When a big rig is involved in an accident, it can be incredibly dangerous for a smaller vehicle. Their size and weight make collisions with them much more dangerous and the potential for damage more significant.
If you were in a crash with a tractor-trailer, you might be able to request compensation from the other party. The liable party should pay for covered losses so you can focus on your recovery instead of worrying about the bill.
A Punta Gorda big rig accident lawyer from our firm might be able to build your accident claim. The team at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine goes the extra mile for our clients. Call us at 1-800-747-3733 with your questions about semi-truck accidents.
Why Truck Accidents Happen
Drivers must have special credentials to operate a semi-truck because they can be unsafe with the wrong person behind the wheel. The federal and state government also enforce procedures and laws for truck drivers and companies to decrease the risk.
For example, commercial truck drivers have regulations about the number of hours they can drive. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), property-carrying drivers can only drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 hours off duty.
The FMCSA established these rules because one of the reasons for big truck accidents is driver fatigue. Truck driving is a high-stress job since drivers need to cover a lot of miles in unknown conditions. Traffic, poor weather conditions, and unforeseen hold-ups can put a driver behind schedule.
Drivers may attempt to push themselves for more miles to meet their deadline. Too many hours on the road can lead to devastating mistakes. Some consequences of drowsy driving include the following:
- Drifting between lanes
- Falling asleep behind the wheel
- Having slower reaction speed
- Making unreasonable decisions
- Forgetting the last few miles
Fatigue is not the only driver-related reason for accidents with big rigs. Some truckers use drugs and alcohol or are otherwise reckless. For instance, a truck driver can be guilty of making the same mistakes as other drivers. For example, they may be speeding or being distracted by a cell phone.
Drivers and companies both have a responsibility to make sure the truck is safe to make the trip. They must complete vehicle inspections before hitting the road. Poor maintenance of a semi-truck could result in blown tires, faulty brakes, or other hazards.
Likewise, the truck or a faulty part could cause an accident. Truck and parts manufacturers must produce material goods that are safe for consumers. If a manufacturer’s negligence led to the crash, the business could be liable for losses.
Determining Who Pays for Covered Damages
It is important to know the cause of the truck accident. Florida Statutes §768.725 burdens the person seeking compensation with proving the party is at fault. Your Punta Gorda big rig accident lawyer and the team at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine go the extra mile when pursuing your claim. Call us today at 1-800-747-3733.
In addition to our responsive legal care, we can look into your case to determine who is liable for paying the covered losses and what evidence would strengthen your claim. Parties to investigate could include:
- The truck driver: The trucker might be solely responsible if they broke the law, such as driving under the influence.
- The trucking company: The driver’s employer may be liable for the losses if they, for example, pushed the driver to meet unrealistic expectations or directly caused the collision by sending the driver out with a faulty vehicle.
- The manufacturer: If a defective part caused the accident, the manufacturer could be responsible for financially covering your injuries and losses.
- The truck owner: Some companies rent trucks, and the actual owner of the vehicle must inspect and maintain the truck so that it is safe to operate.
- Cargo loaders: Some big rig accidents have nothing to do with the truck; the haul can be the problem. The loaders, not the driver, are responsible for ensuring the cargo is properly secured.
In big rig accidents, there might be more than one liable party. For instance, trucking companies are often responsible for the actions of their employees. The courts might find a business at fault if it did not vet an employee with a history of drunk driving and the driver crashed while intoxicated.
Compensation for Covered Losses
When you seek compensation from the liable party, you are requesting payment for your losses. Your losses from an accident with a big truck might include any combination of the following:
- Covered losses of your vehicle: Repair invoices and car-value assessments can put a dollar amount on the damage
- Injuries: Medical bills from the initial emergency care, ongoing treatment, and future healthcare expenses
- Wages: Paychecks and scheduling documents show lost wages and indicate loss of future wages
- Pain and suffering: A legal term for physical, emotional, and mental anguish
You must notify the other party of your intent to sue before you can file a lawsuit. In many cases, the liable party’s insurance company will be the entity you and the legal team deal with. The insurance company might offer a settlement to avoid going to court.
The insurance representatives might make a low offer, hoping you take it when you are most in need. However, your legal team can negotiate on your behalf, using the evidence gathered to reinforce your claim. Once we reach a number with the insurance company, you decide whether to accept or pursue the claim in court.
If you want a Punta Gorda big rig accident lawyer, call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733, and let us fight for your truck accident compensation.
We Can Help.