Whether or not we are aware of it, our lives are directly affected by trucks and the drivers who drive them. If you really think about it, all of our essential needs, such as food and toiletries, are mostly delivered via trucking services. Even our non-essentials, such as our online shopping haul, are delivered via trucks. So yes, we need them, but they do come with consequences too.
Trucks Are Known to Cause A Large Chunk of Accidents
Trucks get a bad reputation for being road hazards because they sometimes cause accidents with smaller vehicles such as cars and motorcycles. And their drivers are often seen as reckless and without regard to road safety. Unfortunately, truck accidents in Florida are pretty common.
In 2020, the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) reported over 4,000 injuries from accidents involving medium-to-heavy trucks, 3 of which were fatal, while 23 were considered to be incapacitating injuries. The same report provides that there were over 1,700 injuries from accidents involving light trucks. Fortunately, none were fatal, but 27 were considered to be incapacitating injuries.
So what do you do if you get into a collision with a truck and it turns into reality for you? Who bears the liability between you, the truck driver, and the trucking company he presumably works for? What damages are you entitled to, if any?
Seek Proper Medical Attention
When you get into any type of accident, the first thing to do is to get adequate medical attention. This is especially true in vehicular crashes. If you were not severely injured, call 911 so they may assist you and take you to a hospital. It is important to get yourself checked out by a doctor and other medical professionals, as they will be able to properly diagnose you for injuries such as a concussion or whiplash, which are common types of injuries arising from car crashes. You must not self-diagnose or self-treat, as this can worsen your injuries, and they may be more serious than you think. Nevertheless, whether your injuries are severe or seemingly minor, getting the right diagnosis and treatment from reputable professionals is of utmost importance.
Once you recover from your injuries and are well enough, you must get in touch with your lawyer as soon as possible.
If you are located in the Fort Walton Beach area and the accident happened nearby, it would be in your best interest to contact a personal injury lawyer who has the expertise to help you.
Why You Should Consult an Automobile Accident Lawyer
Vehicle collisions cost a lot of money, ranging from medical bills, future expenses, and property damage repair. This will make you think that you are entitled to compensation, and you may be right! But an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you in the process of determining exactly what you may be entitled to and assist you in the process of settling with the truck driver or the trucking company employing the driver.
The first question that needs to be answered is, "What or who caused the accident?" Collisions happen for a vast number of reasons, and in order to determine what kind of compensation you may be entitled to, you must first find out who or what caused the crash in the first place. These reasons include the following:
- Negligent driver—as previously mentioned, truck drivers get a bad reputation for being reckless on the road, and disregarding traffic rules and regulations. This is not without basis, as a significant number of truck accidents in real life are owing to the fault or negligence of the driver. If the driver was speeding, inebriated while driving, or asleep behind the wheel, he could be considered negligent.
- Negligence of the truck company – Truck companies are responsible for the roadworthiness of their trucks, as well as the conduct of the drivers they hire. If the trucks they send out onto the road are faulty, or if they hire drivers who are unfit to drive their trucks, then these companies are considered negligent and may be held liable for the damage the accident causes. Another negligence on the company's part is disregarding the laws on maximum hours of driving. This causes the driver to be overly fatigued and may cause them to fall asleep while operating the vehicle. The number of hours varies depending on the state. In Florida, the maximum number of hours for truck drivers is 12 hours.
- Shipping companies may be found negligent if they are found to have overloaded their vehicles with cargo in order to maximize the trip and minimize transportation costs. Overloading the truck may cause the truck to tip over because of an inability to bear the excess weight, thereby causing an unwanted accident on the road.
- Road defects – Sometimes, in the event of a collision, neither you nor the truck driver may be at fault. Many roads across the state have potholes in them that are in dire need of repair but have not undergone any. Many of them lack the proper warning signs as well, so drivers who are not aware of them being there can easily ride into them, causing an accident that can be quite serious. The county or town you are in has the responsibility of having such road damage repaired for the safety of the people. If they failed to do so, then that can be considered negligence on their part.
With your lawyer's help, you may be able to find out who or what really caused the accident, and you and your lawyer can now prepare yourself with evidence to go after the one responsible—whether it's the driver, the various companies involved, or even the state. With your lawyer's help, you may be able to get the compensation you deserve.
How Fort Walton Beach Truck Accident Law Firm Can Help
Contact us now if you were in an accident involving a truck (especially if you are located in Fort Walton Beach, Florida) and you want to know more about your legal rights as a party to such an accident.
Your first consultation is absolutely free, and our experienced Fort Walton Beach truck accident law firm will try to enlighten you on such matters as much as they can.
Call us now at 850-344-1736!