Award-Winning Truck Accident Lawyers
Did you suffer an injury in a trucking accident?
Did a semi-truck or big rig driver cause your crash?
If so, you need an experienced truck accident attorney in your corner from the start.
Accidents with commercial trucks involve a very different set of issues than normal automobile accidents. The truck accident lawyers of Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, understand the specific nuances involved in semi-truck and tractor-trailer accidents. At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we have the resources necessary to pursue your case. Truck accident cases can be costly to pursue and to properly investigate; having the necessary resources to handle these tasks is essential—we do! We work on a contingency basis. That means that you don’t pay us anything unless we can win your case for you!
Table of Contents
- Why You Need a Truck Accident Attorney
- What to Do Following a Truck Accident?
- Common Truck Accident Injuries You Can Sue For
- Collecting Compensation After a Truck Accident
- Why Dolman Law Group
Potential Defendants in a Truck Accident Case
Since big rig accidents often cause significantly more severe injuries than typical car accidents do, it is crucial to identify every party potentially responsible for getting the injured victim the compensation they need to cover their current and future damages.
The list of parties potentially responsible for a serious commercial truck accident extends beyond the driver. Liability for a commercial truck accident could include:
- The driver’s employer
- The trucking company
- The truck manufacturer
- Third-party contractors
- The insurance companies that hold policies for each of the aforementioned
Truck Accident Attorneys – Representing You in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident caused by negligence, it is essential to seek legal representation as soon as possible. The Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, can help you get a fair settlement and the medical care you require. Our team helps victims of truck accidents determine who the responsible parties are, help file your truck accident claim, and file a truck accident lawsuit against the party at fault, so you receive maximum compensation. We will be your legal team to get you fair compensation if you were injured in a semi-truck accident.
Trucker Employer Liability for Truck Accidents
Truckers may work directly for the company they are delivering for, or they may be an independent contractor, simply hauling the goods for the company that owns the cargo. If the driver works directly for the trucking or shipping company, that company may be liable for any negligence that led to the truck accident. To prove this, the victim’s attorney would need to confirm the accident occurred while the driver was driving for that company.
When a truck driver works independently–meaning they own their truck and accept short-term contracts to haul a set amount of cargo from one destination to another–the victim’s attorney would need to investigate how much oversight the contracting company exercised over the driver. This would establish how much responsibility they have for the accident and injuries. Determining which parties share blame in the situation is essential because these entities likely will carry separate insurance policies that could potentially pay out different amounts.
Semi – Trucks Driver Fatigue Contributes to Accidents
The most common act of negligence in truck crashes is when a commercial driver is driving while tired. Driver fatigue causes thousands of unfortunate and senseless accidents each year. Federal trucking laws, known as Hours of Service (HOS) regulations, govern:
- The amount of time a driver can be on the road for a single stretch
- How much time must be taken off between shifts
- How many hours they can log during a specific week
It’s not uncommon for drivers to falsify their driving logs to be able to drive for more time than they should, and many trucking companies imply or expressly request their drivers to falsify records. Sadly, many trucking outfits place unrealistic scheduling demands on their drivers, and sleep deprivation is often the result. Other factors that can result in truck driver fatigue include:
- Long stretches of night driving
- Irregular schedules with little routine
- Unhealthy eating on the go
- Loading and unloading cargo in between trips
The National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) estimates that fatigue plays a role in excess of 30% of truck crashes. If you have questions or believe that truck driver fatigue may have caused your accident, we can help. Call our big rig accident attorneys today to learn more about your legal options.
Exposure of the Broker or Carrier
A broker is an entity that arranges cargo transportation and movement by a motor carrier such as a semi-truck. The broker brings the truckers and the company attempting to ship goods together. Brokers utilize computer tracking software and data to monitor the movement of goods and the trucks they have brought in to handle the task.
In analyzing the liability of a broker, the tractor-trailer accident attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA look at:
- Whether the broker did their duty– We check whether the broker has acted in accordance with their commitment to inspect the motor carrier/truck, examined the safety history of the truck, and the drivers with whom they have contracted. We determine if the broker is the fault party.
- Whether the broker was in control– We analyze how much control the broker exercised over the truck and the driver by inspecting dispatch records and whether the broker monitored and reviewed trip records or notes. Did the broker approve the receipts and bill of lading changes?
Negligent Maintenance and Hiring Claims
Trucking cases are generally complex based on state and federal laws that can conflict with one another. We often retain experts to determine whether the trucking company utilized faulty equipment or was negligent in maintaining the truck itself. Other things we examine include:
- Was the tire defective, retread, or unevenly worn?
