Accidents involving 18-wheelers can be particularly devastating for the occupants of passenger vehicles. The result is often serious injury or fatality for those in the smaller car. After your accident, you may find yourself wondering how to find help paying your medical bills, covering your living expenses, or dealing with the financial ramifications of a loved one’s final care.
A Clearwater 18-wheeler accident lawyer with the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you seek compensation. To get started, call our team at 1-800-747-3733.
For a free legal consultation with a 18-wheeler accidents lawyer serving Clearwater, call (800) 747-3733
Truck Accidents and Injuries
Large transport vehicles, like 18-wheelers, can weigh as much as 30 times more than passenger cars, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). Even at lower speeds, what may be a minor collision between smaller, lighter cars can be catastrophic if it happens with a large truck.
Large trucks take longer to stop than passenger vehicles. Their taller height can cause smaller vehicles to get wedged beneath them in a crash, known as a carriage underride accident. Their higher center of gravity makes them more susceptible to rollover accidents.
Some 18-wheelers carry hazardous or flammable material, like oil and gasoline, that poses an additional risk if there is a crash or a spill. An 18-wheeler’s wide turning radius can contribute to accidents. Just like passenger vehicles, 18-wheelers can also be involved in rear-end collisions, front impact collisions, and broadside accidents.
The results of an 18-wheeler accident are often devastating injuries and even death. Of the 4,136 people who died in large truck accidents in 2018, the IIHS found nearly 70% were those in smaller vehicles. Fifteen percent of fatalities were bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians.
Those who survive an accident with an 18-wheeler may suffer severe injuries, including broken or crushed limbs, traumatic brain injuries, organ damage, and neck and spinal injuries. Sometimes, these injuries can lead to permanent paralysis, lifelong cognitive and physical disabilities, scarring, and disfigurement. If someone else caused your crash, they should help pay for your physical recovery and financial damages.
Clearwater 18-Wheeler Accidents Lawyer Near Me (800) 747-3733
Because they are commercial vehicles, 18-wheeler accident cases may be more complex than those involving two motorists driving their own cars and carrying their own individual insurance. Depending on the specifics of your accident, there may be multiple negligent parties, including the company that employs the truck driver. A Clearwater 18-wheeler accident lawyer can investigate your crash and attempt to prove who was negligent. This may include:
- The truck driver: The driver of the 18-wheeler may be negligent if they were excessively speeding, driving under the influence, or disobeying Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Hours of Service regulations.
- The owner of the 18-wheeler: Not all drivers own the trucks they drive. Sometimes, the driver’s employer or a third party owns or leases the truck. If an issue related to poor truck maintenance or neglect of vehicle safety regulations caused your accident, the 18-wheeler’s owner might be liable.
- The trucking company that employs the driver: A driver’s employer may be vicariously liable in a crash. For example, responsibility may rest with an employer if they failed to properly vet the driver before hiring them or put unreasonable pressure on the driver to make speedy deliveries, resulting in FMCSA violations and unsafe driving.
- The company responsible for shipping and loading the cargo: The company that loads the truck’s cargo is responsible for doing it safely. They need to balance the load, follow safety requirements, and ensure the truck does not exceed federal and state weight limits.
- The manufacturer of the 18-wheeler or its parts: Manufacturers may be responsible for your accident if brake failure, tire failure, or another problem with the truck or its parts caused your crash.
Seeking Compensation Under Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Laws
Florida is a no-fault insurance state. Drivers must carry $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and $10,000 in property damage liability, according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). According to Florida Statutes §627.736, if you are injured in an accident, your own insurance pays for 80 percent of reasonable medical expenses, up to your insurance limits, regardless of who is at fault. You must seek initial treatment within 14 days of your accident.
You may want to hire an attorney if your insurance company attempts to refute your claims, denies the necessity of your treatment, or offers you an insufficient settlement. If you have severe injuries that exceed your PIP coverage, you may be able to recover a settlement with the help of an attorney. If you sue the driver, the trucking company, or another liable entity, you may win awards to pay for:
- Emergency medical care
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation services
- Household expenses
- Prosthetics or mobility aids
- Vehicle repair or replacement
You may also seek compensation for your pain, suffering, and mental anguish. This may include financial awards for stress, anxiety, and permanent physical and mental impairment. If your family member died in an 18-wheeler accident, you might be able to sue for the costs of their medical care and your loss of consortium. Under Florida law, you have four years to take action for a personal injury claim and two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of your loved one.
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The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine Can Help You with Your Case
Fighting for the awards you deserve does not have to be complicated or stressful. Our team is familiar with vehicle accident laws. We can help you identify those responsible for your crash and assist you in seeking compensation. You worry about getting better. We take care of everything else.
A Clearwater 18-wheeler accident lawyer will go the extra mile to try to win awards for you and your family. If we are not successful, we do not collect any attorney fees. Call us risk-free at 1-800-747-3733 to speak with a member of our team about how we can help.