Commercial trucks must share the road with a variety of other vehicles, from passenger cars to motorcycles. Yet, a large truck is more than 26 times heavier than the average car on the road. As such, when they get into an accident, the occupants in the other vehicles will likely suffer the most serious injuries.
In Zephyrhills, trucking accidents are unfortunately common. These accidents result in nearly 200 injuries to occupants and passengers. Some of those injuries will result in permanent disability, as well as a lifetime of pain and suffering.
If you suffered an injury in a truck accident in Zephyrhills or anywhere in the Tampa area, it is important to know that you are not alone. Our Zephyrhills Truck Accident Lawyers understand the issues and complications that truck accident survivors face after a crash. We know that putting your life back together is not easy—and in some cases, impossible. That is why our Zephyrhills auto accident lawyers fight aggressively for our injured clients every step of the way. We work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the money you need—and deserve.
Experienced Zephyrhills Truck Injury Firm
What happens when you suffer serious and critical injuries after a truck accident? Immediately, trucking companies and their insurers will begin trying to reduce their liabilities. They may offer you a quick settlement or even refuse to discuss your case altogether. When this happens, you need an experienced Zephyrhills injury firm on your side to help you through the legal process.
At Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers, our lawyers know that injured truck accident survivors are rarely treated fairly. Insurance companies use a variety of tactics to try and get them to settle for as little as possible after a crash. This is because they know that truck accident injuries are often severe and life-changing. They’re hoping you settle before you realize just how serious your injuries truly are.
We investigate every angle of your accident to build a solid case for you. This enables us to negotiate a larger settlement or litigate your case in court if necessary. We are not afraid to fight large trucking companies and their insurers and it shows. This tenacity, combined with our experience, enables us to win large truck accident cases in Zephyrhills for our clients.
Here are just a few of our most recent Zephyrhills truck accident cases.
- $3.68 million after a truck accident caused serious back injuries
- $3.3 million after a truck accident caused multiple orthopedic fractures
- $1.25 million after a truck accident caused brain injuries and TMJ
- $900,000 after a truck accident caused long-term brain injuries
- $880,000 after a truck accident caused back and neck injuries
Truck Accidents in Zephyrhills
Zephyrhills is a small community located outside of Tampa, Florida. It is located between U.S. 98 and Interstate 75. The main road in Zephyrhills is U.S. Route 301 and it joins up with U.S. 98 just north of the city. Large commercial trucks routinely use these roads to transport goods and products to and from Tampa, Fort Myers, Miami, and Orlando. It is no surprise that many commercial trucks happen on these roads. In fact, numerous reports name U.S. 98 as one of the most dangerous highways in the country.
Nearly 600 commercial truck accidents occur annually in the Zephyrhills area alone These large trucks deliver goods and products across the country and our economy depends on them. In fact, large trucks transport nearly 70 percent of all freight across the United States.
Where do truck accidents most commonly occur in Zephyrhills? 33 percent of truck accidents occur interstates and freeways, including:
- U.S. Route 301
- U.S. 98
- State Road 54
- Interstate 4
- State Road 39
You might think that the majority of truck accidents would occur during the nighttime when fatigue sets in. However, this is not the case. The majority of truck crashes occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Shockingly, 35 percent of all truck accidents occur during this time.
No matter where your truck accident occurs in Zephyrhills, the injury lawyers at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers want to be there to help. Our lawyers understand the community and the issues accident victims face because we are a part of that community. Founder and managing partner Nicolette Nicoletti grew up in New Port Richey, Florida, just 39 miles away. She returned to the area to practice personal injury law and help accident survivors obtain justice.
Large commercial trucks are found on nearly every highway, interstate, and county road in the United States. An estimated 15.5 million trucks operate in the U.S. and 2 million of those are large tractor-trailers.
These commercial trucks have many names: big rigs, semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and box trucks. They range from medium-sized delivery trucks to larger, heavy-duty oil tankers and semi-trucks. These trucks can get into a variety of accidents on the road.
At Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers, our truck accident lawyers know that each type of truck accident requires a different level of investigation. Building a solid case involves understanding the differences between these truck accidents and the injuries they cause. In many cases, the type of truck accident can point towards the cause of the crash, making it easier to identify the liable parties.
