When in an accident with a truck, victims can suffer severe injuries. Not only are you dealing with the weight of those personal injuries, but you could also be suffering from a loss of income from being off work, and you have medical bills and other expenses starting to pile up.
If you are wondering just how much you could receive through a truck accident claim, the answer is complicated. The fact is, there is no average truck accident settlement because every accident is different. But an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you determine what your case could be worth.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Florida You Can Sue for
Across the nation, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently reported approximately 510,000 crashes in one year reported by law enforcement. Twenty-nine percent of those caused injuries, and 1% included at least one fatality.
Florida’s roadways see their fair share of those accidents. But that doesn’t mean the truck driver is always at fault. Some causes of truck accidents include:
- Poor weather conditions
- Inadequate maintenance of the truck
- Faulty truck parts
- An unbalanced load
- Inadequate driver training
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Road conditions, poor vehicle maintenance, and driver negligence can all contribute to an accident.
Who Should Be Held Accountable for a Truck Accident?
Considering the variety of potential causes for a truck accident there may be more than one party held liable. Some individuals and/or companies responsible could include:
- Truck driver
- Truck owner
- The company that employs the driver
- Truck manufacturer
- Truck part manufacturer
- Repair company
- Cargo loader and/or shipping company
You need an in-depth investigation by an experienced truck accident attorney and his, or her legal team to determine who was at fault and should be held accountable.
Big Trucking Companies Use Big Insurance Companies
Trucking companies have powerful insurance companies. You can count on their adjusters getting to work immediately on their case. Do not talk with them.
You need to contact a reputable local truck accident lawyer to deal with the insurance company and counter its claims through careful collection and evaluation of the evidence.
What Damages Can You Seek?
A large part of the value of your case comes from the injuries you suffered and the medical care required.
Your physical injuries fall under economic damage or the cost of repairing your body. This includes emergency medical care, transportation to the hospital, hospitalization, surgeries, x-rays and other tests, physical therapy and rehab, and prescription medications.
Ongoing and future medical care are also included here.
Loss of Wages
If you have suffered severe injuries, you could be out of work for quite some time. You can expect compensation equivalent to your wages while healing from your injuries.
Pain and Suffering
The emotional toll the accident has on you is hard to measure financially. However, an experienced truck accident attorney is familiar with assessing non-economic damages and is equipped to help put a value on this compensation to which you are entitled.
Here, you should also consider the loss of fulfillment in your life, a loss of companionship, and/or a loss of consortium.
If the truck driver was found to be driving under the influence or of some other form of extreme negligence or maliciousness, the court may award punitive damages. The aim is to punish the defendant to prevent a similar incident from happening in the future. Nonetheless, in Florida, a plaintiff may be awarded up to $50,000, or up to three times the amount of compensatory damages.
What If You Are Partially to Blame for the Accident?
Florida follows a pure comparative fault rule. Through this, even if you are found partially at fault for a truck accident, you can still file a suit for damages. If you win, your damages will amount to the other party’s percentage of fault.
For example, if you are found 25% at fault in an accident, you could still recover 75% compensation from the other responsible party.
How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help You After Your Accident?
As you can see, determining fault and appropriate compensation in a truck accident takes a lot of work. You should seek a legal professional who can dedicate their expertise, time, and resources to helping you resolve your case. An experienced truck accident attorney will:
- Collect evidence
- Interview witnesses
- Deal with insurance companies
- Calculate your damages
- Negotiate for a settlement
- Take your case to court, if necessary
No truck accident attorney can offer a guarantee on how much you will collect in damages and compensation. But an experienced one can examine your case and project an estimated figure you should be fighting for.
Florida’s Statute of Limitations in Truck Accident Cases
Every state determines its own statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim which includes truck accidents. You have up to four years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit in Florida civil court.
That may seem like a long time, but it is not. Truck accident cases are complicated and take a lot of time to investigate and prepare. As soon as you are able, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to look at your case.
How to Choose a Reputable Truck Accident Lawyer
You want an accomplished lawyer whom you can trust to be upfront and honest with you about your truck accident case. An experienced attorney should offer a free review of your case, which allows you the chance to get to know that lawyer.
Feel free to ask questions. After all, you are interviewing him, or her to handle your case. Some questions of concern could be:
- How long have you been in practice?
- Are you native to Florida, or how long have you lived here?
- Are personal injury cases your primary focus or your only focus?
- What are your fees, and when will you expect to be paid?
- How experienced are you with truck accidents?
- What types of financial awards have you won for your clients?
- Why should I choose you to represent me?
At the Eltringham Law Group, we respect that you have questions, and we want to answer them. We have the experience and fortitude to take your case to the courtroom, if necessary. In preparation for your claim, we will follow our “Lighthouse” ® process, creating a customized strategic plan specifically designed for your case.
When and Where Can You Meet with Your Attorney?
Attorney David Eltringham is available to review your case 24/7 and when necessary, will meet with you at the hospital or in your home if you cannot travel to one of our local offices.
Contact us and let us set up your free consultation today!