Tampa Bay Semi Truck Accident Attorney

A tractor trailer after an accident in Florida.

Truck accidents are some of the most devastating collisions that occur on Florida’s busy roads and highways. Serious truck accidents often leave victims with life-altering injuries or disfigurement. When compared to typical car crashes, truck wrecks are more likely to result in death.

If you were injured in a semi-truck accident, you may be entitled to significant compensation. The Tampa Bay truck accident attorneys of Zervos & Calta, PLLC can help.

Our experienced legal team is known for:

  • Taking aggressive legal action against careless trucking companies and their insurers.
  • Providing superior legal services on a contingency basis.
  • Fighting for fair compensation for our clients.

You have a right to demand financial compensation if you were wrongfully injured in a truck accident. For a free case evaluation, contact us today.

Our Tampa Bay, FL truck accident lawyers serve many areas throughout the state, including Hernando County, Tarpon Springs, St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Spring Hill.

Benefits of Hiring a Florida Truck Accident Attorney

After a crash, some victims opt to negotiate out of court with the other driver’s insurance company. However, this process becomes much more complex when a commercial truck is involved in the accident.

After a serious truck accident, you may have to deal with multiple liable parties and deep-pocketed insurance or trucking companies. This is why it’s essential to hire a truck accident lawyer in Florida when pursuing compensation.

An experienced attorney can:

  • Conduct an Investigation – In order to pursue compensation after a semi-truck accident, you’ll need to determine liability – or who was at fault. Liability isn’t always straightforward. There may be negligence by any number of parties – the truck driver, the trucking company, third-party maintenance teams, manufacturers and other persons. Your attorney can conduct a full investigation and take legal action against all responsible parties.
  • Navigate Federal Regulations and State Laws – Did you know that federal trucking regulations may be relevant to your case? State laws may also affect your compensation. For example, Florida is a “comparative negligence” state. This means that your compensation may be reduced if you are found to be partially responsible for the accident. An experienced attorney can easily navigate these laws and protect your rights.
  • Use All Resources to Prove Fault – When pursuing compensation after a truck wreck, you must be prepared to take on large trucking companies and their insurers. At Zervos & Calta, PLLC, our Florida truck accident attorneys use top-notch experts, such as accident reconstruction expert. We have vast legal resources, and this allows us to build the strongest cases possible for our clients.
  • Demand the Highest Compensation – If you were injured in a truck accident, you might have piles of medical bills. On top of that, you might not be able to work or take part in activities you once enjoyed. That’s why it’s important to demand the highest compensation available. Our legal team can aggressively fight on your behalf to secure the financial support you need and deserve.
  • Take the Case to Trial – If you cannot reach a settlement with the insurance company, you will have to file a lawsuit to seek compensation. While the case can still settle after a lawsuit is filed, you still must be prepared to take the case to trial. The trial attorneys of Zervos & Calta, PLLC have years of experience in the courtroom. We will work tirelessly to obtain a significant settlement or verdict for your case.

Why Commercial Truck Accidents Are Different from Car Crashes

Commercial truck accidents differ from car accidents in many ways:

  • Significant Damages – “Damages” is a legal term that refers to your extent of harm. Injuries are usually much more severe in commercial truck accidents. This is due to the immense size of commercial trucks. Tractor trailers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. In addition to physical harm, truck accident victims often suffer from significant financial and emotional damages, as well.
  • Trucking Regulations – Strict regulations are in place that truck drivers and trucking companies must follow. For example, cargo trucks must not exceed certain weight limits. Truckers are also prohibited from driving non-stop for certain lengths of time. When you pursue compensation, you should be aware of the state and federal regulations that are relevant to your case.
  • Complex Liability – With a typical car crash, one driver is usually at fault. In Florida, both drivers may share a percentage of fault. With semi-truck accidents, liability can be extremely complex. You may discover that the accident was due to manufacturer defects or improper maintenance. This is why it’s essential to hire an attorney who can fully investigate the case and hire experts for their professional help.

Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Truck Accident?

Multiple parties may be liable in a truck accident case. Those parties include:

  • Truck Driver – If the collision was caused by driver fatigue, driving while under the influence, inattention or other careless behavior, the truck driver may be held liable.
  • Trucking Company – Trucking companies must comply with strict federal regulations. For example, trucking companies cannot pressure employees to work longer than what’s allowed. Failure to comply with regulations may lead to driver fatigue, excessive cargo load and other factors that pose a danger to drivers and other motorists.
  • Manufacturers – Some truck accidents are caused by manufacturer negligence. There may be faulty brakes, defective tires, or other factors that the manufacturer negligently overlooked. Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring their vehicles and equipment are safe when used correctly.
  • Maintenance Company – Third-party maintenance companies have a responsibility to properly inspect and repair the trucks they’re contracted to work on. Overlooked mechanical issues can have devastating consequences on the road.

How Is Fault Determined in a Truck Accident Claim?

