Were you recently injured in a truck accident in Florida? Our experienced Florida truck accident lawyers at Shiner Law Group are ready to help fight for your legal rights and get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (855) 462-6878 to speak with an attorney for a 100% free consultation.
You may be entitled to seek compensation for medical bills, loss of income, pain, and suffering, and more. Contact our Florida law offices to discuss the legal options that might be available to you following your truck accident. The next steps are very important. Let Shiner Law Group help you with your truck accident case today.
Were You Injured In A Truck Accident In Florida?
Commercial trucks travel billions of miles every year on American highways. These vehicles are extremely dangerous when traveling at high speeds, and collisions with them can be fatal. Every year, there are numerous people injured or killed in these collisions. Recovering from an accident with a commercial truck can be extremely expensive, time-consuming, and painful. This is why it is extremely important to have an experienced legal team advocating for your rights.
Florida has a set of laws that increase the complexity of legal cases involving commercial vehicles. This state has one of the highest rates of truck accidents in the entire country. In the year 2006, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that over 2,100 people were killed in collisions involving a commercial truck in Florida. This stunning statistic underscores the importance of ensuring adequate legal representation.
How A Florida Truck Accident Attorney Can Help
The sheer size and weight of commercial trucks make them a road hazard at any speed. Sudden changes of direction, traffic pattern disruptions, weather, road conditions, and impaired passenger car drivers can all play a role in a collision. Once the damage is done, the injured people involved often struggle to pay medical bills and other expenses. This is not a good condition to be in when starting to learn about complicated trucking laws, legal procedures, and unscrupulous insurance claims adjusters.
Legal representation is imperative because your rights can be easily violated unless you have an aggressive truck accident lawyer willing to advocate for your interests and protect your legal rights during the litigation process in Florida. The truck accident lawyer you hire will step into this role and protect you against predatory insurance lawyers who often seek to minimize your claim and reduce the monetary damages that are owed to victims.
The difficulty in recovering from an accident is only compounded by the involvement of large commercial trucks. However, there is also another factor to consider: There is often extensive property damage involved in these collisions. Because trucks travel at high speeds and are often loaded, it reduces the ability of the vehicle to stop once the brakes are applied. For example, in a multi-car accident with a truck, the vehicle may skid off of the road while the driver attempts to regain control. Other objects or buildings might be hit by the truck before it comes to a complete stop.
Common Types Of Florida Truck Accidents
The most common types of truck accidents include, but are not limited to, the following:
Truck Rollovers: Traveling at high speeds can introduce a number of vectors that are likely to increase the probability of a collision. Once the truck makes a sharp turn, the winds will interact with the way the trailer is loaded. If there is a combination of improper cargo loading, high speeds and balding tires, the likelihood of a truck rollover increases enormously. The rollover means that the truck falls onto its side, and this is one of the most common types of accidents. Secondary damages are caused by the reactions of the surrounding traffic, road conditions, weather and other factors.
Jackknife Accidents: The jackknife accident is another very common type of truck accident that happens on Florida highways every year. This accident is characterized by the way the trailer tends to travel in a perpendicular direction relative to the position of the tractor. After the trailer starts to jackknife, the driver might not be able to respond in a way that counters the movements.
Runaway Trucks: Truck drivers might lose control of the vehicle for any number of reasons. Once the process begins, the truck is called a runaway. For example, a truck driver traveling down a steep grade might fail to engage the air brakes, causing the truck to accelerate uncontrollably. The disc brakes can also overheat, leading to a vehicle runaway. If the Jake brake malfunctions, the truck driver will be unable to regain control. There are many other conditions in which a truck driver might be unable to regain control of a runaway truck. The speed and weight of the vehicle can make it incredibly dangerous to anyone in the immediate area. Truck accident lawyers can help you to recover damages caused by an injury sustained through a collision.
Types of Florida Truck Accident Injuries
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, tracks the number of injuries caused by collisions with large trucks every year. The data from this agency shows that the rate of truck accident injuries continues to rise every year. This demonstrates the urgency of obtaining legal assistance in the immediate aftermath of a collision with a truck. Delays can be costly because of the ratio of good truck accident lawyers relative to the need.
Legal representation is essential for covering medical expenses incurred during the course of events. There are many types of injuries that result from these truck collisions, and they tend to be more severe and expensive to treat than car accident injuries. Truck accident attorneys can ensure that your claim is filed correctly and all damages owed to you are paid.
Here are some of the most common injuries found in people involved in a collision with a commercial truck:
- Death or disfigurement
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord trauma
- Burns and severed limbs
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Florida
According to the FMCSA, there are usually multiple causes for each truck accident. The condition of the truck is just one example of the many causes that could contribute to the accident. Commercial vehicles require a lot of maintenance, and the costs involved in properly keeping the truck up to the proper standards for operation are high. Therefore, the trucking companies will often seek to delay or eliminate these substantial costs and allow the truck to operate unsafely.
If the company doesn’t get caught, they will save money; however, once the lack of maintenance results in an accident, it’s too late. This factor must be taken into consideration when determining the real fault during the truck accident. The driver often lacks the authority to make these decisions about truck maintenance, so this issue is a critical part of your truck accident claim. Investigating the various factors involved can be an important part of your documentation, which can impact the damages paid to you.
