Commercial trucks are vital to Florida’s economy and the supply chain of the United States, but they are also some of the most inherently dangerous vehicles on the road due to their size and weight. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported that large truck accidents account for thousands of deaths throughout the country each year, so it is crucial for all Gibsonton drivers to acknowledge the risks they face when driving near these vehicles.
Drivers throughout Hillsborough County regularly see large commercial trucks on I-75, US-41, and other major roads in the area. Truck drivers deliver essential goods and materials to communities throughout the state, and when accidents happen involving these large vehicles, they are often disastrous in the extent of the damage they cause. If you or a loved one recently experienced a commercial truck accident, a Gibsonton truck accident attorney is an essential resource when it comes to determining your most viable recovery options.
The team at Santini Law Firm offers comprehensive personal injury counsel to truck accident victims as well as victims of all other accidents in the Gibsonton area. Throughout the years of our firm’s operation, we have helped many past clients recover their damages and we know the challenges you are likely to encounter in your recovery efforts following a commercial truck accident. These cases are more difficult to resolve than standard passenger vehicle accidents not only due to the fact that they tend to involve more severe damages, but they also raise more complex questions of liability. When you have a Gibsonton truck accident attorney you can trust on your side, you are better prepared to face these challenges and have a greater chance of maximizing your recovery.
The state upholds a no-fault rule for vehicle accidents. The purpose of this law is to streamline victims’ recoveries by requiring them to carry auto insurance and claim against their own insurance when an accident happens, regardless of who was at fault. Many drivers mistakenly assume this law means they cannot pursue compensation for damages after another driver has caused an accident, but this isn’t necessarily true. If you suffered any serious injury in your accident and your insurance cannot fully cover your damages, you have the right to file a civil claim against the at-fault driver, seeking compensation for whatever damages your insurance cannot cover.
One of the most complex aspects of resolving a truck accident case is proving fault, and it’s possible for more than one party to share fault for your recent accident, depending on how it occurred. For example, if the employer of the truck driver who hit you did not perform an appropriate background check on the driver, failed to ensure proper training, or otherwise contributed to causing the accident, vicarious liability could come into play and the employer may share fault for the actions of their employee.
Another variable you might face in a truck accident claim is comparative fault. Florida upholds a modified comparative fault rule that will come into play in any civil case in which the plaintiff shares fault with the defendant for causing the damages. As long as the plaintiff is less than 50% at fault they can still recover compensation. However, their percentage of fault is taken from their final case award as a penalty. For example, bearing 25% fault for your recent accident would mean losing 25% of your personal injury settlement. If a plaintiff is found to be 50% or more at fault then they lose the ability to claim compensation from another liable party.
Your Gibsonton truck accident attorney can be invaluable when it comes to resolving any issues concerning fault for your recent collision. Santini Law Firm can work closely with you to help gather all evidence you may need to firmly establish liability for your accident and hold the appropriate party or parties accountable for the harm they’ve done.
Commercial trucks present much greater risks on the road than almost all other vehicles due to their large size. However, they are still vulnerable to many of the same causes as all other vehicle accidents. A few of the most commonly reported causes of commercial truck accidents are:
Despite Florida’s no-fault rule for resolving vehicle accidents, it is vital to know what evidence you will need to prove the exact cause of your accident. The damages you may have experienced in your recent commercial truck accident are likely to exceed what insurance can provide, and you may need to pursue further legal recourse beyond an initial insurance claim.
In 2022, two semi-trucks were involved in a serious accident on I-75 that resulted in the death of a Good Samaritan who had stopped to assist the victims of the first collision. The primary collision resulted from a driver who slammed into the back of one truck, and then a second truck later crashed into the stopped vehicles along the outside shoulder because it could not slow down in time to stop, causing further destruction along with the death of an innocent person who stopped to help the strangers hurt by the first collision. This story is a stark reminder for all Hillsborough County drivers of how dangerous large commercial trucks can be and how quickly they can cause catastrophic harm unexpectedly.
Under the no-fault rule for accidents, filing an auto insurance claim against your own policy will be an essential first step in your recovery efforts, even if another party is clearly at fault for the accident. Dealing with any insurance company can be challenging as insurance companies typically look for all the reasons they can find to deny claims or offer the lowest possible settlement amounts.
When you have a Gibsonton truck accident attorney helping you file your insurance claim, you are far less likely to encounter any bad-faith treatment from the insurance carrier. The insurance claim adjuster assigned to your claim will investigate the accident to determine the legitimacy of the claim and then issue your settlement check. It should only take a few weeks for you to receive this money, but if it is not enough to fully cover all your damages, you must prepare to file a personal injury claim against the driver who caused your accident.
A personal injury claim is a type of civil suit that seeks compensation for damages inflicted by another party. Success with this case requires proof that the defendant directly caused the accident and is, therefore, responsible for all associated damages. You must be prepared to not only prove your liability for the accident but also prove the full extent of the damages you suffered. You must also be prepared to show causation, meaning your damages resulted solely from the defendant’s actions and not any other cause.
Once you have gathered the evidence needed to prove liability for your truck accident, you are ready to start assessing the full extent of damages you can seek from the defendant. The average personal injury plaintiff in Hillsborough County may be able to identify some immediately recognizable economic damages like their vehicle repair costs and medical bills, but the assessment of the full long-term financial impact of their accident is likely to be far more challenging.
The plaintiff of a personal injury suit has the right to seek full repayment of all economic losses the defendant inflicted that insurance can’t repay, and these may include:
Once you assess the full range of immediate and future economic damages you can include in your personal injury claim, you might discover that your case is more valuable than you initially anticipated. However, state law allows you to also claim compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced because of the defendant’s actions. There is no cap on pain and suffering compensation in Florida truck accident cases, meaning a plaintiff may seek as much as they believe to be appropriate to reflect the severity of the harm they suffered.
Personal injury attorneys typically use two methods for calculating pain and suffering for their clients. If the plaintiff is likely to make a full recovery in the near future, they may seek an amount that reflects the time it will take them to recover. If the plaintiff suffered permanently damaging injuries resulting in disability, the attorney is more likely to seek a large lump sum of pain and suffering compensation that reflects the severity of the plaintiff’s condition. The right attorney can be instrumental in maximizing the total compensation you receive for your pain and suffering in any civil claim in the state.
The right Gibsonton truck accident attorney is an invaluable asset in the aftermath of your recent accident. When you choose Santini Law Firm to represent your case, you will have a dedicated legal advocate readily available to address your concerns and answer any questions you may have about your options for legal recourse. Our team takes time to learn as much as possible about every individual client we represent and develop cohesive, personalized legal strategies that aim for maximum recovery. When you choose our team to represent you, you will have a dedicated legal advocate readily available to provide the guidance and support you need to approach your truck accident case with confidence and peace of mind. Contact Santini Law Firm today and schedule a free case review with our team to learn more about how we can assist with your recovery efforts.
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