There were 2,426 commercial vehicle accidents reported in Hillsborough County in 2020, according to Florida’s Integrated Report Exchange System (FIRES). Tampa, the seat of Hillsborough County, is a thriving metropolitan area. Unfortunately, is also a location for traffic accidents involving tractor-trailers, big rigs, and other large commercial vehicles.
If you or someone you love was injured in a collision with a large truck, you can learn about your right to compensation from the Tampa truck accident lawyers at Dismuke Law. With our knowledgeable team to offer insight and guidance, you can rest assured that your case is in good hands. Get in contact with our experienced attorneys who fully understand personal injury law.
Compensation in a Tampa Truck Accident Case
Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to truck accidents. Only if you are seriously injured can you pursue financial compensation from the at-fault party instead of recovering money from your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
If you sustained catastrophic injuries or lost a loved one in a Tampa truck accident, our attorneys can work to secure the financial compensation you need from the truck driver, trucking company, or another liable party. Compensation in a truck accident claim or lawsuit may cover:
- Medical expenses, including ongoing care or treatment
- Lost income and benefits, including loss of future earnings
- Property damage, including damage to your vehicle or other property
- Emotional trauma, such as pain and suffering
- Punitive damages, which are awarded in rare cases
Wrongful Death Damages
Truck accidents can be fatal due to the power and size of these commercial vehicles. If you lost a loved one in a Tampa truck accident, we can help you pursue wrongful death damages. These may include:
- Funeral and burial service costs
- Loss of inheritance to account for the income your loved one earned
- Loss of consortium to account for the companionship they offered
- Lost wages if you had to take time off work to tend to their fatal injuries
- Their pain and suffering
- Their medical bills related to the truck accident
You and your family deserve to grieve in peace, not hassle with a legal case. While you honor your loved one’s memory, we can handle the legal process. Although no amount of compensation can replace a loved one, a settlement or verdict can help your family cope in their absence.
For a free legal consultation with a truck accidents lawyer serving Tampa, call 863-250-5050
How Our Tampa Truck Wreck Lawyers Can Help Your Injury Case
You have enough on your plate, including healing from your injuries. Instead of leading your case on your own, we can take this burden off your shoulders. Our Tampa truck accident attorneys can handle every aspect of your insurance claim or lawsuit and fight for fair compensation.
Our legal team can:
- Investigate your truck accident
- Gather evidence of negligence, such as dashcam footage or black box data
- Interview witnesses and consult experts
- Obtain the truck driver’s record
- Determine which laws and regulations apply to your case and if the trucking company violated them
- File your claim or lawsuit
- Handle all the necessary paperwork and meet relevant deadlines
- Negotiate with an insurer for a fair settlement
- Represent you at trial if necessary
We will also keep you updated about your case’s progress every step of the way. We can explain the legal process along the way, as well. We welcome you to learn more about it through our FAQ page.
Our Client Testimonials Speak Volumes
You don’t have to take our word for it. We welcome you to read some of the reviews our previous clients have left for us:
- “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.”– Rena S.
- “I have had the pleasure of working with David and his team and experienced the highest level of professionalism…I will always call Dismuke Law first.”–Susan H.
- “Dave and his team go above and beyond for their clients every single day. They are friendly, caring, and make you feel comfortable. I would recommend them to anybody!”–Matt I.
We pride ourselves on providing client-focused legal services. When we handle your case, we will give it the attention to detail it deserves and tailor a legal strategy to suit your particular situation. You can expect nothing less than compassionate, comprehensive care from Dismuke Law.
Our Case Results Speak to Our Dedication to Accident Victims
Our case results include millions of dollars won for accident victims like you. Take a look at these victories we won specifically in Hillsborough County:
- $1.1 million settlement for a wrongful death auto accident case. (The limit of the insurance policy was only $10,000.)
- $800,000 settlement for an auto accident victim who required surgery
Now, we want to put our resources and experience to work for you. We can discuss your case and legal options during a free consultation.
Our Truck Accident Lawyers Work on Contingency
Many accident victims worry about the cost of hiring a lawyer. At Dismuke Law, we want this to be the last thing on your mind. We take truck accident cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not charge you upfront for our services. The only way we collect our fee is from a potential settlement or verdict we win on your behalf.
We believe you should focus on what only you can work on—recovering from your injuries. We can begin working on your case immediately while you focus on your health. We can take care of the legal legwork. We also offer free consultations so you can discuss your case, ask questions, and explore your legal options.
Tampa Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me 863-250-5050
The Trucking Company’s Responsibility in a Tampa Truck Accident
Most motorists know the laws they and commercial truck drivers must follow. There are also the added regulations that those in the trucking industry face. However, it is also imperative to recognize the trucking company’s responsibility to ensure the truck driver and others on the road are safe. If the trucking company fails to implement safety protocols for drivers or encourages them to violate regulations, it is negligent and may be subject to legal action.
