Truck Accident Lawyer in Miami
It’s one of the most terrifying things that can happen to you on the road; a large truck, out of control, coming toward you and your family. If this has happened to you, Miami lawyer Brett Schlacter, of Schlacter Law, is the attorney that you need by your side as you pick up the pieces and get back to a normal life.
Semi Truck Accident Facts
As rare as it may seem, accidents involving large trucks and other like vehicles are actually pretty common, and for some pretty obvious reasons, especially here in Miami. These trucks, traveling at highway speeds, surrounded by passenger vehicles, cannot respond anywhere near as well as those passenger vehicles can during an emergency on the highway. Large trucks are 20-30 times heavier than the passenger vehicles are around it, are not at all maneuverable and are extremely top heavy. Further, emergency steering can send them toppling over, even in the most capable of driver’s hands.
Fully loaded tractor-trailers need 20% to 40% more road space to go from highway speed to a full stop than a normal passenger vehicle does, and that is assuming that the semi truck is well maintained, has a fully operational braking system, good tires, and a dry, straight roadway to stop on. Studies show that almost 30% of truck accidents happen as a result of bad brakes on the trucks, and that a further 20% of those accidents happen as a result of the driver being fatigued or feeling under pressure, while 10% are as a result of tire issues on the trucks.
Another factor in truck accidents is driver fatigue. Currently, federal regulations allow truck drivers to operate for a maximum of 11 hours per day, itself an exhausting thing. But, many truck drivers violate these regulations in an effort to meet tight schedules and deadlines that are often forced onto the drivers by companies that do not care about driver fatigue or federal regulations. Many drivers have indicated in anonymous surveys that they regularly violate federal regulations for fear of missing delivery deadlines.
According to a 2019 study, over 4,000 people died as a result of large truck versus passenger vehicle crashes in 2018. Of those deaths, only 16% were occupants of the large trucks, the remaining 84% were occupants of passenger vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. Additionally, the study showed that 94% of fatalities in large truck versus passenger vehicle deaths were occupants of the passenger vehicles.
Add onto all of this the fact that each truck is carrying its own unique load that could also be potentially hazardous to accident victim’s health down the road, as well as the lasting effects of such a potentially traumatizing accident on both the body and mind, and you’ve got a recipe for some severely life altering repercussions.
There are millions of large trucks on the nation’s highway at all times. Every time you take to the road, you’re putting your safety and that of your families into their hands. While the majority of drivers prioritize safety as much as they can, there are many who are not able or willing to prioritize the safety of the vehicles around them as much as they should. This is where an experienced truck accident lawyer comes into play. A truck crash lawyer can help guide you through the process of dealing with insurance companies potentially bent on saving themselves every penny possible, keep hospital bills from piling up with your name on them, get you back on the road in a new or repaired vehicle, and get your life back to a place where you feel that you can begin to move on from the accident.
Brett Schlacter of Schlacter Law in Miami is just such a lawyer. Brett has fought for his clients time and again, against some of the biggest insurance conglomerates and some of the most well represented trucking companies. Brett is the leading Miami lawyer that you need by your side during the entire journey through your recovery, both physically and monetarily. Brett cares deeply about each of his clients, he understands that you are suffering and that the absolute last thing you need right now is to have to deal with a cold, callous insurance representative, hospital representative, car mechanic, trucking company rep, etc. Brett is ready to walk beside you every step of the way, from the earliest days following the accident to the last day of dealing with it all, he will guide you, fight for you, and see that you get everything that you deserve.
Truck Accidents Versus Car Accidents
Aside from the obvious differences, a car versus a semi truck can cause much more damage and injury than a car versus car accident. The first and foremost (because these accidents between cars and large trucks can be so catastrophic) difference is that large trucks, semi trucks, and other like vehicles carry much more insurance than normal cars. These policies carried by large trucks can be worth millions. While this may seem like a good thing for someone who has just been in an accident with a large truck, it also means that insurance companies will fight much harder when someone tries to collect on one of these lucrative policies.
Steps to Take after a Truck Accident
- Immediately following any sort of accident, including a large truck accident, evaluate yourself and any occupants in your car for injuries
- If the car is safe to remain in, any injured people should not be moved, including yourself
- Call 911. If you are able to safely check on other vehicles in the crash, do so, as this info will be valuable to 911 operators
- If you are able to move vehicles from traffic lanes, do that as well. But, first and foremost, ensure your safety and the safety of those around you
- Do not wander around an active roadway. If you see anyone who has been involved in the traffic accident wandering aimlessly, they may be in shock, carefully encourage them to sit on the side of the road, out of harm’s way
- Wait for the police to arrive, follow their directions
- Collect as much insurance information as you can. This information will be vital in your follow-ups and those of your chosen truck accident law firm. Your truck accident lawyer will need insurance info
- Gather the responding officer’s information (business card, case number, etc), your truck accident lawyer will need that as well
- Take photographs of everything
- Find any and all witnesses
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Some of the most common causes of semi truck accidents involving passenger vehicles are:
- Driver fatigue
- Hazardous weather conditions
- Mechanical issues with the truck itself (bad brakes, tires, etc)
- Driver pressure/stress
- Unsafe driving around a semi truck or large truck, i.e. expecting a large truck to be able to stop quickly after you have cut them off and had to slam on your brakes for a road emergency
Common Injuries Resulting from Truck Accidents
The most common injuries resulting from any sort of traffic accident are back and neck injuries. While the spine is a very versatile part of your body, it simply cannot withstand some of the whipping and jerking motion present within a car accident of any kind. In a semi truck versus passenger car accident, injuries can be much more severe simply because of the size difference between the vehicles involved. Broken bones, cuts, gashes, concussions, internal injuries, and even death are likely during these potentially more catastrophic accidents.
Potential Compensation from Truck Accidents
Your lawyer should be well versed in the added issues that will be present with a semi truck or other large truck accident. The potential reimbursement to victims is much higher than in normal car accidents, but, because of that fact, insurers will fight much harder against paying out claims and have many more hurdles set up to reimbursement. This is why a seasoned truck accident lawyer is vital to your success in these cases. Further, your lawyer must be well equipped to understand both state and federal laws and regulations. Some truck accident cases may end up in federal court.
This is where things can get very complicated, especially without an experienced truck accident lawyer at your side. Truckers and their vehicles are strictly regulated and licensed. Proving that these regulations or licenses were violated can be very difficult. Proving that a semi truck was itself at fault for mechanical reasons can be difficult as well. Oftentimes the truck and trailer are owned by two different companies, meaning two different negligent parties may exist. Further, the company and people who loaded the trailer may also have some fault, adding a potential liable party to the mix. While this can mean a lucrative payout, getting to that point will be very difficult, and you should trust an experienced truck accident lawyer to help you navigate this potential minefield of liability and proof thereof.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here in Miami, and throughout Florida, the common practice is that the court will lower your settlement amount by the percentage of which you are at fault. Your lawyer should be able to explain the subtleties here quite well. This is called comparative fault.
A lawyer’s compensation scale can vary widely. Some require retainers, others full payment upfront. However, attorney Brett Schlacter of Schlacter Law in Miami requires zero dollars. He will get paid when you win. When your settlement is paid out, he will be paid a small percentage of that settlement. Contact Schlacter Law in Miami today to learn more about that contingency arrangement. You owe nothing upfront to begin the process of getting your life back to normal.