Truck Accident Lawyer Tampa, FL
A truck accident lawyer in Tampa, FL at Jeff Murphy Law Firm understands that when people are involved in a truck crash, it is not the same as being in a collision between two passenger vehicles. Trucks can weigh up to a hefty 80,000 pounds when fully stocked while the average passenger vehicle can weigh a measly 3,500 pounds in comparison. True devastation can occur, along with tragic fatalities.
Not only can truck accidents be more severe, but they can be more complicated than your standard vehicle accident. That is why we encourage victims of truck accidents to talk with a Tampa, FL truck accident lawyer right away for help.
When it comes to truck accidents, a truck accident lawyer in Tampa, FL, is aware that there may be more than one entity who is responsible for what happened. For instance, the truck parts manufacturer could have made a flawed product, or the trucking company failed to uphold proper maintenance of the truck itself. But of course, there is always the chance that the trucker committed careless mistakes which led to the tragic truck collision.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
In most cases, truck accidents happen due to truck driver error. Anyone who has been in a truck accident must get emergency medical care right away. Your truck accident lawyer in Tampa, FL, knows that the chances of the driver and passengers in the standard vehicle sustaining no injuries at all are quite slim. We advise being seen by a doctor that very same day for a thorough examination. After getting care, be sure to request copies and then share them with your truck accident lawyer in Tampa, FL, at Jeff Murphy Law Firm. Here is a list of some of the most common ways truckers cause these accidents to unfold:
- Trucker Fatigue: it isn’t safe for truckers to drive for extended periods in one sitting. However, many do anyway, despite the impact of sleep deprivation.
- Reckless Driving: a truck driver that fails to follow traffic laws can put others who are driving nearby in danger. Truck accidents can happen due to excessive speeding, changing lanes abruptly, and following cars too closely.
- Falsifying Driving Records: truckers are required by law to write in logbooks as a way to keep a record of how many hours they drive and whether they are taking sufficient breaks. However, Tampa, FL truck accident lawyers have seen many truckers falsify these books to get ahead of schedule without being reprimanded by their employer.
- Under the Influence: truck drivers may use alcohol or turn to drug use as a method of coping with their lifestyle and being away from loved ones for so long. Sadly, these habits can quickly lead to a deadly crash in which they may be responsible for paying damages to the surviving family.
Truck accidents are not something to shrug off. Victims of such accidents may be entitled to significant financial compensation, so please do not handle this alone. Contact a Tampa, FL truck accident lawyer at Jeff Murphy Law Firm as soon as possible for a thorough case evaluation.
Your Guide to Truck Accident Cases
Truck accident cases are common lawsuits. These occur when someone suffers an injury as a result of someone else’s actions or negligence. When it comes to receiving compensation for an injury, do you know what to ask for? Here is information from a Tampa, FL truck accident lawyer about what you need to know about truck accident cases and compensation.
Truck Accident Cases Determined by Compensatory Damages
Typically, a truck accident case will be compensatory. This means that you receive compensation for what you lost during the accident or because of the injury. Compensation is supposed to help the victim become complete again, which can be difficult considering this means the court will assign a dollar amount to the damages that were suffered. Proof of medical bills or property damage will play a key role in proving your need for compensation. A Tampa, FL truck accident lawyer will determine a monetary value for pain and suffering or the physical limitations that you suffer due to an injury.
Some of the compensatory damages in truck accident cases are as follows:
- Property loss
- Medical treatment
- Loss of enjoyment
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
Loss of enjoyment, emotional distress, and loss of consortium are challenging to quantify. However, if your injury caused you emotional distress, if it took a hobby or piece of enjoyment away from you, then you still may qualify for damages. Loss of consortium may be the impact the injury may have had on your family and relationship. A truck accident lawyer in Tampa, FL, will be able to determine if any of these losses apply to your case.
