Semi-trucks may be one of the heaviest, largest vehicles on the road, and may haul materials that can become a danger if they are released or damaged because of an accident. Those who drive semi-trucks should understand that they must operate with special caution, as their vehicles may have the capacity to crush other vehicles and cause potentially fatal accidents when they are in a collision. If you or a loved one has been negatively affected by an accident involving a semi-truck, then a Tampa truck accident lawyer may help you seek compensation.
Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today to learn how we go the extra mile for our clients and could do the same for you.
Semi-Trucks Far Outweigh the Typical Passenger Vehicle
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy outlines the weight differences between different vehicle types, and in doing so illustrates that semi-trucks may generally weigh far more than most other vehicles.
Even without cargo, the “sleeper” version of a semi-truck can weigh more than 33,000 pounds. By comparison, an SUV or pickup truck may weigh less than 6,000 pounds, while compact cars may weigh even less than that. Popular Mechanics notes that, with cargo loaded, a semi-truck could weigh up to 80,000 pounds at its heaviest.
As the weight of a vehicle increases, certain risks may arise. For example, a heavy vehicle may:
- Take more time to stop, particularly when it is traveling at high speeds
- Have greater difficulty turning, and may run the risk of rolling over if it takes a turn at high speed
- Have less ability to swerve or make other maneuvers that could allow the driver to avoid a collision
The cargo that a semi-truck hauls could present hazards of its own. If a semi-truck containing cargo is involved in a collision, then that cargo may add to the crushing power of the truck, could fall into a busy roadway and cause collisions with oncoming vehicles, or may fall directly onto a vehicle. In certain cases, cargo may present a risk of fire, explosion, or other dangers.
Semi-truck drivers have a responsibility to be aware of the unique dangers that large, heavy, cargo-bearing trucks present to other vehicles, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. If truck drivers do not exercise the appropriate level of caution and cause a collision, then they and possibly others could be held liable for victims’ losses.
Parties that May Be Responsible for a Semi-Truck Accident
A semi-truck driver may be liable for your accident based on the principle of negligence, as explained by the American Bar Association (ABA). A person may be negligent if they do not act as a “reasonable” person would, and a semi-truck driver could be negligent if:
- They were under the influence of drugs or alcohol while driving
- They were distracted while driving
- They made a dangerous driving act
- They disobeyed a traffic signal
- They failed to secure their cargo properly
Several more specific motorist acts may qualify as negligence when they result in an accident. The organization or individual who employs a truck driver could also be liable based solely on their relationship to the driver, but may also be negligent if:
- They did not thoroughly investigate a driver’s past driving record and qualifications
- They allowed a driver to work without proper certifications, insurance, or other essential documents
- They did not discipline a driver properly for on-the-job infractions
- They did not ensure the safety of a semi-truck
- They did not properly monitor the driver for possible drug or alcohol use
A Tampa semi-truck lawyer may be familiar with the legal standards for liability when a semi-truck accident happens. Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today for additional details about how we will work to hold those responsible for your accident accountable.
Your Lawyer Will Consider Your Losses
When a semi-truck strikes another vehicle, pedestrian, motorcyclist, or bicyclist, the risk of serious injury may be great. You or your loved one may be a victim of a semi-truck accident and could have numerous losses as a result of the accident.
One of the earliest duties that your lawyer may perform on your behalf is to identify and calculate the value of your accident-related losses. Some of the losses that you may suffer include:
- The cost of emergency care after your accident
- The cost of damage to your vehicle, which may need to be replaced or undergo significant repairs
- The cost of any hospitalization that you or your loved one required
- The cost of imaging services, tests, surgery, and any other medical procedures
- Loss of income
- Permanent or long-term harm to your earning power
- Pain and suffering, which could include conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
If your loved one passed away because of a collision with a semi-truck, then you or your loved ones could be entitled to compensation for their funeral cost, their lost income, pain and suffering, and a group of losses known as loss of consortium, as explained further by the Legal Information Institute (LII).
Your lawyer may file a lawsuit in pursuit of fair compensation for these and any other losses from a semi-truck accident. They may gather evidence, hire experts, interview witnesses, calculate your losses, document your injuries, and handle all other lawsuit-specific responsibilities that do not require your assistance.
Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine Today
A semi-truck accident in Tampa could leave you traumatized, facing financial losses, and uncertain of how to move forward. A Tampa semi-truck lawyer may be able to handle your case for compensation and try to help you move closer to the normalcy that you may have known before your accident.
Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today for a free consultation.
We Can Help.