Commercial trucking is an essential component of Florida’s supply chain, and drivers in the Riverview area regularly encounter large commercial trucks as they drive through the area. Whether you are commuting along I-4 or passing through Hillsborough County on I-75, it is vital to acknowledge the risks that large commercial trucks present on the road. While less common than standard passenger vehicle accidents, truck accidents do occur in various ways throughout the Riverview area and often result in devastating harm to those involved.
In August 2020, a utility truck driver was killed on U.S. Highway 301 in Riverview when they failed to slow down in time to avoid a collision with the rear of a FedEx delivery truck. The utility truck was much smaller than the tractor-trailer, and while the utility truck driver sustained fatal injuries, the driver of the FedEx truck was virtually unharmed. This is just one example of how accidents involving large commercial trucks and smaller vehicles pose much greater risks to the occupants of the vulnerable in the slighter vehicles.
Truck accident cases not only tend to involve more significant damage to property and personal injury than those seen in accidents involving typical passenger cars, but these incidents also tend to raise more complex questions regarding fault and recovering compensation for damages. Santini Law Firm has the experience and professional resources you want on your side, no matter how your recent truck accident occurred. You may have more grounds for seeking recovery from your losses than you realize at first, but you could also face unexpected procedural challenges that you will not know how to address on your own. Our team can provide comprehensive legal counsel through all stages of your recovery efforts.
Every driver has a duty of care to follow the rules of the road, operate their vehicle responsibly, and heed posted speed limits and traffic signals at all times. This duty of care extends to commercial truck drivers; in fact, they are expected to hold to a higher standard of responsible driving due to the fact that driving is their primary job duty. Their vehicles are also inherently more dangerous than the majority of other vehicles on the roads, and when a truck driver is negligent, the results can be devastating.
Your first legal challenge in the aftermath of a truck accident in Riverview is proving liability for the accident. You must identify the party responsible for causing the accident and then prove exactly how they caused it. Most of the truck accidents and other motor vehicle crashes reported in the Riverview area result from failure to use reasonable care in specific situations. A few common examples of negligence that can cause truck accidents include:
These are just a few of the most commonly cited types of negligence responsible for serious truck accidents throughout the United States each year. It’s possible for a truck driver to bear sole responsibility for a crash, and it is also possible for fault to fall to a third party. In some cases, a trucking company or other employer will bear fault for the actions of their employee under the legal concept of vicarious liability.
Vicarious liability applies whenever a truck driver caused an accident and their employer (typically the name of the company on the truck) shares fault in some way. For example, if a truck driver was driving under the influence (DUI) and their employer never conducted a proper background check that would have revealed their past DUI convictions, the employer is likely to face vicarious liability for the accident. Your Riverview truck accident attorney can explain how vicarious liability could apply to your case and how any such issues regarding liability could impact your recovery.
It is also possible for intentional and illegal actions behind the wheel to cause a commercial truck accident. The most common examples of such actions are DUI and reckless driving. When these accidents happen, at-fault drivers not only face liability for the damages they inflict on others, but also criminal prosecution from the state. Penalties for criminal conviction almost always increase significantly when a defendant has caused serious bodily injury or death to another person. For example, in the case of DUI, causing serious bodily harm can mean the difference between a misdemeanor or felony DUI charge.
Any commercial truck crash has the potential to cause tremendous harm to all parties involved. If a large truck collides with a smaller passenger vehicle, the occupants of a smaller vehicle are likely to suffer far worse injuries than the driver of the truck. The risk of serious bodily harm or death is much higher from a commercial truck accident than from a standard passenger vehicle accident, but it is also likely that a victim will face a host of economic losses that may not be immediately obvious.