Our firm has successfully represented injured truck accident survivors who suffered an injury in a variety of truck accidents, including:
- Head-on truck accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- Jackknife truck accidents
- Blindspot trucking accidents
- Rollover truck accidents
- Underride truck accidents
- Tire blowouts or truck defect accidents
Our truck accident lawyers investigate each of these types of accidents closely to identify the cause of the crash. For instance, a tire blowout crash may require an in-depth investigation into defective products, recalls, and even trucking maintenance records. A rear-end truck accident, however, might require investigating the actions the truck driver took in the moments that led to the crash and retaining valuable electronic monitoring data. This investigation can point to the true cause of the crash and help us identify all of the responsible parties.
Truck accidents happen for many reasons. At first glance, it may seem like the truck driver carries the blame for the accident. After all, it is their responsibility to avoid serious and deadly accidents. Yet our experience taught us that truck accidents are rarely cut and dry. In fact, in many cases, multiple parties share liability after an accident. A thorough investigation can help identify these parties, so you can obtain maximum compensation.
In general, the most common causes of truck accidents include:
Truck Driver Error
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Reckless driving
Truck Company Negligence
- Improper maintenance
- Hiring inexperienced drivers
- Not checking driver background
- Breaking FMCSA rules and regulations
Shipping Company Negligence
- Improperly loaded cargo
- Failure to secure cargo properly
- Unbalanced loads
- Tire malfunction
- Braking component defects
- Steering defects
- Axle or hitch defects
- Failure to maintain roads
- Poorly designed highways or shoulders
- Dangerous turns or road surfaces
- Overgrown shrubs that obscure street signs
At Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers, we want to identify the cause of your accident as soon as possible, so we can begin building your case. This means we must work quickly. Our quick response team gets to work as soon as you hire us. That’s because we know that many trucking companies already have their own quick response teams that are on-site gathering evidence and trying to reduce their own liabilities. In fact, some are there before law enforcement has even finished conducting their preliminary investigation.
Depending on the type of truck accident and the speed of the vehicles, you may suffer serious and life-threatening injuries. These injuries can cause your entire life to change. After a devastating truck accident, you may find that you can no longer provide care for yourself or your loved ones. You may realize that you can no longer work or even enjoy the life you once loved.
When handling insurance companies after a serious truck accident, you want to know how your injuries will adversely affect your entire life—and your future.
- Will you need money to pay for future surgeries, handicap equipment, or medical devices?
- Will you require compensation for long-term care, nursing assistants, or in-home caregivers?
- Will you need money to pay for the benefits and wages you lost because of your accident and injuries?
At Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers, we realize that any settlement you get should take ALL of your expenses and damages into consideration. To do this, we get to know you and your injuries, and we work with your medical team. Your doctors and specialists can help us understand how your injuries will affect your future and your ability to get your life back. If you are unable to recover fully, we want to make sure you receive enough compensation to handle whatever life throws your way.
Our lawyers have successfully represented truck accident survivors who suffered:
- Head injuries
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Amputation or disfigurement
- Internal organ damage
Because Florida is a no-fault state, you must first contact your own insurance company for compensation. Your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance policy will cover up to $10,000 in medical expenses quickly, without having to prove fault. Yet, injured trucking accident survivors often find that this initial money barely covers their initial expenses, let alone future damages and suffering.
Fortunately, Florida law allows injured truck accident survivors to file a personal injury claim against the negligent parties after they reach their own PIP insurance policy limits. To do this, it is important to retain the services of an experienced and skilled Zephyrhills truck accident law firm.
At Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers, we know how to hold negligent truck drivers, trucking companies, and other parties accountable for their mistakes. We fight aggressively for our clients from the start and are not afraid to take large trucking companies and insurance companies to court if necessary. We make every effort to negotiate your settlement quickly. However, when insurance companies refuse to play fairly, we fight even harder. That’s because we are skilled litigators who know the Zephyrhills courts and judges that will likely preside over your case. We use these resources and connections to achieve success for our clients.
We can help injured accident survivors obtain the money they need to pay for:
- Hospital bills
- Copays, deductibles, and other medical bills
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Long-term care costs
- In-home nursing care fees
- Medical equipment and expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings and benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
With an attorney on your side from the very beginning, you can rest easy knowing you have the support you need to tackle the aftermath of your accident. While you work on recovering, we will negotiate with insurers, meet with medical teams, and help you obtain the money you need - and deserve. Injured accident survivors often find they can collect far more compensation with a law firm in their corner.
It can be difficult to know what to do after being injured in a truck accident. If you never had to deal with insurance claims before, you risk losing your legal rights unless you consult an experienced Zephyrhills truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.
The skilled attorneys at the Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers are here to help. We have helped many injury victims across Florida protect their legal right to compensation, and we can help you too. Our attorneys have prepared this guide of common questions about truck accidents to help you understand more about the process. We cannot give you specific information about your case here, though, so be sure to call and schedule a consultation.
