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If you’ve been seriously injured in a truck accident, it’s likely you’re running up a tab for large out-of-pocket expenses such as hospitals, doctors, testing, surgery, home health care, and accommodations to your home or vehicle.
In addition, you may be suffering losses due to your inability to work temporarily or permanently.
Truck accident victims with catastrophic injuries often need substantial accommodations in order to return to work or retraining for a different career. Insurance companies never pay out the huge amounts of money that severely injured truck accident victims deserve to underrepresented claimants, typically offering only pennies to the dollar to individuals that try to handle their cases on their own.
That’s why it’s important to hire an experienced Clearwater truck accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident.
Denmon Pearlman is the top truck accident attorney in Pinellas County, known for collecting large amounts of monetary compensation and providing caring personal service.
Truck Accidents Can Cause Staggering Losses
According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHSTA) trucks cause more than serious 100,000 injuries and over 4,000 fatalities every year in the United States. This is despite strict laws that have been put into effect limiting driver hours on the road and mandating maintenance and inspections.
The reality on the road is that truck companies and owners/drivers get paid based on how much distance they travel, so downtime costs them so much money that they ignore the law. Large trucks can weigh ten times as much as passenger cars, causing catastrophic injuries to occupants of the smaller vehicles during an impact.
The cost of treatment and the number of lost earnings for these cases can run into the multi-millions and victims are also entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering.
That’s why it’s important to hire a Clearwater truck accident attorney that knows how to thoroughly investigate your case, so find the deep pockets needed to provide the largest amount of compensation possible.
The Importance of a Prompt and Thorough Investigation
Immediate medical care is crucial to achieving the highest level of recovery from truck accident injuries. That’s why it’s always necessary to call 911 to request an ambulance if you or anybody else on the scene is badly injured.
You’ll be asked to describe the injuries, and they’ll send the appropriate level of care based on your description. For life-threatening injuries, medivacs are used to rapidly transport victims to the closest Level 1 or 2 trauma center.
Once help is on the way, it’s helpful to begin collecting evidence that will no longer be available once the vehicles and persons involved leave the scene. Take a photo of the truck, including all markings that indicate its ownership and control.
Ask the driver to let you take a picture of his driver’s license and truck company identification card. Take pictures of the following items on the scene so ensure that your Clearwater truck accident attorney can make a claim against all possible defendants:
After you’ve collected information from the scene and received emergency medical treatment, the next call should be to an experienced truck accident attorney that can begin a thorough investigation immediately. We serve clients throughout Florida and have offices in Tampa, St. Petersburg, New Port Richey, and Brooksville.
What Causes Truck Accidents?
Truck driving is a high-stress profession, so it’s not surprising that the majority of truck accidents are caused by various types of driver errors.
In cases where driver error is the most obvious cause and the injuries are severe or catastrophic, it’s important to investigate every possible contributing cause of the accident in order to have adequate funds available for the victim.
These are the most common causes of truck accidents:
Driving While Fatigued:
Despite strict federal regulations mandating sleep and rest times for truck drivers, driving while fatigued remains the most common cause of truck accidents.
The financial incentive to work more hours and make more money causes drivers and trucking companies to risk penalties of the laws if they are caught.
Driving while fatigued impacts reaction time and can also cause loss of control of a vehicle when a driver falls asleep at the wheel.
Truck drivers spend many hours on the road, causing boredom that invites risky activities like texting while driving or even watching videos while driving!
Any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the road increases the risk of a crash, including eating, grooming, and using a navigation system.
According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA,) drivers taking their eye off the road for a split second cause many serious accidents on the road every year.
Drugs and Alcohol:
A survey by Dr. Edmarlon Girotta revealed that 30% of truck drivers admitted to using amphetamines or cocaine while driving in order to keep themselves awake and alert on long hauls.
The downside of these drugs is they tend to cause agitation and unsafe driving such as reckless lane changing and speeding.
The drugs can also wear off suddenly, causing the driver to fall asleep at the wheel. It’s even more common for truck drivers to drive under the influence of recreational drugs and/or alcohol, causing them to drive recklessly.
A truck driver might be driving at an excessive speed due to drugs and alcohol, or simply because he wants to get the job completed as soon as possible, collect his money, and start a new job.
The trucking company might also be putting pressure on the driver to meet their customer’s demand for a speedy delivery.
Large trucks are much more difficult to maneuver and stop than passenger cars, causing drivers to lose control of their vehicles more often than drivers of passenger cars.
