In Florida, the roads are always busy. The majority of people rely on their own motor vehicles to travel. This means that accidents on the road, whether that be a car accident or a truck accident, are not uncommon. With this comes damages. All auto accidents come with the risk of serious damage and serious injuries, and in the worst of cases – death. Trucking accidents are even more dangerous and come with more heartbreaking consequences. This is because trucks are larger and heavier than most motor vehicles on the road and have a stronger destruction rate when colliding with smaller vehicles.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a trucking accident in Florida, it is important that you contact a truck accident lawyer immediately. You might have sustained damages that you are entitled to claim compensation for. Here at The Law Place, we have over 75 years of combined experience in working on personal injury claims, and an experienced truck accident lawyer can use their skills and knowledge to help you with this case. We strive to have a strong attorney-client relationship, and we will stand up to insurance companies and trucking companies to make sure you get the justice you deserve.
For legal support from a law firm that you can trust, contact The Law Place today. Upon calling, we offer everyone a free case evaluation and can get to work on your case. Our telephone lines are open 24/7, so contact us at a time that is most suitable for you. Call now on (941) 444-4444 to schedule your free consultation today.
Typical Causes of Truck Accidents in Florida
There are many different causes for a truck accident, so it is important to understand and recognize what they are. Listed below are some of the most common causes of a trucking accident in Florida:
- Fatigue – Truck drivers are only paid for the time they spend on the road, meaning this gives more motivation for them to continue driving even when they are tired. Trucking companies are aware of this but continue to let it happen because of their financial motives. A study by the FMCSA reports that 13% of all large truck drivers were considered to be fatigued at the time of the accident.
- Driving under the influence – Driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the main reasons for truck accidents to happen. This is because the truck driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Poorly maintained trucks – A commercial truck or large truck is meant to be maintained by the trucking company to make sure they are always fit to be on the road. However, it is not uncommon for a trucking company to not do this in order to save money. Equally, the truck driver might neglect to check the tires, lights, reflectors, or wipers on their vehicle. Poor truck maintenance can contribute to brake failure, steering problems, or tire problems.
- Poorly secured cargo – Large trucks are likely to be carrying a variety of cargo. This can range from cars, livestock, steel pipes, pallets, liquids, and more. A commercial truck that carries a top-heavy load could mean that the vehicle can flip and spill cargo across the highway. This is extremely dangerous for other vehicles on the road and leads to car accidents.
- The trucker’s blind spots – Cars that are traveling directly behind or in front of a commercial truck may not be seen by the truck driver. This also applies to cars that are in the middle or on either side of the truck. In this case, the driver may change lanes, accelerate, stop suddenly and do so without being aware of the vehicle they are about to collide with.
Proving Liability for a Truck Accident in Florida
When pursuing a personal injury claim, you have to be able to prove who is liable for the trucking accident. Your truck accident lawyer will be able to work with you to determine who is at fault. Listed below are the various possibilities of who can be the liable party:
A Truck Driver
This is the first place your attorney will go to, as in most truck accident cases, the fault lies with the driver.
Truck drivers are often required to drive long distances and haul heavy equipment. This means that it is more common for them to be the at-fault driver than another motor vehicle driver. Also, it is not uncommon for truck drivers to operate their vehicles whilst intoxicated. In fact, according to Responsibility.org, in recent years, nearly 20% of all traffic accidents in the State of Florida were caused by intoxicated drivers.
A Trucking Company
If you or a loved one were in a collision with a truck driver, the company who they work for might also be held liable for the accident. This could be the case for a number of reasons, such as:
- The company pressured one of their drivers to skip their rest break or cut it short in order to make deadlines, resulting in the driver becoming fatigued.
- The company may be responsible for hiring an under-qualified driver
- The company failed to conduct the necessary safety checks before the journey
If you are in this position, whether involved in a truck or car accident, the legal process can be complex. This is why it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side who can help you with your insurance claim and the legalities surrounding a personal injury lawsuit. They will also help you obtain the monetary compensation you rightfully deserve.
In some truck accident cases, it is possible for the manufacturer of the truck to share liability for the accident. If an equipment manufacturer was to blame for providing unsafe and faulty parts, truck accident victims are able to file an insurance claim against them.
A Pedestrian or Passenger
In some cases, accidents aren’t caused by the driver and can be caused by a pedestrian behaving unsafely on the road, meaning that a driver has to swerve into traffic. A passenger could also be the reason for causing an accident if they are distracting the driver of the motor vehicle, thus assuming accident liability.
An Injured Party
In some cases, it is not uncommon for accident victims themselves to be in some way responsible or be held responsible fully for the accident. For example, if you fell asleep at the wheel or were seen to be driving recklessly, this could be the main cause of the accident, even if another driver then collided with you.
For truck accident cases, Florida operates under the comparative fault clause. According to Florida Statute 768.81, the comparative fault clause makes it possible for damages to be shared by both of the parties involved in an accident. For example, if it is found that you are 10% responsible for causing the accident, you will receive 90% of the damages. The remaining money would be awarded to the other party.
Even if you were partially responsible, do not assume that you shouldn’t seek compensation. At The Law Place, we want to help you get the maximum amount of compensation and recover damages that you are legally entitled to.
What Damages Am I Entitled to Following a Truck Accident?
If you are involved in a truck accident, there is a range of damages that you are able to claim, depending on the specific crash and the type of injuries you sustained. Listed below are the common damages that you can claim when involved in a truck accident:
- Medical expenses, including those for physicians, hospitals, prescription drugs, rehabilitative therapies, and any other medical bills related to your accident
- Property damage to your own property or vehicle.
- Loss of income means lost wages or future wages you might not be able to get from taking time off work.
- Pain and suffering refer to any additional emotional pain and anguish you have experienced as a result of the accident. Pain and suffering are more difficult to prove than other damages but are still important.
- In the worst trucking accidents, wrongful death can happen. While we understand that no amount of compensation will make up for this loss, a wrongful death lawsuit can cover funeral costs and loss of consortium.
While we know that no amount of compensation will help your trauma following this stressful ordeal, it is important to know that the financial burdens that follow trucking accidents can be reduced.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
If you are have been involved in a truck accident, even if you don’t feel injured, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. This is because some of the many injuries that you can sustain do not instantly show symptoms and might not appear until days or weeks after the accident. A prime example of this is concussions. Also, if you decide to file a claim, it is important to be able to provide evidence about the injuries you have sustained. Medical records are a great example of this.
It is also important to get in touch with your insurance company as soon as possible. When speaking with your insurance company, it is important not to go into too much detail about the accident until a lawyer is with you. In most cases, the insurance company will not have the client’s best interests at heart. Insurance companies are familiar with finding reasons to devalue your claim and not give you the settlement you deserve.
It is equally important to get legal representation. According to Florida Statute 95.11, you have four years to file a personal injury claim from when the accident happened. Four years might seem like a long time, but the sooner you do this, the better your chances of gaining full compensation will be. Your lawyer needs time to thoroughly investigate your case, gather the appropriate evidence and help build an argument.
Contact The Law Place Today
Truck accidents are far too common in Florida. The victims are usually left with emotional, physical, and financial suffering. If it is the case that you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, speak to one of your truck accident attorneys today.
You need a reputable law firm on your side that will be able to fight on your behalf for the compensation that you rightfully and legally deserve. Our team will combine all the resources we have to build a strong case for you, giving you the best chance at getting the maximum compensation possible.
Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so contact us now! Call us at (941)-444-4444 and schedule your free consultation.