Why are truck accidents usually worse than car accidents in Zephyrhills?
The more force generated in an accident, the more damage it causes. Because of this, insurance companies will often look at vehicle damage to determine the severity of your injuries. It also means that accidents involving large, heavy vehicles (such as a fully-loaded truck) will generate more force.
The increased amount of force, in turn, increases the severity of the injuries that accident victims will suffer. Some truck accident victims do not survive their injuries. When a fatality occurs, survivors have the legal right to file a wrongful death case against a negligent truck driver.
Because truck accidents are known to cause far more damage and cause far more serious injuries than smaller, lighter vehicles, federal transit regulations require commercial vehicles traveling across state lines to carry commercial auto insurance policies. Commercial vehicle owners must pay for high liability limits because their vehicles cause more damage and injuries in an accident. The high insurance coverage ensures that more compensation will be available for those who sustain an injury in a truck accident.
Should I see a doctor after a Zephyrhills truck accident even if I don’t feel hurt?
See a doctor after any truck accident. Even if you do not feel injured right away, you could have injuries that will threaten your life if left untreated. Internal bleeding may not be immediately obvious, but a doctor can tell there is a problem if they notice that your blood pressure is low.
Head injuries also do not show symptoms right away in all cases. They are, however, among the most serious injuries a person can suffer. A person could pass away within a few hours if there is a brain injury that a healthcare professional does not properly diagnose right away.
Aside from the medical reasons for seeing a doctor, there are also legal reasons. An insurance company can try to claim that you made your own injuries worse by delaying medical care. It may even attempt to deny your claim altogether. Only a qualified medical professional can give you a clean bill of health after an accident. Having this important evidence will protect your legal right to compensation for injuries that develop later on.
How do I file an injury claim after a Zephyrhills truck accident?
Some injury victims choose to file a claim without the help of an attorney. You have the right to do so, but there are many reasons why it is in your best interest to secure legal representation.
If you choose to file a claim on your own, you will have to determine who was legally at fault for the accident. Then you must find their insurance policy information and open a claim with the carrier. If the insurance company denies the claim, saying their client was not at fault, you must prove liability, which is difficult to do for a person who does not regularly handle insurance claims.
You may also have to deal with partial liability. Many parties can split liability, so if the insurance company says that their client is only partly at fault, you may need to find the other liable parties and file claims on their liability insurance policies.
This is an entirely new layer of paperwork and legal theories. When more than one defendant is involved, each has the opportunity to try to pass the blame to the others and get out of paying altogether. Injury victims without an attorney are more vulnerable to having claims denied.
With an experienced injury lawyer on your side, you can rest easy knowing that a professional is protecting your legal right to compensation. Your attorney and their staff will also handle all communications with the insurance company and gather the necessary documentation for your claim.
Being free from these tasks will allow you to focus on making the best recovery possible from your injuries, in addition to increasing the amount of compensation you are likely to receive. Studies consistently show that injury victims with an attorney settle their claims for more money than those whom counsel does not represent.
What if I don’t know who was at fault in my Zephyrhills truck accident?
It is not always clear who was at fault in causing a truck accident. Even if it seems obvious (such as in a rear-end collision), there could be other legal issues at play in your case. The truck might have had defective brakes. The trucking company might be requiring its workers to drive longer than federal regulations allow. These circumstances can result in liability on someone other than the truck driver. However, if you do not regularly handle truck accident cases, you may not know who is at fault. This fact can keep you from getting the compensation that you deserve.
An experienced attorney will find out who was at fault and how to prove it in court. Your injury lawyer will also defend your claim from attacks by an insurance company that wants to deny it altogether, protecting your legal right to compensation for truck accident injuries from the proper negligent parties.
How can you prove that a Zephyrhills truck driver was negligent?
Your injury lawyer has many ways to prove who was at fault for causing a truck accident. Insurance companies often believe that the police report is particularly persuasive evidence since a third party uninvolved in the accident prepares the document.
Physical evidence, such as pictures of the scene or measurements of skid marks, can also help in revealing what happened to cause an accident. Attorneys can also interview witnesses who can give accounts of what they saw that corroborate your account of what happened.
In the case of large commercial trucks, another critical piece of evidence can prove your case: the vehicle’s Electronic Logging Device. Until recently, truck drivers prepared their own logbooks showing mileage and hours that complied with federal regulations (which limit the hours a trucker may drive before taking a rest period). These paper logs largely relied on the honor system. As a result, some truck drivers would get away with driving too many hours or driving when they were too tired to do so safely.