Despite strict federal regulations for the training of drivers on the same or similar vehicles, this requirement is often ignored by trucking companies.
Drivers are sent out on the road without a thorough understanding of how to operate their vehicle, which can be disastrous if bad weather strikes.
Lack of experience in rain, wind, and snow can lead to skidding, jackknifing and hydroplaning out of control, and crashing with other vehicles.
Trucking companies are required to thoroughly inspect every truck before sending it out on a new run, but many trucking companies cut corners and ignore this mandate. As a result, defective brakes and other maintenance issues contribute to truck accidents.
In addition to checking maintenance records, an experienced Clearwater truck accident attorney will investigate the make and model of the vehicle to determine whether there are design or manufacturing defects that may have been the full or partial cause of the accident.
This is especially important if the accident was a truck rollover or tip-over.
Improper Loading of Freight:
There are very specific guidelines for the size, weight, length, width, and height of cargo so that the weight distribution does not impact the handling of the truck.
When the cargo is not properly loaded, it can cause the driver to lose control of the truck, jackknifing or rolling it over. Improperly loaded hazardous materials can also result in explosions and/or fires.
Truck accidents often have more than one cause, such as a truck driver that’s taken amphetamines driving a vehicle with aging brakes or a driver using a cellphone that doesn’t see a stop sign that’s partially obscured by foliage.
It’s important to call an experienced Clearwater truck accident attorney as soon as possible after a crash before evidence is lost or deadlines are blown.
What Types of Injuries Are Caused By Truck Accidents?
Due to the heavyweight and heft of large trucks, the injuries from crashes are often catastrophic and life-altering. These are some of the most common injuries caused by truck accidents:
Back And Neck Injuries
These are the most common type of bodily injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents. Mild back and neck injuries can require months or years to heal, but more serious injuries can cause lifelong disability.
Sprains, strains, bulging, and herniated spinal discs are diagnosed with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) testing and usually respond well to physical therapy and chiropractic care.
If this treatment is unsuccessful, pain management techniques can reduce pain and improve function, with surgery as a last resort. Spinal cord injuries can result in temporary or permanent paralysis from the area of injury down, causing paraplegia and quadriplegia.
Head injuries should always receive immediate medical attention even if they seem minor, as symptoms do not always develop immediately.
The Center For Disease Control (CDC) defines a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a disruption of normal brain function.
It can be caused by a blow to the head or by a severe jolt without impact. These are the types of head injuries that are caused by truck accidents:
Minor burns can often heal on their own, but serious third and fourth-degree burns require long-term treatment and skin grafts.
The most serious burns can cause internal injuries that induce loss of function or sensation or even death.
Amputations can be traumatic or surgical. Traumatic amputations are when the truck accident itself causes the limb to be severed from the body.
If the severed body part is recovered in good condition, it is often possible to reattach it and restore function. Surgical amputations are required when a limb is so severely injured that it cannot be saved.
Advances in prosthetics can often restore a great deal of function when limbs have been amputated traumatically or surgically.
Internal injuries can be caused by crushing, metal parts that intrude into the body, and by other types of trauma. Some types of internal injuries have very mild symptoms, so it’s important to get medical treatment right away to rule out internal bleeding.
Lacerations And Scarring:
Sharp metal objects, broken glass, objects inside your vehicle, and being thrown into the road can cause severe lacerations and scarring. Scarring in cosmetically sensitive areas like the face can cause disfigurement that has a large impact on a person’s life and professional success.
If you’ve been seriously injured in a truck accident, it’s important to work with a top Clearwater truck accident attorney.
What Types Of Compensation Are Available For Truck Accident Victims?
There are two basic types of compensation that are available for truck accident victims: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are the quantifiable sums that have been lost due to the accident.
These are some examples of economic damages:
In addition to these quantifiable costs, victims are entitled to collect non-economic damages for:
Punitive damages may be awarded for intentional acts that are particularly heinous such as a trucking company knowingly allowing a driver to make a delivery while intoxicated.
Clearwater Truck Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, it’s important to hire a top Clearwater truck accident attorney that knows how to go the extra mile to collect a large amount of money you’re entitled to as compensation.
This begins with a thorough investigation of all the contributing causes of your accident and continues with hiring the best experts to prove your case.
It’s also important to hire a firm that will give you the attention you need during this difficult time, answering all your questions fully and making sure that all of your concerns are properly addressed.
Call Denmon Pearlman to schedule an appointment for a free consultation. No fee unless you win!
We have your back. Whatever you might be suffering from, accidents, injuries or medical malpractice, we have you covered throughout Florida
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