Trucks frequently travel through and to Ocala, delivering products and other loads to help keep our city moving. However, these trucks also present unique hazards to other drivers on the road.
Commercial trucks, also known as big-rigs, tractor-trailers, and many other names, weigh significantly more than your family sedan. When a vehicle this size slams into you, even at slow speeds, the results can prove catastrophic. Get the help you deserve by speaking with an experienced Ocala truck accident attorney today.
We Get Results
The experienced legal team at Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A., has experience fighting for Florida’s injured for over 35 years. With hundreds of millions of dollars won for our clients, we can help you pursue compensation for your injuries through aggressive negotiations with the insurance company or by taking your case to trial.
While past success never guarantees future results, knowing that you have a lawyer with proven results and resources as your legal advocate can give you peace of mind. We have the skill and resources needed to work to hold the negligent party liable for your Ocala truck accident.
Factors Leading to Truck Accidents
Many different reasons exist as to why truck accidents happen. According to a study by the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 90 percent of all traffic accidents result from some form of human error. This does not always mean that the driver bears total liability, though many cases involve at-fault drivers. You should remain aware of potential human error that could have caused your accident and injuries following any truck accident.
Truck drivers face tight deadlines and may try to exceed the speed limit to get to their destinations on time. Unfortunately, this can lead to serious injuries because trucks take much longer to slow down. If a driver hits the brakes too quickly, it can even lead to a jackknife, which often results in fatalities. When speeding causes a truck crash, the driver likely bears liability for the accident.
While the truck driver may feel pressured to meet a tight deadline, ultimately, the driver decides to drive through the night or to violate regulations and drive more hours than allowed in a day. Drowsy driving can have tragic consequences. Not getting enough sleep and not sleeping at all can have similar effects to driving drunk. With a driver’s slowed reaction time, it’s more likely that an accident will occur.
Not only does drunk driving constitute a criminal act, but also the decision to get behind the wheel after having too much to drink can prove deadly. When drivers have control of a massive commercial vehicle, they have a responsibility to everyone else on the road to ensure that they drive and handle such an enormous truck safely. If the trucker chooses to drive while drunk, the driver has failed in his or her duty to everyone else and may bear liability for any resulting truck accident.
Younger and newer truck drivers often lack the experience and training of more seasoned drivers. If a driver makes a mistake that results in an accident, he or she could bear liability for the crash. If the driver didn’t receive proper training, his or her employer may also hold liability.
Brakes that fail to stop the truck before impact constitute a common cause of truck accidents. If a driver hits the brakes, he or she may have done everything right. However, someone other than the driver could constitute the reason for the accident. In this case, possibly a maintenance company that failed to install the brakes correctly.
Poor weather and construction can also play a role in truck accidents. Drivers may do everything by the book and still get into an accident. During bad weather, such as a summer afternoon thunderstorm, trucks can hydroplane. This makes it very difficult to control the vehicle and can often result in accidents.
Who May Bear Liability for Your Truck Accident
The above factors that play into a truck accident can help us determine who might hold liability for your crash. In most cases, some level of human error will play a role.
After any accident on the road, the driver constitutes the most obvious place to look for a liable party. In this case, look at the truck driver. If he or she did something wrong or drove negligently, the trucker may hold liability for your accident. For example, if the trucker sped down I-75 during a thunderstorm and crashed, the speeding trucker may bear liability for your injuries.
Another potential source of liability for your truck accident could include the trucking company. A truck company often owns the truck or the trailer. If the trucker failed to maintain the vehicle and keep it safe for use on the road, he or she may bear liability for your accident in addition to the driver.
Truck Driver’s Employer
Many truck drivers work as independent contractors, but many also work for a trucking company as an employee. If the truck driver caused an accident while on the job, the trucker’s employer may also bear liability for your accident. A truck driver’s employer must conduct a thorough background screening and qualifications check to ensure that the driver can perform the job.
If the company failed to review the driver’s background or did not provide adequate training when hiring the truck driver, the employer may bear liability for your accident, too.
Trucks consist up of thousands of parts, many of which come from different sources. The manufacturer has a responsibility to inspect those parts and assemble them into safe vehicles. Sometimes, however, the installation goes wrong but goes unnoticed until an accident happens.
That’s part of what makes truck accidents so complex, it can prove challenging to narrow down the specific cause of this type of accident. That’s an important reason to partner with a skilled truck accident lawyer in Ocala who can help you get to the root cause of your truck crash.
