Attorneys for Truck Accidents Caused By Driver Distractions In Panama City
Did you sustain injuries in an accident involving a commercial truck? Was it because the driver was distracted while they were driving? If so, contact The Bruner Law Firm now so we can begin the process of holding them accountable for their actions and pursuing compensation for your injuries.
Distractions make it difficult for drivers to focus on what’s happening in front of them. When they’re paying attention to something else, it takes longer for their brain to register a hazardous situation and maneuver their vehicle to avoid it. Unfortunately, distracted driving fatalities increased by 9.9% in 2019, resulting in 3,142 traffic-related deaths.
Truck drivers can cause massive destructive and severe injuries to the occupants of other vehicles if they become distracted while operating a tractor-trailer. These trucks are significantly larger and heavier than passenger cars. During a collision, the smaller vehicle driver and passengers often suffer debilitating injuries requiring extensive medical treatment to heal.
You deserve financial compensation for the suffering you’ve endured, and The Bruner Law Firm is ready to help. Call us at (850) 769-9292 today for a free consultation with an experienced and dedicated truck accident attorney in Panama City.
Types of Distractions Encountered by Truck Drivers
Anything from eating food to texting can cause a commercial truck driver to lose control of their vehicle and end up in an accident with other motorists. Since operating a big commercial truck like an 18-wheeler requires focus and skill, a split second of inattention could result in a collision with another vehicle. The truck driver could drift into another lane or be unable to stop in time for traffic that has slowed down.
There are three main forms of distractions that can lead to an accident involving a large truck: manual, visual, and cognitive. These distractions can happen independently or more than one at the same time. When someone combines manual with cognitive or visual with manual, that increases the chance of a crash. Common examples of each type of distraction are below.
Visual distractions involve looking at something or someone instead of paying attention to what’s happening in front of the driver. Examples could include:
- Looking at a GPS
- Turning towards a passenger in the vehicle
- Reading a text message or email
- Looking at a car wreck on the side of the road
Manual distractions happen when the driver removes their hands from the wheel to do something other than maneuvering their vehicle. Examples include:
- Changing the radio
- Typing a text or email
Cognitive distractions are anything that takes the driver’s attention away from driving to focus on or think about something else. Examples are:
- Singing along to the radio
- Thinking about a recent argument
- Engaging in road rage behaviors
State and federal laws prohibit commercial truck drivers from using any handheld mobile device while driving. The only exemption from this regulation is if they’re communicating with emergency personnel or law enforcement. It’s not only dangerous to violate this regulation but could also result in expensive fines for the truck driver and their employer.
Take the Necessary Steps Following a Truck Accident to Hold the At-Fault Party Liable
If you sustained injuries in a crash involving a commercial truck, it’s best if you take immediate legal action to protect your rights to compensation. You might be entitled to a settlement with the trucking company’s liability insurance carrier, but you must have sufficient evidence proving the truck driver was at fault.
If you’re able to collect evidence at the scene, you should exchange insurance information with the other driver and take photos of the crash site.
Unfortunately, many accident victims are incapacitated due to the extent of their injuries. If you’re unable to walk around safely after the accident, an experienced Panama City driver distraction truck accident lawyer from The Bruner Law Firm can handle the investigative and legal aspects of your case. Your only responsibility at this point should be to seek medical treatment.
Go to a hospital immediately after the crash for an evaluation of your injuries. The doctor might recommend further treatment, such as physical therapy or surgery to heal the damage to your body. Follow their orders and continue attending all your appointments until you recover. If the accident leaves you with permanent injuries that cannot fully heal, your medical providers might place you at maximum medical improvement. That means further medical intervention likely won’t help your condition. At that point, The Bruner Law Firm would request copies of all your medical records to submit during the insurance claim.
Medical records showing the damage to your body and the treatment you sought after the accident are crucial in any personal injury case. You must show proof that you required ongoing medical care and incurred expenses due to the crash. Without this type of evidence, the insurance company could deny your claim or offer a lower settlement than you need to compensate for your losses.
At The Bruner Law Firm, our team of experienced Panama City driver distraction truck accident lawyers has the resources to obtain the relevant evidence we need to show the suffering you endured due to someone else’s careless actions.
Compensation You Could Seek for Your Losses
Financial, emotional, and physical losses are likely to result from a truck accident. Whether you decide you want to file an insurance claim or lawsuit, you can pursue compensation for your total losses, so you don’t have to pay for any expenses yourself. These losses might include:
- Medical bills
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of consortium
The Bruner Law Firm can locate evidence that shows you suffered various losses. We can use that documentation to help determine the full and fair settlement you deserve. Insurance companies generally want to save money instead of providing a large payout. They will look for evidence that disproves what you’re claiming, so they don’t have to offer the maximum available compensation. Our legal team knows how to negotiate with insurance companies and fight for the justice our clients deserve.
If necessary, we can file a lawsuit and bring your case to court. There is a strict period of time allowed to sue someone following a truck accident. That timeframe is known as a statute of limitations. Florida law dictates a four-year statute of limitations. That means you have a four-year period between the crash date and the date the deadline expires. If the lawsuit isn’t initiated by the time the statute runs out, you could lose your right to pursue the compensation you deserve from the at-fault truck driver in court.
Compensation from a Wrongful Death Case
Florida law defines wrongful death as the wrongful act, default, negligence, or breach of warranty or contract of one party that causes the death of another. If the truck driver or trucking company was responsible for your loved one’s death, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit for compensation for the losses you and your family suffered.
The personal representative of your loved one’s estate is the only person allowed to pursue this type of case. If there isn’t an estate plan, the court could appoint a personal representative, which is usually the next of kin or closest living relative to the deceased. The personal representative must seek compensation on behalf of surviving family members, such as:
- Surviving spouse, child, or parent
- A dependent adoptive sibling or blood relative
The multiple losses you can pursue should compensate the estate and surviving relatives. They might include:
- Medical and funeral costs the estate paid
- Funeral and medical expenses paid for by a surviving family member
- Loss of guidance, companionship, and protection
- Lost wages, earnings, and other benefits, including what the deceased would have earned if they survived the accident
- Emotional and mental pain and suffering caused by the death
- Value of services and support provided by the deceased
- Value of estate earnings or prospective net monies the deceased would have collected if they had lived
At The Bruner Law Firm, our Panama City driver distraction truck accident lawyers understand how devastating it can be to lose someone you love because of another person’s avoidable misconduct. The truck driver should have paid attention to what they were doing behind the wheel instead of allowing a distraction to keep their eyes, hands or focus off the task at hand. Their actions directly led to your loved one’s death, and they should be held liable.
You and your family have suffered enough due to the negligent actions of the distracted truck driver. The Bruner Law Firm has the experience, knowledge, and dedication to hold them accountable for what they’ve done and fight for the justice you deserve. You can depend on our team to work hard to recover the maximum compensation you need to pay for your past and future expenses. We will not rest until we reach a favorable outcome in your case so you can move forward with your life.
If you were hurt in an accident due to a distracted truck driver, do not hesitate to call The Bruner Law Firm at (850) 769-9292. One of our Panama City driver distraction truck accident lawyers will be happy to meet you for a free consultation to discuss what happened and how we can help.