Compared to most motor vehicle collisions, commercial truck accidents involve more catastrophic damage, more complicated insurance claims, and more parties working against victims seeking compensation. As a result, victims of Destin semi-truck crashes often face unique difficulties with physical and financial recovery.
The experienced Destin personal injury lawyers of [law-firm] are familiar with the nuances of commercial truck and tractor-trailer collisions. If you were injured in a Destin truck accident, our attorneys have the knowledge and resources needed to pursue the compensation you deserve for your losses. Call us today at (850) 243-2222 or contact us online for a free, confidential consultation to learn more about how we can help.
Do I Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?
For simple accident cases, it may be possible to resolve a personal injury claim by working directly with insurance providers on your own. However, since most truck accident claims involve high-dollar compensation amounts, serious injuries, and multiple parties who may potentially be at fault, these cases are rarely simple.
It’s a good idea to discuss your case with a Destin truck accident attorney if:
- You sustained severe injuries and incur substantial medical expenses as a result
- It’s not clear who may be liable for the accident
- There may be more than one party who is liable for the accident
- You feel uncertain about how much your accident claim could be worth
- Insurance adjusters ask you to provide your pre-accident medical records
- You receive a settlement offer that seems too low to cover your accident-related losses
- You do not feel confident in your ability to negotiate an appropriate insurance settlement
- You experience difficulties in proving your claim for lost wages—for example, if you are a business owner, independent contractor, or consultant
- You feel uncertain about how to claim compensation for your pain and suffering
- The truck driver’s insurance provider denies your claim
In general, it is better to contact a lawyer right away after a crash to ensure that your rights are protected. Those who try to navigate the complicated process of seeking compensation on their own will often struggle to get the full and fair amount they deserve. With so much on the line, why risk missing out on money you’re entitled to? Instead, turn to a qualified injury attorney for help.
Why Are Truck Accidents Different from Passenger Vehicle Crashes?
All motor vehicle accidents are different, but truck accidents involve several elements that make them particularly unusual. Some of the major differences between Destin truck crashes and standard motor vehicle collisions include:
- Different insurance – Semi-truck drivers carry different insurance than most car drivers, with policies that typically provide millions of dollars in liability coverage and providers that fight aggressively to deny or minimize claims.
- Federal regulations – Truck operators are subject to various federal regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Any violations of these regulations may have a big impact on subsequent truck accident claims.
- Different types of evidence – Commercial trucks often have black boxes, electronic logging devices, and cargo-related information containing important evidence.
- Different vehicle functions – Large semi-trucks operate differently than smaller cars, requiring more time and distance to slow, stop, and turn. This means the dynamics leading up to a truck accident can be very different than those for a car wreck.
- More potentially-liable parties – Truck drivers operate on behalf of trucking companies, cargo manufacturers, and other carriers who may bear part or all of the responsibility for truck accidents.
- Higher compensation amounts – Truck accidents tend to cause much more damage than car crashes, so accident claims are subsequently much more expensive.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
The causes of truck accidents are often similar to those of passenger vehicle crashes, including:
- Distracted driving – Truck drivers who are texting, eating, or otherwise distracted behind the wheel may not have enough focus to respond appropriately to imminent traffic scenarios.
- Aggressive driving – If truck operators are speeding, tailgating, or lane weaving, they have less time to respond to changes in traffic flow and are more likely to cause accidents as a result.
- Driving under the influence – Truckers who are drunk or high do not have the ability to make safe decisions on the road and may become erratic, drowsy, or aggressive behind the wheel.
- Fatigued driving – If truck drivers violate hours-of-service regulations or don’t get enough sleep, their concentration and ability to react quickly may be compromised, increasing their chances of causing a collision.
- Inexperienced driving – Unqualified and inexperienced truck drivers are more likely to commit driving errors, such as following other vehicles too closely, taking turns too quickly, or misjudging stopping or turning distances.
- Improperly-secured cargo – If cargo-loading teams overload trailers or fail to secure cargo properly, resulting shifts in a truck’s center of gravity may cause devastating rollover, tire blowout, or cargo spill accidents.
- Wide turns – Large trucks need more space to make left- and right-hand turns. If drivers fail to negotiate these wider turns safely, catastrophic side-impact, rollover, or underride accidents may result.
