Florida Truck Accident Lawyers
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Being involved in a truck accident can result in serious injuries or damages and can be a terrifying experience. These accidents can happen quickly and without warning and leave you at a loss for what to do next.
Truck accidents can also become very complex. Accidents with trucks may be more destructive because they are larger and heavier than cars. They may also involve several parties, which adds to the complexity. It is important to consult with an experienced truck accident lawyer to help you if you have been in a collision.
Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Florida is one of the most dangerous states in the country when it comes to truck accidents. Florida and nine other states account for half of all fatal truck accidents in the country. In the first six months of 2020, Florida residents suffered 4,162 crashes with 150 fatalities.
There are a variety of causes that contribute to truck accidents in Florida. Some are due to weather conditions, but many causes are preventable. Some causes include:
Driving Under the Influence
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 30 people die every day as a result of a drunk driving accident. About 3% of these accidents involve truck drivers who were driving under the influence.
Texting, checking your navigation app on your phone, or phone calls can all distract a driver from the road. The FMCSA strictly prohibit these activities, but it does not stop some drivers from allowing themselves to be distracted.
Some truck drivers are on a time limit to deliver their cargo and may feel pressured to continue driving even when tired. The FMCSA has regulations in place that require rest periods to reduce driver fatigue.
Improper Truck Maintenance or Manufacturing Defects in the Truck
Large trucks need to be regularly serviced to ensure they are compliant with safety inspections and suitable for the road. A mechanical failure can be catastrophic on the road.
Trucks carrying heavy loads will take longer to brake. It is harder for large trucks to see blind spots, so other drivers have to be cautious when driving near overloaded trucks.
Read More: Improperly Loaded Truck Accidents
Data from the NHTSA shows that more than 21% of truck crashes are due to speeding. Speeding is dangerous in any vehicle, but a large and fully loaded semi-truck will need more time and space to slow down and stop completely.
Driver Inexperience or Inadequate Training
Truck companies must train their employees and require that employees obtain the proper license for driving a semi-truck.
Road Construction or Other Hazards
Truck drivers should drive slower when road conditions are poor. Some maneuvers that are simple for other cars, such as slowing down or turning, are much more difficult in a fully loaded semi-truck. Trucks make wide turns, which make them more difficult to navigate.
Common Truck Types
There are different kinds of trucks, all of which can cause significant damage in a collision. Some of the most common truck types are:
- 18-wheeler or big rig
- Cargo trailer
- Flatbed truck
- Dump truck
- Tanker truck
- Cement truck
- Delivery truck
Florida Truck Accident Statistics
According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle Crash Report from 2018, an average of 1,106 crashes happened every day. There were 403,626 collisions that caused 236,157 drivers and passengers to suffer serious injuries. 19,196 of these resulted in incapacitation and 3,135 died. In the first 11 months of 2020, there were about 300,000 motor vehicle crashes with at least 187,000 injuries. It is important to stay safe on roadways to prevent collisions.
Common injuries of truck accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Cuts and bruises
- Internal bleeding
- Soft tissue damage
- Loss of limbs
- Crush injuries
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Injuries sustained from a truck accident can be much more catastrophic than a regular car crash. Commercial trucks are heavier and larger than cars and can cause more damage.
Who to Sue in a Truck Crash Claim?
Determining who is at fault for an accident can be confusing and time-consuming. Allow our experienced attorneys to help you pursue a lawsuit against all potentially responsible parties.
The Truck Company
The truck company may be responsible for negligent hiring or improper training. The trucking company may also be vicariously liable for damages caused by its driver if the driver was acting within the scope of employment at the time of the accident.
The Freight Company
This may include the shipper or cargo loader if the cargo was negligently loaded.
The Parts Manufacturer
The parts manufacturer or mechanic could be liable for negligent repairs or defective parts.
Is it Worth Getting a Lawyer for a Minor Accident?
Truck accidents are rarely minor, but even in minor accidents, having an experienced lawyer on your side is worth the cost. Zinda Law Group is equipped to handle the complexities of a large truck case. Truck accidents are more complex and more expensive than car accidents.
Having a lawyer helps ensure that you recover the most compensation possible for any damages suffered. An experienced lawyer may protect your rights and preserve important pieces of evidence for trial. Organizing evidence on your own or obtaining witness statements without knowing what you need to prove will be difficult without an experienced attorney.
When it comes to an insurance adjuster awarding a settlement, it is beneficial to have a lawyer look over the settlement before you agree to it. Many times, insurance adjusters tend to offer lower numbers for settlements that will not be adequate for long term injuries or extensive repairs. A knowledgeable lawyer may know when to renegotiate and advise you on your options.
Sometimes minor accidents have major consequences down the line. Injuries that seem minor may worsen, or existing medical conditions may be exacerbated. These injuries could end up causing costly medical procedures in the future. Hiring an experienced Florida truck accident lawyer is worth investing in.
Truck Accident Compensation
There are several kinds of compensation possible for Florida truck accident victims. Depending on the damages sustained, they generally fall under one of two categories. You may have damages recoverable under one or both.
Economic losses are calculable. They are meant to compensate victims financially for the expenses incurred from the accident. These types of damages include:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Funeral/burial costs
Non-economic losses are not as easily calculated and are more subjective to the victim. Factors for calculating these types of damages may include the severity of the injury, length of recovery, the extent of medical treatment. These types of damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Disabilities or diminished functioning
In rare cases, Florida courts may award punitive damages to punish the party at fault. Punitive damages are meant to deter others from the same behavior if they acted recklessly or intentionally.
Our lawyers will be able to calculate what damages are available to you and help you recover the maximum award possible.
Legal Time Limits in Florida
The legal time limit to file a case is known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations begins to run on the date of the accident. Once the time limit is up, you may no longer file a claim. It is therefore important to file a claim as soon as possible.
Florida law requires individuals to file a crash report for any collision involving a motor vehicle within 10 days to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (Section 316.062). Florida also requires the additional duty to stop after an accident (Section 316.061). Drivers must also exchange basic information after an accident and provide reasonable assistance to anyone injured (Section 316.062). Drivers that fail to do the above and who flee the scene could face felony charges.
Get Help from Florida Truck Accident Lawyers
At Zinda Law Group, our experienced truck accident lawyers have handled many victims involved in collisions. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you seek maximum compensation after a truck accident. We may help you build the strongest case possible and pursue the maximum compensation for your injuries.
Our firm also believes that a truck accident injury victim should never have to worry about being able to afford excellent legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we win your case. Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.