Injured in a Tractor-Trailer Accident? Call Dismuke Law!
Tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, tanker trucks, big rigs, garbage trucks, dump trucks – these vehicles are immense, some weighing up to 80,000 pounds or even more with oversize vehicle permits. When they are involved in traffic accidents with cars or light trucks, the smaller vehicles almost always sustain more damage. The results are even more devastating if motorcyclists, pedestrians, or cyclists are involved. A large truck can literally crush another vehicle and its occupants, causing catastrophic or fatal injuries.
If you were involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer or any large truck, do not let a greedy insurance provider or trucking company undervalue your claim or deny you compensation. Work with a Lakeland truck accident lawyer at Dismuke Law and pursue the full financial compensation to which you are entitled.
For a free legal consultation with a truck accident lawyer serving Lakeland, call 863-250-5050
Types of Trucking Accidents
Truck accidents are some of the most catastrophic that can occur and often leave those involved in the crash enduring significant injuries. Unfortunately, these types of crashes come in many different forms—many coming because of negligence. Some of the most common types of truck accident include:
A jackknife accident is when a truck skids and the trailer folds to create an angle like that of a folding pocket knife. Jackknifing occurs because of equipment failure, inability to brake appropriately, inclement weather, or overloaded cargo.
Whenever a large commercial truck takes a sharp turn or has an imbalanced trailer, there’s a possibility that specific situations can cause the truck to rollover. Similarly, overcorrecting the truck after swerving can result in the trailer using momentum to bring the whole rig to its side.
Large commercial trucks often have a sign on their trailer, claiming, “if you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see you.” These signs are not just fun warnings truckers stick on the rear of the trailer—it’s the truth. Large trucks have significant blind spots making it nearly impossible to see motorists. When truck drivers fail to check before merging lanes, they increase the span of that blind spot. With multiple lanes and vehicles on the road, this is one situation in which crashes occur.
Lost Load Accidents
Some trucking companies and truck drivers fail to check their trucks before traveling. If the company overloads the trailer or the hitch attaching the trailer to the truck is faulty, there’s a possibility a steep incline can cause the trailer to disconnect. As a result, those behind the lost trailer risk crashing and sustaining significant injuries.
Accident Reconstruction to Identify the Cause of Your Truck Accident
To recover economic and non-economic damages through a third-party truck accident insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, you must prove fault (legal responsibility). Our Lakeland truck accident attorneys often work with investigators and accident reconstruction specialists to determine the cause of a collision and then build a clear, compelling demonstration of this that can hold up in negotiations or in court.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
In our experience, truck accidents may be caused by:
About Trucking Industry Regulations and Requirements
Truckers are required to follow legal regulations that are in place to increase safety throughout the industry. Most trucking industry regulations are established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the United States Department of Transportation. Trucking industry regulations aim to combat common causes of truck crashes, such as truck driver fatigue and overweight cargo.
Some trucking regulations include:
Hours of service regulations — Hours of service regulations are rules that place limits on the time a truck driver can spend on the road each day. Truck drivers can only drive for a maximum of 11 hours per day, after 10 consecutive hours off duty. They are prohibited from driving any time after they have been on duty for 14 hours. Drivers must take periodic rest periods during their time on duty.Note: Hours of service regulations are suspended as of March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Weight limits — Weight limits for commercial trucks differ between states. In Florida, the weight limits vary depending on other specifications of a vehicle. The regulations are established by Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Black boxes — Black boxes are a device that is required to be installed in commercial trucks. Also known as electronic control modules, black boxes collect data on every aspect of a truck’s operations. Information on speed, acceleration, braking, steering wheel use, and other functions are recorded on a truck’s black box and can offer insight into what happened before a truck accident occurred.
The records kept in compliance with these regulations can be used as evidence in your truck accident case to identify potential safety violations.
Guidelines and Rules of the Road for the Trucking Industry
Drivers and the companies they work for have specific regulations they must follow that cover everything from the number of hours a driver can log during a particular time to driver behavior and training. The guidelines set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) must be followed and in part include:
Complying with all local traffic laws
Stopping at weigh stations
Limitations on the number of hours a driver can drive during a given time
Restrictions against driving under the influence or while tired
Proper accounting of hours in a driver’s log
Correct loading of the truck and trailer
Avoiding overloading the vehicle or exceeding the weight limit
What Happens After a Truck Accident?