Maintaining the Fleet
If the trucking company owns the trucks within its fleet, the company’s owner must ensure adequate maintenance on all aspects of the truck. The trucking company must check the:
- Steering system
- Tow hitch
- Other parts of the truck
If any part of the truck is worn, the company must replace or repair the problem before the driver leaves the warehouse to help prevent an accident. When a lack of maintenance causes a serious crash involving a large commercial truck, the aftermath can be devastating, and it is the company that is responsible. Our truck accident attorney in Tampa, FL, can help you hold a negligent trucking company responsible for your damages.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates how trucking companies and drivers must operate with the public’s safety in mind. Trucking companies must ensure all employees, trucks, and equipment abide by federal regulations, including weight restrictions, hours of service, and more. The moment the trucking company violates a federal or state regulation, negligence occurs, and injuries can ensue.
Complying With Weight Restrictions
The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) states that axles determine the maximum gross weight of a truck. On a tractor semi-trailer, the maximum total weight of a single-axle truck cannot exceed 22,000 pounds. Four-axle trucks cannot exceed 73,721 pounds. For all rigs, the maximum gross weight allowed, regardless of axles, is 80,000 pounds.
The truck, the trailer, and the cargo all dictate the total weight, and that is the number used when considering the maximum allowable weight. Should the total exceed the weight that the state allows, it not only becomes a matter of legality but also presents a danger to other motorists.
When a tractor-trailer exceeds legal weight limits, it becomes harder for the driver to control the vehicle on sharper turns and steep downgrades. The result is an increased potential for the truck to crash into another vehicle on the road. The added weight makes it challenging for the trucker to stop their vehicle in time to avoid a crash. In a truck accident that weight limit violations cause, the liable parties can include:
- The truck driver for not checking to ensure the truck met restrictions.
- The truck company for allowing the truck driver to travel with the overloaded truck.
- The employee responsible for loading the trailer with cargo.
Observing Hours of Service
Truck drivers must follow the regulations regarding the number of hours they can drive a truck and work before they must take a break. These regulations prevent employees from driving their trucks while fatigued, which can inhibit control of their vehicle, decision-making, and judgment. The hours in which truck drivers can work vary depending on the type of truck they operate.
However, general rules say that truck drivers must not drive longer than 11 hours following ten consecutive hours off the clock. The truck driver may not drive beyond the 14th total hour of work following 10 consecutive hours off the clock.
If the driver clocks in at 7 a.m. and works around the warehouse, and then begins to drive at noon, they cannot drive longer than nine hours as they have already spent five hours on the clock. A driver who operates beyond the hours-of-service regulations can cause significant damage to other drivers when their drowsiness creates problems on the road. For instance, a tired driver may swerve between lanes and make erratic movements, putting smaller passenger vehicles in the vicinity at risk.
Performing Regular Maintenance
The truck owner must adequately perform maintenance on their vehicle, no matter if the owner is an individual or a company. Proper maintenance means taking the following steps:
- Checking and changing brakes before travel
- Checking and changing tires before travel
- Checking and repairing the steering system before travel
- Checking and repairing tow hitch before travel
If a lack of maintenance causes something to go wrong with a vehicle and a crash occurs, the truck’s owner is subject to liability. At Dismuke Law, we recognize how busy Florida’s roads and highways can be with large commercial vehicles.
We also know when negligence occurs, crashes involving these large trucks can be devastating. As such, our Tampa truck accident lawyers stand ready to help those injured in tractor-trailer accidents pursue compensation from the responsible party.
Other Potentially Liable Parties for a Truck Accident in Tampa
Trucking companies are not the only potentially liable party when a crash happens. They have great responsibilities, but so do individual truck drivers and other parties. Take a look at who else may be responsible for your Tampa truck wreck damages.
A Negligent Truck Driver
A trucking company may give a driver everything they need to operate their truck safely, but the individual driver can still make errors on the road. If they fail to adhere to traffic laws, such as driving at high speed or failing to yield the right-of-way, they can be directly responsible for an accident.
When we investigate your case, we will look into the truck driver’s history to determine if they have any other violations on their record. We can also make sure they were properly vetted and trained by their employer.
A Negligent Truck or Auto Parts Manufacturer
In other cases, a defective truck or auto part can be the leading cause or contributing factor in a truck accident. If this is so, a manufacturer may bear liability, as well.
Our truck accident attorney in Tampa, FL, will consider every potentially liable party to make sure we seek fair compensation for your damages.
The Government Agency Overseeing the Road
Sometimes, a defective road design or poorly maintained road can cause or contribute to a truck accident. Even a deep pothole may be enough to send a truck colliding into a passenger vehicle. If a local government agency that oversees the road’s maintenance acted negligently, we can seek to hold it accountable.
Usually, taking legal action against a government agency involves a different process with different deadlines, but we are ready to navigate you through it.
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Proving Negligence in a Tampa Truck Accident Case
When our lawyers work on your case, they will set out to establish the four elements of negligence. This will allow them to seek compensation for your damages.
Specifically, they must prove:
- Another party, such as the truck driver or trucking company, owed you a duty of care to keep you reasonably safe on the road.
