Wesley Chapel sees big trucks on the road a lot, particularly along State Road 54 and Highway 41. Trucks can be frustrating, particularly on higher-traffic days when it can be difficult for smaller vehicles to drive through the area without encountering slowdowns due to large truck traffic. The bigger problem, however, occurs when a truck driver commits an act of negligence on the road that leads to a serious accident.
If you suffered injuries in a truck accident, you may seek compensation. Contact Lucas & Magazine Injury Lawyers today to learn more.
Lucas & Magazine: Helping Wesley Chapel Truck Accident Victims Fight Powerful Insurance Companies
Trucking companies and their insurers may seem to hold all the power, especially when you find yourself desperately fighting for the compensation you deserve. At Lucas & Magazine, we help our clients fight to get the compensation they really deserve for their truck accident injuries. We take pride in handling every detail of our clients’ truck accident claims so that they can focus on recovering from their truck accident injuries.
Wesley Chapel truck accident claims often involve a complex investigation.
Truck accident claims require a lot more investigation than a typical auto accident. When we take on a truck accident claim, our attorneys look at far more than just the immediate conditions that led to the accident. We also carefully evaluate the driver’s logbooks, the driver’s history on the road, and the driver’s record and habits.
Furthermore, we evaluate the company’s policies to determine whether they encourage unsafe driving habits amongst their employees that could have contributed to the accident. We search for all relevant details about the truck accident so that we can help our clients pursue the compensation they really deserve from everyone who shares liability for the accident.
Big insurance companies often put up a hard fight.
Insurance companies try to decrease the compensation they have to pay out to the victims of serious accidents. They may start with a low settlement offer: a compensation offer that simply does not reflect the financial losses you faced because of your truck accident. If you do not accept that initial offer, they may pressure you heavily, even telling you the offer is only good for a short time. Sometimes, insurance companies attempt to prove that you, rather than the truck driver, caused the accident.
They may also:
- Deny that your injuries occurred during the truck accident.
- Dispute the need for all the treatments and procedures you received related to the truck accident.
- Drag out your truck accident claim longer than necessary to convince you to accept a low settlement offer.
Big insurance companies fight hard, but at Lucas & Magazine, we fight just as hard for our clients. Although we can’t guarantee a positive outcome, we want to help you maximize the compensation you ultimately recover for your injuries, and if you work with us we will provide you with solid, reliable support and aggressive representation for as long as it takes.
Common Reasons for Truck Accidents in Wesley Chapel
Truck accidents can occur anywhere, at any time. Trucks fill the roads at all times of the day. However, certain situations increase the risk of truck accidents in Wesley Chapel.
#1. Traffic Congestion
Congested roads can pose a challenge for the driver of any vehicle, but for big truck drivers, they may pose an even more serious problem. Congestion on the roads makes it very difficult for a large truck to maneuver safely. Unfortunately, Wesley Chapel sees a lot of traffic congestion. While plans to improve roadway infrastructure have begun, truck drivers still do not have adequate room to maneuver safely through the area.
#2. Driver Fatigue
Driver fatigue is a major problem for many truck drivers. While federal law mandates that truck drivers only spend 11 hours out of a 14-hour shift on the road, and requires that they take a break after 8 hours behind the wheel, many truck drivers nevertheless struggle with fatigue. Often, truck drivers push themselves hard to reach their destinations before their deadlines. In some cases, trucking companies pressure their drivers to exceed the federal maximum hours they can spend on the road to meet tight deadlines.
#3. Driver Shortages
The shortage of available qualified truck drivers has made deadlines more pressing than ever for many of the drivers who remain on the roads. Many trucking companies have a hard time keeping enough drivers on the road to meet their deadlines. Unfortunately, this may mean that drivers pick up more shifts or work longer hours to help meet the demands of consumers throughout Florida and across the country, leading to driver fatigue and other issues.
#4. Weather Conditions
Wesley Chapel, like most of Florida, sees a considerable number of sunny days each year. However, the sun can pose a problem for truck drivers, since it can interfere with visibility. Furthermore, Wesley Chapel does see some dangerous weather, including heavy storms that can make it very difficult for truck drivers to navigate the roads safely. Dangerous weather conditions substantially increase the risk of truck accidents.
#5. Driver Distraction
Distracted drivers take their attention off the road, focusing instead on something else. While truck drivers can face serious repercussions for cell phone use, long hours on the road can convince many truck drivers that they have the experience needed to manage minor distractions. They may eat or drink behind the wheel, try to program or change a GPS device while on the road, or simply suffer from road haze that makes it difficult to continue paying attention after many hours behind the wheel. Distracted drivers may miss the presence of other vehicles around them or fail to note potential hazards.
