If you've been involved in a truck accident in Hialeah, you may be facing significant challenges and injuries and seeking legal guidance. A truck accident lawyer specializes in handling cases related to truck accidents and can provide the expertise and support you need during this difficult time.
Nowadays, there are a wide variety of trucks, many of which are used by businesses as commercial transportation vehicles. They form a large number in the U.S. National vehicle fleet, and due to their size and mass, these vehicles can generate fatal accidents if drivers don’t operate them properly.
South Florida has an estimated population above 9.4 million people; their busy roads have been the scenario of hundreds of thousands of accidents each year. An alarming figure that does not stop increasing is leaving millions of people struggling, fighting for their lives, or with serious consequences.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can occur due to various factors, and understanding the common causes is crucial. Some common causes of truck accidents include:
Driver fatigue: Truck drivers often work long hours. It is known that a commercial truck driver can work up to 12 hours a day and have to drive significantly long distances in a short amount of time, leading to fatigue and reduced alertness on the road.
Distracted driving: Texting, talking on the phone, or engaging in other distractions while driving can significantly increase the risk of accidents. It only takes 1 second of distraction, and depending on the speed they are driving, that can cause devastating accidents.
Improper maintenance: Neglected truck maintenance, such as faulty brakes or worn-out tires, can contribute to accidents. It is common sense that such massive vehicles will need to have a rigorous maintenance schedule. Failing to do so will be considered as negligence.
Speeding: Exceeding the speed limit is a leading cause of accidents, as it reduces the driver's ability to react to unexpected situations. Also, even if they are driving under the speed limit of certain highways, if the weather conditions are adverse, like heavy rain or snow storms, it would be prudent to decrease the speed of the vehicle.
Impaired driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is dangerous for any driver, including truck drivers. It is prohibited to drive with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) of 0.08, and in Florida, there is a zero-tolerance.
Improperly loaded cargo: Commercial trucks need to be packed properly; if there is an imbalance, it may cause a serious accident that can take the lives of multiple people on the road. Large trucks that are carrying logs, or construction materials, must be supervised by a professional to ensure safe transportation.
Inexperienced truck drivers: As heavy vehicles, large trucks like 18-wheeler tractor-trailer trucks MUST be driven by certified people, who know how to handle these heavy machines, to avoid accidents when they are turning in an intersection, and they must know where they can circulate.
Types of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can occur in various forms, and understanding the different types can help establish liability and determine the appropriate legal course of action. Some common types of truck accidents include:
Rear-end collisions: These occur when a truck strikes the vehicle in front due to following too closely or failing to stop in time. If there is a small vehicle in front of a large truck, most likely, this vehicle will not be seen by the truck driver. Large trucks have a disadvantage, and it is that there are many blindspots and drivers must know which positions are endangering them when they find these giant trucks on the highways.
Jackknife accidents: In these accidents, the truck's trailer swings out to the side, forming an angle with the cab, resembling a partially folded jackknife. Jackknife accidents typically happen when the trailer skids or loses traction while the truck's cab continues to move forward. As a result, the trailer swings out to one side, forming a V-shape with the truck.
The speed added to bad weather conditions may lead to this type of accident, which is why it is always recommended to slow down when adverse weather is present.
Rollover accidents: Trucks are more prone to rollovers due to their high center of gravity. This type of accident can be particularly dangerous for other vehicles on the road. The heavy loads moved by the inertia can easily unbalance and contribute to the truck rollover.
All other drivers, especially those who drive light vehicles like sedans and motorcycles, must be alert and keep their distance when they find a large truck. A truck accident is unpredictable.
Underride accidents: When a smaller vehicle collides with the rear or side of a truck and ends up sliding underneath it, it's known as an underride accident. Distracted drivers are, most of the time, the victims of this type of accident which can be fatal. If there is a victim that survived an underride accident, it is a complete miracle, although they will probably have serious injuries that can shorten their quality of life.
Common Injuries from Truck Accidents
Truck accidents often result in severe injuries due to the size and weight disparity between trucks and other vehicles on the road. Some common injuries from truck accidents include:
Whiplash and neck injuries: Sudden impact can cause the head to jerk violently, resulting in whiplash and neck strain.
Spinal cord injuries: These injuries can lead to partial or complete paralysis, depending on the severity and location of the damage.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): TBIs can occur when the head strikes an object or experiences a violent jolt, leading to cognitive impairments and other long-term complications.
Broken bones and fractures: The force of a truck collision can cause bones to break or fracture, resulting in significant pain and immobility.
Burns: If there is a fire after the crash due to spilled gas or the users get into contact with hot surfaces in a wreck, they can get severe third-grade burns that may attempt their lives.
