A semi-truck accident has the potential to be one of the most dangerous auto accidents across the State of Florida. The severity of an accident only increases if the truck is carrying an oversized load, this is because of the dangerous amount of additional weight. Despite the fact that the State of Florida has very strict laws in place regarding these trucks, it is still possible for an accident to occur. If a truck collision was to occur, then the outcome of this can be absolutely life-altering for those involved, and you could end up being owed thousands in compensation.
If you or somebody you know have been involved in a truck accident that was not your/their fault, then you could be eligible for compensation. Here at The Law Place, our lawyers boast an impressive 75 years of experience in dealing with cases similar to your own, so you can be confident your case is in the best of hands. We are able to offer you a free case review whereby we can offer legal advice and help you better understand the process of filing a claim. Our practice areas cover the majority of Florida. Contact The Law Place today to organize a free consultation. This is a no-obligation meeting, so if you do not wish to pursue your case, then that is fine!
Call us at (941) 444-4444. Our phone lines are open 24 hours, 7 days a week!
What Is an Oversized Loads Truck?
An oversized load truck is pretty much exactly how it sounds! All of the roads in Englewood, FL., will have their own specific limits regarding the size and weight of trucks. If a commercial truck is over this limit, then it will be recognized as an oversized loads truck instead. In addition, to set weight limits, there are also rules that state the appropriate weight limit that each axle of a truck should bear.
As well as this, a trucking company will be legally required to possess a permit for any truck drivers under their employment if this truck driver is transporting an oversized load. Furthermore, to try and prevent a tractor-trailer accident, Englewood also has restrictions on the number of hours a truck driver can drive with an oversized load. This limit will depend on the physical weight of the contents. In the case that the driver already has a relevant permit for this load, then they may be able to travel at all hours.
An accident can easily occur if these restrictions are not abided by. If you have been in a truck accident that wasn’t your fault, phone our law firm today.
What Should I Do After Being Involved in a Truck Accident in Englewood, Florida?
If you have very recently been involved in a truck accident and are looking for some quick tips on what to do, then here are some important things to keep in mind to help both yourself and your case:
- Make sure you and others around you are safe – If you are stable, then it is important you check yourself for any visible injuries. If you can move, then you should get to a safe place, out of the flow of traffic. If it’s possible, then check if the other driver(s) are injured. If they are, then do not attempt to move them and instead alert first responders about their condition.
- Call the emergency services – As soon as you are in a safe spot, and if nobody else has, then you must call 911 to alert the emergency services of the accident. This is a legal requirement and has to be done as per Florida Statute 316.062.
- Gather all of the necessary contact details – Getting the contact information of any witnesses, attending officers, and the details of the other driver (their name, address, phone number, and insurance details) are vital for your case.
- Take photos – Always try and take pictures of the scene of your accident. This includes any other vehicles involved, any damage to your vehicle, and the road conditions. If you are not stable, then you could ask somebody else to do this for you.
- Seek medical attention – You are required to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Florida Statute 627.736 explains that you are legally required to seek medical care within two weeks of an accident. If not, an insurance company can use this against you. It is also for your own health benefits.
- Contact an attorney -When you feel well enough, it is advisable to contact an accident lawyer. The quicker, the better, as this will provide your lawyer with a better chance to compile all of the necessary pieces of evidence before your court date. The longer you leave this, it will potentially be more difficult to ensure the evidence gathered is sufficient enough quality to help your case.
- Do not accept liability – Those involved in your accident or the relevant insurance company may take whatever you say and use it against you to suit what benefits them. Unfortunately, many people lose out on a settlement due to the fact they have apologized at the scene or outright accepted all fault without knowing the true legal repercussions.
Call The Law Place today to learn more about what you should do following a truck accident in Englewood, Florida.
What Contributes to Truck Accidents in Englewood, Florida?
Trucking accidents in Englewood have the potential to be caused by a wide range of circumstances. Some of the most commonly reported causes of truck accidents are as follows:
- The trucking company was negligent – An example of this is when a trucking company breaches the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations
- The truck driver was fatigued – Driver fatigue is a prominent issue with truck drivers due to their long hours. This impairs their ability to react and drive safely.
