Trucks are used for business on every route in Florida. Collisions involving these massive trucks are especially dangerous and can be more difficult to resolve legally than typical auto accidents.
Truck accidents can result in severe injuries such as shattered bones, brain damage, and even wrongful death.
Florida continues to be among the top states with the highest number of truck accident fatalities in the U.S. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there are three times as many truck accidents in Florida as there are nationwide.
Victims need an experienced Delray Beach truck accident attorney. For many years, our team at Steinberg Law has helped people harmed by negligent truck drivers and shipping firms. We’ll make every effort to secure financial compensation for your lost wages, medical expenses, and suffering.
Truck Accident Statistics
Florida was one of the three states with the worst truck collisions in 2019. These large vehicles caused 182 accidents which resulted in 202 fatalities. Few of these accidents occurred on little roads or remote places, whereas most occurred on major thoroughfares.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, most truck accidents occur between midnight and three in the morning. Between 9 a.m. and noon and 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. are also dangerous.
What Should You Do After a Truck Accident?
After a truck accident in Delray Beach, Florida, there are measures you should take and pitfalls you should avoid if you want the best chance of receiving adequate compensation.
Here is what you should do.
Calling the police to the accident scene is the first step in getting a report. Do not argue about who was at fault, admit blame, or speculate about what could have happened. Just relay the details as you remember them.
Get assistance for anyone who has been seriously hurt as soon as possible. If it’s safe, move the vehicles to the side of the road to prevent further collisions.
Find out the name, contact information, address, and insurance information of the truck driver. After a truck accident, a lawsuit could be brought against several parties, including the driver and the trucking company.
Make sure to obtain the names, telephone numbers, and other contact information of all parties involved.
Document the Scene and Speak With Witnesses
Capture images of the vehicles, the accident scene, and any injuries as soon as possible. Take photos showing the weather and condition of the road, if you believe these may have played a role in the accident. Also, question anyone present about what they observed.
Learn their names and collect their contact information too.
Seek Medical Attention
It is crucial to seek medical attention immediately after a collision. Truck accidents often result in serious injuries, considering trucks are larger and heavier than passenger automobiles. Some injuries like internal bleeding may not be immediately obvious.
Contact a Delray Beach Truck Accident Attorney
Whatever happened, you need to speak with a truck accident lawyer in Delray Beach as soon as you can. A lawyer will examine the specifics of your situation and advise you on how to defend your rights.
What Are the Laws Regarding Truck Accident Liability?
Big truck accidents are different from other types of auto collisions. Commercial vehicles and their operators are subject to tougher regulations than conventional cars and drivers. Truck drivers and trucking companies in Florida must follow various federal and state laws and regulations.
A few of these laws and truck safety regulations include:
- Ensuring that truck drivers receive the proper training.
- Ensuring vehicles adhere to safety standards.
- A limit on the number of hours a truck driver should drive daily.
- Frequently submitting to drug or alcohol testing.
- Frequently inspecting and servicing vehicles.
Hazardous material shipping is subject to additional regulations. Consult a truck accident attorney in Delray Beach to understand how the laws and safety regulations apply to your case.
Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state which means that you should first seek compensation from your own insurance company through your PIP insurance plan.
However, once your damages exceed the maximum amount allowed, you can then seek additional compensation from the at-fault party via a third-party claim.
All motorists are required to carry a $10,000 minimum in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
You should also note that Florida follows the pure comparative negligence doctrine. This means that your expected amount of compensation will be reduced according to your percentage of fault.
How Can a Delray Beach Truck Accident Lawyer Help?
Truck accident cases are complex, and you will want a knowledgeable Delray Beach truck accident attorney on your side to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
If you choose to work with Steinberg Law on your case, we will assist you in the following ways.
Investigation and Filing a Claim
You must provide evidence in order to successfully sue a negligent truck driver or truck company for your injuries and losses. The accident needs to be thoroughly and immediately investigated.
Our team will move swiftly to preserve evidence, locate witnesses, and locate additional sources of evidence.
We will file a claim against the party/parties found to be at fault. We will ensure the case is filed correctly and on time.
Insurance companies will attempt to pay out as little compensation as possible. We will begin negotiating a just settlement on your behalf after calculating the amount you are legally entitled to receive. We will explain if any settlement offers are fair or too low, so you can make an informed decision.
While most truck accident cases are resolved with a settlement agreement, we are prepared to go to trial if necessary. We have a great deal of expertise advocating in court for the rights of those hurt in truck accidents and their families, and we won’t let up if a reasonable settlement isn’t offered.
