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Truck Accidents - Jones Law Group

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St. Petersburg Truck Accident Attorneys

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Truck Accidents Are Often Much More Severe than Car Accidents, and the Injuries that Can Result May Be Life Changing

Being in a truck accident can be a harrowing experience, and it can be difficult to know exactly what to do after you’ve been in one. One thing is certain. You’ll need to retain one of the experienced St Petersburg truck accident attorneys at Jones Law Group to ensure your rights are protected and that you get the maximum settlement and compensation that you deserve.

What are the common causes of Florida truck accidents?

Around 500,000 truck accidents happen in the United States every year. Truck accidents are often caused by driver error and can have a devastating impact on all parties involved.  Common causes of trucks include:

Driver Fatigue

Driving cargo across the country can be a stressful and high-pressure job. Working with deadlines means that drivers are going extensive distances without stopping for breaks to rest. Sleep and rest deprivation leads to a loss of concentration and coordination and can be the catalyst for a truck accident.

Trucking companies may also load drivers up with more hours than they are legally allowed to drive in a given period, increasing their fatigue.

Distracted Driving

Driving long distances, a driver may turn to the radio or their cell phone for entertainment or as a means to communicate. This presents the opportunity for distraction from the road and increases the risk of a collision.

Speeding

Whether to make more efficient timing or to mitigate the risk of late delivery, speeding by truck drivers is not unheard of. If a truck driver is driving faster than the size of the truck will allow, the vehicle then becomes a greater threat to other cars on the road. Risky overtaking, abrupt stops, and approaching other vehicles too quickly due to speeding can all cause truck accidents.

Poor Training

Although regulations exist to standardize the operation of commercial trucks, some drivers are under-trained when they head on the road. It only takes unfavorable weather or dangerous road conditions for the poorly trained commercial truck driver to pose a threat to everyone on the road. Poor training also extends to the proper loading of cargo. Improper loading can result in materials spilling or the truck tipping over.

Why are truck accidents so much more devastating than passenger vehicle accidents?

The sheer size and weight of trucks, in comparison to most cars, makes them formidable to face in an accident, especially commercial trucks. Because of size and weight, it’s more difficult to bring a truck to a full stop as quickly as a car, and the level of potential damage is likely to be greater in a truck accident as compared to an accident involving passenger vehicles.

Common Types of Truck Accident Injuries

Because trucks are so large, the resulting injuries are often much more severe. Truck accidents can result in permanent disability, chronic pain, paralysis, and more. The most common types of injuries caused by truck accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): A head injury caused by a blow to the head, such as hitting the steering wheel, door, or another part of the interior of your vehicle. Traumatic brain injuries can require intensive care, such as surgeries, hospital stays, and multiple prescriptions.
  • Spinal cord injuries: A spinal cord injury occurs when something strikes the back with force. A spinal cord injury can result in paralysis, whether complete or incomplete. They require treatment that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in some cases. They may also require medical equipment such as a power wheelchair.
  • Breaks and fractures: Breaks and fractures are a common result of truck accidents and other motor vehicle accidents. They can usually be treated with a cast. In some cases, they may require surgery to be properly set before they can be placed in a cast. 
  • Soft tissue damage: Soft tissue damage refers to an injury to the ligaments or muscles. Common types of soft tissue damage are sprains, strains, and tears. While they can be easy to treat and often heal on their own, you may be left with chronic pain that flares up every once and a while. 
  • Internal damage: Truck accidents may also result in organ damage or internal bleeding. These injuries may not show themselves right away. This is why it’s so important to seek immediate medical attention after an accident. Only a doctor will be able to evaluate you fully. Internal damage can be serious, resulting in organ failure and even death. 
  • Burns: Burns can range in severity from first-degree to third-degree. While some burns will heal with topical medication, some may require a skin graft. In the case of a severe burn, nerve damage may also occur. 

Third-Party Claims: Who can be held responsible for a truck accident?

Third-party liability insurance is usually compulsory for industries that operate in ways that have the potential to affect people who are not involved in the industry. You are more likely going to file a third-party claim if the driver of the truck was negligent and you are not responsible for the accident. These claims are made in most trucking accident cases against the at-fault party’s insurance company. Compensation may be awarded in third-party claims for medical expenses, repair costs, and pain and suffering.

Common liable parties in truck accident cases include:

  • The truck driver
  • The trucking company
  • The truck manufacturer
  • The loading company
  • The truck rental company

What can I be compensated for after a truck accident?

The severity of your injury and how much it has affected your life play a huge role in how much compensation you’ll receive. If your quality of life has changed dramatically, you’ll receive a higher settlement. For example, if you have injuries that you’ll heal from and you’re able to return to work, you’ll receive less than someone who was left permanently disabled and unable to return to work. 

Medical Bills

Unfortunately, truck accidents often result in severe injuries and often require more medical attention than a car accident would. This extensive medical attention means that the patient may incur even more medical debt. After your medical treatment is completed, you’ll want to make sure that you keep all bills, receipts, and records of the care that you received.

Lost Wages

Serious injuries often mean time off from work. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, the chances are that you’ve probably missed some work as well. You may be able to receive damages for the wages that you lost because of your accident, as well as any wages your injury will prevent you from earning in the future. In these cases, you may be eligible to receive up to 60% of your previous income. If the truck driver involved in your accident was negligent, you may receive more.

Property Damage

Property damage in a truck accident often refers to the damage that the truck may have caused to your car. In some cases, your car may only need slight repairs, but in other cases, your car may be completely totaled, and you’ll need to replace it. You may be able to receive damages past what your car insurance company paid you through the insurance company of the truck driver or other liable party.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering is an important component, as we know that these types of accidents can also affect your mental health. Many patients experience PTSD, depression, and even long-term anxiety after a severe accident. These accidents can also cause disability. While pain and suffering is not a solution to the way you’re feeling, it may help to ease some of the stress. The amount that you can recover in pain and suffering damages is decided by the jury based on your injuries and case.

Permanent Loss and Disability

If your injury has left you with a disability, you may be able to claim damages for the permanent loss and effect that your disability will have on your life. In some cases, a disabled person may never be able to work again. These damages can supplement future income and provide some relief from financial stress. Your attorney can help you decide what to ask for when it comes to these damages, and they may also refer you to the Social Security program and other types of supplemental pay for people who cannot work.

Wrongful Death

Wrongful death occurs when someone is killed because of another person’s negligence. If someone you love was in a truck accident that resulted in their death, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party. A wrongful death lawsuit is completely separate from the criminal charges that may occur and can help with compensation for medical bills and funeral costs, as well as pain and suffering.

Why is an experienced attorney so critical after a truck accident?

A solid case for compensation can be quickly lost without the help of a qualified and experienced St Petersburg truck accident attorney, and you may only have the one opportunity to win the compensation that you deserve and to hold the negligent party responsible for the pain and suffering and damage they’ve caused.

An attorney will also understand the filing process, be able to preserve evidence and be on top of deadlines and correspondence with insurance companies.

Contact an Experienced St. Petersburg Truck Accident Attorney Today

Contact us at Jones Law Group today and schedule a free consultation to see how we can build your case and best represent you in your truck accident case. We can be reached by calling 727-571-1333, filling out our online contact form, or by using our Chat feature below.