Some larger truck companies have their own mechanics to work on their fleet of vehicles. Other companies, however, may use a maintenance company to service their trucks for them. If a maintenance company does not properly maintain a truck or does not fix an issue correctly, that company could bear responsibility for your accident, as well.
Parts manufacturers could also bear liability if your truck crash resulted from a defective part. Before a part leaves the factory, it must undergo testing to ensure it works as intended. If the manufacturer didn’t do this or didn’t discover a defect, the manufacturer could bear liability for your accident.
Conducting a Truck Accident Investigation
Any of the above parties could bear liability for your accident along with another. Often, more than one cause of a truck accident exists, and that’s why it’s vital to conduct a thorough investigation. With the right legal team at your side, your lawyer may have connections to truck accident reconstruction experts who have experience turning over every stone to find the exact cause of your accident.
Because so many potential sources of liability exist, a semi-truck accident requires a meticulous investigation. Much like an airplane, a truck has a black box that records detailed information about the operational systems right before an accident. This constitutes a great place for any accident investigator to start looking. The black box can lead investigators to other clues.
You may also need an accident reconstructionist to review the vehicles involved in the accident, especially the truck. Skilled investigators can locate a cause of an accident by reviewing the wreckage in detail.
A truck accident investigation constitutes a crucial step toward figuring out the precise cause of your accident. This information will help your legal team file claims against the negligent parties, but many lawyers skip this step because it’s extremely costly and time-consuming. We wonder how you can determine liability without conducting a thorough investigation of the accident and collecting vital evidence.
You must partner with a legal team with experience managing complex truck accident cases. Your lawyer should have relationships with truck accident investigation experts who can work to determine who bears responsibility for your accident and injuries. The sheer number of different parties who could bear liability makes this complex but also necessary.
Once your legal team has determined which party or parties bear responsibility for your truck accident, it’s time to work toward getting you maximum compensation. The last thing you’re thinking about after a tragic truck accident is a lawsuit, but you need a trusted legal advisor guiding you, who can help collect the evidence necessary to get you the money you need so that you can avoid paying out of pocket for your medical expenses.
Truck accident injuries often prove severe and life-altering. Many accident victims become unable to work and participate in life events like they could before the accident. You may qualify for compensation to cover all of these losses through a personal injury claim.
Your lawyer may fight to try and get you compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost income
- Lost earning potential
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Present and future medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may require ongoing medical care for the rest of your life. This often proves a costly endeavor. Even concussions, a common truck accident injury, can result in millions of dollars in lifetime medical care for the victim. This staggering amount of medical expenses can bankrupt people.
Avoiding that tragic situation of financial hardship will help you get better. When you don’t have to worry about how you pay your bills, then you can focus all of your effort and energy on your health and well-being. That’s why it’s crucial to partner with an experienced Ocala truck accident attorney who can help you get the compensation you need so you can focus on your recovery.
A lawyer can help you in two main ways:
Filing a claim against the at-fault truck driver’s insurance company constitutes one way to get compensation. However, the insurance company will try to avoid paying out the full value of your claim. The company wants to make as much money as possible and paying out your claim, which may amount to millions of dollars, would hurt the company’s bottom line. An aggressive legal team fighting for you, however, can negotiate with the insurance company to get you more money and keep you out of financial hardship.
Personal Injury Claims
When your lawyer begins negotiating with the insurance company, he or she will also begin the process of filing a personal injury claim. Because certain time limits apply to these claims, your lawyer may need to file a personal injury claim and conduct settlement negotiations at the same time.
Your attorney may put every effort into settling your claim outside of court, but may only want to do so if the insurance company seems willing to settle for a fair and reasonable amount. Other times, you may need to file a personal injury claim to get maximum compensation.
Speak With an Aggressive Ocala Truck Accident Lawyer Today
The lawyer you choose for your Ocala truck accident injury claim can make a difference in your ability to collect maximum compensation. Your truck accident injuries may prove severe and require costly medical procedures. You do not need to worry about paying these bills.
Partner with a trusted and experienced Ocala truck accident lawyer today. Contact Steven A. Bagen & Associations, P.A., today at (800) BAGEN LAW to learn more about how we can help you pursue maximum compensation so that you don’t pay a penny out of your own pocket for your medical care.