Crashes involving large commercial vehicles or big rigs raise many complex factual and legal issues that are not present in regular motor vehicle crashes. These crashes require significant investigation into the driver and the employer, and they are more likely to involve catastrophic or even fatal injuries. If you or a loved one is recovering from injuries in a crash of this kind, you can hire a Clearwater big rig accident lawyer for counsel.
Multistate trucking companies have many resources at their disposal, which can make pursuing a personal injury claim against them time-consuming and expensive. At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we handle these cases without requiring you to pay money upfront for our services. We operate on a contingency basis, which means that you pay nothing until you receive compensation from the parties responsible for your accident. Call 1-800-747-3733 and learn more about how to get started on the claims process.
For a free legal consultation with a big rig accidents lawyer serving Clearwater, call (800) 747-3733
Semi-Truck Crashes in Florida
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), medium or heavy trucks weighing 10,000 pounds or more were involved in more than 32,000 vehicle crashes in 2018. Those crashes resulted in 673 injuries and 44 fatalities to drivers and passengers. The statewide accident rates for these heavy commercial vehicles are high, especially on the sprawling interstate highways that run through the state. As a result, traffic crashes with big rigs are common.
Accidents involving semi tractor-trailers and other large commercial vehicles can be devastating, particularly for the drivers and passengers of much smaller and lighter passenger vehicles. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, reports that commercial vehicles can weigh up to a maximum of 80,000 pounds.
On the other hand, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers “light-duty vehicles,” which include most passenger cars, to weigh less than 8,500 pounds, with the average passenger vehicle weighing in at 4,000 pounds. From these figures, large commercial vehicles clearly dwarf typical passenger vehicles, with some trucks being more than eight times heavier than passenger vehicles.
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Building a Case for Liability in Big Rig Crashes
In many cases, the driver of a big rig is a trucking company employee or otherwise employed by the truck’s owner. As a result, not only are truck drivers responsible if they drive in an unsafe manner that causes an accident, but the trucking company that employs them could also be liable. Proving this liability, however, is not always easy. Examining all types of potential evidence is key in pursuing a big rig accident case.
Most motor vehicle accidents involve investigatory tasks like documenting the accident scene, talking to witnesses, and gathering medical evidence. In crashes involving large commercial vehicles, however, there is likely far more evidence to examine, depending on the circumstances of your case. Much of this evidence rests on what legal theory forms the basis for your case.
For instance, if a truck driver is speeding, disregards a traffic signal, or is intoxicated when he causes the accident that led to your injuries, you will want to learn more about the individual’s driving and criminal history. If a trucking company hired an individual with a recent DUI conviction or a history of traffic violations, the company might have been negligent in failing to properly screen the driver before hiring them. Therefore, looking at employment records, employment applications, the general hiring practices of the employer, and training records can be relevant to your claim or lawsuit.
Similarly, some trucking companies have a long history of failing to comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. Since these errors could have contributed to the accident in some way, we may need to look into all aspects of FMCSA compliance, including logbooks the driver maintains, truck maintenance records, the company’s past violations, and more.
Due to these complexities that are unique to large commercial truck crashes, getting the assistance of a Clearwater big rig accident lawyer could greatly benefit you.
If you are ready to seek legal action in your big rig accident, call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today at 1-800-747-3733 to set up a free consultation with our legal team.
Getting Compensation for Injuries in Big Rig Collisions
Injury victims in crashes involving big rigs may be eligible to claim many types of compensation or damages for their losses. Some of these damages are called economic damages, which are relatively easy to calculate, such as injury-related medical bills, surgical costs, and rehabilitation expenses.
Another common source of economic damages is lost wages due to an inability to work. Finally, property damages, such as damage to your vehicle, also qualify as a possible source of economic damages.
Other forms of damages are noneconomic and are, therefore, not so easy to calculate. Determining the monetary value of these damages can depend on various factors, including the severity and permanency of your injuries, the extent and duration of the required medical treatment, and the impact of the injuries on your ability to work in the future.
Therefore, the number of noneconomic damages for losses, such as physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and permanent disability, can vary widely, depending on each case’s circumstances.
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We Will Fight for Compensation for Your Injuries
When truck drivers operate massive trucks negligently or recklessly, they may be responsible for any accidents involving injuries that result. Likewise, trucking companies and other third parties could also hold liability or financial responsibility for injuries, property damages, and other losses that may occur in an accident. State law imposes strict time limits and other restrictions on filing injury-related claims resulting from truck accidents.
Florida’s statute of limitations in personal injury cases is four years, per Florida Statutes §95.11(3)(a). If you are thinking about pursuing legal action, you may want to hire a Clearwater big rig accident lawyer as soon as you can after an accident. Your lawyer will need time to build a case for you and file it on time so that it meets the deadline.
We know how challenging the aftermath of an accident can be when you or a loved one has suffered significant injuries. You likely will not be thinking about legal or financial matters in the immediate aftermath of involvement in a major big rig crash.
At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we can take some of this burden off your shoulders by handling your legal matters. We will work to pursue all available legal remedies on your behalf so that you can focus on your physical and mental recovery. Call 1-800-747-3733 today to schedule a free case consultation with us.