Following a minor truck accident, there will be lots of questions that you might want the answer to. Whose fault was the accident? What do I do now? Do I make a claim? When do I contact my insurance company? Do I have to hire a truck accident lawyer? Just because an accident is defined as ‘minor,’ this does not mean you shouldn’t seek legal representation to get the compensation you deserve following this accident.
In Florida, your insurance should cover damages that come from a truck accident case, such as medical bills or damages to your vehicle, but this is highly dependant on your insurance policy. Often, insurance companies will try to devalue your case, which is why it is important that you hire a truck accident lawyer to assist you through this process.
At The Law Place, we have a team full of experienced truck accident lawyers who are well-versed in cases that are similar to yours. Once you call us, you will receive a free case evaluation and legal advice. The information you decide to share will be totally protected by us, and if you do decide to let us represent you, your truck accident lawyer can help you begin these important legal steps.
Call our law firm today to receive your free consultation on (941) 444-4444. Our telephone lines are available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
What Are the Causes of a Minor Truck Accident?
Although the accident can be labeled as ‘minor,’ large trucks do have the ability to cause significant damage as many trucks carry a weight of 10,000 pounds. As well as this, some trucks will be hauling a loaded trailer, which means this initial weight is greatly exceeded. Listed below are some of the common causes for minor truck accidents in Florida and across the United States.
Truck accidents can occur due to reckless driving. If a truck driver works for a commercial trucking company, their wage can be dependent on the speed at which they can deliver the goods or product, meaning the driver is working against the clock. This could cause their speed to increase. This is a recipe for disaster, and through their fault, an accident could occur.
As recorded by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), stopping distances contribute to how a minor truck accident may occur. There are different components to consider. Firstly, due to their size, large trucks need more time and distance to stop compared to that of a regular motor vehicle. If this truck is on the highway traveling at a highway speed, a loaded truck with a trailer in tow will need the distance of around two football fields to execute a stop safely. Weather conditions also contribute to how successfully and safely a truck may stop, as things such as rain, snow, or ice mean that the truck is working against these conditions more than a car would. If the truck is on the highway with bumper to bumper traffic, this could also contribute to a minor accident happening due to impact.
Distracted driving can come under different headings. Often, it is referring to the truck driver using their cell phone during a long journey to take the edge off. This causes accidents, whether it be the driver forgetting to move forward on the road or cause a collision with another vehicle.
Some truck drivers, especially if they are commercial truckers, need to work into the night to make sure the delivery arrives on time. As stated in the NHTSA, if an accident occurred as a result of drowsing driving, law enforcement officials may struggle to prove this. A way to overcome this is to look at the driver’s work schedule to determine how long they have been driving for and what their finishing time was. Your truck accident lawyer can help you determine these finer details.
The “Other” Guy in a Minor Truck Accident
It is important to know that in an accident, the other driver involved may attempt to bring a claim against you. Often, in reports of an accident, even if it is considered a minor one, people are likely to exaggerate the events for their own personal benefit. They could lie about the true nature of the damages incurred or the severity of injuries sustained. This could lead to a great increase in your insurance rates – and no one wants to be in this position.
To combat this is at the time of the accident: swap information with the other driver, take photographs at the scene of the accident, as this will support your claim further with your insurance company, and report the accident to law enforcement as soon as possible. This will be a good way of protecting yourself from further stress. Your personal injury attorney will be able to guide you through this process should it happen.
Florida’s No-Fault Law
As defined in Florida Statute 627.7407, Florida functions through a no-fault insurance law process. This means that following a minor truck accident, you must first seek compensation from your insurance company regardless of whether the accident was your fault or not.
Furthermore, as stated in Florida Statute 627.736, as a driver you are responsible for possessing a minimum PIP (personal injury protection policy) of at least $10,000 and property damage liability.
Due to the existence of these laws, following a minor truck accident, it is highly likely that your insurance should cover any damages sustained. In the case that more severe personal injuries or property damage were sustained, you will have to make a claim against the other party’s insurance.
What Damages Can I Collect From a Minor Truck Accident?
Even if the truck accident is considered to be minor, it is still worth speaking to your truck accident lawyer to find out the damages you are entitled to. These damages can be economic or non-economic; both are equally valid, and you are legally entitled to claim them. Listed below are some examples of the different damages you can claim after a minor truck accident:
- Property damage – If your vehicle was damaged during this minor accident, you could make a property damage claim. Your vehicle could be your main source of income, and some might not be in a position to be able to afford another one.
- Medical expenses – If you have suffered injuries as a result of the accident, you should seek medical attention. This is not cheap and could add a financial burden to your family. Therefore, you have the right to (and should) claim it back. Medical expenses refer to doctor’s bills, physical therapy trips, or lost wages sustained from having to take time from work.
- Pain and suffering – Pain and suffering refer to the emotional and mental stress you might be feeling after an accident. Examples would be any mental or emotional trauma you’ve experienced as a result of the accident. Equally, it can refer to any physical disabilities or scarring. Although not always physically visible, this does not make these damages any less significant.
Should I Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer for a Minor Accident?
Following a minor truck accident, it is important to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. The sooner you do so, the better it will be for your case. The help of a truck accident lawyer will mean that you face insurance companies with support and knowledge. We will do all that we can to make the experience less stressful for you.
As mentioned previously, when you contact The Law Place, you are entitled to a free consultation from one of our truck accident lawyers. With them, you can discuss your legal options and receive advice from a completely unbiased source. At The Law Place, we take great pride in building a strong attorney-client relationship – one that is free of judgment. We are here to help you.
What have you got to lose? Call us today on (941) 444-4444 to speak to a lawyer and have a free case evaluation. Our phone lines are open 24/7.