#6. Speeding or Otherwise Ignoring the Rules of the Road
Some drivers choose to speed to decrease the time needed to reach their destination, often because of tight deadlines or pressure from their employer. Ignoring the rules of the road, however, can make the big truck’s behavior unpredictable and increase the risk that the truck driver will cause a serious accident.
The Aftermath of Wesley Chapel Truck Accidents: Serious Injuries
Big trucks, especially when fully loaded, have a great deal more mass than the average passenger vehicle. Many truck accident victims end up sustaining severe injuries because of the greater weight of the truck. Some of the most common serious truck accident injuries are described below.
#1. Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury can permanently transform a victim’s life. While some victims recover fully, even victims with a minor traumatic brain injury may experience symptoms for more than a year after the accident. A traumatic brain injury may make it difficult for a victim to focus or concentrate, interfere with both long and short-term memory, or cause the victim to struggle to regulate their emotions.
Frequently, victims with traumatic brain injury find it very difficult to go back to work, since they may have trouble maintaining the focus needed to deal with their usual tasks or the control needed to interact effectively with the people around them.
#2. Back and Neck Injuries
Back and neck injuries can pose challenges for many truck accident victims. Spinal cord injuries can leave a truck accident victim fully or partially paralyzed. Herniated discs can interfere with mobility. Even whiplash can lead to long-term complications, especially chronic whiplash, which can linger for months or even years following the accident.
Back and neck injuries can make it very difficult for the victim to move around, prevent the victim from engaging in their preferred activities, or prevent the victim from completing their usual work responsibilities.
Some victims lose a limb in a truck accident, which causes limitations in the victim’s daily life. Amputees often must go through substantial occupational therapy to relearn how to cope without the missing limb, including learning how to walk with a prosthesis or get around in a wheelchair. While a prosthesis can provide more mobility, it cannot fully restore the function of the missing limb. High-quality prosthetics may also require more regular replacement than less technologically advanced models.
#4. Broken Bones
Many truck accident victims end up with multiple broken bones. Sometimes, broken bones require surgery to set them and aid in healing. Victims may also need to go through substantial physical and occupational therapy while recovering from their injuries.
Furthermore, victims with multiple broken bones may lose much of their independence and require assistance as they try to manage the normal activities of daily living. Broken bones can also prevent victims from going back to work, which can interfere with their income.
Recovering Compensation After a Wesley Chapel Truck Accident
Following a Wesley Chapel truck accident, you may pursue compensation for your injuries.
Successful truck accident claims often include compensation for:
- Medical bills, including everything from emergency medical care to the ongoing cost of rehabilitation after a serious accident. Always keep track of all medical bills associated with the accident so that you can clearly report those costs.
- Lost wages due to inability to work after the incident.
- Pain and suffering caused by those injuries.
An attorney can help break down the costs you may have faced due to your truck accident injuries, including how much compensation you may have the right to recover for those costs.
Determining Liability After a Wesley Chapel Truck Accident
At Lucas and Magazine, we conduct a full investigation into the circumstances that led to each client’s truck accident to get a better idea of who may bear liability for their injuries and how much compensation they may have the right to recover. Sometimes, we can identify more than one party that may share liability for the truck accident, which may increase the compensation our client can ultimately recover.
The Truck Driver
Most of the time, truck drivers bear liability for the decisions they make while behind the wheel of their trucks. Truck drivers who drive while distracted, inebriated, or ill may bear liability for those decisions. Likewise, a truck driver who chooses to speed, ignore the rules of the road, or fails to yield may bear liability for those decisions.
The Trucking Company
Trucking companies may also share liability for some truck accidents. Trucking companies may have unsafe policies that increase the risk that their drivers will cause an accident, from policies that push drivers to speed to complete their assignments too quickly to policies that encourage drivers to falsify their logbooks and exceed the number of hours they can legally spend on the road. If the trucking company’s actions contribute to the accident, the company may share liability.
A trucking company may also share liability for an accident that occurs because it fails to properly maintain its vehicles. Federal law requires that truck owners perform frequent maintenance on their big trucks, and a failure to do so can lead to serious consequences for the trucking company when this failure results in an accident.
In some cases, a mechanical failure may lead to a serious truck accident in Wesley Chapel. A manufacturer may have sold a vehicle or vehicle component with a defect, which may contribute to serious accidents on the road. If your accident involved a mechanical failure, such as a tire blowout, engine failure, or brake failure, the manufacturer may bear liability.
Did You Suffer Serious Injuries in a Wesley Chapel Truck Accident?
If you suffered injuries in a Wesley Chapel truck accident, you need a lawyer to help you understand your right to compensation, collect evidence related to your claim, and manage the details of your truck accident claim. Contact Lucas & Magazine Injury Lawyers today at (813) 849-5353 or write to us at your convenience using the form on our contact page.