Truck Accident? Here’s what you need to know.

Truck and highway at sunset. Truck Car in motion blur. Truck accident

A truck accident brings with it unique legal questions and challenges. That’s not surprising – after all, commercial trucks loaded to the brim can exceed 80,000 pounds in weight, and accidents involving such heft can be truly devastating. Still, a large truck’s involvement in a fender-bender does not immediately guarantee that the driver is at fault. Read below as we outline some of the legal basics to understand regarding truck accidents.

Comparative negligence still applies. Yes, that truck is huge. And yes, the driver may have swerved at an inopportune time, leading to a jackknife. Cars may be smashed domino-style down a whole stretch of highway. But what of the carelessness shown by the other drivers involved? Were one or more in the truck’s blind spot? Was a motorist weaving in and out of traffic, cutting off the truck’s path at the worst moment possible? Remember: It is still possible to prevail in a lawsuit when a driver is partially at fault – but if the percentage of culpability is high, chances are low or nil.

You may or may not be able to sue the trucking company that employs the driver. Many truck drivers are independent contractors. One week they may haul tomatoes, oranges and grapefruit; the next, they may be at the steering wheel of a baked goods rig. Drivers who are in fact employed directly by the company whose goods they are hauling have an employment relationship with that company. Therefore, the company in theory can be held liable.

The same holds true for hazardous materials. Imagine a truck accident occurs and a slurry of hazardous waste spills onto the ground, releasing airborne pathogens and affecting the health of nearby passengers. If it can be proven that the driver was not offered proper training for such a haul, damages may be sought. It is the hazardous material company’s duty to inform the driver that what they are carrying can cause real harm.

When the other driver is at fault, recovering for lost wages due to injury is reasonable. Hopefully, your injuries are mild and recovery is swift. Even minor injuries can mean lost wages, however, and just as with a regular automobile accident, you are entitled to sue for lost income. In this case, make sure you retain a truck accident lawyer to review the case. He or she will look at each detail of the accident and deduce whether you stand to benefit from a lawsuit.

Commercial trucks are modern-day mammoths of our roadways, and when they are improperly operated, injury or death can occur. If you are a victim of a truck accident and have questions about your rights as a victim, contact the Coleman Law Group at (727) 214-0400 for a free consultation.

Uber SCREWS UP? Who’s at Fault in a Rideshare Accident?

Yellow Taxi Sign On Roof Of Car. Uber accident rideshare accident

You’re relaxing in the cushy backseat of an Uber when the driver takes your comment I’m in a bit of a hurry literally and runs a red light. What happens when a rideshare goes bad? Read below as we examine who is at fault in a rideshare accident and what you can expect if you’ve been involved in one.

Think Uber, Lyft and services like these are solely transportation organizations? Guess again. They’re technology conduits that connect drivers with passengers. As pure transportation companies, taxis fall under a whole different legal umbrella than rideshares. This difference can be major when it comes to seeking recompense for personal injuries.

Let’s examine Uber in particular. Part of that fee you paid to the driver includes what the company calls a ‘safe driver fee.’ That money goes to cover driving safety education and background checks. Even a huge company like Uber can’t control the traffic, though. Therefore, they cannot guarantee your total safety while out on the roads. No one can.

Not only can Uber not issue this guarantee, but anyone injured in a rideshare accident can’t expect the same treatment as, say, someone injured by a trucker employed full-time by a single company. Rideshare drivers operate as independent contractors. Therefore, their company can deny liability in many cases.

When the Uber is not available to rides sharers and is being driven for personal use, the company absolutely assumes no liability. However, let’s say that the Uber is available to accept passengers and an accident occurs. In this instance, the driver’s personal insurance policy comes into play, but if they requested coverage through Uber and the damages exceed their personal liability limits, payouts will come from Uber’s policy.

What about when the wreck in question involves an Uber driver carrying a passenger? This is where Uber’s liability policy can be accessed. Both the driver and the passenger could be covered. The main word here is could.

If you’ve been involved in an accident as a rideshare driver or passenger and believe that the rideshare company has not given you your just recompense, contact the Coleman Law Group. Our compassionate, aggressive lawyers will examine the nuances of your case and give you our honest opinion regarding your chances in court. Each of our lawyers is dedicated to specific cases, ensuring that full attention is given to each client.

No rideshare should end in pain and suffering, lost wages or other hindrances. Those who experience such loss may be eligible to bring a civil suit against the rideshare company or the driver’s personal insurer. For more information, contact the Coleman Law Group at (727) 214-0400 for a free consultation.

Gasparilla 2018: Stay Safe and Pirate On

Read Before You Invade

Avast, ye lovers of bead booty and Bayshore Boulevard: Tampa’s Gasparilla festival is nearly upon us. Since 1904, the Bay Area has celebrated Jose Gaspar with a homage worthy of the alleged 1700s-era plunderer. That Jose was rather naughty. You too can let loose and let your pirate flag fly Saturday, January 27 by following a few tips. Party like a pirate and stay safe. Here’s how.

Select thy driver – After a day watching the invasion, ambling up and down the Boulevard and party-hopping, it’s a solid bet that your driver has (ahem) “designated” a good amount of rum. Therefore, that Uber driver is likely going to be your best bet. Or the Lyft guy in the Escalade. You get the drift. Plenty of taxis, streetcars, trolleys and HART buses are available as well. Just don’t be impatient – nearly a half million people are expected to be in attendance, so it may take a while to find that ride.

Remember thy road rules – Just because there is a literal horde of people in pirate garb blocking the streets, this does not give you permission to make up your own road rules. (Yes, we agree that Jose Gaspar probably did whatever he darn well wanted, but he didn’t have the Tampa Police Department out in full force three hundred years ago, either). Repeat the following phrase: I am not a real pirate. I still have to follow rules and laws. Pay attention to what’s going on around you – and a piece of eight to all who actually use the crosswalk.

If you are involved in an accident, contact a reputable attorney immediately – Ok, so this advice isn’t limited to Gasparilla. Still, if you experience an automobile accident anytime throughout the festival, or you’re involved in a motorcycle collision or other accident, contact a reputable attorney. Personal injury is no joke, swashbucklers. If you experience injury of any kind, talk to a compassionate Florida personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

Ok, so enough with the admonitions already. It’s time to celebrate, Tampa! Festival-goers, we wish you a day full of pirate pleasure. May your cup be full, your smile wide, your beads plentiful, and your experience safe.

Full disclosure: The Coleman Law Group apologizes that our recommendations for Gasparilla 2018 arrrrrr full of pirate puns. Be honest: you can’t help yourself either.

Six Common Misconceptions About a Car Accident Lawsuit

car accident lawsuit

 
Some of the most common types of car accidents stand as fitting metaphors for how a car accident lawsuit can transpire. The well planned-out lawsuit is like the ‘barely a scratch’ snafu that is resolved nearly painlessly. Another scenario – like a rear-end bash – seems an open and shut case, but there can be more than meets the eye, and proceedings can be longer than first anticipated. And then there’s the complicated wreck that drags on and on in the courtroom, long after the jaws of life saved the ones involved. Continue reading

Does a seat belt really matter in an accident?

seat belt

 
No one plans on getting into an accident but there’s one thing you can do to be prepared in the event that you do: wear a seatbelt.  Those who don’t wear a seat belt and are involved in an accident, generally, have dramatically more severe injuries than motorists who wear seat belts. Continue reading