Our country relies on trucks and their drivers to carry cargo from city to city and keep the economy thriving. Unfortunately, more trucks on our roads and highways mean a greater chance of accidents. With trucks typically weighing up to 30 times more than passenger vehicles, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), chances are passengers in the smaller vehicles will suffer severe injuries in a collision.
If you were injured or a loved one died in a truck accident, you will want to hold someone accountable for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. A Macclenny truck accident lawyer from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can investigate your case, determine who is liable, and file an insurance claim or lawsuit on your behalf.
Why Large Trucks Pose a Danger on the Roads in Macclenny, FL
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), most fatalities in large truck accidents are occupants in passenger vehicles. FMCSA reports that in 2019, more than 5,000 large trucks and buses were involved in deadly crashes. If you were traveling in a smaller car, your lawyer would present these findings to strengthen your case.
Large trucks also have greater ground clearance. For this reason, smaller vehicles often underride big trucks when accidents occur. Trucks have a slower braking speed. Loaded tractor-trailers can take much longer to come to a complete halt than smaller cars. The risk is often greater in bad weather or if the brakes malfunction. Your lawyer will investigate the details of what happened and identify if there is more than one liable party in your case.
Federal Regulations Truck Drivers Must Follow
FMCSA’s chief mission is preventing injuries and deaths related to commercial motor vehicles, like tractor-trailers, fuel trucks, and 18-wheelers. Commercial truck drivers must adhere to the following driving regulations:
- Maximum of 14 hours driving each day and no driving consecutively for more than 11 hours
- Take rest breaks after less than 8 hours since their previous haul
- No driving for more than 60/70 hours within 7/8 successive days
Research shows truck drivers sometimes violate their hours of service due to pressure from their companies to get to their destination. If that was the situation in your case, your lawyer will determine if the company is liable and should be named as a defendant.
Evidence to Support Truck Accident Cases in Macclenny, FL
Collisions involving trucks are life-threatening, and those who survive may battle health problems for the rest of their lives. A lawyer can investigate the cause of the crash and identify who is responsible for causing you harm. It’s critical to preserve key evidence as follows after a truck accident:
Responding officers will comb through the scene and document it, interview all drivers involved, eyewitnesses, then draft an accident report. You can ask for a tracking number, so you will get a report once it becomes available. Your lawyer will use this information when filing a compensation claim.
Meeting the required burden of proof entails documenting the scene with pictures and video footage (if possible). Take pictures of skid marks, shattered glass, injuries, wreckage, and so forth. These images will put things in perspective for the insurance company or trial jury long after the scene is cleared.
The trucking company will hire investigators to counter any evidence you present. Proving their driver caused the accident will not be straightforward, which is why lawyers work with accident scene experts. These professionals are adept at recreating crash sites to determine how the accident happened and who is liable.
Proving that your injuries directly result from the crash can be a challenge. The trucking company may argue that pre-existing conditions are to blame for your bodily harm, especially if you need extensive treatment. Keep your medical records in a safe place to prove how you sustained your injuries and their impact on your life.
This category of witnesses includes anyone who saw what transpired before, during, and right after the crash. They could be passengers of a vehicle involved in the crash, passersby, or other motorists in the vicinity of the accident. Fact witnesses only give their opinions based on the five senses’ observations; no speculation is allowed in a deposition or court proceedings.
Your lawyer will petition the trucking company to release their records about vehicle maintenance, safety inspections, and driver’s logs. These documents will unearth any instances of gross negligence that show blame for the crash. For example, your lawyer will investigate how often the trucking company inspects its fleet for safety.
Black Box and Electronic Data
The black box is an electronic onboard recording device that registers driving time. This data is useful when determining if the trucker worked beyond the hours-of-service limit. These electronic logging devices record driving habits, and this data can be used to prove negligence in your case.
Possible Damages in a Macclenny Truck Accident Case
The aftermath of a truck accident is likely to change your life forever. Depending on the extent of bodily harm, you may need months or years of rehabilitation, which can be very costly. Your lawyer can seek financial recovery for the following damages:
- Current and future medical treatment
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Living adjustments (e.g., wheelchair access, health aid, housekeeper and/or babysitter expenses)
- Other out-of-pocket costs
- Vehicle damages
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of activities
- Loss of consortium
You Have a Limited Time to File a Lawsuit
There is a statute of limitations on personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits in Florida. They are as follows:
Personal injury: You have four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in civil court per Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a).
Wrongful death: You have two years from the date of your loved one’s passing to file a lawsuit in civil court per Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(d).
Contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine for Help Today
Did you or your loved one sustain injuries following a truck accident? A Macclenny truck accident lawyer can explore your legal options with you. The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine has a proven track record of helping people like you get the compensation they need to move forward.
Contact us today at 1-800-747-3733 for a free case review. The call is free, and there is no obligation.
We Can Help.