Punitive Damages Are Possible in Truck Accident Cases
Punitive damages are different from compensatory damages because they do not seek to make you whole again. If a Tampa, FL truck accident lawyer seeks punitive damages, and the court awards those damages, the purpose is to punish the plaintiff. For instance, if a person acts grossly negligent or poorly conducts him or herself, then this might lead to punitive damages. Most states, however, cap the amount that a person has to pay in punitive damages.
Truck accident cases come in all sizes. If you have suffered injuries in a truck accident, contact a truck accident lawyer Tampa, FL victims recommend from Jeff Murphy Law Firm to find out how we can help.
When Driver Fatigue Causes a Truck Accident
When you see a trucker on the road, most people have a certain amount of respect for them. Our Tampa, FL truck accident lawyer, will share with you that many truckers work long hours and spend a lot of time alone driving from point A to point B. That said, those long hours that they put in are what can make the job so challenging. When you have a responsibility to do and need to get a supply to a factory on time, it can be easy for truck drivers to neglect breaks, avoid sleeping, and keep driving until they get to their destination. A truck accident lawyer Tampa, FL relies on knows that this can create a dangerous situation quickly, particularly for other drivers on the road. If you were in a motor vehicle and experienced injuries from a truck accident, you know just how serious an accident can be with a truck. Our Tampa, FL truck accident lawyer at Jeff Murphy Law wants to ensure you get the representation you need while seeking compensation.
As your truck accident lawyer Tampa, FL victims trust from Jeff Murphy Law may explain, truck drivers have strict regulations on the number of hours they can operate their truck in a day. Such regulations are put into place so that trucker fatigue and other accidents can be avoided. Each truck driver is responsible not only for themselves but ensuring that the public is not harmed on their way to their delivery destination. Here are some signs that a truck driver next to you is probably severely fatigued.
The Driver Is Showing Signs of Physical Tiredness
A truck driver that is constantly yawning, bobbing their head, or unable to keep their eyes open, is a dangerous one. There are regulations at the state and federal levels that require drivers to take needed rest breaks, but all too often truckers violate these expectations because they are too worried about getting where they need to be on time. But the tragic irony is that driving while too tired can actually cause a serious collision to unfold, making the driver unable to meet their deadline anyway. So all in all, driving a truck while lacking sleep or rest in an effort to get ahead is never a good idea.
The Driver Is Being Attentive to the Road
Is the truck driver swerving back and forth within their lane, or into yours? Is the truck being suddenly jerked in the opposite direction after coasting into another lane, or off the road entirely? Any rapid movements after slow swerving could be an indication that the trucker is fatigued. As your Tampa truck accident lawyer has seen before in past cases, what may be happening is the trucker is having bouts of microsleep, this happens when the body is so depleted of rest that the body forces little moments of sleep while someone is still awake.
The Driver Has Driven Through Traffic Lights
Traffic lights exist for a reason, and those who run red lights are likely to cause terrible accidents. Depending on the direction of traffic at the time, another car may get hit from the side or behind, causing serious injury to the driver and passengers inside. A trucker that runs a red light may hit someone in the intersection itself, or while approaching the intersection. A truck driver that runs a red light may have been speeding and was not able to halt in time, was distracted and didn’t see the light coming up ahead, or they were aware of what they were doing and did it as means to get where they need to be faster.
The Driver Is Speeding or Being Reckless
A tired trucker is a trucker that is more inclined to speed so that they can get to a stopping place and rest. But in their haste to get where they need to be, they may speed or otherwise be reckless. If you notice a trucker is driving over the speed limit, as your Tampa truck accident lawyer would suggest, get as far away from them as possible and then call police. Consider the fact that many commercial trucks weigh up to 80,000 pounds if fully stocked. By a measly comparison, a passenger car only weighs about 3,000-4,000 pounds. With this weight difference, it means those in the passenger car are likely to suffer the very worst of injuries in the event of a collision.
What Are the Regulations on a Truck Driver’s Work Hours?