Since multiple parties may be at fault, truck accident claims must be extensively investigated. Typically, an official investigation will be conducted at the scene by officers. This investigation may offer insight into whether the driver was speeding, driving while under the influence or committing reckless behavior.

An attorney will investigate the case beyond just the collision itself. For instance, an attorney can confirm whether the driver underwent the required training and secured a specialized commercial driver’s license. Likewise, an attorney will investigate whether the trucking company complied with regulations on cargo load size and whether safety precautions were followed for transporting hazardous materials.

Our law firm has found that many truck accidents are caused by:

  • Inadequate driver training
  • Failing to obey traffic laws
  • Defective trucking equipment
  • Insufficient vehicle maintenance
  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Unfamiliarity with the area
  • Driver drug/alcohol use
  • Unsecured cargo loads
  • Driver negligence
  • Driver fatigue

A semi truck on a highway in Tampa Bay, Florida.

Tips for Protecting Your Rights After a Semi-Truck Accident

Nothing can prepare you for an unexpected truck accident, but it’s important to know how to protect your legal rights. Your actions after an accident may affect your ability to later recover compensation. Our Florida truck accident attorneys offer these tips:

  1. Make sure there is an official police report.

    This could provide key evidence if you file suit.

  2. If possible, take photos of the damages as well as the scene of the accident.

    These may provide crucial evidence about the accident really happened.

  3. Do not sign anything at the scene of the accident.

    Do not sign anything at the scene of the accident, and don’t engage in negotiations. Anything you say might be used against you.

  4. Be sure to seek immediate medical attention for your injuries.

    If possible, obtain a copy of your medical records. If you can’t, your attorney can do this for you later.

  5. Contact an attorney as soon as possible.

    If you wait until the statute of limitations has passed, the court will not allow you to file a lawsuit.

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A man with an injured hand after a truck accident.

What Compensation Can Be Recovered?

Truck accidents can change your entire life in an instant. Those accidents can leave you with life-altering injuries. You may no longer be able to work. While financial compensation can’t undo that traumatic accident, it can help you cope with the losses you’ve suffered.

In the state of Florida, victims of truck accidents are entitled to compensation for several types of damages:

  • Economic Damages – As the name suggests, economic damages refer to any financial harm you’ve endured. This includes out-of-pocket expenses for medical care and hospitalizations, as well as ambulance fees, rehabilitation and physical therapy, wheelchairs, and other related bills. Economic damages also include lost wages and future lost income, if you can no longer work due to your injuries.
  • General Damages – Florida courts recognize that victims of serious accidents don’t just suffer from financial losses. In the aftermath of a truck accident, you’re likely suffering from a great deal of emotional distress as well. This type of harm is known as general damages. General damages can include pain and suffering, disfigurement and psychological anguish.
  • Punitive Damages – In rare cases, the court may also award punitive damages. Punitive damages are reserved for cases where the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious. For instance, if it’s discovered that the trucking company was willfully reckless, the court will award additional compensation to further punish the defendant.

A person taking photos of a truck for evidence.

Evidence Our Law Firm May Use in a Truck Accident Case

After a lawsuit is filed, our Tampa Bay truck accident attorneys can request documents from all opposing parties. We can also obtain statements from witnesses. We may also use the following types of evidence to prove fault:

  • Police reports
  • Driver’s qualifications and training file
  • Trucker’s logs
  • Truck inspection records
  • Maintenance records
  • Bills of lading
  • Delivery documents
  • Depositions of key witnesses
  • Official reports by our expert witnesses
  • Your medical records and bills to prove damages

Federal regulations require that some of these trucking documents be kept for a certain amount of time. This is why it’s essential to contact an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can take legal action and request these necessary documents before they are destroyed or lost.

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Florida Statute of Limitations on Truck Accident Lawsuits

The statute of limitations is a state law that spells out how long you can file a lawsuit for a truck accident case. The deadline depends on the exact type of lawsuit you plan to file. The statute of limitations in Florida, you must file:

  • Within four years after the date of the accident when filing for personal injury.
  • Within two years after the date of death when filing a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a loved one.

These deadlines may seem like a lot of time, but this doesn’t mean you should delay. It’s best to give your attorney enough time to investigate the case before filing a lawsuit. Also, trucking companies aren’t required to keep certain documents on file forever. These documents, such as trucking logs, may be later used as evidence. As a result, you should try to have an attorney obtain these documents as soon as possible.

The financial impact of a truck accident can be significant. The sooner you speak to a truck accident lawyer in Tampa Bay, the sooner you may be able to secure financial compensation to offset your losses.

Talk to a Truck Accident Lawyer in Florida Now

If you were harmed in a semi-truck accident that wasn’t your fault, you have a right to take legal action against all responsible parties. For years, Zervos & Calta, PLLC has fought on behalf of accident victims just like you. With our help, you can secure the compensation you deserve.

At Zervos & Calta, PLLC, we won’t charge you a dime unless we recover compensation for you. Call us today to schedule a free consultation. Our Florida truck accident lawyers serve Hernando County, Tarpon Springs, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Spring Hill, and other areas throughout Florida.

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