lawn maintenance, grocery shopping, home repair and maintenance, or house cleaning.
- Amputation of a digit or limb.
- Excessive scarring and/or disfigurement.
For a free legal consultation with a truck accidents lawyer serving Gainesville, call 833-552-7274
It is difficult and time-consuming to recover punitive damages. However, in some cases, they are worth the extra time. The court only orders punitive damages to punish the defendant—these damages do not make you whole again.
You can only recover punitive damages if the court orders compensatory damages. Florida requires an additional trial if you ask for punitive damages. You must complete the first part to see if you can recover compensatory damages. If you can, the court—with the same judge and jury—determines whether the defendant should pay punitive damages.
You can only recover punitive damages if the court determines the defendant committed grossly negligent or intentional actions or inactions. Your attorney will review the defendant’s actions or inactions to determine whether you should ask the court for punitive damages.
Florida Truck Accident Stats
Florida sees about 400,000 wrecks per year. Of those, about 3,750 are fatal, and 2,530 result in injuries. The Gainesville area sees about 5,200 accidents annually, with about 57 fatal wrecks and 3,650 injury crashes.
Cities like Gainesville are more apt to see wrecks, including truck wrecks, because of the number of people and trucks in the city, especially during the fall through spring, when college students are in town.
In addition to state regulations, truck drivers must also abide by federal regulations, including hours of service regulations. Truckers sometimes ignore federal rules to deliver a load on time, especially if they get stuck in traffic jams or have to wait longer to load or unload. Ignoring state and federal regulations often leads to more truck accidents.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, has experience handling truck accidents, including all the federal regulations that truckers must follow. If a truck driver’s negligent behavior caused the accident that caused your injuries, you could recover damages from the driver and possibly the trucking company and others.
However, you must take legal action within a specific deadline. Florida statutes give you up to four years to take legal action for a truck accident. However, the sooner you contact a truck accident attorney, the better your chances are of recovering the compensation you deserve. Evidence tends to disappear after a few days—proof that you might need to prove the truck driver was at fault.
Truck Accidents in Gainesville, FL
The severity of truck accidents depends on several factors, including speed, whether the truck has a full load or is empty, and several other factors.
Some types of truck accidents include:
- Head-on collisions: A truck or another vehicle leaves its lane and travels in the wrong direction in the other lane.
- Rear-end collisions: A truck can rear-end a driver who pulls in front of the truck or ram a driver from behind if the truck driver is not paying attention or cannot stop because of a mechanical or medical condition.
- Sideswipe collisions: Other vehicles can sideswipe a truck just as easily as a truck can sideswipe them. Weather can sometimes push a trailer sideways into a jackknife situation where the trailer sideswipes a vehicle. In other cases, the sideswipe wreck is because the truck driver or a vehicle driver is driving recklessly.
- Turning collisions: If truck drivers misjudge a turn, they could run over property or another vehicle with the trailer.
- Blind spot collisions: In most cases, vehicles involved in blind spot collisions share liability with the truck driver. A truck has substantial blind spots. After a driver checks all of their blind spots, a vehicle could pull into an already checked blind spot.
- Rollover collisions: These collisions happen when the wind blows a trailer over or the truck driver takes a curve too fast.
Truck Accident Injuries
The injuries you might sustain in a truck accident depend on several factors, including speed, how the truck hits you, the weight of the truck and its load, what the truck is carrying, and other factors.
Injuries might include:
- Bumps, bruises, cuts, scratches, and scrapes.
- Strains and sprains.
- Pulled and torn muscles and other soft tissue injuries.
- Internal injuries.
- Simple and compound fractures.
- Crushed bones and other crush injuries.
- Head, neck, and shoulder injuries.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
- Back and spinal cord injuries.
- Chemical and thermal burns.
- Road rash.
Working With Insurance Companies
Insurance companies are in business to make a profit. That means they do not like to pay out claims and may do anything possible to deny a claim. Barring that, they might offer you as little as possible, which is what they think you will accept, to make you go away.
Even your insurance company will not look out for your best interests, no matter how faithful you are to it. All that matters to it is the insurance company’s bottom line. Thus, we prefer to call the insurance company to start the claim process for you.
However, if you call the insurance company, you should give it your name, policy number, date and location of the truck accident, and your attorney’s contact information. Do not try to explain anything to the insurance company. One of its tricks is to twist what you say to use it against you. You might not think you said anything that the insurance company can use against you, but it will find a way.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, works with all types of insurance companies—large and small. We know all of the insurance company’s tricks. Additionally, the insurance company knows that when you retain an attorney, you are more likely to take your case to court, and they are more apt to offer a fair and reasonable settlement during initial negotiations.
Even if the insurance company refuses a fair and reasonable settlement, many reopen negotiations once you file a lawsuit. Going to court is very expensive for the insurance company, especially if it loses—not only does it have to pay its expensive attorneys, but it would have to pay your attorney.