Trucking accidents are handled differently from car accidents. The primary difference is that trucking companies often have staff and legal counsel on the scene when a crash occurs. This puts victims of trucking accidents at a disadvantage; unless you quickly hire an experienced attorney to protect your rights.
Law Enforcement Investigation
When trucking accidents occur law enforcement will complete their own investigation. Under Florida law, with few exceptions, the Traffic Crash Report or Traffic Homicide Report and statements that were taken by law enforcement are not admissible at trial. However, the report will contain valuable information.
Insurance Company Investigation
In some cases, the insurance company that represents the trucking firm will visit the scene of the crash and collect information. They will often take photos and statements from witnesses. Their claims adjusters are trained to focus on information that limits their liability. They will often seek to obtain the statement of the injured party. Do not give a statement to the trucking companies insurance company without first consulting a qualified attorney.
Trucking Company Investigation
The corporation that owns and operates the truck will often send their lawyers to the scene of trucking accidents. They may collect evidence at the scene. Their job is to protect the trucking company from liability. Do not give a statement to the trucking companies lawyers without first consulting a qualified attorney.
Your Attorney’s Investigation
Your attorney can also investigate the accident and make sure that the driver who harmed you was operating in compliance with all state and FMCSA regulations. The sooner you act, in hiring a qualified lawyer, the better chance significant evidence does not go undiscovered.
These days video surveillance cameras are everywhere, including local businesses and traffic monitoring stations as well as red light cameras. Some video surveillance is on a short recording loop (often thirty days, or less) and is recorded over if not collected. Swift action is the key to success in compensating victims. Don’t expect the insurance company or their attorneys to share information that hurts their case with you.
Hire a Lakeland Truck Accident Attorney
The best way to protect your rights after trucking accidents is to contact a personal injury attorney familiar with the trucking industry. If you have been injured or suffered losses due to negligence, contact us to learn more about your options and to speak with an attorney familiar with state and FMCSA regulations governing the trucking industry.
The path to fair compensation begins with an initial consultation with an attorney at Dismuke Law. We can talk to you about the circumstances surrounding your accident, explain your options, and help you make the right choice about pursuing a claim or lawsuit.
Extremely professional lawyer! I highly recommend. I'm very satisfied with how Dave and his staff handled my case.
- Kathleen J.
I highly recommend their services.
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Always professional and very helpful.
Heather Lineberger does a great job. She is always professional and very helpful.
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Dave is very caring and attentive to his clients.
Dave is a great man, very caring and attentive to his clients. I went to Dismuke law after having a horrible experience with another law firm. The way I have been treated since he took on my case years ago is far superior to my experience with any other law firm. I would highly recommend Dismuke law!
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There is no praise high enough for Dave Dismuke.
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My experience with Dismuke Law was priceless.
My experience with Dismuke Law was priceless: when I met Dave, I knew I had a winner. He was very intelligent, professional and I knew this was a man who cared about his clients. I can not say enough good about this firm. I looked forward to our conferences, he would always update me on my case. If you have legal questions, Ask Dave. He is interested in putting as much as possible in his clients pockets. Thank you Dave.
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Pleasure to work with.
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Friendly and helpful!
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As advertised Dismuke Law delivered the results I was hoping for
David and his team were great at keeping me informed and involved in the entire process for my case...As advertised Dismuke Law delivered the results I was hoping for. I highly recommend Dismuke Law.
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If I ever need an attorney again I will be choosing Dismuke Law!
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Dismuke Law turned a not-so-great situation into a pleasant experience
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They were always courteous and very pleasant to talk with.
When we had a question the office staff routed our call and we got a response in real-time. They were always courteous and very pleasant to talk with.
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I would definitely recommend David.
I hired Dave Dismuke to help me with a legal issue. From our very first meeting, I could tell I had hired the right attorney for the job. He took interest and got all the information he needed to get started. His staff was very helpful and always had an answer to my questions when I called. I would definitely recommend David. He stayed in contact with me on a regular basis to update me on the progress. I was very happy with the results.
