Getting into any kind of motor vehicle accident can be a terrifying and dangerous experience, but if you are in a passenger vehicle and are in an accident with a commercial truck, the results can be much worse at speeds that would be a fender bender or minor collision between two like-sized vehicles. This is one of the many reasons why commercial truck drivers are held to strict licensing standards, with much more training and certification necessary than a passenger vehicle license or motorcycle license.
No amount of testing or licensing requirements can guarantee that a driver will never be involved in an accident, nor can it predict whether or not the driver will ever cause an accident. Truck drivers, while highly qualified, cause accidents as well. If you are in an accident with a commercial vehicle, the process of getting the money that you deserve can be complex, and trying to go through the process alone is overwhelming.
Find a Truck Accident Lawyer in Sarasota Today
Instead of trying to take on a commercial insurance company alone, especially at the same time that you are trying to recover from serious injuries, you can hire a personal injury attorney instead. However, trying to find an attorney to take your case can seem like a daunting task, especially when there are so many things you NEED to do during this difficult time. Too often, people go through the claims process alone and walk away with much less money than they truly deserve.
1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service. Instead of trying to find a lawyer on your own while you are trying to make sense of your situation and get your life back on track, let us find an attorney for you. Simply contact us now so that we can learn about your accident, and be connected with an experienced attorney in Sarasota who is ready to help you fight for a settlement after your truck accident.
Read more below about truck accidents, and contact us now to connect with a Sarasota truck accident attorney as soon as possible.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Sarasota
Like all accidents, there are a seemingly infinite number of ways that a truck accident can happen. The following are just a few examples of common causes of accidents in Sarasota, but whether or not the cause of your accident is listed here, contact us now to connect with an attorney today.
We have all been tired at work, but falling asleep behind the wheel of a massive 18-wheeler or semi-truck is much more dangerous than nodding off at a computer. Drivers have strict hours of service set out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that they must adhere to, but even these guidelines are unable to guarantee that a driver will never be fatigued while driving.
Drunk or Drugged Driving
CDL drivers are restricted to a .04 BAC while operating a commercial vehicle, instead of the standard .08 BAC allowed for passenger vehicle operators over the age of 21. As with passenger vehicle drivers, there is a strict zero-tolerance limit for any other mind-altering substances, but whether the driver is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, the decision to drive while intoxicated is a serious issue.
Texting and Driving
Texting while operating any motor vehicle is extremely dangerous, and when the vehicle is a massive semi-truck with a fully loaded trailer, the consequences can be catastrophic. When looking at a screen, a driver misses important information that helps them keep everyone on the road safe, and can travel the length of a football field every 3 seconds on a highway. This is an alarming distance to travel before realizing a car has changed lanes or traffic has slowed down in front of you.
Determining Fault After a Truck Accident in Sarasota
Commercial drivers are required to maintain extensive records of their travels, including the weight of the cargo they are carrying, the hours they have operated the maintenance schedule of the vehicle, and much more. Each of these pieces of information can help you determine if there were factors present that could have increased the risk of an accident, but it will help to have an experienced truck accident lawyer review all of this information.
In addition to the available documentation, there are a variety of other ways to determine fault such as the accident report that a police officer makes out, whether or not there were any citations issued at the scene, eyewitness statements, and of course, the information provided by both you and the truck driver. Some accidents can be much more clear than others when determining fault.
Florida uses a rule known as pure comparative negligence when assigning fault in an accident, which allows for multiple drivers—including the victim—to accept a portion of fault and still be able to receive a settlement. This works by reducing the amount of the settlement proportionate the percent of fault assigned to the victim: for example, if you accept 10% of the fault for an accident with $100,000 of damages, your final payment will be reduced by $10,000 (10% of the total damages) for a final settlement of $90,000.
Calculating Damages After a Truck Accident in Sarasota
Commercial truck drivers carry commercial insurance policies that often exceed $1 million liability limits, but this does not mean that it will be easier to get the money you deserve. Compensatory damages (the damages that you will seek during your claims negotiations or with a personal injury lawsuit) are divided into two types: economic and non-economic. Each seeks compensation for specific losses, but each has a very different method of calculating.
Economic damages are those that have specific dollar values associated with them, like medical bills and lost wages. Anything that you and your attorney can produce a receipt, invoice, or income statement for – and clearly connect to your accident — counts as economic damage, and you deserve compensation for your losses.
Non-economic damages are more complicated than economic damages, simply because they seek compensation for damages that do not have dollar values. These types of damages are things like the pain and suffering of your accident, and the emotional impacts of such a traumatic experience. Your attorney will be able to choose the most effective manner to calculate these damages so that you get the money you are entitled to.