Ft. Lauderdale Truck Accident Lawyers Protecting the Rights of Crash Victims
In 2020, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 415,000 truck crashes reported to police. Of these crashes, 101,000 resulted in injuries and 4,444 were fatal. This statistic is primarily due to the immense size and weight of semi-trucks and the fact that they sit much higher off the road than most vehicles, leading to underride crashes and other accidents with a high rate of fatalities. Survivors are likely to have serious injuries that may prove disabling and require long-term treatment.
What Steps Should You Take After a Trucking Accident?
Trucking accidents can be very violent and disorienting. Trucking crash victims are often badly injured and require immediate medical help. If you are involved in a trucking accident, your first thought should be ensuring the safety of yourself and other victims if you are capable. Call 911 to get medical help if there are severe injuries, and follow the instructions of any emergency responders. Once everyone has received the assistance they need, taking these steps, if you are physically able, can potentially help your claim:
- Contact the police: Get officers on the scene to file an accident report.
- Collect the truck driver’s information: Include their name, the tractor-trailer number, the trucking company’s name and phone number, and insurance information.
- Record eyewitness contact information: Include names, addresses, and phone numbers.
- Take photos: Snap pictures of the accident scene from different angles and record your injuries.
- Stick to the basic facts when speaking to anyone at the scene: Do not discuss who may be at fault for the accident, do not apologize to anyone, and do not state that you are unhurt. The insurance company may attempt to latch onto the innocent statements you made to try to refute your claim.
- Contact our experienced truck accident attorneys: Our attorneys can begin handling aspects of your case, help you get the healthcare you need to heal, and explain any further steps you need to take.
Why Are Trucking Crash Injuries Often Worse Than Those Caused by Car Crashes?
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Typical trucking accident injuries can include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Back, head, and neck injuries
- Crush injuries
- Head trauma, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Lacerations and contusions
- Severed limbs
Not all damage experienced by victims is physical, either. Survivors of a crash could face a future filled with anxiety, PTSD, and other trauma-related issues. If you have been severely injured in a trucking accident, our compassionate personal injury lawyers can be the ally you need to help you on your path to recovery.
How Do Trucking Crashes Happen?
While truck drivers tend to be highly trained individuals, it only takes a single lapse in concentration for a devastating trucking accident to occur. To give some perspective: a passenger vehicle has a stopping distance of about 316 feet, while semi-trucks need at least 525 feet to brake fully. If there is not enough distance between vehicles, a truck driver may be unable to stop or change direction in time to avoid an accident.
However, not all accidents are the fault of the truck driver. Determining fault for a trucking accident can be complex, and potentially liable parties can include the vehicle manufacturer, the trucking company, the owner-operator, the cargo loaders, the truck mechanic, government agencies responsible for road design and maintenance, and other drivers on the road.
Having our skilled truck accident lawyers on your side with the resources and knowledge to thoroughly investigate the crash to determine exactly what happened and who is responsible can be crucial.
Similar to any accident, the precise cause of a trucking crash can vary. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has collected data on trucking accidents for several years and has found the following to be the top factors contributing to crashes:
- Poorly maintained or defective brakes
- Stop-and-go traffic, congestion, and other road hazards leading to unexpected braking
- Driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or prescription drugs
- Failing to account for weather conditions, such as heavy rain or fog
- Driving while distracted
- Navigating unfamiliar roads
- Damaged or badly marked roadways
- Driving while fatigued
- Tailgating, either by the truck or by other drivers
- Use of over-the-counter drugs, such as cold medicines, which can slow reaction times
What Compensation Can a Trucking Accident Lawyer Help You Recover?
Recovering from a harrowing trucking accident can take time. Injuries and the medical treatments required to heal them can take you away from your job and your family, disrupting your life and finances. A capable personal injury lawyer knows that a fair settlement should cover all your current losses and any impacts you are likely to experience from your injuries in the future.
Your trucking accident settlement will be split into three types of damages: economic, non-economic, and punitive. When calculating the value of your claim, your lawyer will likely begin with the economic damages, which are the financial losses you’ve suffered due to the accident, including:
- Medical bills, such as surgery costs, ER visits, follow-up doctor appointments, and more
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity if you have become disabled or are unable to continue in your current profession
- Rehabilitation and therapy expenses
- Accessibility modifications to your home and vehicle
However, a proficient trucking accident attorney knows that not all losses are financial in nature. A trucking accident can have profound impacts far beyond bills and expenses. That’s why non-economic damages exist to compensate victims for the less
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life and
- Loss of consortium (if your relationships have suffered due to your injuries)
If your case goes to trial, the judge may also choose to award punitive damages. These damages are relatively rare but are used as an additional form of punishment to the defendant if their reckless actions that caused the accident were found to be intentional, malicious, or exceedingly egregious.
How Can RTRLAW Help You After Your Trucking Accident?
Trucking collision victims can face an uphill battle when seeking compensation. Determining fault can be complex, and many potential defendants, such as the trucking companies and their insurance providers, tend to fight vigorously against costly claims. Many victims are offered much less than their claims are worth and can find it challenging to negotiate with the insurance adjusters on their own while healing.
You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your health or your care because an insurance company is refusing to settle your claim. At RTRLAW, our helpful, compassionate trucking accident lawyers are ready to stand up for your rights and fight to get you the full settlement you deserve.
Those responsible for your injuries must be held to account. RTRLAW is ready to leverage all of our resources to investigate your crash and uncover every liable party that may be involved. RTRLAW has adept investigators and negotiators, and most claims can be brought to a positive conclusion without needing a trial, but we are fully prepared to take your case to court if necessary. Our track record of success and satisfied clients speaks for itself.
If you have been hurt in a trucking accident, contact our Fort Lauderdale law office today at 954-370-5152 or toll free at 833-HIRE-RTR for a free no-obligation case review to find out your options and see how our knowledgeable attorneys can assist you.