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Truck Accident Lawyers Ready to Fight for You

Tampa truck accident lawyer

When you are involved in an auto accident with a commercial truck, the trucking business will spring into action and send injury attorneys to the scene right away.

Why?

Because these attorneys are there to protect the trucking company’s bottom line. Meanwhile, no one is looking out for you!

Tractor-trailer accidents are complex and require swift action. The experienced Tampa truck accident attorneys at Denmon Pearlman have the resources and knowledge to protect you and get justice. At Denmon Pearlman, you’ll find the best Tampa truck accident lawyer and get an advocate to defend you against truck drivers of large commercial trucks and the insurance company.

Tampa Truck Accident Lawyers

Top Ten Truck Accident Factors

A Florida truck accident can occur for many reasons. According to The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), brake issues, congestion, and backed-up traffic or traffic flow interruptions are the most common reasons. Prescription drug use, OTC drug abuse, speeding, and unfamiliarity with the roadway, or roadway problems are also key reasons. Fatigue, inadequate surveillance, crosswalks, or other requirements to stop also make the top ten list.

Human error is the general cause of vehicle accidents. If your accident happened due to a negligent truck driver, you might be due compensation for severe injuries, lost wages, financial losses, and more. Call the experienced lawyers at Denmon Pearlman and request a free case review immediately. 

Learn more about Florida’s distracted driving laws here.

How long do I have to file a truck accident lawsuit in Tampa?

If you were involved in an accident with a commercial driver or truck, don’t wait to seek legal representation. According to Florida laws, accident victims have only four years to file the case. This limitation period starts immediately after the first accident that occurred.

A truck accident claim can begin as soon as the accident occurs. Call the authorities to file a police report and call an experienced law firm for a free consultation. At Denmon Pearlman, we’ve helped hundreds of clients navigate commercial vehicle accidents and get fair compensation for their cases.

Our team works quickly to begin collecting evidence and investigating. Our experienced team will look at police records and reports, the accident scene, insurance policies, medical records, and more during your case.

Deadlines In A Tampa Truck Accident Case (Why We File Suit Quickly)

Don’t wait to file a claim. Below are just two reasons why moving quickly after the accident occurred is the right move.

Truck Log Records

Trucking regulations say that trucking companies should keep logbooks for six months. However, the truck driver only has to keep theirs for seven days, which means that a delay in filing a suit could lead to the loss of incriminating evidence.

Florida Statute of Limitations

You must file a lawsuit for a trucking claim brought in Tampa, Florida, within four years of the date of the accident. 

Cases take time to pursue between collecting evidence at the accident scene, reviewing the auto insurance policy (or policies), treating the injured victim, and more. This time may be extended if a severe injury occurs, and future medical expenses may need to be included for things like traumatic brain injury or neck injuries. Get started with a legal team as soon as possible so your law firm can get to work on your behalf!

How A Tampa Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You After Your Accident

 If you’ve never had an attorney-client relationship, you may be wondering how taking legal action can help. In personal injury cases, you need someone on your side to help you get a fair settlement. From determining at-fault parties (and whether there was more than one party) to getting compensation for common injuries and necessary medical care, personal injury lawsuits require the expertise of personal injury lawyers, like the Tampa, Florida team at Denmon Pearlman.

Below are a few specific ways our Florida attorneys can help you after car accidents in Tampa, FL.

Identify All Lines of Insurance Coverage

Truck accident cases typically deal with multiple insurance coverages. A truck accident lawyer will find the applicable insurance and obtain policy documents. In certain interstate trucking cases, case law allows us to “impute” additional coverage that was not purchased!

In many legal compensation cases, the amount the guilty party can pay influences the settlements (or how much compensation you will receive). The good news is the truck owner (many times, companies are truck owners) must legally carry insurance.

Hire Truck Accident Reconstruction and Other Experts

The right expert will build a truck accident case. And sometimes, that means we will enlist the help of accident reconstruction experts who will assess everything from skid marks to evidence at the scene. Accident deconstructionists are especially helpful when the liable parties deny some or all liability. These experts can give opinions on the speeds during the accident and more.

Whether defective tires caused your accident or multiple parties were at fault, we are the go-to firm for personal injury claims and can help you get the financial recovery you deserve.

Go On Fact-Finding Mission

The facts are the key to a personal injury lawsuit that involves commercial vehicles. Every trucking accident lawyer needs to get the FACTS on the items listed below. And at Denmon Pearlman, that’s precisely what our truck accident attorney will do on your behalf.