Contact Our Gainesville Truck Accident Attorneys Today at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a truck accident, you need an attorney with experience in state and federal trucking laws to pursue the compensation you deserve.
Recovering the compensation you deserve after a truck accident means negotiations with one or more defendants or a complex court case. Because big rigs are commercial vehicles and are heavy, you could suffer catastrophic injuries and might be up against more than one defendant.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, can help you pursue the compensation you deserve from all defendants responsible for your injuries or the loss of your loved one.
Instead of trying to deal with the stress of fighting with insurance companies while you are trying to recover or while mourning for a lost loved one, let Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, deal with the insurance companies involved. You can concentrate on recovering from injuries or taking care of your loved one’s business.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a truck accident near Gainesville, Florida, contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, for a free case evaluation by calling 833-552-7274 (833-55-CRASH) or contact us through our website.
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What is a Commercial Truck?
Most people think of tractor-trailer trucks when they hear commercial truck. However, a commercial truck is any vehicle used to transport goods. Though a car or pickup might be a commercial vehicle, for our purposes, we are speaking of larger trucks, busses, ambulances, big rigs, fire trucks, and other vehicles that require a commercial driver’s license to operate.
Why Do Commercial Trucks Usually Cause More Severe Injuries?
A tractor-trailer truck can weigh 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. The truck can weigh over 100,000 pounds if it carries an oversized load. The average passenger vehicle weighs around 3,000 pounds. Because of the size and weight of a truck, it has a higher risk of causing more severe or catastrophic injuries.
Where Are a Truck’s Blind Spots?
A tractor-trailer truck has gigantic blind spots. These are areas where the truck driver cannot see you. Thus, you should not linger in the trucker’s blind spots. Instead, move through them as quickly as possible if you cannot avoid them.
The front of a big rig has a 20-foot-long blind spot, while the rear has a 30-foot-long blind spot. When you are behind a truck, if you cannot see the driver in their mirror, you are in the truck’s blind spot.
The left side of a tractor-trailer truck has a blind spot as wide as the next lane. It starts at the driver’s door and goes about three-quarters down the trailer.
The right-side blind spot takes two lanes and starts at the truck’s front bumper. The blind spot ends about 15 feet past the end of the trailer in the second lane.
Who Can I Sue for Injuries Caused by a Truck Driver?
Someone other than the truck driver could sometimes share responsibility for your injuries. During the investigation of your case, your attorney will look for why the driver wrecked.
Your attorney may find that in addition to the driver, you may hold others negligent, including:
- The trucking company.
- A truck owner.
- A truck mechanic.
- An inspector.
- A dispatcher.
- A truck lessee or lessor, depending on the circumstances.
- Individuals or companies hired to load the truck.
- A municipality.
- A driver in another vehicle.
- Truck manufacturer.
- Trailer manufacturer.
- Cargo owner.
What Do I Do After a Truck Accident?
If it is possible to move around without causing additional injuries to yourself, you can help document your case. While Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, uses investigators, some of the evidence could disappear between the time of the accident and when you retain us, and the investigators start investigating.
Steps to take after a truck accident include:
- Call first responders and check on other drivers.
- Take photos of the accident scene. Take pictures from all angles, including all damage to the road and nearby property.
- Give your statement to the police officer.
- Allow emergency medical technicians to check you over, even if you believe your injuries are minor. Some injuries do not manifest for hours or even days—allowing the emergency medical technician to check you over is the first step in documenting any injuries you might have.
- Speak with witnesses—obtain their names and a good phone number and email address. Ask them what they saw.
Once the police release you from the scene, immediately go to the emergency room. Tell the medical professionals that you were in an accident and need a full workup.
As you wait for medical professionals to see you, start writing down the events leading up to the accident. You might forget essential information by the time you get to relay the information to an attorney.
Finally, contact a Gainesville truck accident lawyer as soon after the accident as possible.
Can I Reject the Insurance Company’s Offer?
Absolutely. If you file a claim, only give the insurance company your name, policy number, the other driver’s insurance information, and your Gainesville truck accident attorney’s contact information.
In almost every circumstance, the insurance company’s offer will be too small, especially if you attempt to settle yourself. Depending on the insurance company, it might go back and forth with your attorney several times before it offers a fair and reasonable settlement.
Insurance companies are in business to make money. Paying claims decreases their profit margins, so they will always try to get away with denying a claim or paying the least amount possible. You must stick with your attorney and fight through settlement negotiations to get a fair and reasonable amount.
How Important Is the Investigation in a Truck Accident Case?
The investigation into your accident is critical. The investigation gives your attorneys several pieces of information that help recover the compensation you deserve.
- Whether the truck driver and/or another person was negligent.
- Whether gross negligence or intent played a part in the accident.