- Martha R.
Cristina was descriptive and put me on the right path to have my issues resolved.
I had several questions pertaining to a legal matter and was able to have every question answered in a timely and professional manner by Cristina the paralegal, she was descriptive and put me on the right path to have my issues resolved. I was extremely impressed. Will recommend!
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Always goes the extra mile and never gives up.
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Cristina Dunaway is a dedicated and hard-working individual.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Cristina Dunaway and know her professionalism. She is dedicated and a hard-working individual. She is a great asset to any company! Keep up the good work!!!
- Mary H.
You have a problem, the answer is one call away.
I have found that the law firm is not only tenacious in working for their clients but also still has the philosophy of the one-on-one personal touch that so many other firms have lost. You have a problem, the answer is one call away. They are easy to talk to because they are eager to help.
- James L.
I could not have asked for a better attorney or a better team to represent me!
I want to thank everyone at Dismuke Law, for always going above and beyond for me! I could not have asked for a better attorney or a better team to represent me! And a special thank you to Cristina Dunaway for all that you have done for my family and me. I am eternally grateful and I pray that God blesses you all at Dismuke law the same way he blessed me with you to help me through my darkest hour.
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Beth and I have come to know and appreciate Jennah for helping us with our case. She has been patient with our many queries about what to do and when to do whatever needs to be done. Jennah has always been courteous when we asked for help and information.
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Thank you and your team for being just so awesome and understanding!!
I would like to personally Thank Mr. Dismuke and his team for always being there for me during a very frustrating and difficult time. I called Mr. Dismuke and his team and immediately they sent an investigator out within 30 mins of our phone call and two hours later they were calling me to schedule doctor appointments. Jennah his asst has been just wonderful I recently suffered a severe concussion due to a drunk driver that hit me and my 4yr old son. Jennah has taken the time to schedule all of my appointments that were needed to get me on the right track to feel like my old self. She has also taken the liberty to text me all the information that I needed which was a relief for me because it’s hard to remember a lot of things. This whole process has just been headache-free. Thank you and your team for being just so awesome and understanding!!
Cristina has always been very helpful.
Cristina has always been very helpful to other paralegals in Florida and the nation. Thank you.
- Meg H.
Jennah was always very professional, positive, friendly, and willing to help.
Jennah Williams previously worked for me for a few years. During this time Jennah pushed herself to learn about the operation until she was able to do any task. Jennah was always very professional, positive, friendly, and willing to help. It was a sad day when she left.
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Very helpful and professional!
I'm an adjuster and I have worked with Jennah on a few claims and she was very helpful and professional!
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Always so nice and eager to help!
Jennah Williams is a pleasure to work with, always so nice and eager to help!
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Very professional and respectable.
Cristina works in a very professional and respectable manner.
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Pleasure to work with.
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Awesome and the most polite person!
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Beautiful office conveniently located in downtown Sebring.
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Dave and his staff worked hard for me and always did what was in my best interest.
I worked with Dismuke Law and have been extremely pleased with my experience. Dave was always kind and understanding of my situation. He and his staff worked hard for me and always did what was in my best interest. I would definitely recommend him to anyone who needs representation.
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- Shawn B.
Dismuke Law is the first place we would call. They did not disappoint!
A few years ago, my son was injured in an auto accident. We called attorney David Dismuke as we were told that his paralegal Cristina was one of the best. They did not disappoint. If either myself or my son ever needed an attorney again, Dismuke Law is the first place we would call.
- Daniel R.
Dismuke Law delivered the results I was hoping for.
David and his team were great at keeping me informed and involved in the entire process for my case. Chris is down to earth and never wavered in his confidence as we approached the final days of the process. As advertised, Dismuke Law delivered the results I was hoping for. I highly recommend Dismuke Law.
- Jessie S.
Mr. Dismuke and his staff's dedication and service to his clients are unparalleled.
Mr. Dismuke and his staff's dedication and service to his clients are unparalleled. He was always there to help answer any questions. I am very happy with the end result, and that is hard to do especially in such a difficult situation. I would highly recommend this firm - simply the best!
- Michael D.
Great lawyers, great staff and always a pleasure to work with!