- Were the brakes, axles, hitches, and other parts working and checked routinely?
- Was the driver involved in previous auto accidents?
- Were the maintenance logs updated and in accordance with both state and federal statutes?
Regarding negligent hiring and retention claims, we examine the driver’s employment history and determine whether the driver was properly trained and experienced in operating a semi-truck or commercial vehicle. There are federal and state provisions concerning the due diligence that the trucking company must apply in examining the driver’s safety history and criminal record. Trucking outfits can face massive liability for failing to adhere to such safety provisions.
What to Do Following a Truck Accident?
The first thing you should do after a truck accident is call 911. If you don’t know what to do, ask someone else who does. Next, make sure everyone is okay. Ask if anyone needs medical care. You can also take photos of any injuries. Finally, contact the police. They will need information from witnesses and will want to speak with you regarding the incident.
If you were injured in a truck accident, you might be entitled to compensation for damages, including lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and property damage. Contact us today to discuss your case with a truck accident lawyer from the Dolman Law Group. Our truck accident personal injury attorney will review your medical records and discuss how to proceed in your case.
Truck Accidents Can Be Deadly
Truck accidents are among the most dangerous types of automobile accidents. A recent study showed that truck crashes account for nearly 20% of fatal car accidents. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 30 people die every day due to truck accidents. The NHTSA estimates that there are about 4 million trucks on U.S. roads at any given time. That means that approximately 1,300 people die each year because of truck accidents.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truck accidents have killed more than 2,500 people since 2009. This number includes fatalities, injuries, and deaths involving large trucks, tractor-trailers, and buses. These statistics show that truck accidents are not just an issue for big rigs; they also affect drivers of small vehicles. In addition to causing death, truck accidents cause serious injury to others.
Injuries caused by truck accidents are typically much worse than those caused by passenger cars. For example, the average cost of treating a pedestrian injury resulting from a car crash is $4,000. However, the average cost of treatment for a person involved in a truck accident is $70,000. This difference exists because the severity of injuries sustained in truck accidents tends to be more significant.
According to the FMCSA, truck accidents occur when a motorist fails to yield the right-of-way to a larger vehicle. When this happens, it puts other motorists at risk of being hit by the larger vehicle. In some cases, the larger vehicle causes a collision with another vehicle. The larger vehicle hits a stationary object, like a tree or signpost. Regardless of how the accident occurs, the impact of the collision often results in severe bodily harm or even death.
Many truck accidents are preventable. Drivers must follow the rules of the road and obey traffic laws. They must stay alert while driving. And they must always wear seat belts.
Victims may suffer physical injuries, emotional trauma, financial loss, and even permanent disability when such accidents occur. Victims may experience:
- Pain and discomfort from broken bones or internal injuries.
- Severe bruising and swelling.
- Headaches and neck pains.
- Memory problems.
- Psychological distress.
- Loss of income due to missed workdays.
- Medical expenses.
- Damage to property.
- Disruption of family life.
These injuries can last for months or years after the accident. Contact our law firm today if you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident. We will help you get compensation for your losses.
Pursuing justice for victims of personal injury requires knowledge and skill. At Dolman Law Group, we understand the importance of getting the best possible outcome for clients who have suffered a personal injury. Our lawyers are dedicated to helping you recover damages for medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and other related costs.
We will take care of everything, so you don’t have to worry about anything. You can focus on healing.
If you or someone you know was hurt in a truck accident, call us at (866) 826-1298.
Our attorneys also know what it takes to win a case against insurance companies. Insurance companies don’t want to pay out claims. That’s why they fight back hard. They try to find ways to deny claims. To do so, they hire investigators and adjusters.
Truck Accident Attorneys – Fighting the Insurance Company
Call us immediately if you’ve been hurt in a truck accident. We’ll take on the insurance company and fight for you. The Dolman Law Group has experienced truck accident lawyers that understand the complexities of dealing with a truck company that had a commercial truck driver be the cause of a fatal truck accident. If you were injured by a semi-truck, and need a personal injury lawyer to handle your claim, contact us today.
Lawyers representing car accident victims are well aware of the fact that most people involved in auto accidents are not insured. This means that if an individual suffers an injury as a result of a negligent act committed by another party, they would have no legal recourse.
To protect individuals who are uninsured or underinsured, the legislature enacted the Uninsured Motorist Act (UMA) and the Underinsured Motorist Act (UMAA). These acts protect persons whose negligence caused them to sustain bodily injury or property damage. However, there are certain exceptions to these laws. For example, UMA does not apply when a person is driving his own vehicle or when the vehicle owner is covered by liability insurance. UMAA applies only to those situations where the tortfeasor has automobile liability coverage that is less than the number of the victim’s damages.