- Whether your injuries will result in long-term or permanent injuries.
- Whether a municipality, third-party driver, or another outside factor is partially or wholly at fault for the accident.
Do I Have to Hire Expert Witnesses to Prove Fault in a Truck Accident Case?
In most cases, your attorney will hire expert witnesses on your behalf. You might need expert witnesses for accident reconstruction and to review and testify about your injuries. You might also need an expert witness with particular expertise in the operation and manufacture of trucks and trailers. Additionally, your attorney should have extensive knowledge of state and federal trucking regulations.
Do I Have to Have an Attorney to Litigate a Truck Accident Case?
You need an attorney to litigate a case. Suppose your case does not settle because the insurance company does not offer a fair and reasonable settlement or because the defendant is underinsured. In that case, your attorney will establish liability against the defendants and help maximize the recovery of damages.
Negligence cases are complex. The case becomes even more complicated if you add gross negligence or intent. Add individuals or companies that must follow federal laws in addition to state laws, and the case grows even more complex.
To ensure that the jury hears your side of the story correctly—and to dispute “partial” stories or lies from the defendants, you will need an attorney who knows the state and federal laws and regulations.
What Do I Do if I Lost a Loved One in a Truck Accident?
Contact a Gainesville truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your loved one’s estate files the lawsuit on your behalf. We can help you file the documents required by the probate court to recover the compensation you deserve for the loss of your loved one, including emotional distress and any medical expenses your loved one had because of the accident.
How Long Do I Have to Take Legal Action After a Truck Accident Killed a Loved One?
While most negligence claims have a four-year statute of limitation, you have only two years to file a wrongful death action against the defendants. As with negligence claims, we can investigate the accident, so it is better to contact us immediately after the accident. We understand that you are dealing with the death of your loved one, but the sooner we can start on your case, the more evidence we can gather. If you are not comfortable coming into the office, we can schedule a virtual case evaluation.
Can I Automatically Recover Damages Against a Truck Driver?
No. The accident investigation must show that the truck driver or another party’s negligence caused the accident. For example, a truck jackknifes, and the accident causes catastrophic damages. The investigation finds that a car cut the truck driver off. The truck driver was not negligent in the accident. Instead, the vehicle that cut the truck driver off and caused them to jackknife is most likely responsible.
What Are the Chances of My Case Settling Out of Court?
Most truck accident cases settle out of court. Insurance companies hire expensive lawyers to defend them. However, they also have to pay your attorney’s fees and costs if they lose. Additionally, many insurance companies do not like to take a chance on a jury—the jury may award far more than what the insurance company can negotiate with you.
My Doctor Said that My Injuries Caused Permanent Disabilities. Can I Recover Lost Wages for the Rest of My Life?
You can recover loss of earning capacity from the time of the accident through the time you would typically retire. An expert in payroll and labor will determine a fair amount based on your age and salary. In most cases, you receive a lump sum.
Does a Settlement Include Money for Long-Term Home Health Care?
Suppose medical professionals determine that you need long-term home health care, including but not limited to home health nurses or rehabilitation or nursing center care. In that case, your attorney will figure that amount into the target settlement.
How Do I Pay for Medical Expenses While Waiting for a Settlement or Trial Award?
While waiting for a settlement or trial award, you can use your vehicle and health insurance to cover medical expenses. Submit any medical bills your insurance paid for so your attorney can reimburse them when you receive your settlement. Your attorney will figure them into the amount the defendant owes you.
Additionally, for medical expenses that neither insurance covers, your attorney can draft a letter to request that the medical professional or institution hold off on collections until you receive your settlement or trial award.
How Do I Pay for Attorneys’ Fees?
Your initial case evaluation is free and without obligation. Additionally, if you hire Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, you do not pay us unless there is a positive outcome in your case. During your initial case evaluation, we will review our contingency contract with you, including the percentage we take for attorneys’ fees and the cost of expert witness costs, filing fees, and other expenses.
How Long Does a Settlement Take?
It depends on the insurance company and how long it takes to investigate your case. Your attorney will investigate your claim as quickly as possible because evidence tends to disappear, whether because the weather wipes it out or because the defendant inadvertently or purposely destroys it.
Once I Agree to a Settlement Offer, How Long Does it Take to Get My Money?
It could take up to a month to receive your check. Once you settle with the insurance company, the attorneys must draft a settlement agreement. You and the insurance company must review and sign the settlement agreement. The insurance company then processes the agreement and cuts a check to your Gainesville truck accident lawyer.
Once your attorney receives the check, they must wait for the bank to clear it before they can take the next steps. It generally takes 10 to 14 days to clear the check, depending on the amount. Once the check clears, they can pay any outstanding medical expenses you have and reimburse the insurance companies. They deduct attorney’s fees and costs and cut you a check for the balance.