Truck drivers are subject to federal regulations as well as the rules of the road, in part because truck accidents can cause particularly serious injuries and extensive property damage. When truck drivers or the companies that employ them ignore these regulations or fail to follow driving laws, the results can be disastrous.
If you or a loved one are suffering from injuries in the aftermath of a truck accident, a Jupiter truck accident lawyer may be able to help. Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733 today for a free consultation.
Determining Who Is Liable for Your Injuries in a Truck Accident
If you suffered injuries in an accident with an 18-wheeler, an attorney can help establish what caused the accident and who is liable.
Types of Collisions Unique to Trucks
Many causes of truck accidents are the same as other traffic collisions, but some collisions are unique to big rigs:
- Jackknife: When the coupling attaching the trailer to the tractor of a truck is loose, the trailer could swing into your lane and strike your vehicle.
- Override: If a truck hits your vehicle in the rear, it could roll over the back of your vehicle, causing serious injuries to back seat passengers.
- Underride: When a truck stops suddenly in front of your car, you may not be able to stop your car and drive underneath the truck.
- Loads: Loads can shift, causing the truck driver to lose control of the truck and strike your vehicle, or the trailer door could open if not properly secured, causing the load to fall into the road and result in an accident.
- Turns: Because of the size of a tractor-trailer, turns are difficult. The truck driver could misjudge the required turn radius and strike your vehicle.
Truck Driver’s Conduct Causing Your Injuries in a Truck Accident
The truck driver must be shown to be negligent before they can be held liable for your injuries. A truck accident lawyer can help support your case by collecting evidence that shows how the truck driver violated his or her duty to operate the truck safely and to obey the rules of the road.
Some examples of common negligent actions include:
- Impaired driving: The truck driver may not drive safely because he or she has been consuming alcohol or using drugs.
- Driving while fatigued or drowsy: Federal regulations limit the number of hours a truck driver can drive without taking a break. A driver may violate the regulations, get inadequate sleep, or take medication that causes them to become drowsy.
- Speeding: Traffic may put the truck driver behind schedule, and he or she may exceed the speed limit to reach his or her destination on time.
- Distracted driving: Disaster could strike if a truck driver takes his or her attention off the road for a few seconds. A driver could be texting, talking on the phone, or adjusting his or her GPS.
Liability of Someone Other Than the Truck Driver for Your Accident
The truck driver may not be the only party at fault for your accident. A thorough investigation can determine whether any of these other parties may be liable, as well:
- The employer of the truck driver
- The owner of the truck
- The lessee of the truck
- The company that loaded the trailer
- A manufacturer of a defective part
In Florida, you may still be entitled to compensation even if you are partially responsible for the accident. A truck accident lawyer can help explain how comparative fault can be used to help you recover compensation for your injuries, depending on the specifics of your case.
Proving Liability for Your Injuries in a Truck Accident
One of the most important ways a truck accident lawyer in Jupiter, FL, can help support your case is by collecting evidence that demonstrates liability for your injuries. Some common ways we can do this is by:
- Visiting the accident scene. A lack of skid marks may indicate a truck driver fell asleep before the accident. Tire debris may suggest a tire separation due to a defective tire before the accident.
- Interviewing witnesses. Our attorneys will talk to anyone who saw the accident.
- Obtaining camera footage of the accident. Our attorneys will check to see if a traffic camera caught the accident.
- Getting the truck’s Electronic Control Module (ECM). The truck’s ECM is like an airplane’s black box. It gives information on what was happening, for example, the speed of the truck, before the accident.
- Inspecting the damage to the vehicles. From the damage to the truck and your vehicle, our attorneys can determine how the impact occurred.
Recovering Compensation for Your Injuries in a Truck Accident
While every truck accident case is unique, some commonly recoverable expenses, injuries, and losses include:
- Medical expenses: This includes past, present, and future medical costs related to your injury. You may also be eligible to recover damages for rehabilitation, physical therapy, or long-term care.
- Property damage: You may be able to recover compensation to cover repairs for your vehicle, cell phone, and other items damaged in the accident.
- Lost wages: If your injury keeps you away from work, you may be entitled to compensation for those missed hours.
- Lost earning capacity: If your injury requires you to find another line of work or prevents you from working at all, you may be able to recover the difference between what you earned before the accident and what you are able to earn after the accident.
- Pain and suffering: You may be able to recover compensation for the pain you endure as a result of your injury.
- Punitive damages: In some cases, you may be able to pursue punitive damages intended to punish the at-fault party for their negligence.
Settling Your Claim for Injuries in a Truck Accident
Our lawyers will negotiate with the insurance company or the parties on the other side to get you a settlement that fairly compensates you for the injuries you received in a truck accident. If we are unable to reach an equitable agreement, our attorneys will take your case to trial to fight for the compensation you deserve.
You have just four years to file a personal injury suit in Florida, so it is important to get started as soon as possible. Our team can help. If you suffered an injury in a truck accident, call a truck accident lawyer in Jupiter, FL, at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733 today for a free consultation.
We Can Help.