- They breached their duty of care in some way, such as by violating an FMCSA regulation or traffic law. Keep in mind that a citation is not necessarily essential for us to prove negligence.
- Their breach of duty caused or contributed to your truck accident.
- You suffered injuries and losses because of the truck accident.
Filing an Insurance Claim for a Truck Accident in Tampa
One way our legal team may begin seeking compensation is by filing an insurance claim. Florida is a no-fault insurance state, but we could file a third-party liability claim if your injuries reach a certain threshold.
Our Tampa truck accident team can assess any offer you receive to ensure you do not leave any money on the table. For example, we will make sure we have an idea of any future medical care you will require and make sure to seek compensation for it. The last thing you want is to foot the bill later down the road.
Sometimes, insurers will reach out to you quickly after filing a claim to make an offer. They may make an offer before your doctors even have a chance to give you a prognosis and estimate how much long-term care will cost. The insurer may be hoping you take the settlement immediately, which would require you to relinquish your rights to take legal action against them.
Filing a Lawsuit for a Truck Accident in Tampa
Regardless, your injuries and accident-related losses may exceed the limits of a policy. If this is the case, we can file a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death lawsuit on your behalf. In some cases, we may even suggest beginning with legal action.
In other cases, we may take legal action if negotiations with insurers do not lead to a fair settlement offer. Whatever your particular situation calls for, we stand ready to protect your rights and guide you throughout the process.
Take Legal Action Quickly After a Truck Accident in Tampa
Our Tampa truck accident team can get to work immediately on your case so that you can meet any deadlines that apply to it. For example, if you take legal action against a liable party, you will have to do so within Florida’s statute of limitations.
According to Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a), you must generally file a personal injury lawsuit within two years. Per, Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(d), you generally only have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
You don’t want to miss these deadlines. If you do, you risk seeing the court dismiss your case and losing your last chance to seek compensation. Our Tampa truck accident law firm can help you meet these deadlines and streamline your case as much as possible.
Protect Your Compensation Claim After a Truck Accident in Tampa, FL
Our truck accident lawyers in Tampa, FL, can handle the pursuit of compensation, but you can do a few things to protect your rights along the way. Take a look at some of the following tips.
See a Doctor Immediately
Truck accident victims may require emergency medical care. Even if you didn’t receive care at the accident scene, you should see a doctor and follow through with any prescribed treatment plan you receive. Your health comes first, so avoid delaying treatment. Doing so can worsen your injuries.
Additionally, if you fail to seek medical assessment and treatment, an insurer could try to reduce or outright deny your claim. They also may try to argue that you contributed to your damages. Medical documentation can help us tie the accident to your damages. This can help us establish another party’s negligence and liability.
Stay Off Social Media
Insurers will likely investigate your truck accident and may try to use any information you post online about it against you. Avoid uploading photos of the damage or your injuries or discussing any details about the case in posts.
Do Not Agree to Give a Recorded Statement to an Insurer
After you make a claim for the accident, an insurer may reach out to you for a recorded statement. You do not have to provide this without guidance from your Tampa truck accident attorney. In most cases, they can speak on your behalf and deal with all communication with the liable party and their insurer.
Tampa Has Some of the Most Dangerous Roads in Florida
Plan Hillsborough’s Vision Zero Corridor Studies reports on the top eight high-injury network corridors throughout the county. Per mile, the roads that contribute to the most fatalities and serious injuries include:
- Gibsonton Drive, from I-75 to Balm Riverview Road
- Sheldon Road, from Hillsborough Avenue to Waters Avenue
- 15th Street, from Fowler Avenue to Fletcher Avenue
- Mango Road/CR579, from MLK Boulevard to US 92
- Lynn Turner Road, from Gunn Highway to Ehrlich Road
- 78th Street, from Causeway Boulevard to Palm River Road
- Bruce B Downs Boulevard, from Fowler Avenue to
- Fletcher Avenue, from Armenia Avenue to Nebraska Avenue
Tampa is a growing area, and as more people move here, more commercial vehicles and trucks travel to and through the area. With more vehicles on the road contending with large trucks, the risk of accidents only increases.
Our truck accident attorneys advocate for victims of negligence, and we can help you seek compensation if you were in a truck accident in Tampa. No one should have to suffer a permanent impairment or lose a loved one because of someone else’s carelessness. A settlement or verdict may go a long way to help you cope with mounting medical bills, lost income, and other accident-related losses.
Get Help From Our Truck Accident Lawyer in Tampa, FL, Today
It is imperative to recognize how a trucking company can be negligent in a truck accident. Holding it accountable is critical for pursuing compensation for any damages you suffer in a catastrophic collision. Additionally, we can work to hold other negligent parties liable for your losses.
You don’t have to handle your case alone; our Tampa truck accident lawyers are ready to help you. At Dismuke Law, you and your best interests stand atop our priority list, and we’ll go the extra mile to safeguard your rights to justice. Contact us today for a free consultation.