Pensacola Truck Accidents
Contact Us to Discuss Your Legal Rights with a Pensacola Truck Accident Attorney.
If you were injured or a member of your family was killed in a tractor trailer accident, you have a lot to overcome. The immediate and long-term financial costs can be substantial, and you are likely to experience other consequences in virtually all aspects of your life. Many victims and family members find the recovery process overwhelming, and they need help to start to move on. We are here to help you through the recovery process. If you have been injured or lost a loved one, we strongly encourage you to speak with a Pensacola truck accident attorney.
We represent clients who have been injured and who have lost family members in tractor trailer accidents throughout the Florida Panhandle and South Georgia. Our personal injury attorneys will sit down with you one-on-one to provide you with personalized legal advice; and, if you decide to pursue a claim for financial compensation, we will rely on our attorneys’ decades of combined experience to seek the maximum available compensation for the losses sustained by you and your family.
Proving Fault in a Tractor Trailer Accident
In order to recover financial compensation after a tractor trailer accident, it is necessary to prove who or what caused the collision. While truck driver negligence is the primary factor in most cases, this is by no means the only potential factor that needs to be considered. When a Pensacola truck accident attorney investigates your case, they will be looking for evidence to support all available grounds for seeking financial compensation, including:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving while distracted
- Driving while drowsy or fatigued
- Exceeding the truck’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR)
- Failing to perform necessary truck maintenance or repairs
- Failing to properly secure or pressurize truck cargo
- Negligent hiring of inexperienced or high-risk truck drivers
- Road debris and other hazards and obstructions
- Running a red light or stop sign, failing to yield, or other driving mistakes
- Truck, car and road defects
In addition to proving the cause of the accident, we will also need to prove the extent of your (or your family’s) losses. This can be a difficult process, but it is extremely important, and our attorneys work with doctors, accountants and other professionals who are extremely skilled at accurately calculating the long-term financial and non-financial effects of traumatic accidents.
Vicarious Liability Explained by a Pensacola Truck Accident Attorney
Vicarious liability is a legal concept that allows you to hold one party responsible for another’s actions. Typically, this involves a principal and an agent, such as in an employer-employee relationship. The principal controls the agent’s actions, and the agent acts for the benefit of the principal. The principal’s responsibility for the actions of the agent may include intentional acts as well as negligent acts and omissions.
If you were involved in a truck accident due to the truck driver’s negligence, you may be able to hold the trucking company liable for your injuries. Some of the factors that may be relevant to your case are as follows:
- Was the driver engaged in doing their job?
- Was the driver engaged in illegal activity?
- Did the trucking company fail to supervise or train the driver adequately?
- Did the trucking company incentivize or demand that the driver engage in negligent behavior, such as driving while fatigued, speeding, or driving in unsafe conditions?
Truck drivers are often under tremendous pressure to make deliveries on time. If the driver’s negligence caused your accident, you should speak with a Pensacola truck accident attorney about whether you have a claim against the trucking company.
Was the Driver an Independent Contractor?
You may not be able to hold the trucking company liable if the driver was an independent contractor. Trucking companies often hire drivers as independent contractors as a way to shield themselves from liability. In an independent contractor relationship, the parties expressly acknowledge that neither shall be held liable for the other’s actions. As a result, the trucking company may quickly refuse your claim by arguing that the driver was an independent contractor.
Fortunately, you may still have a claim against the trucking company, even if the driver was an independent contractor. The trucking company can be held liable if the company itself was negligent or was the direct cause of the driver’s negligence. For example:
- The trucking company hired the driver even though the driver had a history of DUIs.
- The trucking company demanded that the driver violate state or federal regulations.
- The trucking company failed to provide proper training or supervision.
You should also keep in mind that the trucking company is probably responsible for maintaining the truck. If your accident resulted from a mechanical failure, the trucking company may be held liable even if the driver was an independent contractor.
An experienced Pensacola truck accident attorney will navigate these issues related to vicarious liability so that you can get the compensation you deserve.
Why Vicarious Liability Is Important for Truck Crash Victims
Truck accidents are often catastrophic and typically result in severe injuries. Vicarious liability is important because the driver’s personal insurance may not cover your claim. The trucking company is likely to have insurance that offers much more extensive coverage. Also, the company likely has the financial resources to cover any uncovered losses you may have suffered.
Our Truck Accident Attorneys Answer Your Most Important Questions
Why are truck accident lawsuits different from car accident cases?
Truck accidents and car accidents are both vehicle collisions, but lawsuits involving truck accidents can be quite unlike auto accident cases, so it is wise to work with a Pensacola truck accident attorney who understands these differences. First, because trucks are so much heavier than other vehicles on the road, an accident is more likely to result in catastrophic injuries. Second, trucks are much harder to control and have a substantially longer stopping distance, so situations that can lead to a truck accident often differ from those that cause car accidents. Third, trucks are usually commercial vehicles, so many companies may be involved with the truck’s operation and maintenance and many more parties who could potentially be held liable for a truck accident.
Is it a good idea to quickly accept a settlement from the truck driver’s company so they don’t change their minds?
Before accepting any settlement, and, in fact, before making a statement to the truck driver’s insurance company, it is best to consult a truck accident attorney in Pensacola. Insurance companies do not want to pay anything if they can avoid it, so they may take your words out of context and use them as an excuse to deny liability. Working with an experienced legal advocate can help avoid costly mistakes. A truck accident lawyer can also evaluate the value of your claim so that you can determine whether a settlement offer provides fair compensation for your losses. Much of the time, insurers will make a low offer hoping for a quick settlement. Once they realize an accident victim is prepared to prove liability and injuries in court, they may be more likely to offer a settlement that reflects the claim’s value more realistically.
What kind of damages can I recover after a truck accident, and what is the value of my claim?
After a collision involving a tractor-trailer or other type of truck, the damages you might receive will be based on different types of losses you experience. Accident victims often receive compensation to cover medical expenses and wages lost due to time off work, both in the past and those anticipated for the future. If you are injured in a truck accident, you could also receive compensation to help make up for losses without a direct monetary value, such as pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of favorite activities. A seasoned Pensacola truck accident lawyer could calculate the value of these losses based on legal precedent and other factors.
Will a Pensacola truck accident attorney be able to help me if I am partially to blame for the accident?
Under Florida’s contributory fault rule in Fla. Stat. §768.81, those who suffer injuries in truck accidents are not barred from recovering compensation even if their own actions contributed to the cause of the accident. However, the amount received will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to the person seeking damages. For instance, if a court found that your actions made up 10% of the cause of the accident and also determined that you suffered $100,000 in damages, you would receive 10% less than that amount, or $90,000.
What Should You Do Next? Contact a Pensacola Truck Accident Attorney
With all of this in mind, what should you do next? Aside from seeking medical attention and following through with your doctor’s advice, the most important thing you can do is to speak with a Pensacola truck accident attorney. At Searcy Denney, we provide free consultations, and our attorneys routinely travel to meet with prospective clients in and around Pensacola. Once you contact us, we will schedule your free consultation as soon as possible, and we can begin investigating immediately if necessary in order to protect your legal rights.
Let’s talk about how our attorneys can help you and your family with your recovery. To get started with a free consultation, call 800-780-8607 or get in touch online today.