We are truck accident lawyers who represent people throughout Florida, including but not limited to:
- Fort Lauderdale
- West Palm Beach
Reported Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Accidents Involving Injuries
Common Truck Accident Injuries You Can Sue For
Due to their immense size and weight, truck accidents tend to cause exceptionally severe injuries. Those who are lucky enough to survive being involved in a truck accident often struggle with permanent damage that can disable and disfigure. The following are some of the more common injuries we have represented for people involved in truck accidents:
- Traumatic brain injuries: The force of a truck accident can injure the head either through direct trauma or sudden jerking movements; the result is a traumatic brain injury that can cause permanent physical and cognitive issues. Examples of traumatic brain injuries include concussions and contusions.
- Back trauma from a truck accident can lead to sensory problems, affect your control of certain organs, and even cause paralysis in varying degrees. Spinal cord injuries:
- Broken/fractured bones: While car accidents can break bones, truck accidents can cause several serious breaks and fractures. This can lead to a significant loss of mobility and sometimes even permanent disability.
- Internal injuries: Depending on which organs were injured and how a truck accident victim can suffer everything from internal bleeding to collapsed lungs. These injuries can result in reduced or permanent loss of organ function, drastically reducing someone’s quality of life.
- Amputations: Truck accidents can inflict enough damage to a limb that it is beyond saving or puts a person at risk of infection. Amputation leads to a significant handicap and significant damage.
If you suffered an injury in a trucking accident, you deserve to have a law firm on your side fighting for you. At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, our trucking accident lawyers can help you pursue compensation. Call us today to explore your legal options in a FREE initial consultation.
Collecting Compensation After a Truck Accident
Like any other personal injury case, a person injured in a truck accident is entitled to seek recovery for their damages so their life can be restored as close as possible to its original state before the accident. Truck accident victims can pursue compensation for the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Surgery and other medical treatments
- Rehabilitation fees and procedures
- Nursing home care
- Lost income during the incident
- Loss of earning capacity in the future
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional suffering
- Disfigurement and permanent scarring
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Mental Anguish
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Wrongful Death
In certain extreme situations, punitive damages may also be available if the driver or company acted in a way that intended to cause harm (“bad faith”) or in a way that they should have reasonably known would cause harm. Punitive damages are meant to punish someone financially, like a fine, to discourage them from acting similarly in the future.
It should be noted, though, that punitive damages are often dramatically lowered by judges and are rarely covered by insurance policies.
Top 10 Truck Accident Factors
According to The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the following ten factors are ranked in order of most common after analyzing hundred of potential factors involved in a truck accident. They are:
- Brake problems
- Traffic flow interruption (congestion, previous crash)
- Prescription drug use
- Traveling too fast for conditions
- Unfamiliarity with roadway
- Roadway problems
- Required to stop before crash (traffic control device, crosswalk)
- Over-the-counter drug use
- Inadequate surveillance
Our Lawyers Can Help You Win Your Truck Accident Case
Litigating a truck accident to the fullest extent can be a daunting and expensive prospect. Many lawyers and law firms encounter difficulty in properly handling a trucking case due to the expenses associated with retaining expert witnesses. At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, our truck accident attorneys know how to win these complex cases by performing an extensive investigation into the accident to identify all liable parties.
Truck Accident Investigation
An accident involving a semi-truck must be thoroughly investigated, and this investigation can be quite expensive. The first essential step a truck accident lawyer should perform is to ensure the opportunity to analyze the truck in its post-accident condition. We want our expert to review the black box data, which provides a wealth of information on how the truck was being operated at the time of the wreck.
Many lawyers either skip this process or handle the investigation on a shoestring budget. In order to demonstrate the negligent maintenance and operation of a truck, we must diligently look into all aspects relating to the big rig itself…but a thorough, diligent investigation of a tractor-trailer accident is expensive. There is no way around this – a cheap investigation results in the lawyer leaving money on the table at the time of settlement.
At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we have the experience and resources in place to try a commercial vehicle collision case properly. This is how we do it:
- We have years of experience handling truck collision claims and have obtained favorable results.
Our lawyers have recovered millions of dollars for victims of accidents with large commercial vehicles. The number of parties potentially responsible for your injuries makes semi-truck accident cases very complicated. For one thing, the tractor is usually owned separately and apart from the trailer, which results in there being potentially two separate companies being responsible for your injuries.
