You may need immediate medical attention after a car accident if a semi-truck or 18-wheeler or other large truck struck you in Brandon. Accidents involving heavy commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles can leave you with high medical bills, expensive vehicle repair costs, and more. Fortunately, you may be able to get compensation to cover your losses with a truck accident case.
The team at Distasio Law Firm may be able to help you seek compensation after a collision. A Brandon truck accident lawyer could provide you with personal service while working to hold the party responsible for your accident accountable. Our well-practiced personal injury attorneys can review your legal options and next steps during a free, no-obligation consultation today.
How to Know If You Have Grounds for a Brandon Florida Truck Accident Claim
Many truck accident victims are unsure whether they have grounds for a claim. They don’t know if their injuries are severe enough to warrant legal action against the liable party. However, neither your injury nor its severity determines your right to compensation.
The impact your injuries have had on your life will make your case. With that being said, we see specific truck accident injuries more frequently in insurance and civil claims. Some of these include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
These are just a few of the more common injuries you could sustain in a Brandon semi-truck crash. However, no matter the harm you suffered, you can contact our office to learn whether you have grounds for legal action.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
- Rear-end collisions: These occur when a semi-truck collides with the vehicle in front of it.
- Rollovers: These accidents occur when a semi-truck tips over onto its side or roof, often due to speeding or overloading.
- Jackknife accidents: These occur when the trailer of a semi-truck swings out to the side, often due to sudden braking or slick road conditions.
- Underride collisions: These accidents occur when a passenger vehicle collides with the rear of a semi-truck and slides underneath the truck’s trailer.
- Blind spot accidents: These occur when a semi-truck driver fails to see a vehicle in their blind spot and collides with it while changing lanes or turning.
- Tire blowouts: These accidents occur when a semi-truck’s tire blows out, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
- Wide turns: These accidents occur when a semi-truck driver turns too widely and collides with other vehicles or objects in their path.
- Braking failures: These accidents occur when a semi-truck’s brakes fail, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
- Lost load accidents: These occur when the cargo being transported by a semi-truck is not properly secured and falls off the vehicle, causing damage and potential injury to other drivers on the road.
Questions to Ask Yourself After an Accident When Considering Filing a Claim
As you lie in your hospital bed, wondering what your next step should be, consider the following:
- Is someone else responsible for causing your accident?
- Could someone else be responsible for causing your accident?
- Have your injuries had a significant impact on your life?
- Are your injuries expected to continue to have a considerable effect on your life?
If the answers to these questions are yes, you might want to reach out to a seasoned Brandon truck accident attorney to review your case. Our team stands ready to offer you a better understanding of whether someone else’s negligence led to your injuries and whether their impact is sufficient to warrant legal action.
Possible Compensation for Semi-Truck Collisions in Brandon
Eighteen-wheelers and semi-trucks are very large vehicles, which means you may suffer serious injuries if you were involved in a truck accident in a passenger car in Brandon. They may easily crush smaller vehicles, severely injuring other drivers or passengers.
In this situation, you may face quickly rising medical costs. You could be eligible to receive compensation for your:
- Ambulance ride and emergency care
- Hospital stays and surgical procedures
- Testing and medications
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
You may also be eligible to receive compensation for your:
- Lost wages and lost earning potential
- Vehicle repair costs
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
Wrongful Death Damages
If you lost a loved one in a Brandon-area 18-wheeler wreck, one of our compassionate lawyers could help you file a wrongful death action. State law designates only certain family members to receive financial recovery for wrongful death. If you are eligible to file, you could recover damages for your loved one’s common truck accident injuries including:
- Funeral and burial services
- Pain and suffering endured before your loved one’s death
- Loss of income if your loved one contributed to the household
- Loss of companionship, mentorship
We will review your evidence, such as photos, medical records, and eyewitness statements, to document your account of the accident. We will also help you establish a case for negligence to prove that another party caused the collision.
What Happens When You Seek Compensation for Your Damages?
Securing compensation for your losses may require you to file a claim with the insurance company representing the trucker or the trucking company. In some cases, a lawyer may negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. These negotiations may lead to a settlement to cover your losses. If a settlement isn’t reached, you may also file a lawsuit in some cases in order to take your claim to court. You could be awarded a verdict in your favor in this situation.
Florida’s Statute of Limitations Governs Case Timelines
You have only a limited time to pursue legal action in your Brandon truck accident under Florida law. Per Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a), you have two years from the accident date to bring an injury lawsuit against the liable parties. If you are bringing a wrongful death action forward, you have only two years from the decedent’s death date, per Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(d).
