If your car accident in Florida involves a commercial vehicle, prepare for a more complex process. Consider the following examples of potentially liable parties; the driver, the trucking company, maintenance or manufacturing, as well as rideshare company. In addition, commercial vehicles also operate under different liability and insurance rules than passenger vehicles. Finally, Florida is a no-fault insurance state, which can further complicate matters. For these and other reasons, contact us at Kogan & DiSalvo if you’ve been harmed in a collision with a commercial vehicle. We offer a team of experienced car accident lawyers in Florida ready to advocate for your rights to a fair settlement to cover your damages.
What Does No-Fault Insurance Mean in Florida?
No-Fault insurance means that if you get into a car accident in Florida, you file a claim with your insurance company for medical costs and other expenses–even if the other driver caused the accident. This no-fault system makes it harder to sue for injuries in the state. However, in recent years, it has come under fire, and efforts to repeal it are underway. One top complaint is that fraudsters exploit loopholes to falsify claims and fatten their pockets. Their actions have increasingly led to high insurance costs for drivers in Florida.
Not surprisingly, Florida has one of the highest percentages of uninsured drivers. It ranked 6th in America, with an uninsured rate of 20.4%. This could introduce more complications in a Florida truck accident case because commercial insurance is the most expensive.
How Does a Car Accident Lawyer Establish Liability After a Crash?
Your car accident lawyer must complete a thorough case review before establishing negligence after a crash. Liability might seem obvious, but an experienced attorney likely has better resources to determine a suitable course of action. Examples include hiring professionals who can reconstruct the case and gather information on the trucking company and its drivers.
Lawyers must typically prove the following to proceed with a personal injury case:
- The accused party owed you a duty of care.
- The accused breached that duty.
- The breach caused your injuries and losses.
- Your injury resulted in damages.
Who Are the Potentially Negligent Entities in a Commercial Accident?
As noted above, commercial vehicles usually involve more entities than passenger vehicle accidents. Consider the following examples of potentially liable parties:
- Driver: The driver could face liability even if they drove safely, but an issue arose from a malfunction of their vehicle. That’s because they may be responsible for checking and maintaining it.
- Trucking company: Trucking companies may also need to ensure the maintenance of vehicles. In addition, they should also complete thorough background checks for drivers and address problematic behaviors, such as substance abuse.
- Maintenance company: The driver and trucking company may have covered all the bases, yet the truck malfunctioned and caused your crash. The company tasked with maintenance may have switched out parts without the company knowing or reported work completed that it didn’t do.
- Rideshare company: Truckers aren’t the only commercial drivers on the road. Rideshare drivers, delivery drivers, and other gig workers fall into this category. In addition, the work status of the driver at the time of the crash may determine whether the rideshare company is liable–such as awaiting a trip versus completing one.
- Manufacturing company: In rare cases, malfunctions can arise from errors created on the production line. These cases often lead to mass tort or class action. Examples include issues with the brakes or steering.
- Commercial insurance company: The driver, trucking company, or both might carry commercial insurance on the truck. Your attorney may need to determine which insurance company to contact for compensation.
- Another road user: A truck accident can occur if another driver behaves recklessly or creates a hazard. For example, a car stops in the middle of the highway. The trucker slams on the brakes, but the trailer jackknifes and swings into the other lanes of traffic.
Insuring commercial vehicles is expensive, and insurance companies often provide a litigation team to match that price point. Injured persons should try to level the playing field by hiring a car accident lawyer. By doing so, the insurance company’s team may feel less inclined to exploit the case and delay or lowball you. If they refuse to negotiate, an attorney with extensive trial experience can fight hard to get you the compensation your case deserves.
Contact Kogan & DiSalvo for a Free Consultation
Are you looking for a qualified attorney who puts their clients first and delivers results? Our team has won millions of dollars for our clients in Florida. We could review your case and determine if you have a viable personal injury claim based on the cause of your commercial vehicle accident. Our dedicated attorneys work hard to secure the compensation you deserve. Contact Kogan & DiSalvo for a free consultation. We work on a contingency basis, so there are no upfront legal fees. We look forward to hearing from you.