Left-Turn Truck Accident Lawyer in Tampa
Semi trucks are a common sight on Tampa’s roads and highways. These massive vehicles are critical for Florida’s economy, delivering goods to local businesses from around the country. As crucial as trucks are, however, they can be a pain to drive around. Whether you’re stuck behind a semi on Sligh Avenue or you’re next to one on I-275, you know just how frustrating these vehicles can be.
More than frustrating, semi trucks can be downright dangerous. A gust of wind off of Tampa Bay can make a truck drift out of its lane on the highway. When they’re traveling on city roads, intersections can be especially precarious.
Due to their sheer weight, trucks take time to come to a stop, and if a car coming the opposite direction takes a left turn in front of them, they may not be able to slow down in time. On the other hand, if you’re coming the opposite way of a truck and they make an improper left hand turn, the collision between your vehicle and the truck could have devastating effects.
At Darrigo & Diaz, our Tampa left turn truck accident lawyers have seen how a collision like that can completely change someone’s life. If you are in a truck accident caused by an improper left turn, we can help you get the full compensation you deserve. We have successfully represented citizens and tourists of Tampa and the surrounding area for over 20 years.
We’re here to fight the insurance company to make sure you get fairly compensated for your injuries and property damage. We can also help you figure out how local laws and regulations like personal injury protection insurance (PIP) requirements affect your case. Call us at (813) 774-3341 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation today.
How Semi Trucks Get Involved in Left Hand Turns
A fully loaded tractor trailer weighs in the neighborhood of 80,000 pounds. Your car, on the other hand, probably weighs between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds — about 4 to 6 percent of the weight of a semi. So when these two vehicles collide, the result is devastating, and in some cases, fatal.
There are two scenarios in which a truck may be involved in a left hand turn wreck. Most intersections in Tampa allow vehicles to make a left turn at a green light when they don’t have a green arrow, so long as traffic coming the opposite way is clear. In some cases, a truck may not realize a vehicle is coming in the opposite direction, or may misjudge that vehicle’s speed, and make a left turn when they shouldn’t. That vehicle coming the other way may collide with the truck, especially when you consider how long it takes semi trucks to get going from a full stop.
The second scenario is if you are the one making the left turn, perhaps improperly, and a semi truck coming the other direction collides with you. In some instances, you may still be able to recover compensation. For instance, say you’re turning left at the tail end of a yellow light, right before lights in both directions turn red. You have enough time to make your left turn, but there’s a truck coming the other way. The truck speeds up to make the light, but it’s red by the time they cross the intersection. In that case, the truck driver may be at fault.
It’s also important to note that Florida follows a pure comparative fault statute. This means that even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you can still recover compensation. However, the amount you receive will be lessened by the percentage that you are at fault.
Let’s look at the second situation above. Traffic cameras show that the tail of your car is still in the intersection when the light turns red, but the truck completely ran the red light. In that instance, you may be found 30 percent at fault. The judge finds you’re owed $100,000 in compensation, but because you’re 30 percent at fault for the wreck, your compensation is lowered to $70,000.
How Does PIP Affect Your Case?
Vehicles with four wheels or more are required to carry PIP insurance in Florida. This no-fault insurance system is intended to help you pay your medical bills and cover lost wages and death benefits so you don’t have to go to court, regardless of who is at fault for the wreck. However, PIP only covers 80 percent of your medical costs, up to $10,000 (unless your injury is not considered an emergency, in which case PIP will only cover $2,500 of the costs).
The good news is, you can still sue for compensation if your medical expenses are above $10,000. Considering the devastating effects of truck accidents, it’s not hard to imagine medical expenses exceeding $10,000 (especially when a Tylenol costs $15 and an alcohol swab costs $50). In addition, you can sue for emotional damage, such as pain and suffering.
When you hire a left turn truck accident lawyer in Tampa from Darrigo & Diaz, we will evaluate your case and determine what compensation, or damages, you are entitled to. These can include damages for:
- Medical bills, past and present
- Property damage
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Lost wages
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment in life
In rare instances, punitive damages may also be assessed. These are intended to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior in the future. In order for punitive damages to be assessed, your lawyer must prove that the defendant acted with intentional misconduct or gross negligence. Punitive damages are usually capped at three times the amount of compensatory damages (the damages listed above) or $500,000, whichever is greater.
Speak to a Tampa Left Turn Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been injured in a truck accident that involved a left turn, you have legal rights. At Darrigo & Diaz, we have been helping members of the Central Florida community get the compensation they deserve for their injuries for over 20 years. We can help you navigate the complex legal process that comes after a truck accident. Call us at (813) 774-3341 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation with a left turn truck accident lawyer in Tampa today.