What Types of Compensation Can I Receive?
There are three categories of damages in a Florida truck accident case.
Economic damages reimburse victims for financial losses. Examples include medical costs, lost wages, loss of earning ability, and property damage (car repairs, etc.).
Non-economic damages compensate you for losses that cannot be given a dollar value. These damages may include pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, and loss of companionship.
The court may award punitive damages to penalize the at-fault party for gross negligence. In Florida, punitive or exemplary damages are capped/limited to a maximum of $500,000, or three times the amount of compensatory damages.
How Much Is My Truck Accident Claim Worth?
It is impossible to determine the value of a claim without carefully examining what transpired. The following factors are important when determining the value of your claim.
- The severity of your injuries
- Future and current medical expenses
- Present or future income loss
- Damage to property
- Permanent disability
When you contact Steinberg Law, a truck accident attorney in Delray Beach will evaluate your case and give you a better idea of the compensation you could receive.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Claim?
Yes, there is a deadline in Florida for truck accident victims to file a lawsuit. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, victims must file the case within four years from the date of the accident. You will lose your chance to receive compensation if you or your attorney fail to file a lawsuit within the 4-year statute of limitations.
How Is Fault in a Florida Truck Accident Determined?
It could be difficult to establish who was at fault in a truck collision. You’ll need to demonstrate that the truck driver or the trucking company had a legal obligation to keep you safe and that one or both failed to uphold that duty, which caused the accident and your injuries.
When it comes to truck drivers, you must demonstrate that the driver’s actions or inactions contributed to the collision and your injuries. The same procedure is followed by trucking companies and other potentially liable parties, such as independent maintenance providers or truck manufacturers.
The skilled Delray Beach truck accident attorneys at Steinberg Law can investigate the collision and create a compelling case by collaborating with accident reconstruction specialists.
Can a Lawyer Prove the Truck Driver Was Negligent?
You undoubtedly worry a lot about your expenses after a truck accident. You might require long-term care and be out of work for a while due to the injuries. An experienced truck accident attorney in Delray Beach knows what evidence is needed to establish liability and obtain the highest compensation amount.
Your attorney will review the data from the truck’s black box. The black box is an electronic device that keeps track of the hours driven. Some devices may also record the driver’s speed.
Other evidence that can help prove the truck driver was negligent include:
- The police report
- Photographs of the accident scene
- Witness statements
- Alcohol and drug testing.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
There are many factors to consider when determining fault in a truck accident case. Following a truck accident, you might be entitled to sue the following parties.
A truck driver may be held accountable for any accidents, injuries, or property damage they cause by acting negligently while operating a truck. Suppose a truck driver causes an accident while speeding, is distracted or exhausted, or doesn’t obey traffic laws. In that case, you may be able to sue the driver for your damages.
Trucking businesses must ensure that their drivers have the appropriate training to operate their commercial trucks properly. They must also regularly maintain and inspect all company vehicles. Even if trucking companies make drivers independent contractors, they may still be held liable for hiring unqualified drivers and not ensuring that trucks are properly maintained.
Company Who Loaded the Truck
The driver probably doesn’t pack, package, load, and secure the products when transporting them. The loaders could be liable for broken or improper straps used to secure the load, overloading, or other loading and securing issues, even if the driver and trucking company are responsible for double-checking the cargo.
Vehicle or Parts Manufacturers
Lack of maintenance can result in steering issues, flat tires, and damaged brakes, but malfunctioning components can also be to blame. The vehicle and vehicle parts manufacturer or distributor may be held accountable if defective parts caused the accident.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Just as there are many distinct types of truck accidents, there are numerous factors that might cause truck accidents. Here are a few common reasons for truck accidents:
- Driver fatigue
- Reckless driving
- Drunk driving/drug use
- Oversized cargo
- Poorly trained or inexperienced drivers
- Improperly secured freight
- Lack of truck maintenance
- Distracted driving
- Equipment malfunction
- Poor road conditions
Call an Experienced Delray Beach Truck Accident Attorney!
Surviving a truck accident is often a harrowing experience with lasting ramifications. Collisions involving trucks often cause severe injuries and even death. If you were harmed in a truck accident, you might be eligible for compensation to cover your medical expenses and other accident-related losses. But you won’t understand your legal options unless you speak with a qualified truck accident attorney in Delray Beach.
Our trustworthy and knowledgeable truck accident attorneys at Steinberg Law are knowledgeable about negligence laws and know how to resolve truck accident claims. They can help you receive the maximum compensation in your case. They will examine your situation and implement the strategies needed to recover the full and fair compensation you deserve.