PORT ST. LUCIE, FL TRUCK ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
Truck accidents are serious events, which often lead to tragic consequences. Collisions with trucks on South Florida roads and highways frequently end in life-changing injuries, ranging from whiplash to multiple broken bones, head and brain trauma, loss of limbs, and spinal cord damage. In the worst cases, someone dies, leaving behind shocked and grieving family members.
The Port St. Lucie truck accident attorneys at Steinger, Greene & Feiner have helped hundreds of people just like you who have been seriously hurt or have experienced the unexpected death of a loved one in such accidents. We know how much can be lost, in terms of physical injuries, emotional distress, and the financial repercussions of medical expenses, loss of work, and out-of-pocket costs. That is why our firm has spent more than a decade fighting for the rights of truck accident victims in Port St. Lucie and throughout South Florida.
If you have recently been hurt in a truck accident in Port St. Lucie, contact us today to learn about your legal rights and the next best steps to take. Call (772) 200-4696 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation case review today.
WHY YOU NEED A PORT ST. LUCIE TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER
Following a serious accident of this kind, you will likely need medical attention. That medical care may be temporary or extensive, depending on the nature of your injuries. Handling the legal and technical aspects of an accident claim will probably be the furthest thing from your mind, if you can concentrate at all. Beyond this, you may have little understanding or experience in making such claims or dealing with an insurance company — whose main objective will likely be to pay you as little as possible.
Because truck accidents can involve state and federally regulated corporate entities such as trucking companies, they tend to be complex. Having an experienced professional legal team on your side can be incredibly beneficial. You can task your attorney with handling all of the necessary case details, such as gathering evidence, investigating fault, and litigating any disputes. These services reduce the burden of conducting your case while improving your chances of a successful outcome.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A TRUCK ACCIDENT
While every truck accident case is different, there are a number of steps you should follow, generally, once a collision with a large commercial vehicle has occurred:
- Check on the health of everyone (including yourself) and then call 911 to request EMS and report the accident
- Ensure you are in a safe area. If you can move your vehicles safely, do so. You may want to take photos of the wreckage before it is moved.
- Exchange information with the truck driver (and any other drivers involved). Ask to see their commercial driver’s license and liability insurance policy card.
- Wait at the scene for police and EMS to arrive. Remain calm. Do not apologize or admit fault. Do not accuse anyone else of fault. Obtain contact information of any witnesses.
- Report your experience of the incident to police accurately. Do not speculate, and do not admit fault. Just report the facts, as best you can remember them.
- Seek medical attention immediately. Go to the ER if you think you are seriously hurt. Go to urgent care or a doctor’s office within 48 hours even if you think you aren’t hurt.
- Request a full diagnosis at the ER/clinic you visit. Consent to all tests needed. Report your symptoms accurately and in detail.
- Contact your own insurance PIP and auto insurance companies, and inform them of the accident.
- Consider speaking with an attorney before you contact the commercial bodily injury liability (BIL) insurer representing the truck driver who hit you.
- Save all of your medical discharge information, billing, and receipts. Also, track changes in your income since the accident. You will use these documents to build an injury claim demanding 100% of your accident-related losses.
RELENTLESS LEGAL REPRESENTATION FOR PORT ST. LUCIE INJURY VICTIMS
A personal injury can occur in a variety of ways, but almost all have the same results in common. Suddenly, your life is disrupted and possibly jeopardized physically, emotionally, and financially by an accident or incident which could have been prevented.
WHY STEINGER, GREENE & FEINER IS THE RIGHT CHOICE
The legal team at our firm is made up of more than 30 attorneys who have 130 case managers, legal assistants, legal investigators, and other support staff ensuring that every aspect of your case is managed effectively.
We are familiar with the procedure for cases similar to yours, we have the legal knowledge, and we have proven that our legal skills and aggressive approach can get the job done. Our professional ratings and memberships reflect the quality of our service. We have earned top ratings by legal industry groups such as AVVO and Martindale-Hubbell. Our firm has been featured on national news media programs, such as the Today Show, NBC, ABC, and Fox. Few attorneys are invited to become members of the Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forums, which are organizations for lawyers who have obtained those kinds of numbers in settlements and verdicts for their clients. Ours have achieved that distinction.
GET CAPABLE LEGAL HELP FOLLOWING A TRUCK ACCIDENT IN PORT ST. LUCIE
Many steps may need to be taken following a truck accident to increase your chances for a favorable claim recovery. A Port St. Lucie truck accident lawyer at the firm can guide you through the claims process, providing the legal support you need in the wake of such a difficult event. You can take advantage of all the resources that our team provides with a simple phone call. You will pay nothing upfront, based on our contingency fee plan. So contact us any time night or day to get started.
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STATISTICS FOR TRUCK ACCIDENTS IN PORT ST. LUCIE
Port St. Lucie’s highways are busy with freight transport, construction vehicles, and all other manner of heavy trucks. Because of all this activity, we have a relatively high volume of truck accidents in our fair city.
According to 2018 statistics from the FLHSMV, St. Lucie saw has a 3-year average of 622 commercial vehicle accidents per year, leading to an average of 109 injuries and three deaths.
The same statistical report reveals that, in Florida as a whole, large truck drivers were involved in 39 fatal accidents, 129 accidents with incapacitating injuries, 421 accidents with non-incapacitating injuries, and 758 accidents with possible injuries.
COMMON CAUSES OF TRUCK ACCIDENTS
Truck accidents can occur for a number of various reasons. Some of the most important reasons to a truck accident injury case involve situations where the truck driver — or their employer — was negligent.
