Florida Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck accidents are catastrophic and potentially deadly events that typically leave victims with significant, life-changing injuries. When negligent truck drivers and other parties cause these wrecks, victims have the right to seek compensation.
Making your strongest case for the most available damages requires the experience of a dedicated and knowledgeable trucking accident attorney. If you’ve been in an accident, JustCallMoe has a skilled truck accident lawyer in Florida who can fight for you.
How Our Florida Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
Injury victims have the burden of proving that the truck driver, trucking company, or some other individual or entity was legally negligent in causing the accident. This requires compelling evidence of some act or failure to act that directly led to the wreck. Having a seasoned Florida truck accident attorney makes a difference!
When a client hires us, we get to work investigating the accident and acquiring the proof needed to build a case. This may involve such steps as interviewing witnesses, reviewing surveillance and dashcam footage, and pulling the truck driver’s and trucking company’s records to identify any regulatory or legal violations.
We may also retain the services of expert witnesses. These are individuals with technical or specialized knowledge who can testify about complex accident-related matters. One example is an accident reconstructionist, who examines the forensic evidence to explain in detail how the crash happened. Expert witnesses can also help your attorney assign a dollar value to your case, which is another critical step. A medical expert, for instance, can explain the treatments that you will likely need in the future.
Once we have the evidence ready, your trucking accident attorney will file a lawsuit to seek damages. If the insurance company and lawyers representing the defendants will negotiate in good faith, a settlement may be reached. Otherwise, a trial will be necessary.
Our team helps clients make an informed decision of whether to accept a settlement offer or take their case before a jury.
How Many Truck Accidents Does Florida Have Each Year?
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) keeps records related to the number of truck accidents in our state. According to the FLHSMV, medium and heavy trucks (those that weigh at least 10,000 pounds) caused 30 fatal accidents in 2021.
In that same year, trucks caused 148 “incapacitating” accidents in Florida, defined as causing disabling injuries that require hospitalization and transportation to a medical facility. Another 560 non-incapacitating accidents and 1,176 wrecks with possible injury were reported.
Some of the deadliest Florida counties for accidents involving commercial motor vehicles, which include trucks, are (for the year 2021):
- Miami-Dade: 7,903 accidents — 27 causing death and 1089 causing injury
- Broward: 4,111 accidents — 12 causing death and 820 causing injury
- Palm Beach: 2,970 accidents — 18 causing death and 746 causing injury
- Hillsborough: 2,781 accidents — 24 causing death and 824 causing injury
- Duval: 2,694 accidents — 21 causing death and 629 causing injury
- Orange: 2,632 accidents — 12 causing death and 971 causing injury
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Every Florida truck accident is different, but most of them have the same underlying causes that point to negligence on the part of the driver, the trucking company, or some other party.
These are some of the most common reasons these accidents happen:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol: Driving while intoxicated is always dangerous, but even more so when a driver is operating a large and heavy truck. Even if the drugs are prescription medication a driver can be held liable if it interferes with safe operation of the truck.
- Fatigued driving: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates the number of hours that truck drivers may drive before needing a break. For instance, a property-carrying truck driver is only allowed to operate a maximum of 11 hours before taking a break.
- Distracted driving: This is a major cause of accidents in general and comes in many forms, such as cell phone use. Anything that takes the driver’s attention off the road may be considered distracted driving.
- Defective truck parts: Trucks are heavy duty machines that require parts of top quality and durability. A broken or defective component typically points to negligence on the part of the truck’s manufacturer or the maker of the part itself.
- Poor or insufficient maintenance: Just as trucks require the right parts to be in working order, lack of maintenance or poor maintenance and repair work could cause a wreck. A mechanic, repair shop, or the trucking company may be to blame for bad maintenance work.
- Improperly loaded trailer: While trucks are designed to carry heavy loads, they must be secured and situated properly to avoid imbalancing, weight shifts, and items falling off the truck. A truck that fails in this manner could tip over, jacknife, or lose control.
- Overloaded trucks: There are weight limits that trucks must observe, typically based on the number of axles. For instance, in Florida, the maximum weight of any single axle is 27,500 pounds.
- Lack of employee training and background checks: Trucking companies are responsible for the employees they hire, and should take precautions to ensure they are trained. This includes conducting thorough background checks on the drivers.
Who May Be Liable for a Truck Accident in Florida?
The above examples point to potential liability on the part of several parties, including:
- Trucking companies
- Parts manufacturers
- Mechanics and repair shops
Several individuals or companies may share liability, depending on the facts of the case. For instance, a trucking company may be responsible for negligently hiring a driver with a history of driving under the influence. But the driver could still be to blame for causing a wreck while intoxicated.
Our Florida truck accident attorney works to identify all responsible parties, which helps maximize the amount of damages.
What Kinds of Evidence Prove Fault in a Trucking Crash?
Proving liability in Florida tractor-trailer accidents requires strong evidence demonstrating fault.
That may include:
- Truck black box: Also known as the event data recorder, this device registers critical data such as the truck’s speed and whether the brakes were applied before the accident.
- Video cameras: Many trucking companies have installed rear- and front-facing video cameras in their vehicles, which could show unsafe driving maneuvers.
- Logbooks: Truck drivers must document their activities on the road, and the logbook should indicate how much time was spent driving versus taking required breaks.
- Maintenance and repair records: The trucking company’s inspection records will show whether the truck was suitable for driving.
- Employee personnel records: Evidence from the truck company’s personnel files should be inspected to determine if the driver was unqualified to drive or had anything in his or her background that would make driving dangerous.
- Cell phone records: Careful review of the truck driver’s cell phone may indicate whether text messages or phone calls were sent or made immediately before the accident.
- Drug and alcohol testing: If the driver was required to take a drug or alcohol test after the accident, it could demonstrate the presence of an intoxicating substance in the driver’s bloodstream.
Compensation for Damages in a Truck Crash
Although every trucking accident case is different, drivers can generally seek the same kinds of damages. Working with expert witnesses and the evidence acquired after the wreck, your trucking accident attorney will seek such damages as:
- Medical bills for hospitalization, surgery, ambulance, prescription medication, physical therapy and rehabilitation, adaptive medical equipment, and more
- Lost wages for time spent recovering from the accident, along with compensation for sick days, vacation days, or paid time off used during this time
- Decreased earning capacity in the event the victim cannot work at the same level of productivity as before the accident
- Pain and suffering and related so-called non-economic damages, which are more subjective in nature
- Property damage
Contact Our Florida Truck Accident Lawyer
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