Tampa Truck Accident Lawyer

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Truck accidents are often devastating. You might struggle with physical and emotional pain, medical care, bills, and vehicle damage. Yet you’re responsible for bringing a claim. More importantly, you have to prove your injuries. When it all feels like too much, contact truck accident lawyer Brett Metcalf at (813) 258-4800 or online; he offers free consultations and can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.

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After the Truck Accident

If you or a loved one are suffering after a collision with a large truck in or around Tampa, there are a few things that you should do:

Report The Crash

Report the crash to the Tampa Police Department if you haven’t already. It’s also helpful to get a copy of the police report. If you don’t have it yet, don’t let that hold you back from consulting a lawyer.

Get Medical Care

If you haven’t been to a doctor, go now. Your options include going to your doctor, a clinic, or an emergency room. You have to document your truck accident injuries.

Gather Evidence

You should start collecting evidence right away. Do you have photos from the crash? Make sure you back them up. Do you know the names and numbers of witnesses? Keep that information safe. Also, make sure to get copies of your medical records and other documents.

The trucking company and their insurer will be ahead of you. They probably sent out investigators to the crash site immediately. That’s why hiring a semi-truck accident lawyer is essential. You need someone who knows how to investigate and collect evidence in these situations.

Call a Truck Accident Lawyer

Truck accidents aren’t the same as car crashes. You need a lawyer experienced with Florida truck accident laws and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. You need someone like Brett, who has handled similar truck accident claims before.

Fault in Truck Accident Cases

The at-fault party is the negligent one. Negligence is a failure to uphold a duty of care that causes harm. Every driver has a responsibility to act like a reasonably prudent driver under the circumstances. Simply, every driver is responsible for obeying traffic laws and being careful.

To win compensation after a truck crash, you have to show someone had a duty of care toward you but failed to uphold it. You have to point out what they did wrong. Then you have to connect their behavior to the crash and your injuries. Working with a lawyer helps because there are multiple elements to prove. You need plenty of evidence about what happened and your injuries.

Causes of Truck Accidents

Some common causes of truck accidents include:

  • Drowsy driving
  • Violating Hours of Service regulations
  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Following too closely
  • Braking too late
  • Blind spots
  • Improper merging or lane changes
  • Driving impaired due to drugs or alcohol
  • Other driver errors

It’s common for truck accidents to happen because of the driver. That isn’t always true, though. Brett will get to the bottom of what happened. Lousy weather, poorly maintained roads, and vehicle defects could be to blame. Trucking companies hiring untrained or unlicensed drivers could be the problem, too.

Truck Accident Liability

You have to figure out who caused the crash. Then, you have to determine who is liable for compensating you for your truck accident injuries. Sometimes, in truck wrecks, the at-fault and liable parties are different. Although one person caused the wreck, another is responsible for paying.

Parties that could be liable for the crash include:

  • Truck driver
  • Maintenance provider
  • Manufacturer
  • Another motorist

Employer Liability

We often pursue payment from the at-fault party’s employer. If the trucker caused the crash, then this usually means the trucking company. Employers are typically liable for the damage their employees cause while on duty.

A trucking company can be liable if we learn the business knew – or should have known – the trucker couldn’t safely operate the vehicle. Yet, it handed over the keys anyway.

Manufacturer Liability

If we find a design or manufacturing defect in the truck, we’ll file a product liability lawsuit. There are different laws and rules for product defect claims. Brett can help with these complicated cases.

Defenses in Truck Accident Claims

Those responsible will try and deny or limit their liability. A trucking company and their insurer will want to pay you as little as possible. They might try to push into a lowball settlement. They may blame you or someone else. These issues are why it’s crucial to have a truck accident lawyer. Brett can prepare you for these arguments.

  • Comparative Negligence: The truck driver might blame you for the crash. We fight back against these allegations. Even if you contributed to the accident, you could receive compensation. Your amount of fault will reduce your recovery.
  • Intervening Cause: The liable party might argue that some other event broke the link between its negligence and your injuries. In other words, a third party’s actions were so significant that they’re liable instead.
  • No Duty of Care: Some parties relevant to a truck accident claim might argue they didn’t owe you a duty of care. If they didn’t owe you a specific standard of care, they couldn’t be held liable.
  • No Proximate Cause: There are two types of causation. One is “cause, in fact.” If not for Event A, then Event B wouldn’t have happened. To win a settlement or verdict, you also have to prove proximate cause, and it’s trickier. You must show your injuries were a foreseeable risk of the other party’s negligent behavior.