According to a comprehensive large truck causation study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), some of the most common driver-error-related causes of truck accidents include:
- Vehicle brake failure (29%)
- Prescription drug use (26% of crashes)
- Traveling too fast for conditions (23%)
- Unfamiliar with roadway (22%)
- Over the counter drug use (17%)
- Not surveying surroundings (13%)
- Driver fatigue (13%)
- Under work-related pressure (9%)
- Illegal maneuvers (9%)
- Driver inattention (9%)
- Distractions outside the cab (8%)
- Inadequate evasive action (7%)
- Aggressive driving behavior (7%)
- Unfamiliar with the vehicle (7%)
- Following too closely (5%)
DIFFERENT TYPES OF TRUCK ACCIDENTS IN PORT ST. LUCIE
Trucks can be involved in many types of accident scenarios. Some are more dangerous than others, but all have the potential to cause serious injury or death.
According to 2017 crash statistics from the FMCSA, some of the most common types of truck accidents in the United States include:
Collision with Another Motor Vehicle
By far, the most common triggering event for fatal and injury-causing truck accidents is a collision with another vehicle on the road — AKA “vehicle in transport.” FMCSA statistics show that 93% of fatal accidents and 96% of injury-causing accidents began when the truck driver collided with another vehicle.
Collision with a Pedestrian
Pedestrian accidents are all-too-common on our highways, and they tend to happen with alarming frequency when a heavy commercial truck is the only vehicle involved in an accident. The FMCSA reports that 266 fatal truck crashes and 1,000 injury crashes involved a truck striking a pedestrian. These collisions make up 31% of all fatal single-vehicle truck accidents, total.
Rollover (Overturn Accident)
In 2017, 181 fatal accidents and over 5,000 injury accidents involved a truck rolling over. This can occur when the vehicle loses traction, has to brake suddenly, has a sudden cargo shift, or encounters an obstacle or uneven surface. A tractor trailer overturning can easily snarl up other vehicles and lead to serious injuries.
Jackknife truck accidents occur when the trailer quickly whips around on the truck cab, causing it to lose control. The runaway trailer can then become uncoupled, overturn, or cause other major accident scenarios. Fortunately, with the mandatory implementation of anti-lock trailer rakes in 1995, jackknife accidents are much more rare, these days. FMCSA statistics show just 12 such fatal accidents in 2017, and an extremely small volume of jackknife incidents in non-fatal crashes.
A carriage underride occurs when a motor vehicle gets wedged beneath a tractor trailer. This is an extremely dangerous scenario since it can remove the entire canopy of a vehicle or crush it. Individuals involved in a carriage underride are likely to be seriously hurt or killed. Despite the danger of these accidents, federal regulators have been unable to pass stricter rules on underride guards for large trucks.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT TRUCK ACCIDENTS
How Common Are Truck Accidents, Injuries, and Fatalities in the US?
According to the FMCSA, there were, “450,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks in 2017,” which led to 4,237 fatal crashes (1% of all truck accidents) and 344,000 injury crashes (23% of all truck accidents).
Who Is More Likely to Be Injured in a Truck Accident: The Truck Driver or Me?
Truck drivers are much less likely to be injured than other vehicle occupants in a collision, especially for fatal injuries. FMCSA statistics for 2017 show that large trucks are slightly more likely to be involved in fatal accidents than the typical passenger vehicle — 1.6 fatal accidents per 100 million U.S. vehicle miles traveled for large trucks, vs. 1.4 for passenger vehicles. Furthermore, 2017 crash data shows that 3,135 passenger vehicle occupants and 275 motorcycle occupants were killed in large truck crashes that year, compared to just 343 large truck occupants.
What Is a “Commercial Truck”?
Any vehicle owned by a business or primarily used for business purposes is considered a “commercial vehicle.” This includes large semi trucks, tankers, dump trucks, construction vehicles and cargo vans, as well as smaller passenger vehicles. All large semi trucks require a commercial driver’s license to operate. Anyone operating a commercial freight vehicle in the U.S. must carry a minimum of $750,000 of per-accident liability insurance.
Who Is Responsible in the Event of a Trucking Accident?
Working with a Port St. Lucie truck accident attorney can help you identify all liable parties involved in causing your accident. This potentially includes: the owner of the truck, the company that commissioned the freight transport, the manufacturer of the truck or key safety components, the maintenance company assigned to repair the truck, a private owner/operator, and anyone else involved in contracting or licensing the specific shipment/route.
Can I Sue the Truck Driver’s Trucking Company for my Injuries?
In many instances, the trucking company that contracted the route can be held liable for the damages caused in an accident, even if the truck driver was an independent contractor/owner operator. Owner-operators are required to carry their own insurance policies, regardless. An attorney can help you identify sources of negligence that contributed to your accident scenario and pursue liability claims against all negligent parties.
PROVEN PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
A fair settlement is not what you can expect to receive from the insurance company. Their goal is to reduce payouts on claims so they can remain highly profitable. Our proven and committed legal team understands the tactics these companies regularly use to pay claimants as little as possible. We routinely battle their defenses in and out of court, and have developed effective methods for doing so.
With a legal team of more than 30 lawyers and more than 140 staff, including investigators and other assistants, we have the resources needed to get the job done efficiently. With our No-Fee Guarantee, you can bring your personal injury case to us with confidence, knowing you will pay nothing until we recover the compensation you deserve. Throughout the entire case, we will be by your side, providing the guidance you need.
Schedule a free, no-obligation case review to learn more about how an experienced Port St. Lucie truck accident lawyer can assist your case and help you seek the maximum available compensation. Call (772) 200-4696 or contact us online to schedule your free case review now.