A look at truck accident cases – they are not uncommon
Most people have warily driven around large commercial trucks on the roadway. While these large vehicles usually operate without incident, accidents do occur. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the regulatory body that oversees most of these large vehicles, there were nearly 450,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks during the latest reporting year of data available. Out of these incidents, there were:
- 4,237 fatal crashes
- Approximately 344,000 injury crashes
What are the main causes of truck accidents in Tampa?
While many accidents involving large trucks will have the same causes of crashes as traditional vehicle accidents, large commercial trucks are strictly regulated by the state and federal authorities for a reason. In reality, these vehicles pose more of a threat to others in the event an accident occurs. Often, our Tampa truck accident attorneys will find that these incidents are caused by the negligence of a truck driver or truck owner/operator.
Drivers are responsible for following all regulations set forth by the FMCSA, particularly hours of service requirements. Truck drivers are only allowed to operate a certain amount of hours each day and in each workweek in order to prevent driving while fatigued. Ignoring these regulations could result in a driver falling asleep at the wheel and causing a serious accident. Other common causes of accidents include drivers operating while distracted by phones or other devices, operating while impaired by alcohol or drugs, or insisting on operating a large truck in bad weather.
Truck companies also bear an enormous responsibility. FMCSA regulations specify that these large vehicles must be inspected and maintained regularly and properly. If a large commercial truck is not properly maintained, vehicle failure could occur on the roadway. Additionally, truck companies must ensure that all drivers are probably qualified and trained to operate the vehicles. Finally, neither truck drivers or truck companies should attempt to overload their vehicles in an effort to make a profit. Overloaded vehicles are incredibly dangerous and can lead to severe accidents.
Truck accidents can lead to severe injuries for victims
The average passenger vehicle weighs approximately 4,000 pounds. According to the FMCSA, a fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. This weight disparity means that any collision involving a truck and a passenger vehicle could lead to severe injuries for drivers and passengers involved. Attorney Paul Rebein regularly helps clients who have sustained the following injuries in these incidents:
- Spinal cord injuries with paralysis
- Other neck and back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Open head wounds
- Amputations or crush injuries
- Severe lacerations or puncture wounds
- Internal organ damage or internal bleeding
- Broken and dislocated bones
Victims involved in accidents with large trucks are also more likely to sustain significant emotional and psychological injuries as well. It is not uncommon for truck accident victims to suffer from feelings of anxiety, fear, anger, or depression in the aftermath of the accident. In some cases, Tampa truck accident victims develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
How long do you have to file a truck accident claim in Tampa?
Your first step is to report any accident to your insurance carrier as soon as possible. Failing to do so could delay your insurance claim or lead to a denial altogether. However, if the insurance carriers involved fail to offer a fair settlement, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent party. The Florida personal injury statute of limitations is four years from the date the injury occurs. This means that victims of a Florida truck accident will have four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the truck driver or trucking company involved.
What kind of compensation is available for a truck accident case?
There may be various types of compensation available in the aftermath of a truck accident case. While no two Tampa truck accident cases are exactly alike, Attorney Paul Rebein is regularly able to help clients recover the following types of compensation for their personal injury claim:
- Full coverage of all medical expenses related to the accident
- Lost wages and benefits if a victim is unable to work
- General household out-of-pocket expenses
- Compensation for any physical therapy or rehabilitation needed
- Loss of personal enjoyment damages
- Pain and suffering damages
- Possible punitive damages against a grossly negligent truck driver or trucking company
The total amount of compensation awarded in these cases will vary depending on the circumstances related to each particular situation. This includes the severity of the injuries, whether the victim is disabled, the amount of a victim’s pain and suffering, whether there was any shared fault, and more.
Contact our Tampa truck accident lawyers for a free consultation
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company, seek legal assistance as soon as possible. Attorney Paul Rebein is standing by to help and has the experience you need to get through this. Our team will conduct a thorough investigation into your case in an effort to secure maximum compensation for your claim. We are not afraid to stand up to aggressive insurance carriers or well-funded trucking companies. When you need a Tampa truck accident lawyer, contact us for a free consultation today.