Truck Accident Attorneys in Fort Walton Beach
Each day, thousands of big rig trucks roll through Fort Walton Beach and communities throughout Florida, transporting goods and supplies that these communities need. Trucking is one of the largest industries in America, and we depend the products they transport in order to maintain our standard of living. But although large commercial trucks are essential, they can also be very dangerous.
When an 18-wheeler that weighs approximately 80,000 pounds (when fully loaded) crashes into a standard passenger vehicle, there is very little doubt that those inside the passenger vehicle are probably going to take the worst of it. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), of the 4000+ individuals who are killed each year in trucking accidents, 67% are occupants of passenger vehicles compared to 16% who are occupants of the semi-trucks. Pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists account for the remainder of truck accident fatalities.
Trucking accidents can result in some of the most serious and catastrophic injuries, and when someone gets hurt in a truck accident in Fort Walton Beach, they have a right to be fully compensated. Trucking companies and their insurers typically devote a lot of resources to fighting these types of claims, however, because they tend to involve higher dollar amounts than a typical auto accident. These cases are also far more complicated than standard car accident cases, and when someone tries to handle a claim like this on their own, it is usually an uphill battle.
At Whibbs, Stone & Barnett, P.A., we have over six decades of combined experience representing individuals who have been injured in truck accidents in Fort Walton Beach, Pensacola, in nearby Florida communities. Our lawyers have in-depth knowledge of the complexities of trucking accident cases, the many factors that can contribute to these types of accidents, and the numerous laws and regulations that govern the industry. We work closely with our clients, taking the time to thoroughly investigate each case and explore every potential legal avenue toward recovering maximum compensation.
We are skilled litigators and strong negotiators. We routinely go up against well-funded adversaries such as large insurance companies, and we are not intimidated by their vast resources. When possible, we seek to negotiate a settlement that fairly compensates our client and is in keeping with their best interests. That said, if the other side is not willing to negotiate in good faith, we are ready and able to pursue full damages through litigation.
Injuries from Fort Walton Beach Truck Accidents go Beyond Just Physical
As we talked about previously, trucking accidents can result in severe and fatal injuries, including:
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Fractures/broken bones
- Amputations/loss of limbs
- Internal injuries
- Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries
- Severe burn injuries
The physical injuries that a truck accident victim sustains only tell part of the story, however. A traumatic event like crashing into a semi-truck can cause serious emotional and psychological issues as well. These may include anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and many others.
An injury like this affects more than just the victim, those closest to them deal with many of the emotional and psychological effects as well. For example, spouses are often thrust into the role of a caregiver, something most of them are not prepared for. Also, when children see a parent that they have always viewed as a strong provider, protector, and guiding figure become disabled, it can be very difficult for them to accept and deal with.
Who is Responsible for a Fort Walton Beach Trucking Accident?
There are a number of reasons why truck accidents occur, and they most often come down to some type of human error. Some common causes include:
- Aggressive or reckless driving
- Driving while intoxicated
- Drowsy driving
- Distracted driving
- Overloaded/unevenly loaded trucks
- Negligent maintenance
- Vehicle defects
In assigning fault for a truck accident, the first place you would normally look is at the driver. While it is true that driving behaviors (sometimes on the part of more than one driver involved) could be the cause of an 18-wheeler accident, there are many cases when it can go beyond that. For example, a commercial truck driver may have been speeding, but later it could be learned that they were encouraged to do so because they were given an unrealistic deadline they had to meet.
Through a thorough investigation, it might be revealed that other parties are to blame (for the truck accident) in addition to the driver. These may include:
- The Driver’s Employer: As we touched on in the prior example, a trucker’s employer could be held responsible for an accident the driver is involved in, even if they did not cause the accident directly.
- The Cargo/Shipping Company: The company responsible for loading the cargo onto the truck could be held responsible if the cargo exceeded allowed weight limits and/or it was unevenly loaded. This can happen when the loading is done in a hurry in order to stay on schedule.
- The Truck Repair/Maintenance Shop: The party responsible for maintaining the truck could be at fault if they failed to make a necessary repair, installed the wrong part, or did other damage to the vehicle that contributed to the accident.
- A Vehicle or Vehicle Part Maker: A faulty vehicle or vehicle part could be a contributing factor in a truck accident. Examples include brake line failures that do not prevent the vehicle from stopping and brand-new tires that blow out while the vehicle is traveling at a high speed. When these types of incidents occur, it may be possible to bring a product liability claim against the manufacturer, supplier, or distributor of the defective product.
Contact a Knowledgeable and Compassionate Fort Walton Beach Truck Accident Lawyer
At Whibbs Stone & Barnett, we understand that getting hurt in a trucking accident can take a major physical, emotional, and financial toll on victims and their families, and we are here to provide strong legal guidance and moral support during this difficult time. To schedule a free consultation and case assessment with one of our experienced attorneys, message us online or call our office today at 1-888-219-4561. We look forward to serving you!