Other causes of collisions with commercial trucks may include any of the following:
- Poor maintenance of brakes, tires and internal systems
- Cargo loaded incorrectly
- Weather and road hazards
- Driver mistakes
- Distractions caused by unfamiliar terrain
- Impaired driving
- Driver fatigue
- Aggressive driving
What To Do After A Car Accident in Florida
Contact a qualified and experienced truck accident firm right after the collision. This is an important step to take because your legal advisor can help you to take the correct actions following the incident. This will include getting a police report and accepting medical attention, for example. The truck accident lawyer can ensure that you get the proper documentation to support your legal claim. Failure to obtain these documents can result in the claim being rejected and the award money being denied.
Medical Documentation of Injuries
The first responders and paramedics who arrive at the scene of the accident are responsible for documenting injuries that are accident-related. If you fail to obtain this information, the attorney representing the other side might be able to argue that your injuries were unrelated to the crash. Accept any medical attention that is offered even if you think you don’t need it. There are many injuries that might be present that you can’t feel immediately. This includes internal injuries, for example. Insurance companies will often try to deny accident claims if there is inadequate medical documentation provided.
Collect Additional Information
Everyone involved in the collision should exchange their information. However, since there is a commercial vehicle involved, you might also need additional details from the truck driver. This includes the license number on the truck cab, the truck owner’s information, insurance details, and the trucking company’s contact information.
Collect any evidence that might be helpful in supporting your legal case. This includes photographs of the point of impact between the truck and your passenger vehicle, for example. It could also include any admissions of error on the part of the truck driver, so try to record any conversations you might have at the scene of the accident with those involved. This also includes getting statements from any witnesses that saw what happened. Observe the location of any nearby traffic cameras that might have footage of the event.
Filing An Injury Claim For A Florida Truck Accident
Personal injury claims involve a lot of documentation and paperwork. The more evidence there is to support your claim, the more likely you are to prevail in court. However, it might not be possible to think clearly in this manner if you are in shock or suffering from injuries as a result of the truck collision.
This is where a truck accident attorney’s advice can come in handy. The lawyer can advise you to contact someone who can gather evidence from the scene of the accident on your behalf, for example. This simple step is incredibly important, yet it can be easy to overlook if you are in pain and suffering from trauma. People involved in the accident are likely to be in a state of shock or trauma. It is very difficult to understand the correct legal moves to make in this frame of mind, so contact an experienced truck accident attorney immediately.
Liability For Truck Accidents in Florida
Establishing liability for the accident is a major aspect of every truck accident lawsuit. This is somewhat similar to the process used for car accidents, but it is also much more complicated. The trucking company, insurance company, and other parties involved in the accident can create a complex situation where the liability is difficult to determine. The liability issue is important because it is used to establish fault and determine the amount of monetary damages to be awarded to the victims.
Liability can be distributed between the parties involved in the crash:
- Trucking company
- The truck driver
- The manufacturer of defective parts
- Third party companies
Liability Standards in Florida
Florida drivers are required to follow specific laws as defined in this state. This responsibility is even greater for truck drivers. They have an obligation to drive defensively and do everything possible to avoid collisions. Since the training involved in obtaining a CDL is greater than the average driver, they are held to higher standards on the road. However, even the best driver might be unable to prevent accidents if there are other factors at play. Other factors might include driver fatigue on account of inadequate time off being given to the driver.
Florida Truck Accident Attorneys Taking On Insurance Companies
Claims for damages get paid by insurance companies. These businesses have an operational incentive to deny claims, and they seek any method possible to avoid paying the full claim amount. The truck accident lawyer is your best advocate against this predatory insurance system that incentivizes claims adjusters to minimize and deny the harm done to the victims. Injuries sustained in collisions with trucks tend to be extremely severe and expensive to treat; the stakes are very high. Many truck accident cases settle for millions of dollars, so make sure you’re confident in the skills of your legal representative.
Insurance payouts are necessary for covering a variety of expenses:
- Medical diagnosis and care
- Ongoing treatment costs
- Pain and suffering
- Disability and disfigurement
- Wages lost through inability to work
- Loss of a loved one in a fatal crash, or wrongful death
Hiring A Florida Truck Accident Lawyer
Hiring an experienced truck accident law firm is essential for proving your case and collecting damages. Evidence of error, negligence and other forms of wrongdoing can strengthen your case. The truck might have been overloaded, or it might have been loaded improperly. Driver fatigue or driving under the influence of medications must also be considered. The trucking company might have coerced the driver to exceed hours of service limits, or the truck may have been improperly maintained.
The investigation may include access to the electronic logging device, or ELD, but this has to be accompanied by a discovery process that accounts for the power the company has over the driver. It is not uncommon for companies to pressure drivers by threatening to retaliate if they refuse to violate hours-of-service rules to make a tight deadline, for example. The power in this situation is with the company; the greatest liability is also with the party most responsible. Truck accident lawyers can issue subpoenas to get the evidence necessary to uncover all of the pertinent evidence in your case, so contact us today.