As of 2017, the Department of Transportation now requires commercial trucks to be equipped with Electronic Logging Devices. These boxes wirelessly transmit hours, mileage, and other data to a remote server. They have many safeguards against tampering to prevent drivers from falsifying their hours. Because of this, the reliable data these devices provide is very strong evidence in court. It can also help your expert witnesses form accurate opinions about what happened to cause the accident.
What insurance coverage is available for Zephyrhills truck accident victims?
Many different insurance policies might help pay when you sustain an injury in a truck accident:
- The truck itself has coverage from a commercial policy with high liability coverage limits.
- The driver and transportation company might also have their own liability insurance policies.
- If you were on the job when the truck accident occurred, you might also be eligible for workers’ compensation coverage.
- If you were riding in a rideshare vehicle (such as Uber or Lyft), you might also receive compensation under their supplemental corporate policies. These policies also have large limits to protect the corporate assets of these large companies. Once other policy limits have been exhausted (such as the Uber driver’s personal auto insurance policy), the corporate policy can provide supplemental coverage of up to a million dollars for injuries sustained while you were a passenger in the Uber.
Here, too, is why you need an experienced injury lawyer to handle your truck accident claim.
Even if you identify the proper defendant and prove that they were at fault, you can rarely recover the compensation you deserve without finding a valid insurance policy. Injury lawyers know how to find all policies with coverage that apply to your particular situation. They also know how to work through policy exclusions, claim denials, and other tactics an insurance company might use to try to get out of paying for your injuries. These important steps protect your legal right to compensation for your truck accident injuries.
Once you file each necessary claim, you then have to deal with adjusters representing each company. Each adjuster is trying to minimize your claim, and you must be very careful about all communications. Instead of trying to juggle these yourself—and risk making costly errors—you should always have a lawyer handling all insurance communications for you.
How long will my Zephyrhills truck accident case take to resolve?
Many factors determine how quickly your case resolves. The more complications there are, the longer it will take to resolve your claim.
Common complications that arise in Zephyrhills truck accident cases include:
- Complicated injuries requiring care from specialists
- Underlying medical conditions that exacerbate the auto accident injuries
- Liability issues when multiple parties are at fault for the accident
- Concurrent criminal charges, such as a truck driver impaired at the time of an accident)
- Bad faith insurance tactics, such as denying a claim without cause or intentionally causing unnecessary delays
- Conditions that exacerbate your pain and suffering
- A lack of cooperation from the defendant
Some of these complications mean that you will have to take your case to a jury to get fair compensation for your injuries. Other times, it will just take a little longer for your lawyer to prove your case to the insurance company and get a fair settlement offer. Once your attorney has a chance to investigate your particular claims, they can give you a better idea of how long your case will take and whether it is likely to go to court.
How much does it cost to hire a Zephyrhills truck accident lawyer?
Some injury victims hesitate to hire an injury lawyer because they are worried about the cost. The good news is that our truck accident lawyers do not require you to pay them upfront.
Instead, most injury attorneys work on a contingency, meaning that you agree to pay them a set percentage of any settlement or jury verdict they obtain on your behalf. If you do not receive compensation, they receive no payment, and you owe the attorney nothing. Contingency agreements help injury victims get the legal help they need right away without waiting for the cost of an attorney’s fees preventing them.
In addition to your truck accident attorney’s percentage (which your representation agreement should clearly state in writing), there are other costs and expenses from your settlement. If your attorney had to hire expert witnesses to prove your case, their fees would come out of your settlement, as would any court costs such as filing fees. Your final statement should itemize all of these costs.
Proving your case can require a significant amount of attorney’s fees, court costs, and litigation expenses. However, these costs and fees are an investment that allows you to get a fair settlement offer or jury award. Without this investment, you could end up with nothing. It is always well worth it—and no risk—to contact an experienced truck accident lawyer for help with your claim.
Did you suffer an injury in a truck accident in Zephyrhills, New Port Richey, or anywhere in Tampa? If so, you need an experienced law firm on your side to help you collect the money you deserve. At Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers, our Zephyrhills personal injury lawyers want to fight for you after a catastrophic truck accident. Our firm has the resources needed to take on these complex cases - and win.
Injured truck accident survivors have a right to seek legal advice and help after a serious accident. To learn more about the various legal options available to you, call us at (727) 845-5972 or fill out our confidential contact form. We offer free consultations and reviews, as well as personalized one-on-one service from the start. Call us today and begin building your case!