Have you or someone you love been hurt in a truck accident in St. Petersburg, FL? You may be entitled to compensation for the harm you have suffered from the at-fault party. An experienced St. Petersburg truck accident lawyer from Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers can help you fight for full compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.
How Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help with Your St. Petersburg Truck Accident Claim
A truck accident can change your life forever. When the truck driver has caused or contributed to your crash, it should be easy to recover the compensation you deserve from their commercial insurance policy.
Sadly, recovering the money you need for your bills and lost wages is often an uphill battle without a St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer on your side.
The St. Petersburg truck accident injury lawyers at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers have 75 years of combined experience representing accident victims. Our AV-rated law firm has two Board Certified Civil Trial attorneys who have recovered more than $100 million for our clients. We put our extensive negotiation and courtroom experience to work for you to fight for maximum compensation.
Choose Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers and count on our injury lawyers to:
- Offer sound legal advice and answer any questions you have
- Perform an in-depth, independent investigation into your accident
- Work with experts in many fields to establish causation, liability, and the extent of your injuries
- Accurately value your claim, including anticipated future damages for lost earnings and medical expenses
- Negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company
- Fight attempts to shift blame to you
- Take your case to court when needed
You are not alone. Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers is here to fight for your rights and the compensation you need. Call our law office to set up a free case review with Tampa Bay’s Top Trial Lawyers.
How Common Are Truck Accidents in Florida?
Large trucks make up just 4% of vehicles on highways in the United States, but they account for one out of every four vehicles along some congested corridors. Commercial trucks are involved in a disproportionate share of fatal accidents: 11% of traffic accident deaths happened in truck crashes.
Truck accidents don’t just have a higher rate of fatalities than car accidents; they also result in more injuries.
These collisions can be more serious than car accidents because:
- A commercial vehicle can weigh up to 30x more than a passenger vehicle
- A loaded tractor-trailer can need up to 40% more distance to stop than a car
- There is a greater discrepancy in stopping distance on wet roads with a truck
- Federal regulations allow large truck drivers to drive for up to 11 hours in a single stretch
- The high ground clearance of a truck can allow a passenger car to be pushed under a truck
In a truck accident, it is the occupants of passenger vehicles who are most likely to be hurt or killed. 72% of fatalities in large truck accidents were occupants of over vehicles. This increased to 96% in two-vehicle crashes between a car and a truck.
Florida is one of the top 10 states for large truck fatalities. 1,354 people were killed in large truck crashes in Florida alone between 2014 and 2018.
What Are the Most Common Causes of St. Petersburg Truck Accidents?
Speeding along is a factor in one-third of fatal accidents. More than 20% of truck drivers involved in a fatal crash had been cited previously with at least one speeding violation. Speeding is particularly dangerous with large trucks as they already take longer to slow down and their sheer size and weight pose a serious risk.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, distracted driving may be more common among large truck carriers. A study found truck drivers are more than 23 times more likely to crash when distracted. A hands-free device used to dial increases the risk of a crash by 600%.
Fortunately, truck drivers are far less likely than other motorists to drive under the influence of alcohol. This is because truck drivers are subject to strict regulations with a lower BAC limit for a DUI. Truck drivers who drink and drive can lose their CDL license for life. Just 2.5% of commercial drivers had a BAC of 0.08 or higher after a documented crash in 2017.
Other major factors that contribute to truck accidents in St. Petersburg include:
- Unfamiliarity with the road or intersection
- Failing to pay attention to the road
- Distracted driving
- Interrupted traffic flow
- Falsely assuming the actions of other drivers
- Illegal maneuvers such as turning right at a red light when prohibited
It’s a common assumption that truck drivers are usually to blame for collisions. However, passenger vehicle drivers are also frequently found at fault for driving in the truck’s blind spots, cutting off trucks with abrupt lane changes, unsafe passing on the truck’s right, and improper merging.
Who Is Liable for a Truck Accident in St. Petersburg?
Multiple parties may be found at fault for a truck accident, especially a multi-vehicle crash.
Your St. Petersburg truck accident lawyer will investigate your accident to identify liable parties who may include:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company or trucker’s employer
- Parties responsible for inspecting and maintaining the truck
- Parties responsible for loading cargo
- Other drivers
- Manufacturers of faulty parts
At Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers, we will perform an independent investigation with the help of experts to determine causation and liability. If multiple parties with commercial insurance policies are at fault, you will have better chances of recovering full compensation, particularly if you suffered very serious injuries.
What Compensation Is Available After a St. Petersburg Truck Accident?
Commercial vehicle accidents often result in serious and even catastrophic injuries. At Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers, we will fight for the maximum compensation you are entitled to for your economic and non-economic damages.
After identifying the parties liable for your crash, we will seek compensation for:
- Current medical expenses
- Future medical bills associated with your injuries
- Lost wages
- Disability and lost future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death
As a “no-fault” state, there are some unique rules to be aware of when filing an injury claim after an accident in Florida. You are required to file a claim against your own policy first for damages.
Your insurance policy will cover your damages up to your policy limits. Under Florida Statutes Section 627.737, you can then pursue a claim against the at-fault driver as long as your injuries pass the “injury threshold.”
There are four categories that meet this threshold standard and allow you to seek additional compensation that exceeds the no-fault carrier coverage:
- Permanent injury based on a reasonable degree of probability,
- Significant and/or permanent loss of a bodily function,
- Significant and/or permanent disfigurement or scarring, or
A fracture may be enough to push you past the threshold because it significantly impairs an important function, even if it is not permanent.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will file a lawsuit even if it is not clear the threshold has been met. The defendant can ask the court to consider if the injuries meet the threshold. Your lawyer will submit evidence to support the claim including evidence about how your injury affected your life.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Trucking Accident in Pinellas County, FL?
You have a limited amount of time to file a personal injury lawsuit after a truck crash in St. Petersburg.
The statute of limitations in Florida is just two years from the collision date. This statutory deadline used to give you four years to file a lawsuit, but it was updated on March 24, 2023. Thus, if the St. Petersburg truck crash happened after 3/24/23, you have two years to bring your lawsuit.
The deadline is two years from the date of death if you are filing a wrongful death claim.
Do not assume that two years is plenty of time. Commercial truck crashes typically require a long investigation to determine how the accident happened and identify liable parties. You must also reach maximum medical improvement before negotiating a settlement, and this can take time.
Contact a truck crash injury lawyer in St. Petersburg as soon as possible to protect your claim and begin gathering the evidence you need.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a St. Petersburg Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a truck accident, you should not be faced with a difficult fight with an insurance company. You deserve fair compensation from the at-fault driver to help you move on with your life. A St. Petersburg truck accident lawyer at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers is here to help you fight for what you deserve.
Call our law firm to schedule your free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you. We work on a contingency-fee basis; you pay nothing out-of-pocket for the legal representation you need.