You need to be in good hands when going after compensation for your losses after a truck accident in Tampa. Truck crashes tend to cause more severe injuries and fatalities than typical car accidents. The experience of a Tampa truck accident lawyer can make a difference in the outcome of your case.
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help. Call us today at 1-800-747-3733 to get a free consultation. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these cases. 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.
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 might sound like a good thing, with more coverage 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.
- 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. With our experience, we can investigate whether the truck driver or trucking company violated state or federal law.
- Trucks do not always move the same way the cars do, because of the large vehicles’ size, weight, load, and proportions. Sometimes we work with accident reconstruction experts to sort out and prove what led up to a crash.
Proving Negligence in a Truck Crash in Tampa
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. All drivers owe 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.
- Measurable damages. 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. A person who witnessed the event but did not suffer physical injuries does not have measurable damages.
Damages in a Tampa Truck Accident
We cannot say how much compensation you can get for your losses from a Tampa truck accident, because every case is different. 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 expenses, for the reasonable cost of treatment you needed because of your injuries. These losses can include things like the ambulance, emergency room, trauma center, hospital, surgery, doctors, imaging studies 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.
- Long-term care, if you need daily assistance with medical treatments and personal care because of your injuries.
- Lost wages, for the wages, salary, self-employment, and other income you missed because of your injuries and recuperation time.
- Decreased earning potential, if your injuries leave you unable to make as much money as before the wreck.
- Disability, if you cannot maintain gainful employment to support yourself because of your injuries.
- Pain and suffering, for the physical discomfort and mental distress you experienced.
- Other noneconomic losses, which can include things like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, and a spouse’s claim for loss of consortium.
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:
- 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.
- Talk to a Tampa truck accident lawyer. The insurance company will try to dispose of your claim as soon as possible. The insurance company is 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 lawyer 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 take your words out of context. Doing so gives the adjuster an argument to decrease the value of your case.
What Happens if You Were Partly at Fault
Many wrecks happen because more than one person made a mistake. If you were partly at fault in the collision, Florida law 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 $500,000 and you were 10 percent at fault, the rule of comparative negligence will deduct $50,000 from your damages to account for your 10 percent of the negligence. You can collect $450,000.
Getting Help for a Truck Accident in Tampa
We understand that these issues and rules can be complicated and intimidating. Do not worry. You can call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today at 1-800-747-3733 to get a free consultation. There is no obligation.