The catastrophic nature of injuries tied to large truck or commercial vehicle accidents means these crashes are almost always life-altering. If you’re looking at a long recovery and need help recovering fair compensation because you were injured in a truck accident, contact a Lakeland truck crash lawyer.
The massive size of an 18-wheeler makes sharing the road with one particularly risky. Tens of thousands of pounds of steel and cargo are sure to do serious damage in the event of a collision. This is why the regulations surrounding the safety and security of commercial trucks are so stringent.
When these guidelines and policies are overlooked or ignored, the risk of injury dramatically increases. And this carelessness often ends in tragedy. Speak with a Lakeland truck accident lawyer at Lopez & Humphries, PA for more information on how to hold these negligent parties accountable for their poor conduct after your truck crash.
Injuries Common in Lakeland 18-Wheeler Crashes
Some of the most dire injuries of all motor vehicle collisions occur in trucking accidents. When an accident victim is forced to deal with the consequences of a serious injury, a lengthy recovery process usually follows. The most common injuries we see in Lakeland truck crashes include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Broken bones
- Organ failure
- Third-degree burns
Serious brain injury victims, for instance, often require years of physical therapy to relearn how to walk, feed themselves, express their emotions, and be able to support themselves overall without the assistance of a home health aide. In some cases, the injuries are so critical that this just isn’t feasible, and the victim will require twenty-four-hour care for the rest of his or her life.
Less understood but equally impactful are the mental effects of an accident this severe. Post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions can all develop after an incident as traumatic as an 18-wheeler crash.
Finding Who’s at Fault for Your Lakeland Semi-Truck Crash
The operation of an 18-wheeler involves several workers and companies. Anyone involved in the care, safety, or maintenance of the vehicle can be found liable for your injuries if they failed to carry out the responsibilities of their position in an appropriate manner.
When the Truck Driver Is at Fault
For instance, the truck driver is usually the first to be blamed for a Lakeland truck accident. This is because it’s up to him or her to ensure the safety of the vehicle while it’s in motion. When a driver has been acting aggressively by speeding, following too closely, or changing lanes without signaling, he or she is putting those sharing the road at risk of injury.
Likewise, engaging in distracted driving—when the trucker’s attention is focused on something like a cell phone, GPS system, or radio station—can result in severe injuries and fatalities for other drivers.
Other ways a trucker could be found liable could be if he or she was operating the vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which could also end in the revocation of his or her commercial drivers license, in addition to criminal charges.
When a Company Is to Blame
Driving while fatigued can fall on the truck company that employs the drowsy truck driver. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires truck drivers to have a minimum number of days off between shifts, as well as a maximum number of hours they can work for each shift (usually twelve hours). When a trucking company ignores these regulations and overworks employees, accidents involving fatigued driving occur.
In addition, the cargo loaders, maintenance technicians, and vehicle parts manufacturers could all hold blame for your Lakeland semi-truck wreck. Each of these entities is obligated to ensure the physical safety of the truck.
When a cargo loader fails to secure the load or a maintenance tech or parts manufacturer installs faulty, malfunctioning, or recalled parts, the big rig is no longer safe—no matter how safely the trucker drives.
Those involved in the care, operation, and safety of an 18-wheeler should be held to a higher standard than those who drive a smaller automobile simply because of the potential for devastation if the truck is involved in a collision. When this standard isn’t met, each and every party who played a role in your injuries should be responsible for compensating you.
The Compensation You Deserve
When we begin the process of seeking compensation for your losses, we will first establish the value of your claim. This includes placing a measurable monetary figure on your suffering. It will be of utmost importance that we consider not just your out-of-pocket expenses, but also losses that are not financial in nature.
The negligent party should always be compelled to cover your monetary expenses. These are usually areas like your medical expenses, lost wages, and damage to your future earning potential. Medical expenses should be covered in their entirety, from hospital bills and copays to medical equipment and transportation costs.
Next, your truck accident lawyer in Lakeland will examine what’s called non-economic damages, including the impact on your enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium. The hope is to obtain compensation for every area of your life that has been negatively impacted by this accident.
In circumstances in which the judge determines that the behavior of the defendant was willful or malicious in nature, he or she may also choose to award you punitive damages to make an example of the liable party in the hope of preventing similar decisions in the future.
Speak with a Lakeland Semi-Truck Accident Attorney
If you’ve been the victim of a commercial trucking accident and are ready to take charge of this unfortunate situation, contact a lawyer at Lopez & Humphries, PA today. We’ll do everything we can to make sure you’re fully compensated for your damages so you can recover without undue worry.
You can schedule a free, no-obligation claim evaluation with a Lakeland truck accident lawyer by filling out our quick contact form below or giving us a call at (863) 774-3573.
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Lakeland Truck Accident FAQ
Do I still have a case if the truck was from another state?
Just because a tractor-trailer is from another state doesn’t mean you lose your opportunity to file a claim. As long as the truck accident occurred within the state of Florida, we can hold the liable party responsible for his or her negligence.
I’m not sure I can afford an attorney. How much does hiring one cost?
We work on an attorney contingency fee. What this means is that, before we begin building your case, we come to an agreement about the percentage of your winnings you will pay to us. In exchange, we will work on your case free of charge unless or until we are able to win your claim.
I feel fine. Do I really need to go to the hospital?
It’s wise to seek medical attention after a truck crash, even if you feel fine. For one, not all injuries are visible. You could have internal bleeding, organ damage, or even a concussion. It will also be helpful to your case that we document your need for medical attention immediately following your truck collision.