With I-95 being the main North-South interstate on the East Coast and running through Deerfield Beach, it is very common to see commercial trucks on the roadway. While these trucks are vital to the state’s economy, they can be extremely dangerous to other roadway users, including the occupants of other vehicles, as well as motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
If you’ve been injured in a Deerfield Beach truck accident, let an experienced Deerfield Beach truck accident lawyer from the Eltringham Law Group explain the process of obtaining compensation for the expenses and impacts of your injury.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Deerfield Beach that You Can Sue for
As with all types of motor vehicle accidents, human error is the leading cause of accidents involving 18-wheelers. Some common errors that lead to truck accidents include:
- Driving distractions, such as texting or other cell phone use, eating or drinking, adjusting vehicle or GPS controls, or external distractions such as work zones
- Driver fatigue, which is a common problem in the trucking industry, where drivers must keep an electronic log of the number of hours they work and take regular off-duty breaks
- Impairment by alcohol or drugs, in spite of truck drivers being required to submit to random drug and alcohol screenings in order to maintain their commercial driver’s license and decreased legal impairment limits for truck drivers
- Improper loading of the truck’s cargo, which can cause it to shift during transport and result in a loss of maneuverability for the driver
- Speeding, which involves not only driving over the posted speed limit, but also driving too fast for the weather and traffic conditions of the roadway
For a free legal consultation with a truck accidents lawyer serving Deerfield Beach, call 561-338-0420
Seeking Compensation after a Deerfield Beach Truck Accident
Due to the size discrepancy between trucks and other vehicles on the roadway, it is most often other roadway users who are injured or killed in accidents involving commercial trucks. If you have been injured in a Deerfield Beach truck accident or have lost a loved one as a result of this type of accident, you can seek compensation for your injuries through the process below.
A personal injury lawsuit is a legal claim filed in civil court, generally within four years of the date on which the accident occurred. Before the claim is filed in court, your truck accident attorney in Deerfield Beach will seek compensation for the expenses and impacts of your injury through direct communication with the at-fault party’s insurance carrier. The insurance carrier can choose to pay the claim, deny the claim, or offer a settlement.
If the at-fault party’s insurer fails to offer a fair settlement for the expenses and impacts of your injury, a lawsuit is filed. It should be noted, however, that settlement negotiations can continue after the lawsuit has been filed, and even after the trial has begun as long as a decision has not been reached in your case.
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Damages Available through a Personal Injury Claim in Deerfield Beach
Florida allows personal injury claimants to seek compensation for both the expenses of their injury – which are known as economic damages – as well as the impacts the injury has had on your quality of life, which are referred to as non-economic damages. Some impacts and expenses commonly sought through a personal injury claim include:
- Medical expenses
- Wage loss
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Property damage
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
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If an individual dies as a result of a truck driver’s carelessness or recklessness in Deerfield Beach, a personal representative of the deceased’s estate can seek compensation on behalf of family members, including the deceased’s spouse, minor children, parents, or other family members who depended on the deceased for services and support. The statute of limitations in this type of claim is two years.
The type of impacts and expenses that can be claimed for compensation in a wrongful death claim include:
- The loss of support and services provided by the deceased to family members
- Loss of companionship, protection, guidance, and nurturing
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Medical expenses related to the treatment of the deceased’s final injury
- Reasonable costs associated with the funeral and burial or cremation
- Loss of wages and benefits from the time of the accident until death occurred
- Loss of net accumulations that would have been made to the deceased estate during the course of their career, if they had lived
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What Are the Dangers Posed By Commercial Trucks?
Commercial trucks, also known as semi-trucks or 18-wheelers, are generally about 72 feet long, 13.5 feet tall, and 8.5 feet wide. With a weight of up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, they are 20-30 times heavier than a passenger car. This size creates a number of issues, such as:
- The need for wide turns when taking corners, which can cause smaller cars to become trapped in adjacent lanes
- Significant blind spots on all four sides of the vehicle that make it difficult for the truck driver to know whether another vehicle or person is either right in front, behind, or alongside them
- The increased stopping distance required in order for the brakes to pull the weight of a vehicle to a complete stop
- The high center of gravity that can make the truck susceptible to rolling over when attempting emergency driving maneuvers or taking curves at too fast a speed
- The high ground clearance that can result in smaller vehicles becoming trapped beneath the truck during an accident
If You Have been Injured, a Deerfield Beach Truck Accident Attorney Can Help You
Truck accidents are dangerous and often result in catastrophic injuries requiring a higher level of compensation. Unfortunately, these are also complex cases involving the need to obtain a lot of evidence about the truck driver’s employment, driving history, and training, as well as information on the condition of the truck and any additional liability held by the truck driver’s employer.
If you have been injured in a truck accident in Deerfield Beach, a truck accident lawyer in Deerfield Beach can explore your legal options for obtaining compensation. Contact us at the Eltringham Law Group for your free case evaluation.