Destin Truck Accidents
Every car accident has the potential to cause serious physical, mental, and financial trauma. However, the risk for severe or fatal injuries is much higher in truck accidents. A fully loaded tractor trailer can be 20 to 30 times heavier than a traditional passenger vehicle, and their massive size means that operators need up to 40% more time to come to a complete stop. The bulky structure of a tractor-trailer also makes it much more difficult to drive, so inexperienced drivers often struggle to react quickly when an obstacle appears.
Knowing all of this, it should come as no surprise that truck accidents can cause massive financial damage for Florida residents. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a truck accident, find out how the team at Whibbs Stone Barnett can help. Call us at 850-434-5395 to schedule a consultation.
Truck Accidents Are Much More Dangerous Than Passenger Vehicle Collisions
When compared to passenger vehicles, trucks are far more likely to be involved in severe or fatal crashes. When this happens, those in the other vehicle are more likely to get hurt or killed than the driver of the truck. In 2019, there were over 2,700 fatal crashes involving buses and tractor-trailers. These crashes led to more than 3,000 deaths. The size and structure of a truck makes it very difficult to slow down in response to an obstacle, and inclement weather or busy roads only increase the chance of an accident.
The trucking industry has grown exponentially in recent years, leaving many trucking companies struggling to find enough drivers to make their required trips. This means that some of the truck drivers you see on the road do not have enough experience to handle emergency situations, bad weather, or heavy traffic. When an inexperienced driver meets backed up traffic on one of Florida’s major highways or a bad rainstorm, an accident is very likely.
Your Next Steps After a Destin, FL Truck Accident
What you do right after a truck accident can impact your physical health and your ability to receive compensation for the crash. Reviewing these tips before you need them can help you make the right choices when adrenaline keeps you from thinking clearly. We recommend:
- Report the accident to the police. Truck accidents often cause a massive amount of bodily harm and property damage, so they must be reported to the police. Wait at the scene of the accident for emergency personnel to arrive.
- Exchange contact and insurance information with other parties. You’ll need to exchange important information with the driver of the tractor-trailer, as well as anyone else who was involved in the crash. If the other driver is confrontational or angry, ask the police officer to help you with the exchange.
- Talk to witnesses to get their contact information. If witnesses stop to provide help or talk to the police officers, get their contact information too.
- Document what you remember from the crash. You might want to write down what you remember after the crash or even create a voice memo in your phone. Details will start fading from your memory very quickly, so it’s crucial to make this a top priority.
- Seek immediate medical attention. Whether you go to the emergency room, an urgent care center, or a primary care physician, you must seek prompt care. Truck accidents often lead to severe injuries that require prompt treatment.
- Hire an attorney. Once you are physically safe and have received the medical care you need, get in touch with a Destin, FL truck accident attorney. You’ll need their help to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Truck Collisions in Florida
In some cases, truck accidents are caused by malfunctioning parts, unsafe roads, or unclear road signage. In most cases, though, an accident is the result of human error. Some of the most commonly reported causes of crashes include:
- Fatigued driving. This is a huge problem in the trucking industry. With the industry unable to keep up with hiring demands, many employers expect more and more from their drivers. Drivers are often pushed to the limit, told to skip breaks, and told to ignore federal laws requiring rest days.
- Impaired driving. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a huge risk factor. This is why many truck companies require a full drug and alcohol screen after a crash.
- Distracted driving. Whether a driver is distracted by something on their dashboard, their phone, or their meal, their attention is not on the road. It takes less than a second for a tragedy to occur.
- A lack of vehicle maintenance. Tractor-trailers have rigorous maintenance schedules. When checkups or quick fixes are skipped, accidents can occur.
- Overloaded or poorly loaded trucks. Trucks that are poorly loaded or have too much cargo are more likely to tip over.
- Inexperienced drivers. Inexperienced truck drivers often don’t know how to respond to changes in weather, traffic, or road conditions.
Fighting for the Compensation You Are Owed
If you are involved in a truck accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Accident victims are often awarded damages for:
- Medical bills and, in some cases, future medical expenses
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Before you can collect the compensation that you deserve after an accident, you have to determine who is at fault and fight for a fair settlement. That’s where your attorney comes in to help.
How We Can Help
Getting full and fair compensation is no small task after a truck accident. Not only will you be fighting against the insurance company that insures the truck, you may also find yourself up against the employer’s insurance provider, the owner of the cargo being transported, the company that loaded the cargo, and the owner of the truck. There are lots of parties involved in a truck crash, which makes it significantly more complicated than a passenger vehicle crash.
This means that it’s even more important to conduct a thorough investigation and figure out who is responsible for the accident. Rather than getting shuffled from company to company, each of which is determined to wash their hands of the situation, your attorney can get to the bottom of it.
After determining liability, your Destin, FL truck accident lawyer will begin the process of fighting for the compensation you deserve. In many times, this simply means negotiating a settlement. Most insurance companies want to avoid court whenever possible, so it’s just a matter of getting them to agree to a fair settlement. If the insurance company is unwilling to pay you what you truly deserve, don’t worry. Whibbs Stone Barnett is more than ready to take your case to court and fight for your best interests there.
Reach Out to Whibbs Stone Barnett Now
A truck accident can be physically and financially devastating, but you don’t have to go through it alone. The team at Whibbs Stone Barnett fights passionately on behalf of every single client. To schedule a time to meet, give us a call at 850-434-5395 or fill out our online contact form.