Truck accidents are among the most dangerous and deadliest accidents that drivers face when they hit the road. The size, weight, and potential speed of a commercial truck can put you and your passengers in serious jeopardy if a collision occurs. Disasters like these can be even worse if the driver of the commercial truck is distracted or driving recklessly.
If you have been involved in a wreck with a commercial truck, it can take some time to recover for the physical, emotional, and financial toll that such an accident can put you through. However, you may be able to recover compensation. A truck accident lawyer in Coral Springs can explain your legal options.
The attorneys at Coffey Trial Law have decades of experience representing injured South Floridians against trucking companies and their insurers. Give us a call today to schedule a free consultation: 954-541-3194.
Common Causes of Trucking Accidents
Trucks are difficult to operate; they are much larger than the average vehicle, they have much larger blind spots, and stopping suddenly is almost impossible. For this reason, truck drivers must receive special training as well as abide by certain regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Any violation of these regulations can cause a serious or fatal accident. Common violations include:
- Driving while distracted
- Speeding or driving recklessly
- Driving drowsy from lack of sleep or too much time behind the wheel
- Driving while intoxicated
- Improperly cargo loading or securement
- Improper maintenance
How Truck Accidents Can Change Your Life
Accidents with commercial trucks can leave long-lasting physical, mental, and financial damage on those involved.
Victims can experience amputations, broken bones, spinal trauma, or even brain damage.
These injuries take time and money to heal. And that can put strain on your work life, your personal life, and even your mental state.
Just look at all the damages you could suffer if you were involved in a serious trucking accident:
- Expensive medical bills
- Lost wages (current and future)
- Severe damage to your car or other property
- Missed time spent with family or friends
- Anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder
- Death of a loved one
This is a lot to contend with, but a truck accident claim can allow you to worry about one less thing while you recover.
How is a truck accident claim different from a regular accident claim?
There are quite a few things that make a truck accident claim different than your typical car accident claim.
First, liability is not as straightforward. In most accident cases, the negligent driver is the liable party. Not so with truck accidents. When a negligent truck driver causes an accident, it is usually the trucking company that would be your liable party.
This is due to a concept called vicarious liability, which states that an employer is responsible for its employees’ actions, so long as the employee commits those actions within the scope of employment.
Essentially, if a truck driver causes an accident while driving for his employer, the employer will likely be liable.
While this makes the possibility for a higher settlement greater, it also makes the case much more difficult for the average person to handle. This is because many trucking companies have large, experienced insurers who manage these claims.
In addition to liability, evidence gathering is often more difficult. To prove a driver was negligence, you will likely need:
- The driver’s hours of service record (i.e., how long a driver operated a truck without stopping for breaks, how long those breaks lasted, etc.)
- Vehicle and cargo inspection records
- Driver qualifications and the driver’s personnel file
- The results of any alcohol or drug tests
- The truck itself
Gathering evidence can be difficult because all of the records above are in the hands of the trucking company itself, which may not want to give you access. Evidence gathering can become even more difficult when you consider that FMCSA regulations allow trucking companies to destroy these records after a certain time (sometimes as short as six months).
How can an attorney help me?
Most of a truck accident claim is too much for the average person to handle. Every aspect from determining liability to evidence gathering to negotiating with insurers can be difficult. An attorney with experience managing truck accident claims will be your best asset.
In addition to determining a liable party, a truck accident attorney can help you:
Preserve and Gather Evidence
To prevent trucking companies from destroying these vital pieces of evidence, your lawyer can send a letter of spoliation
Spoliation letters inform a trucking company that a legal claim is in process and prohibits it from destroying any important documents that could pertain to the accident.
An attorney will also work on proving your claim by conducting interviews, reviewing medical reports, finding any related traffic camera footage, or hiring accident reconstruction specialists to review the scene and give their opinion on what happened.
Negotiate with Insurers
Most insurers will try to get accident victims to agree to less money than they deserve. Uninformed victims may assume this is the best they will get for their claim.
An attorney will look over your case, find out how much your case is worth and fight until the insurer gives you what you deserve, whether that be in negotiations, mediation, or in court.
Call Coffey Trial Law Today and Get The Help You Deserve
Dealing with the aftermath of a serious truck accident can be devastating, and filing a claim or lawsuit is probably the last thing on your mind. But obtaining fair compensation from those responsible is important for helping you to heal mentally and financially. It can help give you a sense of comfort and make up for expensive medical costs and lost wages.
The attorneys at Coffey Trial Law have decades of combined experience helping truck accident victims all across South Florida. We have experience dealing with large trucking companies and we do not back down when it comes to fighting for our clients’ rights. If they do not offer you a fair settlement, we will not accept a penny less than you deserve.
Give us a call today and schedule a free consultation to find out how to get the compensation you need to get back on your feet: 954-541-3194.