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Those who have the great misfortune of being involved in an accident with a truck or other large commercial vehicle often sustain truly profound and sometimes fatal injuries. The simple fact of the matter is that the differences in height and weight between massive motor carriers and conventional passenger cars are so large that the laws of physics can make positive outcomes unlikely.

Sadly, incidents of this nature are all too often caused by the negligent actions of trucking company operators, truck drivers, vehicle equipment manufacturers and others. When this happens, Floridians owe it to themselves and their families to aggressively seek fair financial compensation and accountability from responsible parties. A Clearwater truck accident lawyer can be a victim’s strongest ally in the fight for justice following a tragic event of this type. Call and schedule a consultation with an injury attorney in Clearwater today to discuss the first steps you should take.

Truck Accident Dynamics

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), in 2014 a total of 3,660 individuals lost their lives in accidents involving large trucks or buses, with most of those fatalities befalling occupants of passenger vehicles. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported that in the same year, an additional 88,000 large truck accidents resulted in injury.

The dangers of commercially-sized trucks are manifest–these vehicles can be very difficult to drive, as they are so massive and weigh so much. They require a special license that comes with training geared specifically toward controlling these huge vehicles. Additionally, because they have 18 wheels, they are at a significantly higher risk for a blowout that could cause them to lose control than another, smaller passenger vehicle.

truck accident

Also, the fact that they are so long makes it much harder for other vehicles to be visible to the driver. The blind spots on these trucks are massive, and it can be very dangerous for a small vehicle to be in places where the driver does not have the right angle to see them.

Large trucks are also at risk for tipping over because of the weight distribution and their relative length. Also, because they are so heavy, when they do collide with other vehicles, the damage is often very severe.

Common Accident Scenarios

It is important to note that truck drivers across the country are governed by a comprehensive set of regulations and licensing rules designed to protect everyone who shares America’s roadways.

Even so, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has indicated that roughly one-third of truck accidents each year are attributable, at least in part, to errors made by those same drivers.

Fatigue, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, distracted driving and simple errors in judgment routinely produce violent, often deadly crashes. Improper vehicle maintenance, uneven cargo loads, and equipment malfunctions are also among the hazards which many motorists unwittingly face when on the roads alongside heavy trucks.

Injuries in Clearwater Truck Accidents Can Range From Serious and Catastrophic to Deadly

Truck crashes are among the most perilous and deadly types of motor vehicle accidents. The standard large commercial truck can weigh around 80,000 pounds when loaded fully. On the other hand, a standard passenger vehicle weighs around 3,000 pounds. This significant weight imbalance is the reason why vehicle occupants suffer more serious injuries in a truck vs. car crash, and these injuries can lead to temporary or permanent disability, impairment, or disfigurement.

Because of the immense weight and size of trucks, truck crashes usually result in exceptionally catastrophic injuries. People who are fortunate enough to survive a crash may struggle with lifelong conditions that can disfigure and disable them. These injuries can include the following:

  • Internal Injuries – You can suffer everything from a collapsed lung to internal bleeding, depending on how the injury occurred and which organs were damaged. These injuries can lead to decreased or lifelong loss of organ function.
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) – The impact of a truck crash can injure your head through rapid jerking movements or direct trauma, resulting in a TBI that can lead to permanent cognitive and physical problems. TBIs can include:
  • Concussion
  • Contusion
  • Intracranial hematoma
  • Brain hemorrhage
  • Penetrating brain injuries
  • Diffuse axonal injury (DAI)
  • Coup-contrecoup brain injury
  • Second impact syndrome
  • Broken Bones – While car crashes can fracture bones, truck crashes can cause multiple and complex bone fractures that can result in significant mobility loss or permanent disability.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries (SCIs) – Truck collisions can lead to an SCI by directly damaging the vertebrae or spinal cord. Back trauma from truck crashes can cause sensory issues, impact the control of some organs, and cause partial or total paralysis.
  • Amputations – Truck crashes can inflict immense damage to an arm, leg, hand, or foot, increasing the risk of infection and amputation. If amputation is needed to remove a mangled body part that’s beyond saving, it can lead to extreme pain, a significant handicap, and a lengthy recovery process.

What Our Clearwater Truck Accident Attorneys Can Do For You

If you or a family member were hurt in a truck crash, you will need legal representation with the right skills, experience, and resources to handle complex truck accident cases. The Clearwater truck accident attorneys at Tragos, Sartes & Tragos understand how to deal with any kind of issue that may arise.

We’ll be by your side at every step of the claims process to ensure that your legal rights are protected, and that no insurance company will bully you into accepting a settlement offer that will not be enough to cover all your truck accident-related losses.

We will investigate your case thoroughly, gather all the necessary evidence, and handle all negotiations with the insurance companies of the liable parties. Our Clearwater truck accident attorneys are also prepared to take your case all the way to court when insurers fail to offer the maximum compensation you deserve.

Establishing Liability

The potential causes of serious truck accidents in Florida are extremely varied, and that is why a Clearwater truck accident attorney must commence a thorough investigation into the facts of every client’s case.

One reason for this is that there may be multiple parties from which compensation may be pursued, some of which may initially seem relatively far removed from the incident itself, but can be shown to have played a role in its occurrence.

While truck drivers themselves can certainly be found liable for their own negligent acts and omissions behind the wheel, other possible defendants in a truck accident case could include:

  • Trucking company managers and owners
  • Truck and component manufacturers
  • Freight line maintenance contractors
  • Cargo loading personnel

Given the breath and complexity presented in truck accident cases, it is vital that a truck accident lawyer in Clearwater explore every possible angle and examine each potentially responsible party. Ultimately, the overriding objective is to help victims receive the financial resources they and their families need in order to begin the arduous process of recovery.

Reasons to File a Claim

The severity of injuries and losses routinely resulting from heavy truck accidents cannot be denied. Traumatic brain injuries, burns, bone fractures, spinal cord harm and death are among the catastrophic effects of such events, and all can be suffered by passenger car occupants, pedestrians, construction workers and motorcyclists alike.

Total costs stemming from accidents of this sort have exceeded $87 billion annually, according to FMCSA estimates, making it more important than ever for victims to secure diligent, zealous legal advocacy for financial recovery which could encompass medical costs, lost wages, therapy expenses and more.

Consulting With An Attorney

Accident victims are afforded the right and the opportunity to pursue substantial amounts of financial compensation in the aftermath of a truck collision. However, that is not to say that the road to monetary recovery is always a smooth one.

A Clearwater truck accident lawyer will work collaboratively with a network of medical experts, engineers and support staff to vigorously advance each client’s case. If you would like to discover how an attorney with our firm can help protect your family’s future, contact us today.