Many accidents involving commercial trucks and tractor-trailers result in serious injuries or fatalities due to the excessive size and weight of these vehicles. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a commercial truck, the expert truck accident attorneys at Dennis Hernandez & Associates in Tampa and Sarasota have extensive experience handling such cases and will fight to help you obtain compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and medical expenses.
Why You Need a Tampa Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck accident cases can be more complicated than accident cases involving other types of vehicles for several reasons. One factor is the number of regulations in the trucking industry, such as those established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), to which drivers and motor carriers must adhere. In addition, more than one entity may be involved and/or held responsible for the accident, including the driver of the truck, the company that owns the truck—as well as a different company that may own the trailer—or the manufacturer of truck parts or equipment.
To ensure that your rights are fully protected if you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you need attorneys who understand federal, state, and local laws, and who have experience investigating accidents involving commercial vehicles. The truck accident lawyers at Dennis Hernandez & Associates can help, whether you’ve been injured or a loved one has lost his or her life. The survivors of victims of wrongful death are eligible to hold the at-fault parties accountable for their actions that led to the death of a loved one. Our attorneys may be able to help you get the financial compensation you deserve for the emotional trauma suffered due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
It’s an unfortunate reality that negligence is one of the leading causes of personal injuries in truck collisions. Factors related to negligence may include:
- Trucks overloaded with freight
- Improperly loaded containers or trailers
- Alcohol or drug use by drivers
- Speeding or reckless driving
- Driver exhaustion
- Poorly maintained equipment
- Distracted driving
Type of Evidence Needed in Truck Accident Cases
Proving negligence is a challenge: The person who has been injured must show that the at-fault party breached a duty of care and that the breach was the foreseeable cause. This is why it is critical for your legal team to have many types of evidence for your commercial truck accident case. Although each case is unique, these types of evidence may include some or all of the following:
- The accident report filed by law enforcement
- The log books (written or electronic) kept by the truck driver
- The black box or data recorder information
- Statements from eyewitnesses who saw the accident occur and first responders who arrived after the accident
- Videos or photos of the accident scene, including all vehicles involved, injuries that were sustained, and any other pertinent factors
- Information from the trucking company, including its maintenance records, training policies, personnel records, and other information as applicable
- The injured party’s medical records and medical bills related to the accident
Checklist: What to do After a Truck Accident
Although being involved in a truck crash can be very distressing, it’s important to follow a few basic steps to help ensure that your rights will be protected:
1. Call law enforcement
Even if it does not appear that serious injuries have been sustained, an official accident report will be critical to establishing which parties may or may not be at fault.
When speaking with the police or anyone else on the scene, refrain from admitting fault for the accident. The final determination of responsibility for the accident can only be done after a complete investigation.
2. Ask witnesses for their names and contact information
Some witnesses who saw the accident happen stay on the scene only long enough to make sure that everyone is okay, while others may not have seen the accident but did witness the aftermath. In any case, try to get the names of everyone on the scene, as well as how to contact them, in case their accounts are needed to build your case.
3. Document details
If you are physically able to do so, take as many photos as possible of the vehicles involved, damage to the vehicle, the surrounding scene, and any other details that you think may be pertinent.
4. Contact an attorney immediately
Before you talk to your own insurance provider or representatives of the trucker’s insurance company, contact an attorney. Do not provide a recorded statement, or accept any settlement offers until you have consulted with an experienced truck accident lawyer.
5. Get medical attention
In addition to ensuring you or your loved ones receive proper medical care following an accident, documentation of all injuries and treatments will be needed if you pursue a personal injury case.
Even if your injuries are not severe, you should still be examined by a doctor. Some injuries, such as soft tissue or even head injuries, do not become apparent immediately, so it’s critical to have your condition assessed and documented right after the accident.
Call For Your Free Initial Truck Accident Consultation
Trucking companies have teams of defense lawyers and accident reconstruction experts who will work to minimize their liability in the case of an accident. The truck accident attorneys at Dennis Hernandez & Associates have years of experience dealing with insurance companies both in and out of court, and will help you obtain compensation for your lost wages, injuries, property damage, and pain and suffering.
The sooner a truck accident attorney represents you, the better your chances for recovery and compensation. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, call us at 813-250-0000 in Tampa or 941-210-0000 in Sarasota to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.