We will have another set of defense lawyers involved in defending the claim, as there are often many different avenues to getting you compensation. For example, if we can prove the truck was improperly loaded, then the entity responsible for loading the truck may be liable, along with the company that employs the driver. It is not uncommon for there to be multiple defendants in a tractor-trailer accident.
For example, we recently recovered $3.2 million for a truck accident victim who suffered a traumatic brain injury. This case, due to extensive preparation and investigation, was settled in pre-trial mediation without the client ever having to go through a lengthy court battle. We were able to turn the case around based on what our expert uncovered through analyzing the black box data. The analysis of this data illustrated that the 18-wheeler was traveling 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit.
Further, we retained an expert on trucking industry protocols who combed through voluminous employment records to unearth numerous driving violations which enabled us to amend our initial complaint and add a count for negligent hiring and retention. The respective insurance carriers were more amenable to resolving the claim – and at a much higher amount – due to the pressure of defending the case we had built.
- We identify all lines of insurance coverage.
Semi-truck accidents are inherently complicated as there are multiple lines of insurance coverage. For example, the truck and the trailer are often owned by two separate corporations and thus are insured by different carriers. We can hold them responsible and pursue both parties for the negligence that caused your injuries, which requires extensive investigation and the testimony of multiple expert witnesses – all of which Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA is prepared to handle.
- We have the financial resources to handle 18-wheeler accident cases.
Trucking accident cases are expert-laden and costly since it is often necessary to prove complicated subject matters. For example, proving a specific part failed or that hiring practices resulted in an injury will require expert knowledge. As a result, truck accident cases are very expensive for a law firm to handle. Since we have handled many commercial truck cases in the past, we already have a network of witnesses and investigators ready and able to prove your case.
- Every trucking accident requires a thorough and often expensive fact-finding mission.
There are many avenues through which to pursue financial compensation in a truck accident case. For example, there may be a potential claim due to improper or negligent maintenance of the truck. In order to determine this, we look at trucking logs, maintenance records, inspections records, etc.
Additionally, there may have been an instance of negligent retention or hiring on the part of the trucker’s employer. To prove this, we examine employment records, training certifications of the driver, and past citations for violations, such as speeding or safety violations. It is also possible to pull camera footage on many highways, which can help determine the true cause of a serious truck crash.
National Trucking Accidents Are Catastrophic
We rely on big rigs, semi-trucks, and tractor-trailers to transport goods and materials for businesses from coast to coast and deliver everything from the food we eat to the clothes we wear. Unfortunately, these mammoth vehicles can also be very dangerous. Every year nearly a half-million large truck accidents occur in the U.S. And because of the size and weight of these vehicles, accidents involving trucks are often more dangerous or fatal than your typical car accident.
The average large commercial truck weighs close to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. In comparison, the average passenger car weighs just 3,000-pounds. As such, those in passenger cars suffer the majority of the injuries during a collision, and these injuries can result in permanent disfigurement, impairment, and disability.
Sadly, there are often multiple parties who share the blame for these crashes. Trucking companies and their drivers, shipping companies, and truck manufacturers can all bear liability after a serious truck accident. For this reason, it is important to speak to an experienced and skilled truck accident attorney at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA immediately. We know time is critical, and so we work quickly to build your case and protect your right to maximum compensation.
Truck drivers are often insured into the millions. Trucking companies have large legal teams and insurance companies working around the clock to protect their interests. And if they have protection…shouldn’t you?
You deserve to have someone in your corner fighting for you every step of the way.
Our law firm offers FREE case evaluations for trucking accident victims. We want to meet with you to learn more about your accident, your injuries, and how those injuries have affected your life. To make this easier, we can meet you at any of our locations nationwide, or we can meet you at your home, hospital room, or even virtually.
Call us today!
Why Dolman Law Group?
The trial attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA have over 100 combined years of experience with all types of personal injury claims, and our reputation for aggressively representing our clients is evident in the diligent work we do every day toward maximizing their settlement offers. We want to be your Truck Accident law Firm! Matthew Dolman has been voted by his colleagues on multiple occasions as a Florida Super Lawyer and Legal Elite. Further, he is a lifetime member of both the Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and has been named one of the nation’s top 100 trial lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers.
When you work with Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, your case will be handled with the utmost importance. You will never be pressured into taking an unreasonable settlement offer. Our truck accident lawyers are ready and willing to take the case as far as necessary when the insurance carrier fails to take the proper course of action and make a fair offer.
*Attorney Matthew Dolman has been practicing personal injury law in Clearwater, Tampa, and St. Petersburg and has litigated cases throughout the State of Florida for the last 17 years. The information provided here comes from extensive research and years of experience trying legal cases in courtrooms by the attorneys at Dolman Law Group.
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