- Inadequate truck maintenance – If truck drivers, companies, or mechanics are negligent in inspecting, maintaining, or repairing trucks or truck components, resulting system failures may cause dangerous truck accidents.
Who Is Responsible After a Truck Accident?
Unlike most car drivers, truck operators act on behalf of several other parties when they get behind the wheel. This means that there may be one or more entities who bear some responsibility for an 18-wheeler accident, including:
- Truck drivers – Truck operators may be responsible for accidents if they drive recklessly, violate federal regulations, or commit driving errors.
- Trucking companies – If trucking companies hire inexperienced truck drivers or encourage drivers to engage in risky behavior, they may be liable for accidents.
- Truck owners – Parties that own large commercial trucks can be responsible for accidents if they fail to inspect or maintain their vehicles properly.
- Truck mechanics – If mechanics are negligent in the inspection, maintenance, or repair of commercial trucks, they may be held accountable for truck wrecks caused by equipment malfunctions.
- Cargo loading teams – Teams that overload cargo or improperly secure cargo in large trucks can be liable for accidents that result from excess weight or shifts in a semi-truck’s overall weight distribution.
- Truck component manufacturers – Manufacturers of defective truck components may be held responsible if subsequent component failure leads to truck accidents.
What Types of Compensation Could I Be Owed?
The types of compensation you could recover for your Destin truck accident could differ depending on the nature of the accident and the injuries or losses you suffered as a result. The most common types of compensation available in commercial truck accident cases include:
- Past and future medical expenses – Any expenses you incur related to the past or future treatment of your truck accident-related injuries, such as surgical, therapeutic, or medicine-related costs.
- Costs related to the treatment of injuries – Expenses such as ambulance bills, transportation costs to and from doctor’s appointments, and accessibility modifications for your home.
- Property damage – Any repair or replacement costs for personal property that was damaged in your truck accident.
- Lost wages – Income you may have missed out on due to being too hurt to return to work after your Destin truck accident.
- Loss of future income – Potential future losses in income that may result from short- or long-term disability related to your truck accident injuries.
- Pain and suffering – The subjective losses you experience as a result of physical or emotional distress from your accident-related injuries.
- Loss of companionship – If a partner experiences the loss of your usual companionship due to your injuries or subsequent disability.
- Punitive damages – Reimbursement intended to compensate accident victims who are injured by particularly negligent or intentionally reckless parties.
What Evidence Is Needed?
Truck drivers are often represented by large insurance companies, in-house counsel, or retained attorneys who will do everything in their power to minimize or deny your personal injury claim. This means that high-quality supporting evidence is a critical component of any truck accident claim.
Some of the most powerful pieces of evidence that could help your case include:
- Driver or eyewitness statements – Statements from any drivers involved in the accident or eyewitnesses can provide crucial perspective regarding the events that led to a truck accident.
- Testimony from expert witnesses – Expert witnesses such as accident reconstruction specialists may offer important and reliable clues about the nature and effects of a collision.
- Photographs or video footage – Photos of the truck accident scene, any injuries that resulted, and any video footage from truck dash cameras or nearby traffic cameras may contain valuable evidence.
- Black box or electronic logging device data – Many modern trucks are equipped with black boxes and electronic devices that track a truck’s speed, acceleration, steering, or braking actions before a crash.
- Cell phone and GPS records – Driver cell phone and GPS records may show where a truck driver was, how fast they were traveling, and whether they may have been distracted at the time of a crash.
- Truck inspection and repair history – Records could indicate whether or not trucks have been inspected, maintained, or repaired appropriately.
How The Bruner Law Firm Can Help You
The attorneys of The Bruner Law Firm have more than 25 years of experience providing real results to truck crash victims throughout Destin and surrounding areas. When we take on your 18-wheeler accident case, we will work relentlessly to build a solid foundation for your claim, locate strong supporting evidence, and hold those responsible for your injuries accountable.
Our firm represents clients on a contingency-fee-basis, which means that unless we win compensation for you, you won’t owe us anything. We also offer free case reviews at no obligation to you, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us now. Call The Bruner Law Firm at (850) 243-2222 or contact us online to start taking action in your case today.