An Orlando Truck Accident Lawyer Who Knows How to Win
An attorney focused on helping you recover maximum compensation
Trucks can be seen every day in the Orlando area and throughout Central Florida. Tractor-trailers carry cargo down I-4. Big rigs make deliveries to businesses in the city. We usually don’t give trucks a second thought. But when a passenger car is involved in a crash with one of these trucks, people can be seriously hurt.
The injuries from these accidents can be devastating to both the victims and their families. At The Cerasa Law Firm LLC, we can help you track down all of the parties who need to answer for this tragedy. We never lose sight of how your life was impacted. You deserve the fullest compensation possible to recover from what happened.
Truck accidents are much different from other types of accidents. Not only can a truck do far more damage than a car, determining all of the liable parties is somewhat trickier. While the truck driver may have been the person most directly responsible for the accident, their employer and the truck owner can also play a role in these cases.
Insurance companies and truck driver employers are used to defending themselves against truck accident claims. While they may seem friendly, their ultimate goal is to minimize their responsibility. They may even offer you an early settlement right away, but you should not forfeit your right to legal action without speaking with an attorney first.
What are the different types of truck accidents?
Tractor-trailers (also called 18-wheelers, semi-trucks or big rigs) have a high center of gravity and require a longer distance than other vehicles to come to a complete stop. When there is a driver error or something else goes wrong, many types of accidents can occur. These include:
- Rollover accidents: A tractor-trailer flips over completely onto its side or back.
- Jackknife accidents: The cab of a tractor-trailer and the trailer fold in on each other, forming the shape of a folding jackknife.
- Underride accidents: A passenger car slides underneath the trailer of an 18-wheeler.
- Rear-End accidents: A tractor-trailer crashes into the back of a passenger car.
- Blind Spot accidents: A truck tries to make a turn, switch lanes, or merge into traffic and hits a passenger car that the driver doesn’t see.
- Head-On accidents: The front of a tractor-trailer crashes into the front of a passenger car.
How do trucking companies respond when there’s an accident?
Trucking companies have a lot of resources at their disposal, including investigators and lawyers. When there’s been an accident, they put these resources to work right away. A response team is often sent to the scene of the accident. Their job is to take steps to protect the company.
The response team takes photos and talks to witnesses. They also gather information from the truck’s event data recorder (the “black box”) and hours of service logs. This information is owned by the trucking company. That’s why it’s important to talk to an experienced attorney, who can take steps to preserve this evidence.
What makes truck accident cases complicated?
There are many factors that make pursuing compensation after a truck accident complicated. One is that there can be many parties involved. These can include the truck driver, the trucking company, the owner of the trailer, the owner of cargo, the company that loaded the cargo, the truck manufacturer and the manufacturer of any defective parts on the truck. And each party can have its own lawyer and insurance company.
Another factor is that the trucking company owns much of the information that can help prove negligence. This includes information from devices on the truck as well as employment and maintenance records. Also, trucking companies and insurance companies will put a lot of time and effort into fighting your claim, because they know there’s a lot of money at stake.
What regulations do truck drivers and trucking companies have to follow?
A truck can be incredibly dangerous if mishandled. Anyone who drives or utilizes a truck's services needs to understand that they are taking an important responsibility in order to ensure the safety of other drivers. There are numerous state and federal regulations that truckers and their employers must follow to limit their liability and maintain safety on the highways. Unfortunately, these rules are often broken or ignored in order to meet demanding deadlines. When these rules are broken, the fault for an accident usually lies with the trucker and the person who entrusted the truck to the driver.
Here are some of the federal regulations imposed on truck drivers:
- Drivers must pass a physical exam every 2 years
- Drivers can only work up to 70 hours in 8 consecutive days
- Drivers must keep a record of their time at work, including all stops
- Drivers can only drive up to 11 hours per day before a 10-hour rest
Many truck drivers are pressured to break these rules to speed up deliveries, which is why fault lies just as much with the employer as the drivers themselves.
What types of compensation can I pursue after a truck accident?
You can seek compensation for all medical expenses related to the treatment of the injuries you suffered. This includes treatment you need now and will need in the future. For example, you may need surgery, hospitalization, medication, physical therapy, home health care and multiple follow-up visits with doctors.
In addition, you can seek compensation for lost wages you suffered if you couldn’t work because of your injuries, as well as loss of future earnings if you are no longer able to work. You may also be able to recover compensation for other types of damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life.
If you were hurt in an Orlando truck accident, it’s important to get legal advice as soon as possible. Attorney Michael Cerasa is ready to meet with you to talk about what happened and go over your legal options. If we represent you, you owe us nothing unless we recover compensation. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.