It is a beach day for you and your family. You gather your swimming gear, towels, sand buckets, and sunscreen. You load up the car and drive towards the magnificent Clearwater Beach. As you travel down the road, you notice a truck speeding towards the side of another vehicle. With impact seeming imminent, you watch as the truck crashes into the driver’s side.

Side-impact truck accidents in Clearwater can happen in seconds. If you or a loved one are involved in a T-bone truck crash, reach out to Perenich Law Injury Attorneys. Our committed semi-truck accident lawyers could provide dedicated legal advocacy, resulting in you receiving fair compensation for your losses. Call today to learn more about how we could help you recover and seek justice.

Frequent Causes of Side-Impact Truck Collisions

All side-impact collisions have the same cause—failure-to-yield the right-of-way. For a side-impact accident to happen, one vehicle must hit the side of another vehicle. Since one of the vehicles is not where it is supposed to be, it is a failure to yield the right-of-way.

Intersections are the most common place people must look at the right-of-way. A stop sign or traffic signal can indicate who should have the right-of-way. Running a stop sign or going through a red light often leads to T-bone wrecks. However, it is not always the driver who hits the other vehicle who is at fault—the person who runs the stop sign or light can appear in the other driver’s pathway, resulting in the vehicle getting hit.

While most people think of the right-of-way at marked intersections, not every intersection has a sign or signal. There may be no traffic signs or signals on smaller streets, but drivers should still know the state laws governing the right-of-way. Generally, the driver on the smaller street should yield the right-of-way to the driver on the larger street. Likewise, if a driver is merging into another lane, the driver already in the lane has the right-of-way.

Factors Leading to a Failure-to-Yield

While failure-to-yield is the cause of most side-impact collisions, it does not adequately explain why the accidents occur. Instead, one must look at the factors that lead to failure-to-yield. Distracted driving is a top reason. Drivers may be looking at phones, chatting, putting on makeup, or even just daydreaming and miss a traffic sign or signal, putting them—and others—in harm’s way.

Delayed reaction time can also lead to people failing to yield the right-of-way. Drunk driving, driving under the influence of drugs, and drowsy driving can all decrease reaction time. Likewise, speeding can make it more difficult to stop in time. These risky behaviors go a long way toward proving fault for an accident.

Factors outside the driver’s control can also increase the risk of side-impact truck collisions. Bad weather conditions can lead to reduced visibility and slick roads, increasing the risk of accidents. Obstructed signs, confusing traffic signs or signals, road construction, and poorly maintained roads may also contribute to the danger. However, truck drivers have a responsibility to be more careful under sub-optimal conditions. Just because outside factors may contribute to a side-impact truck crash in Clearwater does not mean they relieve a driver of responsibility.

The Role of No-Fault Insurance in Side-Impact Truck Wrecks

Florida state law requires all residents to have no-fault insurance. This driving protection policy is also called personal injury protection (PIP). Under this plan, persons involved in the accident could receive a maximum of $10,000 for healthcare expenses and a debilitating injury, according to Florida Statutes § 627.736. Relatives or executors of individuals who pass away due to injuries sustained in a T-bone truck accident in Clearwater can receive $5,000 to aid with burial and other associated costs.

Our knowledgeable team of legal professionals could provide you with more detailed information on the risks and benefits of PIP. One upside of at-fault insurance is that injured persons and families can more immediately receive payments for harm caused. A downside is that it may impact one’s ability to file a personal injury lawsuit and the overall amount payable. Also, if an employee is injured in a side-impact truck collision while on the job, their PIP amount will be decreased based on the worker compensation benefits they might receive.

A skilled lawyer at our firm could assist you with filing claims for comprehensive damages in a negligence or wrongful death case.

Bringing Legal Action and Proving Responsibility

Negligence in the context of Clearwater side-impact truck accidents occurs when a driver causes a collision by violating any of the traffic laws in Florida (e.g., not paying attention, falling asleep, or speeding). It could also happen if a trucking company fails to maintain vehicle brakes or a manufacturer sells a defective trailer.

Damages can be in the form of money (compensatory damages) or punishment for the negligent person or company. Compensatory damages can be used to cover:

  • Rehab
  • Medical costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental and emotional anguish
  • Past-due accident-related debts
  • Lost wages and earning capacity

Punishment-based damages can involve a court suspending the responsible driver’s license or a trucking company’s business license to operate. Our compassionate legal team could help you pursue fair compensation for all of the losses you suffered due to injuries or the death of a relative.

Bodily Injuries and Receiving Payments

To receive payment in a personal injury lawsuit, a claimant must establish that the other party was at least 51 percent at fault for the T-bone truck crash under Fla. Stat. § 768.81. Bodily harm that a person might sustain in a side-impact collision includes:

After being involved in an auto accident, a person should immediately seek medical attention. Once they are ready, they can reach out to a Clearwater sideswipe truck accident lawyer for help taking legal action.

The First Steps to Take After a T-Bone Crash in Clearwater

The first thing anyone should do after an accident is check for injuries. They need to check that the driver and passengers in their vehicle are okay, then check on drivers and passengers in other vehicles. Contact 911 to report any injuries. If a person is qualified to render first aid, they should. However, if a person has any potential spine or back injuries, no one should move them.

Even if no one is injured, it is essential to contact the police to report the accident. Reporting the accident can help ensure that police document the scene and can jump-start investigations. If distracted driving, drunk driving, or driving under the influence of drugs played a role in the collision, contacting the police can help provide evidence of these claims.

When possible, an injured person should gather evidence from the scene. That includes:

  • Taking photos of all vehicles, including the license plates
  • Getting license and insurance information from all drivers
  • Collecting contact information from any victims

Even if someone does not think they have injuries, they should get prompt medical care. Having first responders check for any injuries is a great idea. However, injuries can be hidden. Anyone involved in a side-impact tractor-trailer crash in Clearwater should follow up with their medical providers within a day or two of the accident and seek emergency medical care if they suspect any issues.

Injured parties should contact their insurance companies to report the accident. In some instances, depending on the extent of the injuries, Florida’s PIP policies may cover all of a person’s injuries. If not, it is a good idea to contact a local attorney to find other potential remedies after a T-bone truck collision.

Enlist the Help of a Clearwater Attorney After a Side-Impact Truck Accident

A member of our legal team is prepared to stand by your side in your time of need. Feel free to call or stop by our office for a free consultation. Do not let a negligent driver escape liability for a side-impact truck accident in Clearwater. Our experienced lawyers could help you with insurance negotiations and present your claim in front of a court and jury. Contact Perenich Law Injury Attorneys now so we can get to work on your case.

Perenich Law injury Attorneys

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