We encourage you to reach out to us as soon as you can to get started on your case. An early start allows our diligent commercial truck crash attorneys the time to build the strongest case for you and helps ensure we can file your case within the statute of limitations in Brandon. If you miss these deadlines, you likely will lose your opportunity to seek compensation and hold the liable parties accountable.
Proving Liability for Brandon 18-Wheeler Crashes
Here at Distasio Law Firm, we believe the individual responsible for your losses should be held accountable for their actions. That is why our team focuses on providing drivers in your situation with a personal touch. We may be able to investigate what happened to determine who was at fault for your collision. Responsibility for the collision could rest on:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The company that built the truck
- The company that built parts of the truck
- The workers who loaded cargo onto the truck
We can do several things to prove liability in your case. We may visit the scene of the accident, speak with witnesses, and go over the police report to determine who caused your accident. Once we understand who was responsible for the collision, we may be able to help you field a claim or a lawsuit here in Hillsborough County. This claim may allow you to get compensation for your losses after a semi-truck collision.
What Evidence Do I Need to Win My Case?
To win your Brandon truck accident claim, your attorney must show by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant is liable for your injuries.
To do this, we will need to introduce several pieces of evidence to support your case. Some common types of evidence used to prove negligence in a Brandon truck accident claim include:
- Police and accident reports
- Safety inspection reports
- Photos of your injuries
- Medical documentation
- Video of the accident
- Blackbox data
- Cell phone records
- Chemical blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test results
- Eyewitness testimony
- Accident reconstructionist reports
- Expert testimony
How Florida Shared Fault Laws Work
Sharing fault for your truck accident injuries will not prohibit you from recovering compensation because Florida operates under a pure comparative negligence system. Under this system, you can share fault for your injuries and still collect compensation for the percentage of the accident that is not your fault.
For example, if a jury found you 15% liable because you did not wear your seatbelt, your award would be reduced by 15%, leaving you with just 85% of your truck accident injury award.
Sharing even a moderate amount of liability can dramatically affect the compensation you receive. As a result, you might want a dedicated 18-wheeler crash attorney in Brandon from Distasio Law Firm by your side, ensuring that insurance adjusters or jury members appropriately evaluate liability in your case.
Causes of Heavy Commercial Vehicle Accidents in Brandon
Highway 60 is a major trucking route, and it runs directly through the heart of Brandon. Furthermore, Interstate 4 (I-4), Interstate 75 (I-75), and Highway 301 are close by. This makes Brandon an area where truck accidents are likely to occur. For example, truckers may cause an accident if they:
- Operate their vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Speed or break other traffic laws trying to reach their destination quickly
- Drive while distracted or fatigued
- Do not properly tie down their load, allowing objects to fall off
Sometimes, accidents occur because trucks miss vehicles or pedestrians in their blind spots. Tractor-trailers and 18-wheelers have large areas where a driver cannot clearly see objects. This inability to fully register objects around the truck could lead to an accident.
Additionally, some accidents are a result of the trucking company’s negligence. For example, some companies may not perform proper maintenance on their trucks. In this situation, trucks could break down without warning, leading to a major accident.
Steps to Take After a Truck Wreck
If a tractor-trailer or 18-wheeler hit you in Hillsborough County, there are a number of steps you may want to take as quickly as possible. Depending upon your situation, it may be a good idea for you to:
- Contact law enforcement to report the accident
- Call emergency services for medical care
- Take pictures of the scene of the accident and your injuries
- Get contact information from witnesses and the driver who struck you
- Consider contacting a Brandon truck crash lawyer from Distasio Law Firm
Beware of Insurance Companies That Want to Settle Quickly
Note that insurance agents representing the trucking company may try to contact you quickly after a truck accident. These agents may even try to get you to accept a settlement offer right away. However, we do not recommend that you accept this settlement without allowing a lawyer to look it over.
We Can Handle the Insurance Company for You
In fact, in many cases, you may not want to settle your truck accident claim until you know exactly how high your medical expenses will be. You may contact a lawyer’s office to get help with handling insurance agents.
We can take over all communications with the trucking company, the truck driver, and insurance companies so that you can focus on your recovery. If you hire us to manage your case, you can refer all calls from an insurer to us. This ensures you do not say something that could jeopardize your case.
Enlist the Help of a Brandon Truck Accident Attorney
Did a truck in Brandon strike you? You could get help securing compensation for your losses by working with a Brandon truck accident lawyer from Distasio Law Firm. Reach out today to find out more about your options to get compensation. Allow us to begin going over your case right now with a free consultation. Call now to get started.