If you can prove another truck driver’s negligence or misconduct behind the wheel caused your recent truck accident, you have the right to seek compensation for all damages resulting from their actions. Recovery from a truck accident is likely to begin with an auto insurance claim, much like you could expect after most other types of vehicle accidents. Florida upholds the no fault standard for vehicle accidents, meaning drivers are expected to use their own auto insurance to pay for their initial medical bills after an accident, regardless of fault. However, the injured driver and passengers of the smaller vehicle have the right to pursue legal recourse against an at-fault driver if they sustained serious bodily harm and their insurance cannot compensate their damages.
Let us pause for a moment and acknowledge an often-misunderstood area of car and truck accident law in Riverview regarding passengers. Many folks are already aware that if they are in a vehicle that is struck by a negligent semi-truck, all of the individuals in the smaller vehicle, including passengers, have a right to bring a claim against the at-fault truck driver, his company and the insurance company. However, Riverview residents should also be aware that even if the driver of the vehicle they are physically in is at fault and not the truck driver, as a passenger you still have the right to bring a lawsuit and recover money against the driver of the vehicle you are in, even if you know that driver personally. Many folks do not want to take this path because they do not want to sue a friend or family member, but you should know that the majority of the time their car insurance will cover your damages.
Before you can proceed with your recovery efforts, you must identify every type of economic harm you suffered and establish causation between your claimed damages and the defendant’s negligence or misconduct. After recovering as much compensation as you can through an insurance claim, your Riverview truck accident attorney can assist you with the calculation of the remaining economic damages you may be able to recover from the at-fault driver. These economic damages typically include:
The average truck accident victim in Riverview should be able to accurately assess their immediately recognizable economic losses, but calculating the long-term financial impact of a serious accident is likely to be far more challenging. When you have a seasoned Riverview truck accident attorney representing you, they are able to identify every available channel of compensation that you could claim in a civil suit. Additionally, state law allows a vehicle accident victim to seek compensation for pain and suffering.
You might find it difficult to assign a monetary value to intangible damages like physical pain and psychological distress resulting from a personal injury in Riverview, but your attorney can provide valuable guidance on this aspect of your recovery. Under Florida’s personal injury statutes, there is no cap or limit on the amount of pain and suffering compensation a plaintiff may claim from a defendant in a truck accident case or any other type of vehicle accident case. This means you have the right to seek as much as you deem appropriate to reflect the severity of the harm done to you and the complications you face in the future because of the accident.
Your Riverview truck accident attorney can help determine appropriate pain and suffering compensation to seek from the defendant who injured you. Your attorney might seek a large lump sum to reflect the severity of permanent harm you suffered, or they may seek an amount based on your projected recovery time if you are expected to make a full recovery from your injuries in the near future. Many truck accident victims in the Riverview area who suffer severe injuries eventually recover more in pain and suffering compensation than they secure for their economic damages.
It’s technically possible for a truck accident victim to pursue compensation for their damages on their own, but facing this complex series of legal proceedings without an attorney’s help can be extremely challenging. Even if you managed to succeed with an auto insurance claim and successfully file a personal injury suit on your own, you would be unlikely to achieve the same results you could expect if you had a seasoned Riverview truck accident attorney handling your case. Additionally, you would be forced to contend with the pain of recovering from your injuries while also managing strict filing deadlines and other procedural issues involved in your case.
When you choose Santini Law Firm to represent your truck accident claim in Riverview, you will have a compassionate legal advocate readily available to provide guidance and support through each step of your proceedings. Our firm has cultivated a strong local reputation as a leading choice for personal injury counsel in the Riverview area, and we have successfully helped many truck accident victims maximize their recoveries as much as state law allows.
At our firm, you do not pay unless our Riverview truck accident lawyer recovers a settlement or trial verdict for you.
You have a limited time in which to pursue recovery after a truck accident or any other vehicle accident. You must file an auto insurance claim very soon after an accident, typically only a few days, and you will contend with the statute of limitations if you intend to pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. It’s imperative to secure legal representation you can trust in a timely manner, so contact Santini Law Firm today and schedule your free case review with a Riverview truck accident attorney.
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