When one of our clients has been in an accident caused by a truck driver, one of the first things your Tampa, FL truck accident lawyer will look into is how many hours the truck driver worked. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has specific rules and standards that require truck drivers to take breaks during their work hours. For example, a truck driver is not supposed to drive longer than 11 hours without having at least a 10-hour break in between. This break is to give truck drivers ample time to recover and rest, so they are not fatigued when they drive. In another example, a truck driver is not supposed to drive a truck any longer than 60 hours in a week.
That said, our truck accident lawyers in Tampa, Florida, often find that truck drivers feel the need to go against these rules to “get the job done.”
The Log Book
When it comes to following the appropriate “hours worked” rules, though, many drivers do not. This is why truck drivers must maintain a logbook of their hours when they are working. Any Tampa, FL wrongful death lawyer will share with you that the logbook can be crucial when it comes to determining if a truck driver has falsified the hours they have worked based on the delivery they were making at the time.
Sometimes the trucking company may not do their due diligence when hiring. Poor hiring can occur when drivers are hired who have poor driving records, misdemeanors, or are improperly trained. As a result, it may be possible to bring a lawsuit against the trucking company. Your Tampa, FL, wrongful death lawyer knows that a trucking company owes it to their drivers and others on the road to put safe truck drivers on the road. Additionally, truck drivers must follow policies in place that ensure they do not become a danger on the road by driving fatigued.
If you were the victim of a truck accident and would like to receive compensation for your injuries, call the Tampa, FL truck accident lawyer you can depend on at Jeff Murphy Law.
How can a truck accident lawyer help?
If you or someone you love has been injured because of someone else’s negligence, it may be in your best interest to discuss your situation with a Tampa, FL truck accident lawyer families and victims can trust. A lawyer can help take care of the paperwork that comes with filing a claim. It is often a complicated process to ensure that everything is filed correctly and on the proper date. Filing a claim is already stressful, and often times you are still recovering from your injuries. Having a lawyer on your team just means that you have less stress on your plate so you can recover.
How do you hire a truck accident lawyer?
Tucking companies are often going to want to find a way to ensure that you don’t get the settlement you deserve. Trucking companies often have multiple companies involved and those companies typically work together to pay you as little as possible. Hiring a lawyer can help ensure that you aren’t lowballed. Remember, insurance companies aren’t your friend. A lawyer can help protect your rights. A lawyer can help you know what is a good settlement for you. Your lawyer can review any offer you get and help you determine if it is a good fit or not.
How do you know your lawyer is good?
Before you decide on any Tampa truck accident lawyer, you need to know what makes them worth your time and money. One of the first things that you should look for in a lawyer is their experience. They should have experience in trucking accidents and know the types of injuries and damage that can happen from these accidents. The trucking industry is subject to different regulations than your passenger car. Because of this, they pose a unique set of hazards and a lawyer needs to know these in order to have the best possible grasp on your case as possible. Your lawyer should also be respectful, communicate effectively, and have compassion for you during your case.
How can know you need a lawyer?
As soon as you are involved in an accident, you should contact a lawyer. Not only can they help you assess the damages that you may be facing, but they can also help you assess your injuries. It is too often that victims fail get the compensation they deserve because they fail to get the proper tests because the medical professional doesn’t give them. Along with assessing injuries and damages, they can ensure that the trucking company’s insurance auditor doesn’t bully you into accepting the first settlement that they offer. Having a lawyer on your team means that you get the chance at a favorable outcome.
How is liability determined for a truck accident?
Responsibility for a truck accident can fall on many different people depending on the facts and circumstances of the accident. This could be the truck driver, trucking company, or even the truck manufacturer. The trucking company and their insurance carrier have financial interest in ensuring the truck accident is pinned on the owner of the smaller car because that often means they pay less. If you or someone you love have been in a truck accident then don’t hesitate to reach out to a Tampa truck accident lawyer.
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