Great lawyers, great staff and always a pleasure to work with! I would have no hesitation referring a family member, friend or co-worker to Dismuke Law for representation! Christina, Alexis, Jennifer, Dave, Chris, and Will are of the highest caliber both professionally and personally!
- Tom D.
I would highly recommend Dismuke Law to anyone in need of a personal injury lawyer.
David's attention to detail, honesty, and caring attitude toward clients, staff, fellow colleagues, and others is what makes him one of the best lawyers in Polk County. I would highly recommend Dismuke Law to anyone in need of a Personal Injury Lawyer.
- Courtney A.
If I ever need an attorney again, they'll be who I call.
After my car accident, I didn’t really want to deal with anything. I was already going through so much dealing with the pain, Doctor’s and physical therapy. But the team at Dismuke Law made this process very easy. All the people in that office are amazing and so nice. They made sure my case was handled and completed in a timely fashion. It really went by so quickly. The people are so sweet and understanding of what you're going through, especially Alexis Costa!! She is a sweet and intelligent young woman. She went out of her way to make me feel comfortable and explain things to me that I didn’t understand. I just really want to Thank the team at Dismuke Law for everything that y’all done for me. If I ever need an attorney again, you’ll be who I call. Thank you!!
- Carrie M.
Great customer service!
Great customer service, Nicole was a tremendous help on the phone!
- Jen H.
Now I understand why, this is proactive, get things done kind of firm.
I never needed an attorney before February, not sure who would be the best option for me after my accident. I started by looking at reviews, and after checking out several firms, I decided on Dismuke Law. The firm had the best reviews and everyone seemed happy at having chosen Dismuke Law. Now I understand why, this is proactive, get things done kind of firm. I was in need of medical and dental attention after my accident, not being able on my own to get what I needed everyone went into action, getting my problems taken care of. One of my biggest things was that my dentures were broken in my fall, I was getting married in a couple of weeks, and refused to get married without them. I will be picking up my dentures on Thursday, March 28, and getting married March 30th. This would have never happened if it had not been for Alexis Costa. She is the best. When she realized how upset I was she began getting me answers as to where to go and what to do so I could get what I needed and not have to cancel my wedding. Also a big Thank You to Jennifer, one of the investigators, she came to me very quickly to get the process started. I spoke with Mr. Dismuke by phone, he is a very caring and understanding man, explaining every step of the process as we go along. I know I have forgotten others that I have spoken to in the office, but please know I appreciate and thank each of you for everyone that has and continues to be there for me in this process. YOU ARE ALL THE BEST!
- Sandy N.
David is professional and has a vast knowledge of his field.
I’ve personally known David for many years. He is professional and has a vast knowledge of his field. I would highly recommend using Dismuke Law.
- Ashley B.
The staff was amazing!
I was referred by a friend. The staff was amazing. Jennah was very accommodating and was able to answer all of my questions. I would highly recommend this law firm.
- Connor V.
Very knowledgeable and friendly.
As a colleague of Will Dennis, I highly recommend him. Very knowledgeable and friendly - the kind of lawyer you want to build a relationship with. He pulls from a deep and diverse knowledge base and is one of the hardest workers I know. He spent years serving our great State of Florida prosecuting criminals, and now all that courtroom experience is available for hire. A great lawyer and a great guy.
- Garrett C.
I will definitively rely on this office for all my legal needs.
I randomly called this office seeking legal advice and had the pleasure of speaking with Stephanie, she was very polite, helpful and put me at ease regarding my legal needs. Stephanie was the first person I spoke to and based on my interaction with her I will definitively rely on this office for all my legal needs. If you are looking for any help regarding legal needs, I highly recommend giving Stephanie a call so she can lead you to the right person for you.
- Kyla E.
David Dismuke is an expert in his field and maintains a “client first” perspective that gets results!
I have had regular communications with this firm for over a year and a half now. Each time I am impressed. Jennah, whom I have spoken with most often, is always prompt in returning my emails/calls. She is always professional, knowledgeable, and compassionate- which is exactly what you need during such a stressful time. David Dismuke is an expert in his field and maintains a “client first” perspective that gets results! I have and will continue to recommend Dismuke Law.
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