  • Ownership of the tractor and trailer, truck manufacturer
  • Driver state (factors might include exhaustion, prior accident record, training)
  • Property damage that occurred (was this a rollover accident, a fender bender, etc.)
  • Client Injuries (were there severe injuries and medical expenses involved)
  • Speed of the vehicles (both the passenger vehicles and semi-trucks)
  • The roadway condition
  • And more!

“Follow The Trail” To Hold Everyone Accountable

Trucking accidents are unique because the number of players involved may have contributed to the collision. And it’s up to the Tampa Truck accident attorney to investigate each one. Potential parties often include:

  • The company that owns the tractor
  • The driver of the tractor
  • The supervisor of the driver of the tractor
  • The shipping broker
  • The owner of the trailer
  • The owner of the “box” on the trailer

Coordinate Medical Treatment

Our Tampa truck accident lawyers recommend that you always seek medical treatment after an accident, especially one involving a commercial vehicle. Seeking medical treatment offers multiple things:

  • Helps heal injuries so you can increase the chances of getting better!
  • Manages pain
  • Creates a historical record of pain and trauma
  • Defines past medical bills
  • Outlines future treatment plans for pain management

The truck accident attorney is a liaison with the medical doctor’s office. They track medical treatment and learn about the client’s injuries from the treating doctors.

Settle Truck Accident Case or Take To Trial

Most importantly, the semi-tractor attorney will resolve the claim for the client. We call this civil justice: securing money to represent the value of what was taken from the injured client!

Accident lawyer Tampa handling Truck Accident Case

Common Cause of Truck Accidents

We covered the shortlist above. Below is how each factor can impact an accident and, ultimately, your personal injury protection (PIP) in Tampa, FL.re

Driver Error

Truck drivers are responsible for most accidents involving trucks in the United States. Although FMCSA regulations are strict, they are not always followed. Truckers might sometimes violate laws regarding safety, leading to accidents. Examples include aggressive driving, not performing inspections, and breaking road traffic laws. A common cause is driver fatigue.

Company Error

Many trucking companies are usually out to make as much money as possible. Sometimes this can encourage them to cut corners and act negligently, including failing to maintain the fleet, monitor their drivers, and even hire not sufficiently qualified drivers. Some might even actively encourage unsafe driving among the drivers they employ.

Cargo Loader Error

A truck must be correctly loaded to be safe and avoid accidents. Overloading is one safety hazard, while under-loading liquids can also be dangerous in tanker trailers.

Semi Driver Fatigue

The most common problem is driver fatigue. This issue contributes to thousands of truck driving accidents a year and is so severe that Federal regulations govern:

  • How long a driver can be on the road in a given stretch
  • How much time the driver must take off in between shifts, and
  • How many hours the driver can log in a given week or a day. 

According to Federal law, the driver can drive only 11 hours out of 14 hours shifts and once he hits the 11-hour limit, he must take 10 consecutive hours break. He can do other stuff during that break but he is not allowed to drive a commercial truck on a public road.

Injuries in Truck Crashes

Just like a car accident, a person injured in a truck crash through no fault of their own is entitled to recover money damages.

Tampa truck accident victims can seek money damages for the following:

  • Medical bills and future medical care
  • Lost wages
  • Surgery and other medical treatment
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental and emotional anguish
  • Disfigurement and permanent scarring
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Who Is Liable For Semi-Truck Accidents

At the core of personal injury law is determining fault by identifying who is responsible for the truck accident and the injuries caused to the accident victim.

  • The Tractor Owner: Florida’s “dangerous instrumentality” doctrine holds the owner of vehicles responsible for damage caused by a permissive user. That means the tractor owner will be held accountable for the truck driver’s negligence.
  • The At-Fault Driver: Naturally, a negligent driver is responsible for any injuries caused by their negligence. Everyday negligent actions by the lousy driver include speeding, rear-ending, jackknifing, making dangerous U-turns, making improper left turns, falling asleep at the wheel, driving tired, and more. 
  • The Company: Under the doctrine of Respondent Superior, a company is held responsible for negligent actions of its employees when they are operating on the job.
  • The Broker-Shipper: Sometimes, we see trucks with too much (unsafe) cargo carried in the box. This can cause issues with the truck’s performance, such as slow stopping speeds. The broker shipper can be held liable for contributing to a truck accident in this manner.
  • The Trailer Owner:  Trailer owners must be responsible for making sure the placards and stickers on the side of the trailer are visible and able to reflect light. That way, other drivers on the road can see the trailer and break when needed. Federal Statute governs these placards and reflective tape. Read section 316.0895 for more on the motor vehicle or trailer towing and driving regulations. 

A Tampa accident lawyer will spend significant time at the case’s onset to ensure all responsible players are involved.

