Truck Accident Claims in Florida

Truck accidents can occur for a wide variety of reasons. Unfortunately, it is common for improperly loaded cargo, failure to conduct inspections, faulty manufactured parts, worn-out tires, or even a sleepy driver to cause serious crashes.

If you suffered an injury in a tractor-trailer accident, you should retain the experienced Florida truck accident lawyers at Kogan & DiSalvo to represent your interests. Truck accident cases may involve liability for multiple parties and other complex legal concepts, including regulations established by both the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

As in every type of a personal injury claim for damages, the burden falls on the injured plaintiff to prove that a defendant’s actions were the cause of their losses. This may require the lawyer to investigate the cause of the accident, evaluate the relationship between a defendant driver and their employer, and make an accurate measurement of their losses. A failure to complete any of these steps in a case may lead to a reduced compensation package or the denial of a claim.

Therefore, it may be in your best interest to consult with a legal professional. While you focus on healing from your physical injuries, our dedicated personal injury attorneys could focus on addressing your financial losses and legal needs.

Handling a Truck Accident Claim

Case Results

  • $9.03 Million
    Tobacco Smoking Class Action Claims
  • $2.1 Million
    Auto Accident Resulting in Death
  • $2 Million
    Auto Accident Resulting in Brain Injury
  • $1 Million
    Bad Faith Recovery Against Insurance Company
  • $825,000
    Pedestrian Accident
  • $750,000
    Worker Injured by Construction Crane
  • $500,000
    Slip and Fall on Wet Floor

Evaluating the Worth of Semi-Truck Accident Cases

Most plaintiffs do not have experience with civil claims and may be unsure of what their case is worth. Fortunately, a Florida attorney with experience in litigating truck accident claims could evaluate what a case may be worth based on the circumstances.

Measuring the value of a truck accident claim requires the complete evaluation of a plaintiff’s losses. The goal of most personal injury claims is to collect compensation that puts the plaintiff in the same position that they would have been in had the accident never occurred.

What Damages are Available in a Commercial Vehicle Accident Claim?

One of the central parts of most truck wreck claims is the medical costs associated with the physical injuries that a claimant sustains. Truck accidents can lead to a variety of injuries that may require a single trip to an emergency room or surgery and a lengthy period of rehabilitation. The most severe crashes may inflict injuries from which a plaintiff will never fully recover or even wrongful death. Therefore, a claim for compensation should demand payments for all past, current, and future medical treatment.

Accidents involving trucks and big-rigs also may have a profound emotional impact on an injured individual. These losses can lead to a significant decrease in their quality of life as well as traumas, such as PTSD, that can affect them for years.

Unlike physical injuries, it can be difficult to place a dollar value on emotional traumas. However, a comprehensive demand package should include the value of these losses to demand appropriate compensation.

Additionally, many truck collisions cause a plaintiff to lose a significant amount of money. This typically takes the form of lost wages due to an injury forcing an individual to miss time from work. Defendants who are liable in commercial vehicle accident cases are responsible for reimbursing injured motorists for all past lost wages as well as payments for reduced earning capacity due to lasting disabilities. An attorney in Florida could examine how a truck accident has affected a plaintiff and demand appropriate compensation from all at-fault defendants. Experienced truck accident lawyers can get you the compensation you deserve.

Who May be Liable in a Truck Collision Case in Florida?

A crucial part of any claim for damages is identifying every defendant who may be liable. In general, the primary defendant in these cases is the truck driver. Every driver in Florida assumes a duty to drive safely and to obey all traffic laws while behind the wheel. A driver who fails to uphold this duty may be liable for any resulting injuries and damages.

Another important party to many semi-truck accident cases is the trucker’s insurance company. These companies take on the burden of providing compensation in case of losses that result from their insured’s poor driving. In some situations, a driver’s insurance company may try to reduce their insured’s liability to avoid paying all of the injured party’s damages.

Another potential defendant is the trucker’s employer. Plaintiffs must quickly determine whether a trucker is an employee of a company or an independent contractor. An independent contractor assumes all potential liability for their negligence. However, respondent superior states that an employer is liable for the actions of their employees while they are acting within the scope of their occupational duties. As a result, if the driver is an employee of a trucking company, this employer also may be liable for a plaintiff’s losses. Our attorneys at Kogan & DiSalvo could identify all potential defendants to a truck accident case in Florida.

How Might a Plaintiff Prove Defendant Fault in a Truck Crash Case?

Once a plaintiff identifies all potential defendants to a lawsuit, they must prove that a defendant was responsible for the incident that resulted in their injuries. In other words, a claimant must prove that a trucker or another party was at-fault for their accident.