- The truck driver was untrained or inexperienced – Trucking companies are obligated to train their drivers to ensure the safety of those around them. Otherwise, accidents could occur.
- Speeding – A tall truck is at a higher risk of crashing when speeding than other vehicles due to the unbalanced weight distribution. E.g., speeding around a corner could cause the truck to fall sideways.
- Hazardous road conditions – Examples include potholes or missing stop signs. Similarly, hazardous weather conditions can also influence the state of the road, e.g., heavy rainfall.
What Forms of Compensation Could I Be Owed Following a Truck Accident in Florida?
If you have been involved in a truck accident that was not your fault, then it is likely that you may be able to claim compensation. This comes in many forms based on what you experienced. Some examples include:
- Pain and suffering – Pain and suffering is a complex form of damages used to compensate for any physical or mental suffering as well as any loss of enjoyment in life (e.g., being unable to play an instrument you once did). If you wish to claim for pain and suffering, then it is best to have a personal injury lawyer on your side as it can be difficult to provide and evidence for and translate into a reasonable settlement demand.
- Medical bills – Truck accidents can cause severe injuries. If you have had to receive medical treatment because of your accident, then it is important to know that these costs can be refunded in the form of compensation.
- Lost wages – If you have had to have time off work because of your truck accident (e.g., to recover from your injuries), then you will be able to claim back any lost wages in your final settlement. Similarly, if you cannot return to work, then you can claim for a loss of earning potential.
- Property damage – It is highly likely that your car accident caused some damage to your vehicle. Any repair or replacement costs can be accounted for in your settlement, as long as you can provide evidence of these bills.
- Punitive damages – These are rare and are only awarded if the defendant is a repeat offender or did something especially reckless, so do not assume you will definitely receive this.
- Wrongful death – If you have unfortunately lost a loved one in a truck accident that was not their fault, then you could be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit, as per Florida Statute 768.21. This type of lawsuit should provide you with compensation that covers any funeral expenses, loss of consortium, and any pain and suffering your loved one endured before their death.
If you believe you could be owed any of these damages, phone an accident lawyer from our law firm. We will be able to review your case in a free case evaluation, whereby we will identify the exact damages you may be able to claim.
How Is Liability Determined After Truck Accidents in Florida?
All commercial trucks are required to have routine maintenance and inspections performed to ensure that they can legally be on the road. Despite these rigorous safety regulations across Florida, the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration (NSHTA) announced that big trucks were involved in, on average, 4,000 accident fatalities and more than 100,000 injuries every year across the United States. If you have been a victim of a truck accident that was not your fault, then it is important to keep in mind four very important factors that will determine liability.
- Was there a duty of care? – Every single personal injury case will require you to be able to suitably prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care when the accident occurred. This is relatively simple with truck accidents, as all drivers owe a duty of care to those on the road to act as a reasonable person would in order to ensure everybody’s safety.
- Was the duty of care breached? – To prove that the duty of care was breached, a personal injury attorney is required to prove that the party being blamed displayed a level of negligence that could be labeled as unreasonable. In regards to a truck accident, this act of negligence could be drunk driving, speeding, or incorrectly securing the contents of the truck.
- Did this breach cause your injuries? – To put it simply, any injuries had to have been the direct result of the defendant’s act of negligence.
- Did the injuries result in damages? – The possible damages are explained above. The proof required for each will vary, so it is vital to keep evidence of everything, e.g., keep all repair bills.
Some parties that could be held liable after your truck accident includes:
- The truck driver.
- The truck driver’s employer.
- The relevant vehicle manufacturer.
- The relevant vehicle maintenance team.
- The relevant trucking companies.
- A government entity.
- Another driver.
How Do Truck Accident Lawyers Investigate Auto Accidents?
An accident lawyer is highly recommended if you have been involved in an auto accident that wasn’t your fault. Hiring one should be the first thing you consider doing. Here at our law firm, our truck accident lawyers are ready to pursue an in-depth investigation into your collision so that you receive the compensation you’re owed. Every truck accident lawyer has years of experience in piecing together every aspect of a case to ensure our clients receive a suitable payout.
To begin your case, our lawyers will complete an onsite investigation of the scene of the crash. If you have not already done so, multiple photos will be taken as evidence. Furthermore, our team will interview any eyewitnesses, check the site for any visible signs of evidence, look for any hazards on the road, etc. This will all be vital evidence in your case.
