As essential as commercial trucks are for our economy, sharing the road with these massive vehicles can pose significant risks. While a passenger vehicle typically weighs around 5,000 pounds, an 18-wheeler can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. This huge disparity can lead to catastrophic outcomes when accidents occur. Large blind spots often result in sideswipe accidents, which can be especially devastating for passenger vehicles.
At Spetsas Buist PLLC, we understand the havoc that these accidents can wreak on the lives of those involved. We are committed to ensuring that victims are duly compensated for their injuries, expenses, and damages. Located in downtown Orlando, Florida, we serve injured individuals across Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.
What are Sideswipe Truck Accidents?
A sideswipe truck accident occurs when the side of a truck brushes or hits the side of another vehicle. This can happen during lane changes, merges, or even unintentional drifting into another lane. The outcome of such a collision can range from forcing the smaller vehicle off the road, into a guardrail, or into other traffic. It can lead to rollover accidents or incidents involving multiple vehicles, significantly raising the risk of severe injuries and fatalities.
Five Steps to Take After a Sideswipe Truck Accident
If a large truck sideswipes your vehicle, take these steps immediately to safeguard your legal rights:
- Move your vehicle to a safe location if you can.
- Dial 911 and report the sideswipe accident involving a commercial truck.
- Document the scene and capture images of the damage to both vehicles and the overall scene, if it's safe to do so.
- Gather contact information from any witnesses.
- Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries.
Remember to avoid providing written or recorded statements to the insurance company or the trucking company. Contact a lawyer as soon as you can to be sure your rights are protected and that the insurance company doesn’t try to pull a fast one on you.
Common Causes of Sideswipe Truck Accidents in Florida
Many of the sideswipe truck accidents in Florida could be avoided. They are often caused by driver negligence or error. The most common causes include:
- Neglecting to check blind spots and mirrors;
- Operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Driving while fatigued;
- Unsafe or improper lane changes and merges;
- Lack of sufficient training and experience;
- Failure to signal lane changes;
- Distracted driving;
- Speeding or aggressive driving;
- Improperly adjusted mirrors.
In such cases, passenger vehicle occupants often suffer the most severe consequences due to the truck driver's careless or risky behavior.
Injuries and Damages Caused by a Sideswipe Truck Accident
Victims of truck accidents may sustain a variety of injuries, often severe, requiring immediate medical attention to prevent permanent disability or death. These injuries can include:
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Fractured or broken bones;
- Neck and back injuries;
- Damage to internal organs;
- Disfigurement and scarring;
- Severe burns.
In addition to the physical pain, victims may also suffer from significant financial strain due to medical bills and loss of income.
Liability for a Sideswipe Truck Accident in Florida
Determining liability in a truck accident can be complex and time-consuming. Both the truck driver and the trucking company could be liable for damages. Spetsas Buist PLLC works tirelessly to identify those responsible and hold them accountable. Our goal is to ensure that victims receive the compensation they rightfully deserve.
In a sideswipe truck accident, it's vital to have someone on your side who can navigate the legal maze and fight for your rights. At Spetsas Buist PLLC, we provide that support. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Potential Damages Available After a Sideswipe Truck Accident in Florida
If you or a loved one has been involved in a sideswipe truck accident in Florida, you may be entitled to a wide range of damages. Compensation for damages serves to restore victims to the financial position they were in before the accident, or as close as possible. It's important to note that the exact types and amount of damages available can vary based on the specifics of each case.
Here are some of the potential damages commonly available in trucking accidents:
- Medical Expenses: This covers the cost of emergency services, hospitalization, surgeries, medication, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and any future medical expenses related to the accident.
- Lost Wages and Lost Earning Capacity: If your injuries force you to miss work or reduce your ability to work in the future, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages and diminished earning capacity.
- Property Damage: You can claim compensation for the repair or replacement of your vehicle and any other personal property damaged in the accident.
- Pain and Suffering: This compensates for the physical pain and emotional distress you've endured as a result of the accident. It's often challenging to quantify, but it's an essential component of damages.
- Loss of Consortium: If the accident impacts your relationship with your spouse (your ability to maintain a sexual relationship or the loss of companionship, for instance), you may be entitled to these damages.
- Punitive Damages: In some cases where the truck driver's conduct was particularly reckless or egregious, punitive damages may be awarded. These are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from similar behavior.
- Wrongful Death: If a loved one was killed in a sideswipe truck accident, family members might be able to claim damages for funeral and burial costs, loss of future earnings, loss of companionship, and more.
At Spetsas Buist PLLC, we understand that no amount of money can truly compensate for the trauma and loss experienced in a sideswipe truck accident. However, securing rightful damages can provide much-needed financial relief and help victims move forward.
Our experienced attorneys are committed to helping clients obtain the maximum compensation they are entitled to. Reach out to us for guidance and support throughout the legal process.
Do You Need to Speak to a Florida Truck Accident Lawyer?
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in an accident involving a semi truck, 18-wheeler, tractor trailer, or any other commercial vehicle, you should speak with a skilled, experienced, and aggressive Florida truck accident lawyer as soon as possible because you may be entitled to compensation.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us on our website, or you can call our Orlando, Florida personal injury law firm today at (321) 352-7588 to schedule your free consultation by phone. When you schedule a consultation at our law firm, you will get a consultation with a truck accident lawyer, not a customer service representative or intake person.
If you need a South Carolina personal injury lawyer, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (843) 638-6590. We have at least one lawyer licensed in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. So, if you’ve been injured in the Southeast, we may be able to help you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
For more information on truck accidents, you can download our free e-book: 10 BIG Questions You Need Answered After a Truck Accident.