Driving on a highway alongside a commercial semi-truck or 18-wheeler can be intimidating, simply because of the enormous size difference between passenger vehicles and these massive commercial trucks. Fortunately, commercial drivers must complete extensive training in order to receive a Commercial Driver License (CDL) and are required to have a variety of certifications depending on the types of cargo they haul, the size of the vehicle, and more. In addition, there are many regulations that they must adhere to that are designed to keep them and everyone else safe on the road. The result is that commercial truck drivers are very safe most of the time, but unfortunately, even the best drivers can cause an accident as a result of mechanical failure, fatigue, and more.
If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, contact 1-800-Injured as soon as possible so that you can be connected with an attorney who can help you navigate the complex legal process necessary in order to get the money that you deserve. Commercial insurance companies are difficult to deal with, and there are a lot of additional steps that will need to be considered when determining things like the cause of the accident, fault, and therefore liability.
Read more below to get a better idea of what you can expect during a Fort Myers truck accident claims process, and contact us as soon as possible to be connected with an attorney. 1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Fort Myers
With over 15 million registered drivers in Florida, there are countless possible ways that an accident can be caused. However, the following are a few of the most common causes of accidents involving commercial trucks. Whether or not your own experience is represented below, contact 1-800-Injured as soon as possible to be connected with an attorney who can help you make sense of your situation and identify the most appropriate path towards the compensation that you are rightfully entitled to.
Commercial truckers drive an estimated 140 billion miles each year, with a single driver averaging 100,000 miles or more each year. As you can imagine, fatigue is a serious threat to the safety of drivers and those they share the road with alike. This is why there are strict regulations about the hours of service that a CDL operator is allowed to drive in any given day or week, and when they are required to rest. However, even these regulations do not guarantee that a driver avoids fatigue, much like you may be tired at work due to unrelated reasons.
A truck hauling a load is much harder to bring to a complete stop when compared to a passenger vehicle due to the enormous weight that the brakes must try to bring to a complete stop. In addition to the longer stopping distances that a speeding trucker must handle, there are additional issues with balance and gravity that can cause the truck to jackknife or roll. This is just one reason why it is important that a truck driver maintain a safe speed throughout their travels, although, like non-commercial drivers, the temptation to speed is always there.
An 18-wheeler or semi-truck is a complex piece of machinery designed to haul heavy loads over long distances safely and securely, meaning that a commercial driver has a lot that they need to pay attention to in terms of maintenance. Every commercial truck has an extensive maintenance log that will be central to the accident investigation, especially if it is suspected that the accident was the result of a mechanical failure. In some cases, mechanical failure may mean that the driver is no longer liable for your accident, and you and your attorney will need to identify the party responsible for maintaining the vehicle (if the driver is not the one who is responsible for this aspect).
Drunk or Drugged Driving
As with passenger vehicles, driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is a serious problem with commercial drivers as well, and an unsurprising contributor to many accidents across the country. Getting into an accident with a commercial driver who was drunk or on drugs is an exceptionally frustrating experience, knowing that if they had chosen to act responsibly you would have avoided the serious injuries that you are now suffering, but your attorney will fight to get you what you deserve.
As with all other drivers, fighting against distraction can sometimes be a losing battle. Text message notifications, app alerts, GPS units, radios, and more can all lead to dangerous distractions that could ultimately lead to a serious accident. Unfortunately, when a truck driver decides to engage with these distractions the risk is even higher of causing a catastrophic accident due to how large their vehicle is, how heavy the loads are that they haul, and more.
Why You Need a Personal Injury Attorney After a Fort Myers Truck Accident
After an accident, thinking about how you are going to find an attorney to take your case is understandably low on your list. However, it is an extremely important step that you will need to take so that you can make sure you get the money you deserve. The following are just a few of the many reasons why a lawyer is an essential partner through this process.
Insurance companies have tried and true methods of handling claims in a way that limits the amount paid out to the victim, and therefore saving money for the insurance company. Remember that an insurance company is a business with the goal of making money, and paying the full amount that a victim deserves after an accident is a terrible business model. You will need to fight to get what you are entitled to, and your attorney has years of experience bringing this fight to the insurance companies.
Once the insurance company concludes the claims investigation, you will be shocked at how low your initial settlement offer is, especially when compared to the amount that your attorney has calculated. The next step is to undergo a series of negotiations with the hope of closing this gap while also managing to avoid a trial. Trying to handle your own negotiations, especially for highly-specific line items that the insurance company will try to deny, can feel nearly impossible without extensive understanding of these damages and how to negotiate for them appropriately.
In addition to the technical understanding that your attorney has, your attorney will be able to take on the stress of this process so that you can focus on your recovery. Studies show that stress has significant negative impacts on wound recovery, and trying to negotiate with an insurance company is extremely stressful. By hiring an attorney to buffer you from these stressors, you can focus on your own personal needs with the confidence that there is a professional who is fighting on your behalf.