In Atlantic Beach, Florida, every town is about fifteen minutes from the beach. Many tourists flock to this area every year, increasing traffic on the roads and highways. According to a Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHHMV) 2019 report, 2,654 injury crashes involving commercial motor vehicles occurred in Duval County. These accidents led to nine fatalities.
If you suffered injuries or a loved one passed away as a result of an accident with a large truck, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other losses. An Atlantic Beach tractor trailer accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can analyze your case, determine liability, and file an insurance claim or lawsuit on your behalf.
Laws Regulating the Trucking Industry and Truck Drivers
Some states have strict laws governing how truck drivers operate their vehicles and obey traffic rules. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has also set stringent regulations for the use of commercial trucks, including the maximum number of hours a truck driver should be behind the wheel before taking a break.
Unfortunately, some truck drivers who do not follow these rules and end up causing catastrophic accidents. If this happened to you or a family member, an attorney who handles these types of cases can help.
How an Attorney Can Help with Your Tractor Trailer Accident Case
The trucking industry is well regulated, but that doesn’t mean accidents don’t happen. If you’ve been involved in a tractor trailer accident, you most likely have a long recovery ahead. Here are some reasons to hire an attorney following a tractor trailer accident:
- Trucking companies have teams of lawyers who will defend them after an accident. It may benefit you to have a dedicated attorney on your side.
- If there was damage to your vehicle, an attorney could help you get reimbursed for repairs or replacement.
- If someone in your car was hurt in the accident, an attorney could help ensure they get the medical care they need and receive compensation.
- An attorney can gather evidence in your case, including eyewitness testimony and video recordings from surveillance cameras if available, so the appropriate parties can be held responsible for the crash.
- Your attorney knows how to negotiate with insurance companies and compose a demand letter that encompasses all of your damages due to the accident. If you need lengthy rehabilitation, you want to make sure that it is covered and does not come out of your own pocket.
Causes of Tractor Trailer Accidents in Atlantic Beach
Tractor trailers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and have a much higher center of gravity than passenger vehicles. This makes them more prone to rollover during a crash, causing severe injuries or fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that while large trucks only account for approximately four percent of all registered vehicles in the United States, they make up 10% of all fatal accidents.
The most common causes of tractor trailer accidents include:
It’s difficult to stop a fast vehicle, especially if it’s a semi-truck. Commercial trucks and big rigs require extra time and space to come to a complete stop due to their enormous size and weight. If a truck driver is driving too fast, they may not be able to respond in time to avoid a collision.
Driving a tractor trailer can be difficult because these vehicles are far larger than traditional passenger vehicles. Drivers must also be aware of blind spots and have special training to operate these heavy trucks. When truckers are tired or distracted, they may cause serious accidents.
Driving while intoxicated is both unlawful and dangerous. A driver’s judgment can be impaired, and accidents can result.
Trucking companies must ensure that their trucks are properly maintained and repaired to prevent breakdowns on the road. Mechanical failures, such as tire blowouts and failed brakes, can lead to devastating accidents.
Liability in Tractor Trailer Accidents in Atlantic Beach
Trucking companies and drivers are strictly regulated by the government, as outlined in the FMCSA’s regulations. These regulations require truck drivers to follow specific safety rules, comply with a certain amount of hours on the road, or face harsh penalties.
However, determining liability after a tractor-trailer accident can be complex. Establishing fault depends on many different factors. Several parties could be held liable for your accident, including:
- The driver of the commercial truck
- The trucking company
- The manufacturer of the vehicle or its parts
- The cargo company that loaded the truck
- A government agency
Our attorney will investigate your case to determine who was responsible for your accident and hold them accountable for their actions. Once we identify all possible defendants, we will pursue every avenue to recover compensation from them on your behalf.
Damages You Can Recover in Tractor Trailer Accident
You may be entitled to financial recovery in a tractor trailer accident that another party caused.
These can include both economic and non-economic damages, such as:
- Medical Expenses: Any medical expenses that you may have incurred as a result of the accident can be recovered. Moreover, future medical costs can also be included. These expenses may include hospitalizations, prescription medications, and nursing or rehabilitation services.
- Loss of Wages: If your earning capacity has been affected by the injuries suffered in the accident, you may also recover your lost wages via a personal injury claim. This can include future wage losses if your accident-related injuries negatively impact your earning capacity.
- Other Out-of-Pocket Costs: Any out-of-pocket costs associated with the accident, such as transportation costs to and from doctors’ appointments and rehabilitation facilities, or specialized equipment like wheelchairs and walkers, can be recovered as part of your claim.
- Pain and Suffering: Physical pain and emotional suffering caused by accidents, such as stress and anxiety due to physical restrictions, can also be compensated through a personal injury claim.
- Property Damage: When a truck collides with a passenger car, the smaller vehicle can be seriously damaged if not destroyed. Our attorneys will work with your insurance company to get the reimbursement and transportation you require.
- Punitive Damages: In rare cases, the judge may award these damages to serve as a lesson to other drivers not to engage in such reckless behavior on the road.
Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine Today
When you are injured in an accident, you have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries and suffering. Reach out to the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine for legal help if you or a loved one has been hurt in a tractor trailer accident in Atlantic Beach. Call us at 1-800-747-3733 today for a free initial consultation with a member of our team.