What to do After a Truck Accident
After a truck accident, you may feel dizzy or confused. If there’s no fire or other danger coming straight to you, you should stay inside your vehicle since there is a possibility that another car can crash, especially if you are on a high-speed road. Taking the appropriate steps can protect your well-being and legal rights. Here's what you should do:
Seek medical attention: Your health and safety should be the top priority. Even if you don't feel immediate pain, it's essential to get a thorough medical evaluation. Call 911 and stay out of danger if possible.
Contact the authorities: Report the accident to the police, ensuring that an official report is filed. This documentation will be valuable for insurance claims and potential legal proceedings. There is not any other way to prove that you were in the accident if your name is not in the police report.
Gather evidence: Take photos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, skid marks, and any visible injuries. Collect contact information from witnesses, if possible.
Notify your insurance company: Promptly inform your insurance company about the accident. Provide factual details without admitting fault.
Consult a truck accident lawyer: To protect your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation, seek the expertise of a qualified truck accident lawyer in Hialeah. If you feel too nervous or do not know how to make the recommendations we gave you, you could also call your truck accident lawyer while you are waiting for emergency assistance.
A committed lawyer from The Ward Law Group can be present right there at the truck accident scene and help you with all the pertinent steps so you can relax and rest.
Types of Compensation for Truck Accidents
You may be entitled to compensation for various damages if you've been involved in a truck accident. It is hard to say how much money you may get since every accident is different, and it will depend on the injuries sustained by you or any other passenger in your vehicle; it is also another factor in the amount of liability each driver has and all the parties involved in the accident.
Florida is a no-fault state, which means that no matter who was at fault, you may receive a certain amount to cover economic damages. There is a limit of $10,000, and you may get up to 80% of the total costs of financial losses.
Certainly, the personal injury protection coverage might not be enough. If there are serious injuries involved, you may file a personal injury lawsuit or make a claim with the other driver’s liability coverage.
Some types of compensation often sought in truck accident cases include:
- Medical expenses: Coverage for medical bills, including hospital stays, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, and ongoing treatment.
- Lost wages: Compensation for the income lost due to missed work during recovery or potential long-term disabilities.
- Property damage: Reimbursement for repairing or replacing your damaged vehicle or other personal property.
- Funerary costs: If a truck accident victim loses their life, the personal injury protection may pay the funerary costs in full of the deceased person and may give the rest of the money to their beneficiary under the policy.
- Pain and suffering: Compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life resulting from the accident.
- Wrongful death: If it is found that the driver or passengers lost their life due to negligence, then it is considered a wrongful death.
- Loss of consortium: The deceased person's spouse can fight to get compensation for her/his loss.
- Amputation: When a person loses a limb due to an accident, they may face complications in their daily life and lose work possibilities and future income capacity.
Who is Liable for a Truck Accident in Hialeah?
Determining liability in a truck accident can be complex, as multiple parties may share responsibility. Your truck accident lawyer in Hialeah has to gather all the evidence to prove the liability of the other driver.
Potentially liable parties in a truck accident may include:
Truck driver: If the driver was negligent or violated traffic laws, they could be held responsible for the accident. There are plenty of ways for an experienced truck accident attorney to find out if the truck driver was negligent. They can even use the abilities of private investigators to find new pieces of evidence to use on your behalf.
Trucking company: The company employing the driver may be held liable for negligent hiring, inadequate training, or failure to maintain the truck properly. Businesses must comply with serious regulations, and they should always have a record of everything.
Vehicle manufacturer: The manufacturer may be held accountable if a defective truck part or equipment contributed to the accident. With the help of expert mechanical technicians and engineers, a truck accident lawyer may find the truth about the cause of the accident.
Third parties: Other drivers, pedestrians, or entities contributing to the accident through negligence or recklessness may share liability.
Contact a Hialeah Truck Accident Attorney for Help
If you've been involved in a truck accident in Hialeah, it's essential to seek legal representation from an experienced truck accident attorney. The Ward Law Group P.L. is a trusted law firm specializing in personal injury lawsuits for people injured in truck accident cases in Hialeah. It has a proven track record of advocating for their client's rights.
They deeply understand the complexities involved in truck accident cases and will work tirelessly to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Don't face the aftermath of a truck accident alone.
Contact The Ward Law Group P.L. today to schedule a FREE consultation at 855-DOLOR-55, or write to our online chat and discuss your case with a skilled truck accident lawyer in Hialeah. They will guide you through the legal process, provide expert advice, and fight to protect your rights and interests every step of the way.