Types of Commercial Trucks

  • Semi-trucks
  • 18-wheelers
  • Flatbed trucks
  • Dump trucks
  • Tow trucks
  • Cement trucks
  • Garbage trucks
  • Tanker trucks
  • USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL trucks

Common Truck Accidents

  • Head-on accidents
  • Rear-end accidents
  • Jackknife accidents
  • Rollover accidents
  • Tire blowouts
  • Brake failure accidents
  • Runaway truck accidents
  • Backing-up accidents
  • Left-turn accidents
  • Right-turn accidents
  • Underride accidents
  • Override accidents
  • Side-impact accidents
  • Cargo spills
  • Cargo overload accidents

Truck Accident Compensation

Use your health and auto insurance to cover your injuries. Your Personal Injury Protection and other policies can pay some bills. But your insurance won’t cover everything. You have to use a truck accident lawsuit to demand more.

Brett Metcalf guides you in demanding compensation for your economic damages and non-economic damages. These are also called special and general damages and are both compensatory damages.

You may get compensation for:

Punitive Damages

Though rare and capped, you might be able to win punitive damages after a truck crash if you can prove intentional misconduct or gross negligence. You might win punitive damages up to $500,000 or three times your compensatory damages.

What Our Clients Are Saying

Brett is the best attorney I’ve ever had. I would recommend his services to anyone in need.
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Truck Accident FAQ

I have been injured in a truck accident. Should I accept the insurance company’s settlement offer?

If you accept a settlement offer after an accident, you give up the legal right to pursue further claims concerning your injury. Several questions should be considered when weighing a settlement offer such as how much the injury affects you, your family, and your ability to work now and in the future.

If you’re unsure about whether the settlement offer is suitable for the extent of your injuries, contact a lawyer to discuss the specifics of your case.

What makes a truck accident so much worse than a car accident?

Due to the size and weight of trucks and the materials they carry, the impact of a truck accident can be severe and result in devastating injuries. In addition, the complicated process of pursuing your case against a large trucking company and dealing with its insurance can be even more stressful.

How do I prove the driver was to blame?

To prove fault against a truck driver, you’ll need solid evidence supporting your claim. Types of evidence can include:

  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Expert testimony from an accident reconstructionist
  • Data recorded from the truck itself
  • Police reports
  • Medical records

Truck Accident Lawsuits

Brett will talk with you about when filing a lawsuit is helpful or necessary. Most truck accident claims are resolved with a settlement, but you might need to file a lawsuit anyway. Brett can use the discovery process to gather more information, like the trucking company business, employment, inspection, and maintenance records.

Fatal Accidents

Did your spouse, parent, or child die from truck accident injuries? Talk with Brett about wrongful death and survival damages under Florida law. When you lose a close relative, the law might entitle you and others to compensation. You can demand payment through a wrongful death lawsuit.

A survival claim is different. It would be about your relative’s injuries if they survived the crash for a time. Their injury claim remains after their death. Your loved one’s estate can demand compensation they would have gotten if they lived.

Proving Damages

Whether it’s a personal injury, wrongful death, or survival claim, you must prove that the other party is liable for your injuries. In some situations, the burden of proof will shift to the other party. In most circumstances, it’s up to you to prove you should receive compensation and how much.

Brett will help you gather evidence of your physical, emotional, and financial damages, including:

  • Medical records
  • Pay stubs
  • Tax returns
  • Other receipts
  • Other financial documents
  • A written or video journal
  • Your testimony
  • Witness testimony

A trucking expert could testify about what the driver or their employer did wrong. An accident reconstructionist can recreate a model of the crash to prove what happened. Doctors, economists, and vocational experts can all support your case.

Preexisting Conditions

Claims for compensation after truck accidents are often complicated by preexisting injuries and conditions. It’s normal to have suffered injuries and medical conditions earlier in life; they don’t make you ineligible for compensation.

Someone who causes a crash has to take you as you are. They are still responsible for your injuries, even if that includes aggravating an existing condition. We will work closely with you, your doctors, and medical experts to prove the injuries the at-fault party caused. We won’t let the liable party and their insurer use preexisting conditions against you.

Subsequent Injuries

If you suffered other injuries after the truck accident, tell Brett right away. It’s essential to distinguish between injuries related to your truck accident injuries and those separate. Brett has experience working with individuals and their doctors to differentiate between injuries and minimize the trouble they cause.

Contact Our Truck Accident Lawyers Today

If you were injured or lost a loved one in a Tampa, Florida truck accident, call Brett Metcalf. His office is located in Tampa, and he is available 24/7.

Never hesitate to use the online form or call (813) 258-4800 to set up your free consultation.