Truck crashes tend to cause more severe injuries and fatalities than typical car accidents. You need to be in good hands when going after compensation for your losses after a truck accident in Tampa.
Thankfully, a Tampa truck accident lawyer from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these cases, and our legal fees come out of the settlement or award at the end. We can take care of your legal matters so that you can focus on healing from your injuries.
Proving Negligence in a Truck Crash in Tampa
There are several possibilities as to who could be responsible for paying you compensation. For example, it could be:
- The truck driver
- The truck driver’s employer
- The trucking company
- The cargo company
- A government agency
Before we can hold the defendant liable for your injuries, we must prove all four of these elements of negligence:
Duty of Care
The person we assume must have owed you a duty of care. Every driver owes a duty of care to everyone else on the road and within harm’s way. The driver’s duty is to obey the law and drive cautiously, keeping a careful lookout.
Breach of the Duty of Care
It is negligence to fail to measure up to the duty of care. Let’s say that a truck driver was using an electronic mobile device while driving, to get the address of and driving directions to the location for his next delivery. Using the gadget while driving, instead of pulling over to access the information, is negligence because the driver was not giving his full attention to the road.
Because he was looking at the mobile device instead of having his eyes on the road ahead, the truck driver failed to see that traffic had stopped for road construction. He slammed into the back of a stopped vehicle, causing a multi-car collision. The truck driver’s negligence caused the accident.
Several people sustained injuries in the truck crash. Everyone with a physical injury has quantifiable damages and can sue the truck driver for their losses.
Damages in a Tampa Truck Accident
It is impossible for us to immediately tell you how much and which damages you can get for your losses from a Tampa truck accident, because every case is different. As such, another person in the same car with you might have different injuries than you.
The recovery you can collect will depend on the facts of your case. Here are some of the common categories of damages in truck accidents:
- Medical costs, which include things like the ambulance, emergency room, hospital stays, surgeries, imaging tests like x-rays, diagnostic procedures, lab work, prescription drugs, and physical therapy
- Rehabilitation center, if you needed to get specialized treatment for weeks, months, or longer for your injuries
- Future medical care, if you need regular help with medical treatments and personal care
- Lost income, for the wages, salary, tips, bonuses, or opportunities other income you missed because of your injuries
- Future loss of earning capacity, if your injuries leave you unable to make as much money as before the wreck
- Disability, if you are not able to continue to support yourself because of your injuries
- Pain and suffering, for the physical pain and mental anguish you have had to endure since the truck accident
- Wrongful death, for the burial and memorial service expenses, the final medical bills, and your pain and suffering if you lost your loved one to the truck accident
Things You Should Do After a Tampa Truck Accident
Every case is different, so the exact steps you should take will depend on the facts of your situation. In general, it is a smart idea to protect the value of your compensation claim by following these tips:
Seek Medical Help
Get medical attention right away. You need a medical professional to perform an examination, document your injuries, and begin treatment. Delay in treatment can lead to a less favorable outcome in the healing process.
You might not realize that you have sustained an injury, because some injuries do not always have immediate symptoms. Also, your medical records will be evidence that your injuries came from the crash.
Consider Talking to Our Firm
A lawyer with the Law Office of Anidjar & Levine can be your legal advocate while you recuperate after a Gulf Coast truck accident. You can rely on them to:
- Search for evidence and create a file for you
- Provide you with regular updates about your case
- Name the liable party or parties
- Keep in contact with involved parties and their representatives
- Negotiate for a settlement on your behalf
- Adhere to state-enforced deadlines
- Dispute your case in trial, if we cannot agree on an amount during negotiations
- Quickly respond to your emails and questions
- Assist you with getting your vehicle repaired and setting up appointments
We are at your disposal 24/7 – your attorney will even give you their phone number.
Beware of the Insurance Company
The insurance company will try to dispose of your claim as soon as possible. They are not in business to help you or to protect your rights. The insurance adjuster’s job is to pay you as little money as possible for your injuries. A personal injury lawyer on our team can help you avoid some of the common pitfalls of dealing with insurance companies.
Avoid the insurance company’s traps. Many people make the mistake of accepting a quick settlement offer, not realizing that that is the only payment they will get, and they have to pay their medical bills out of that check. If it turns out that the victim does not recuperate fully from his injuries, he will not get any more money from the insurance company.
Also, do not give a recorded statement to the insurance company without your lawyer’s prior approval. The adjuster can use the recorded statement to their advantage and twist your words. Doing so gives the adjuster an argument to decrease the value of your case.
Complying with Florida’s Statute of Limitations
Unfortunately, you don’t have forever to hold the liable party accountable for their negligence. As such, Florida Statutes § 95.11 enforces a four-year window for personal injury claimants to file a lawsuit and a two-year window for wrongful death claimants.
Evidence can fade quickly, so we have to find everything we can while it’s still out there. Also, you most likely won’t be able to recover your damages if you attempt to file past the deadline, as the court might prohibit you from suing.
Notifying us about your case right away will help ensure that we meet all deadlines without any problems.
How Truck Accidents are Different from Car Accidents
In addition to a higher likelihood of more severe injuries than in the usual car crash, truck accidents tend to involve more potential defendants and liability insurance companies than in a standard collision.
Here are some of the special considerations of these accidents:
Both the driver and the trucking company might carry liability insurance. While this coverage might sound like a good thing, with more available to compensate you for your injuries, it is likely that each company will point the finger at the other and claim that you must seek compensation from the other company.
State and Federal Laws
There are federal and state laws that apply to truck drivers and not to drivers of passenger cars. Unless you have experience in the trucking industry, you might not be aware of these regulations. We can investigate whether the truck driver or trucking company violated state or federal law.
In the Event You Hold Some Degree of Fault
Many wrecks happen because more than one person made a mistake. If you were partly at fault in the collision, Florida Statutes § 768.81 allows you to recover some of your damages. Our state follows the law of comparative negligence. This rule will deduct an amount from your compensation to reflect your portion of the total fault.
In other words, if your damages were $50,000 and you hold 20 percent fault, the rule of comparative negligence will deduct $10,000 from your damages to account for your 10 percent of the blame. In turn, you can collect $40,000.
Getting Help from One of Our Lawyers After a Truck Accident in Tampa
We understand that these issues and rules can be complicated and intimidating. Do not worry.