Truckers have the same duty to drive safely as all other motorists. This includes stopping at red lights, following speed limits, and refraining from texting while driving. A truck driver who violates a rule of the road and receives a conviction in traffic court is almost certainly liable for the resulting injuries.

Additionally, special rules apply to the safe operation of commercial vehicles. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration establishes maximum weights of these vehicles for certain road surfaces. There also are laws in place that limit the maximum number of hours that a driver may be behind the wheel in any given day or week. A trucker or employer who violates these regulations may be negligent for a resulting accident.

However, just because a trucker did not violate a rule of the road does not mean that they are not liable. Many semi-truck accident cases require an in-depth analysis of the collision to determine the location of the vehicles and their speeds at the point of impact. By demonstrating that a defendant exercised poor judgment while behind the wheel, plaintiffs may be able to prove negligence in their claims. A Florida commercial vehicle accident attorney at Kogan & DiSalvo may be able to establish fault in a truck wreck case.

Truck Driver Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) works to decrease the number of crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving trucks and busses. Florida has also created the Highway Patrol Office of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (OCVE) to enforce other laws to promote safety for all drivers on the road.

Commercial vehicles cannot be longer than 75-feet, taller than 13 feet, 6 inches, wider than 102 inches, heavier than 80,000 pounds and overhangs must be a maximum of 3 feet.

These types of vehicles can only be driven for 11 hours if carrying cargo, and 10 hours if carrying passengers according to the FMCSA. However, in Florida, truckers are permitted to drive up to 12 hours a day with cargo.

Additionally, commercial vehicle drivers can only be on duty in a 6-to-8-time span and they are required to have a 34-hour break before starting another shift. Drivers are not allowed to operate a cellphone while driving, and must consent to drug and alcohol tests at any time.

Additionally, truck drivers are required to create safe following distances. As defined by Florida law, trucks must leave at least 300 feet between them and the vehicle ahead. Exceptions are made for trucks that are passing.

Working to Protect Claims from Aggressive Insurance Companies in Florida

Liability assigned to an injured claimant can significantly impact the value of their case. In many situations, defendants try to reduce their liability by working to convince the court that at least some of the responsibility for the accident in question lies with the plaintiff.

Although the defendant may still owe the plaintiff compensation, proving partial responsibility on their part typically reduces the compensation a plaintiff may recover in proportion to their degree of fault. According to Florida Statutes §768.81, civil courts must use comparative negligence when evaluating civil claims for damages.

Truck Accident Settlements

The majority of commercial vehicle accident cases in Florida are settled between the lawyers representing the plaintiff and defendant. The decision of whether to settle or proceed to trial ultimately rests with the plaintiff. However, it may be less stressful and possibly more productive to settle the case prior to trial.

Plaintiffs can discuss fair settlement amounts and benefits or disadvantages of a settlement with a truck accident lawyer in Florida before making a decision. Generally, though, it is good practice for a plaintiff to do so before speaking to the truck driver’s insurance company or lawyers. If they do not, the injured claimant may leave money on the table that could have been part of their compensation.

Reach out to a Seasoned Florida Truck Accident Attorney

A commercial vehicle accident can result in painful injuries that may leave you unable to work and with costly medical bills. To increase your chances of a successful case result that brings you the compensation you need, contact the knowledgeable Florida truck accident lawyers at Kogan & DiSalvo as soon as possible for your free initial consultation.

Our law firm can take steps to protect your legal rights and pursue your claim for damages. Additionally, they could provide an initial case analysis that determines whether a claim has a possible chance for success and visit the scene of the accident to gain a full understanding of the facts of the case. Finally, they could prepare demand packages that fully outline your losses from all potentially liable parties.

Ideally, a case will end with a fair settlement that covers all of your losses. However, if a trial is necessary to bring you the damages that you deserve, our dedicated attorneys could take the necessary steps to present a case to the jury while protecting your right to fair compensation. To get started on your semi-truck wreck claim for damages, contact our office today.

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Injury Lawyers Serving Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Stuart, & nearby FL Locations

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Our highly-skilled accident lawyers are standing by to help you. We serve all of South Florida for all types of injury and death cases. We invite you to call us with your questions, and we will be happy to help you understand your rights and your options. Our goal is to help you get justice and to maximize your financial recovery.

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One of our clients discusses working with Kogan and Disalvo following a semi truck accident.
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Semi Truck Accident

One of our clients discusses working with Kogan and Disalvo following a semi truck accident.