Like most of the U.S., Florida depends on semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, tankers, and big rigs to keep the state’s economy running. However, these large commercial vehicles pose serious dangers to others on the road. When a semi-truck gets involved in an accident, severe injuries and even fatalities can result.
If you have been seriously injured in a truck accident in Navarre or elsewhere in Florida caused by someone’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation. If you file a personal injury claim with the help of an experienced truck accident attorney, you can recover the costs of your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more from the parties responsible for the accident.
For the last three decades, the Destin injury attorneys at The Bruner Law Firm have fought for justice for those who’ve been injured in our community. Our highly skilled and compassionate attorneys can help file your claim and fight for your rights to compensation. We have the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to put you in the best position possible to recover the compensation you deserve. Call now at (850) 243-2222 for a free initial consultation, and we will get to work on helping you move forward with your life after the accident.
Do I Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?
If you were seriously injured in a truck accident in Navarre due to another party’s negligence, you might be able to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. You need a skilled Florida truck accident lawyer in your corner who has a track record of successfully representing clients. At The Bruner Law Firm, we know how to build a strong case and pursue all the available types of compensation for injured clients.
Truck accident cases can be complicated. Proving negligence involves establishing that the truck driver, the trucking company, the cargo loader, or another party was responsible for the injuries you suffered in the crash. The challenging process of discovering who is liable is one of the main reasons you need to retain a lawyer.
Allow the highly skilled Navarre truck accident lawyers at The Bruner Law Firm to handle your truck accident investigation. An in-depth investigation can tell us why the accident happened and which regulations and laws had been broken by the negligent driver. The evidence uncovered in the investigation will significantly increase your chance of recovering compensation.
A skilled truck accident lawyer will make sure you meet all deadlines that could impact your case. An experienced Florida truck accident lawyer can handle all communications and negotiations with the insurance companies.
Why Are Truck Accidents Different than Regular Crashes?
Truck accidents are much different than ordinary car crashes. One of the big differences between them is the extent of the injuries that result. A commercial truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, while the average car weighs about 3,000 pounds. With such a massive weight discrepancy, the car is almost certain to sustain more damage in a crash. The serious injuries involved in truck accidents are why truck drivers carry insurance with higher liability limits. This higher limit means there may be more compensation available to those who’ve been hurt.
Trucks require considerably more room than cars to navigate a turn. This makes them more likely to tip over. If a truck tips over, it could crush a nearby smaller passenger vehicle. Trucks also need a lot more distance to come to a complete stop. Trucks cannot stop on a dime as smaller passenger vehicles can. This also leads to more accidents.
Determining liability for a truck accident is much more complex than a car accident. With truck accidents, the negligent party who caused the crash likely will not be the only party liable for compensating you. Because truck drivers typically work for a trucking company, their employer may also be held responsible. Other possible liable parties include the truck owner, truck manufacturer, and cargo loader.
Truck accident cases involve more evidence to review. Trucking companies are required by law to follow the regulations regarding the hours truck drivers can spend on the road, cargo loading, maintenance, and more. If these rules are broken, it could be evidence that the company was negligent in causing the accident.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents in Florida include:
One of the most common causes of truck accidents is fatigue. Truck drivers often drive long hours with little rest. Trucking companies demand the delivery of goods to certain destinations within a short period of time, and drivers are under much pressure to deliver by set deadlines. The fatigue causes truck drivers to lose focus, coordination, and sometimes even fall asleep at the wheel, leading to a serious accident.
Many truck drivers carry phones, GPS, and other gadgets that are a distraction while driving. Eating, drinking, talking, and fiddling with the radio can also be distractions. When a truck driver looks away from the road for just a second because of a distraction, it increases their chance of causing an accident. All it takes is a few seconds of inattentiveness to cause a life-altering accident.
Trucking companies typically demand their truck drivers reach particular destinations within a certain time frame. Due to the pressure drivers are put under to meet these deadlines, drivers will often speed. Speeding has the effect of reducing reaction time. When driving at high speeds, drivers may be required to brake suddenly or maneuver into another lane. This is not always possible when speeding.
Driving Under the Influence
It is illegal to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Truck drivers who get behind the wheel while under the influence pose a great danger to themselves and all other motorists and pedestrians in and around the roadways.
Brake Problems and Other Mechanical Issues
Semi-truck brake problems are a factor in many accidents. Trucking companies may fail to stay on top of routine maintenance and ensuring that the brakes are properly adjusted. Brakes that haven’t been properly cared for can malfunction or fail, leading to a severe crash.
Who Could Be Held Accountable After an 18-Wheeler Crash?
After a truck accident, it is possible that multiple parties could bear responsibility for the crash. The negligent parties in a truck accident case may include:
- Truck driver: Driver errors that result in crashes include distracted driving, fatigue, driving while intoxicated, speeding, reckless driving, and more. These forms of negligence often result in truck accidents.
- Truck owner: The individual who owns the truck could be held liable if they do not stay on top of maintenance, including checking the brakes, engine, steering, and other important parts that keep the truck safe.
- Trucking company: Trucking companies can be held liable for their employees’ negligent actions or inactions. This can include insufficient pre-employment screening, lack of training, and violations of trucking regulations.
- Truck and parts manufacturer: The companies that make trucks and their parts may be liable if a defect caused the accident.
- Cargo loaders and distributors: If the cargo owner or distributor does not take precautions to make sure dangerous materials are safely loaded or handled properly and the cargo causes an accident, the cargo owner or distributor may be held liable for injuries caused in an accident.
- Mechanic or maintenance company: The party responsible for the truck’s upkeep and maintenance may be liable if the accident was caused by a mechanical failure stemming from negligence.
What Type of Compensation Am I Owed?
Depending on the facts and circumstances of the truck accident, you could be owed significant compensation, including payment for:
- Medical bills (past and future)
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
What Evidence Is Needed?
Some of the types of evidence you and your lawyer will want to collect following the truck accident include:
- Police report
- Photos of the accident scene
- Truck driver’s logbooks
- Truck driver’s work history and driving record
- Phone records
- Truck inspection reports
- Weight tickets
- Maintenance schedules, records, and reports
- Post-crash alcohol and drug test results
- The truck’s electronic control module (ECM)
- Medical records
- Damage to your vehicle
How The Bruner Law Firm Can Help You
Have you been severely injured in a truck accident in Navarre? If so, contact an experienced truck accident lawyer right away for help. If the truck accident was due to someone else’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation. Truck accidents can result in serious injuries due to the sheer size and weight of commercial trucks and the force with which they crash into passenger vehicles.
Since 1992, The Bruner Law Firm has been committed to helping truck accident victims in Navarre and throughout Florida. If you were hurt in a truck accident in Florida, The Bruner Law Firm will fight for the full and fair compensation you deserve for all your injuries and losses. Call (850) 243-2222 now for a free and confidential consultation.