There are many differences between a car accident and a truck accident, most notably is the size of the vehicles. Whilst the cause of an accident might not be irregular, bad weather, speeding, texting, or lack of attention to the road, the damage is usually greater when a truck is involved. Furthermore, a truck accident often presents different challenges for an attorney.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, then we advise you to seek the advice of a reputable law firm as soon as possible. If you require medical attention, you have 14 days to acquire care before you are no longer eligible for compensation, as stipulated in Florida Statute 627.736.
At The Law Place, our team of attorneys has combined experience of over 75 years. Our legal advice will get you on the path towards reclaiming what you have lost.
For a free consultation, call us today at (941) 444-4444.
What Is a Commercial Vehicle?
A commercial truck is one of the largest vehicles that you can see on the roads of Florida. According to Florida Statute 320.01, a commercial motor vehicle is:
- A vehicle not owned by the government.
- The gross vehicle weight (GVW) is 26,001 lbs or higher.
- A vehicle that contains 3 or more axles, regardless of weight.
- A vehicle that is used in combination with another, such as a vehicle and a trailer, if this combination is in excess of 26,001 lbs.
Therefore, this means that all manner of vehicles can be classified as commercial trucks, including dump trucks, tractor-trailers, and 18-wheelers.
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What Is the Difference Between Commercial and Passenger Vehicles?
The most obvious difference between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles is sheer size. The damage that an 18-wheeler can cause in an accident, in comparison to a passenger vehicle, is significant. What may have been a minor collision between two cars has the potential to become a tragedy if a truck weighing 80,000 pounds is involved.
It is also important to remember that commercial vehicles take longer to brake and accelerate than passenger vehicles. They also have a number of blind spots and take a lot of space, skill, and precision when making maneuvers.
Due to the high risk of a fatal injury that these trucks pose, all truck drivers, truck owners, and truck companies are required to have insurance with a greater limit of liability.
What Regulations Are Truck Drivers Subject to?
Strict regulations have been put in place in order to keep the roads of Florida safe. When it comes to trucks, trucking companies must make sure that they follow these strict guidelines.
There is a minimum amount of training that a truck driver must receive before being allowed on the roads of Florida, and they must hold a commercial driver’s license.
It is the responsibility of the trucking company to ensure that all of their drivers meet these standards. Furthermore, it is their duty to take drivers off the road after a certain number of hours behind the wheel, preventing accidents caused by fatigue.
Those who have suffered in accidents involving commercial vehicles can use the records that trucking companies are required to keep to prove liability. These logs must state the level of training achieved, any maintenance or repairs performed on the truck, and the number of hours a driver has worked.
We recommend that you hire an experienced attorney to take on your case. Trucking and insurance companies can be difficult to deal with. Let us to take on your case, gather evidence, and allow you to move forward with your life.
What Kind of Damages Can I Claim?
In the event that you or a loved one sustains injuries in a truck accident, then you will be able to claim damages. Here are the three categories that they usually fall within:
If there is evidence of gross negligence or intentional misconduct, then you will be eligible for punitive damages. These are designed to punish the defendant rather than claim back losses to the victim’s income.
Intentional misconduct is when the defendant knew that their conduct carried a high risk of causing an accident, injury, or damage. In spite of having this knowledge, they continued their conduct, leading to such consequences.
Gross negligence is when a defendant conducted themselves in a way that showed a blatant disregard for the safety or rights of those subjected to their behavior.
These must be proved with sufficient evidence under Florida Statute 768.72.
These are the damages that cover the expenses of recovering from a car accident. Recording and recovering economic damages can be simpler than other damage types as it is a matter of keeping records. Invoices, receipts, and bank statements can all be used as evidence. In addition, you may be able to claim back any predicted future expenditure, like prescriptions, travel to and from appointments, and medical care.
These damages are in place so that a victim may be compensated for any emotional or physical suffering they have endured. Any reduction in quality of life justifies compensation, so if you have lost the ability to practice a hobby, for example, you can claim damages. Furthermore, reparations will be awarded to those who have suffered permanent disfigurement or scarring.
Remember that dealing with truck and insurance companies alone can often be significantly less effective, as well as daunting. Evidence can be used against you, and insurance companies will try to settle for less than what you are entitled to. You need an attorney on your side who can present your case efficiently and stand up to these large corporations.
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Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in Florida
It is stated in Florida Statute 627.7407 that Florida is a no-fault state. This means that any compensation you receive should be awarded from your own insurance provider, regardless of who was at fault.
Personal injury protection (PIP) must be carried as a driver in Florida. Florida Statute 627.736 stipulates that a minimum of $10,000 is required to protect both drivers and passengers. As well as an additional $10,000 to cover the costs of property damage. 80% of your medical bills and property damage should then be covered by your insurance provider, subject to your policy limit.
This statue allows victims of vehicle collisions the knowledge that their rights are protected from greedy insurance companies. However, it is vital that you hire an attorney to recover the full amount that your case is entitled to.
The Law Place
At The Law Place, our injury attorneys are ready to alleviate your pain and suffering. If you have been in an accident involving a passenger vehicle and a large truck, contact us for a free case evaluation. Our team of attorneys has years of experience in dealing with truck accidents and trucking companies. An accident involving a commercial truck can be serious and life-altering. We will review your case and advise you on what steps you should take next, all during your free consultation.
We are here to make your life easier. Call us today at (941) 444-4444. Our lines are open 24/7.