The more players, the more insurance companies are involved. The more insurance policies, the more coverage that could be used to pay money for damages to an injured motorist.

Insurance and Truck Accident Claims

The insurance industry is the backbone of our tort system. Motor vehicle drivers use insurance to pool the risk if a driver is negligent and causes injury to another. Trucking cases are no different.

Semi-truck injury lawyers want to find all of the insurances that companies might use to get justice for your claim. The attorney needs to use tools in Florida Statutes to compel the insurance companies to provide full and fair disclosure.

Luckily, Federal Law mandates that interstate trucks carry a minimum of $750,000 in insurance if they weigh more than 10,001 pounds. If they weigh less than that, their minimum is $300,000. This is a legal requirement in the state of Florida. Insurance can be “imputed” on trucking carriers to create additional coverage in specific scenarios.

Damages in Truck Accident Claims

The losses that you have incurred from an accident will fall into three main categories:

Tampa Truck Accident Economic Damage

Economic

Economic damages are calculated as the financial costs the accident has caused you, including items such as the wages that you will lose due to being unable to work. For truck drivers not operating as independent contractors, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation (read section 440.09). Medical bills are also taken into account when deciding on settlements. This part of the settlement is generally not to compensate the victim (or you) directly but to compensate third parties such as any involved insurance company and medical providers who will typically be paid directly.

Truck Accident Punitive Damages

Punitive Damages

In some trucking accident cases, you can collect punitive damages, which is when the other driver’s actions were willful, malicious, or intentional. 

Non-Economic Damages

Non-Economic

Any motor vehicle accident is likely to be physically and emotionally traumatic. Non-economic settlements look to compensate the victims for the pain and suffering they have experienced from the accident. Victims are also compensated for any loss of enjoyment in life, such as no longer participating in activities due to injuries or emotional trauma.

Your liability in the truck accident will also need to be assessed. Often, both parties can be at fault for an accident to an extent. The degree to which each party is at fault will influence any settlement.

Rear ended Tampa, Florida truck accident

Types Of Truck Accidents We Handle

Negligence: The most common cause or type of lawsuit in a trucking accident case is a negligence lawsuit where the driver had a duty of care to the injured party to drive reasonably on the roadways and didn’t do that.

Negligent Entrustment: Similarly, our truck accident lawyers bring negligent entrustment claims against the trucking company. These are cases where the driver may have a history of wrongdoing, driving without getting enough sleep, or even driving on a suspended license. Therefore, the company that hired the driver should not have entrusted such a dangerous commercial vehicle.

Wrongful Death: An unfortunate trucking lawsuit involves wrongful death. Florida has specific laws regarding filing lawsuits after a death resulting from someone else’s negligence. We call these wrongful death actions or lawsuits.

Product Liability: Defective products like blown-out tires can cause catastrophic injuries. We bring these actions against the product manufacturer instead of just bringing the action against the driver of the vehicle or the trucking company’s owner. We call these product liability claims.

Jackknifing: Articulated trucks consist of two main parts: the trailer and the vehicle in front that tows the trailer. In some instances, if the towing vehicle skids on the road surface, the trailer can push from behind. This pushing can cause the towing vehicle to spin, leaving it facing backward. This maneuver is a jackknife and is a common cause of truck accidents.

Rear-End Collisions: Trucks are huge and more complicated to handle than smaller vehicles. They can also take a lot longer to stop than other vehicles because they are so heavy. Rear-end accidents happen when the truck drives into the back of another vehicle. They can also be caused by erratic driving from the drivers in front of the truck or the truck driver.

Contact a Tampa Truck Accident Attorney Now

Christian Denmon, our lead Tampa trucking accident lawyer, has settled trucking accident cases for seven figures and has litigated against truck companies from Wal-Mart (Swift) to CSX. A National Trial Lawyer “Top 40 Under 40” attorney and “Super Lawyer,” he leverages his know-how to make life-changing settlements happen for his client.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an 18-wheeler truck accident in Tampa, FL, you may have a case. We can help you get the compensation you deserve on a contingency fee basis. Get started with a free case evaluation. 

In 2022, we are entirely digital and can handle the entire case with you using your iPhone. Call us at 813-553-3232 to get started today.

Let’s get in touch!

The initial consultation is absolutely FREE

Denmon Pearlman

Law

Tampa Office
2504 W Crest Ave
Tampa, FL 33614

(813) 694-4130

Denmon Pearlman

Law

St. Petersburg Office
520 2nd Ave South
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701

(727) 308-5159

Denmon Pearlman

Law

New Port Richey Office
5703 Main Street
New Port Richey, Florida 34652

(727) 853-6404