What Should I Know About Truck Accidents in Florida?
Commercial trucks bring goods to people across America on our highway system, keeping people fed and businesses going. Truck drivers receive special training and must take extra precautions that other types of drivers do not. These large trucks hauling heavy loads share the roads with smaller vehicles, making truck accidents more dangerous than different kinds of car accidents.
After a truck accident, it is essential to understand your legal rights and options for seeking compensation. Truck accidents can result in serious injuries and property damage, and navigating the legal process can be complex and overwhelming. That’s where an experienced truck accident attorney can help. An attorney can help you learn what steps to take after an accident, how fault is determined, and what compensation you may receive.
How Deadly Are Truck Accidents?
All car accidents are scary. High speeds, thousands of pounds, and multiple people are usually involved in collisions. It is probably not surprising that truck accidents can be more deadly than car accidents.
One of the most significant factors in how deadly an accident may be is the sheer size and weight of commercial trucks. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the average weight of a commercial truck is over 20 times greater than the average weight of a passenger vehicle. This weight difference means that when a car collides with a truck, the car is much more likely to sustain severe damage. Occupants of the car in a truck-car collision are more likely to suffer serious injuries or fatalities.
Another factor contributing to the severity of truck accidents is the distance required for a truck to come to a complete stop. Due to their size and weight, commercial trucks need significantly more time and space to stop than passenger vehicles. If a truck driver is not paying attention or driving too fast for the road conditions, they may be unable to stop in time to avoid a collision with another vehicle.
Furthermore, many commercial trucks carry hazardous materials, such as chemicals or fuel, which can increase the risk of explosions or fires in the event of an accident. These types of accidents can cause even more severe injuries and fatalities.
Steps to Take After a Truck Accident
If you are involved in a truck accident, there are several steps you should take to protect yourself and your legal rights.
Seek Medical Attention
First and foremost, seek medical attention for any injuries, no matter how minor they may seem. Prompt medical attention will ensure you receive the necessary treatment and create a record of your injuries for evidence in your case.
Document the Accident
Getting good evidence is one of the most important factors determining a potential claim’s outcome. Calling the police to report the accident is one of the best ways to document the facts surrounding the accident. The police report is one of the most commonly used pieces of evidence in truck accidents.
Be sure to obtain the truck driver’s name, contact information, and insurance information, as well as the contact information of any witnesses to the accident. Take photos of the accident scene, including damage to your vehicle and any injuries you may have sustained. It is also a good idea to take pictures of the truck involved in the accident, including its license plate and any identifying information.
Finally, contact an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you navigate the legal process and ensure your rights are protected every step of the way.
Determining Fault in a Truck Accident
Determining fault is one of the most important factors in a truck accident claim. In Florida, fault is determined using a legal concept called “comparative negligence.” In Flordia’s legal system, a judge will assign each party involved in the truck accident a percentage of fault. Each party’s share of the fault will determine their compensation.
For example, if the judge decides the truck driver is 80% at fault for the accident, and you are 20% at fault, your compensation is reduced by 20%. The complex factors involved in calculating who is at fault are why it is vital to work with an experienced truck accident attorney who can help you build a strong case and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Getting Compensation in a Truck Accident Claim
If you get into an accident with a truck, you may be entitled to more compensation than you think. Insurance companies may try to settle your claim quickly and for less than you are entitled to, but an attorney can negotiate on your behalf to ensure that you receive fair compensation for all the ways the accident may have harmed you.
Types of Truck Accident Compensation
If your truck accident injured you, you might be entitled to several different types of compensation, including:
- Medical Expenses: This includes the cost of medical treatment related to your injuries, including hospitalization, surgeries, medications, and physical therapy.
- Lost Wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages.
- Pain and Suffering: This includes compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish resulting from the accident.
- Property Damage: If the accident damaged your vehicle or other property, you might be entitled to compensation for repairs or replacement.
- Punitive Damages: In some cases, the court may award punitive damages to punish the truck driver or trucking company for gross negligence or intentional wrongdoing.
Working with a Truck Accident Attorney
Truck accident cases often involve multiple parties, including the truck driver, trucking company, insurance companies, and potentially even government agencies. If a truck accident injures you, contact an experienced attorney who can help you understand the full extent of your damages, navigate the legal process, and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Your attorney can:
- Investigate the Accident: Your attorney can conduct a thorough investigation of the accident, including reviewing police reports, interviewing witnesses, and collecting and preserving evidence.
- Determine Liability: Your attorney can work to determine liability for the accident and build a solid case to support your claim.
- Negotiate with Insurance Companies: Your attorney can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to ensure you receive a fair payout for the damages you suffered.
Getting support from an attorney can give you peace of mind during a difficult and stressful time. Your attorney can handle the legal details of your case, allowing you to focus on your recovery and moving forward with your life. Contact Mausner Graham Injury Law today at 305-344-HURT(4878) for a free consultation about your truck accident.