Florida law also requires all commercial trucks to have a black box installed. However, a lawyer is necessary to secure a black box as evidence. A black box can contain information that will be essential in your claim being successful or failing. They record a vast amount of information, such as the driver’s speed, when the brakes were applied, etc. However, it is unfortunately common that trucking companies or/and drivers will mess with or destroy any evidence. For this reason, it is important you act quickly and hire an experienced lawyer to prevent this from happening. Additionally, maintenance records, the driver’s logbook, records about the driver and company, and any employment records will all be vital but could be destroyed if you fail to act quickly.
Will Comparative Negligence Laws Affect My Case?
The rules of comparative negligence are laid out in Florida Statute 768.81. This statute may affect your Englewood truck accident case. The Judge will assign liability in your case based on who they believe caused your collision. Your settlement will then be determined by the laws of comparative negligence. It means that the courts will reduce your settlement by the degree of fault that is proven to be your own, if any.
An example of this would be if your truck accident was caused by the truck driver being intoxicated, but you were also proven to be slightly above the speed limit, then your settlement could be reduced by 10%. This reduction is used to reflect your own liability and punish your negligence whilst also punishing the guilty party. We recommend hiring a truck accident lawyer so that you can get the correct amount of compensation you deserve.
How Will No-Fault Insurance Affect My Truck Accident Settlement?
As well as comparative negligence, no-fault insurance will also have the potential to impact your settlement. Florida Statute 627.7407 explains that if you have been involved in a vehicle accident in Florida, then every driver involved is required to rely on their respective insurance company in order to make a claim. It does not matter who was actually proven to be liable for the damages. Insurance companies can cover these costs as all drivers in Florida must take out Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance.
PIP insurance will cover most damages (i.e., medical costs and lost wages). It does, however, have a threshold, meaning that if your insurance doesn’t cover your losses, then you may have to file a separate lawsuit against the liable party to make up the cost. If you wish to pursue an independent lawsuit, then it is recommended to hire a lawyer. Contact our law firm to organize a free consultation and receive legal advice on what we believe is best for you.
Is There a Time Limit on My Truck Accident Case?
If you have recently been a victim of a truck accident that was not your fault, then it is vital you act quickly and hire a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Florida Statute 95.11 explains the very strict time limit surrounding how long your case will have before it cannot be heard in court. Following any type of vehicle accident, you will have four years from the date of your collision to make a claim. If not, you will fail to receive compensation. In the unfortunate scenario whereby you have lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident, then you will have two years to make a claim according to the statute of limitations.
As well as this, Florida Statute 627.736 lays out the rule that you must seek medical attention within two weeks of your accident. If not, your settlement value could be affected, and an insurance company can use this against you. Contact a personal injury attorney today to make sure you meet all of the necessary deadlines!
How Much Will an Englewood Accident Attorney Cost Me?
All of our truck accident lawyers at The Law Place operate on a strict contingency basis. A contingency basis means that you will not be charged any upfront costs. Instead, all of your legal fees will be deducted from your settlement once your case has been successful in court. It is unlikely, but if your case does not win, then you will not be charged a cent – in other words, a no-win-no-fee guarantee!
All of our legal contingency work will be monitored by the State Bar Association of Florida. The Law Place abides strictly by the relevant guidelines as they are set to ensure the fair treatment of all clients. If you organize a free consultation with an accident lawyer on our team, the fee system will be explained in detail so that you are fully aware of the costs.
Contact an Englewood Truck Accident Lawyer Today!
Here at The Law Place, we recognize how a semi-truck accident can completely flip your life upside down and leave you with an immense amount of physical, mental, and/or financial hardship. Because of this, it is important that the truck driver and the insurance company don’t get out of fairly compensating your losses. Our accident lawyers boast 75 years of combined experience in dealing with cases such as your own, and our practice areas cover the majority of Florida. The Law Place is more than ready to fight for you so that you can recover the compensation you may be owed, so do not hesitate to get in contact.
Contact our law firm today to organize a free consultation with an experienced accident attorney from The Law Place. We can talk you through the claim process and what we can specifically do for you. Call us today using our toll-free number, (941) 444-4444. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for your convenience!