Commercial trucks—also called semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and 18 wheelers—transport consumer goods around the country. Given their size and speed, they are excellent at hauling goods long distances in a short amount of time. Without them, our nation’s economy would not be the same.
But the size and speed of commercial trucks make them a danger to others on the road. When a big rig collides with a passenger vehicle, serious injuries and fatalities frequently result. Injured victims and their families need an experienced truck accident lawyer by their side to fight for just compensation.
Victims who survive truck accidents often suffer broken bones, cuts, brain injuries, soft tissue injuries, and burns. Fortunately, injured motorists can recover compensation for a variety of expenses and harms when a negligent truck driver causes an accident.
- Medical expenses
- You can recover compensation to defray the cost of:
- Transportation to the hospital
- Hospital stays
- Doctor’s visits
- Prescription and over-the-counter drugs
Long-term injuries also qualify for future medical care. For example, people with traumatic brain injuries might need years of rehabilitation to relearn simple tasks like walking, talking, and dressing. If someone else is to blame for the truck accident, you can recover compensation to pay for this future medical care.
If the truck accident left you unable to work, you might receive money damages to replace your lost wages. You will need to prove how much you made using recent pay stubs or other proof of income. When accidents prevent you from returning to your old job, you may also qualify for lost future earning capacity.
If your vehicle was damaged in the truck accident, you can recover compensation to repair the vehicle or replace it if it was totaled. You will need to document the cost of repairs by getting a written estimate or a bill if the repairs have already been made.
Accident victims may also qualify for non-economic losses like pain and suffering. These damages are complex and difficult to calculate, so it is important that you meet with a qualified truck accident lawyer as soon as possible to review your case.
What You Need to Prove
To prevail in a truck accident claim, you need to prove that someone else is legally responsible for your injuries. In many cases, you will bring a case based on negligence, which requires that you show the truck driver or trucking company did not exercise sufficient care while doing their jobs.
For example, you might show that the truck driver broke a traffic law by speeding or driving for too many hours in a row. In other situations, you might need to show that the driver loaded the cargo improperly, which caused the truck to lose balance and collide with other vehicles. No two negligence cases are exactly alike, which is why you need an experienced lawyer to review your case to see if you can make a valid claim.
Because evidence will be absolutely critical to your success, you should speak to an attorney who can begin investigating and collecting evidence to support your claim right away. The trucking company will have an investigator on the scene within hours to begin collecting evidence. You should have someone in your corner to protect your rights and preserve evidence of your claim as well.
Because of their size, truck accidents cause a high number of fatalities. Family members left behind are often in shock and unsure of how to carry on. When a loved one was the family’s main income-earner, then the loss is doubly painful as family members worry about whether they can stay in the family home, pay bills, and survive financially.
In Florida, certain family members can bring a wrongful death lawsuit for compensation for the loss of a loved one. The purpose of the lawsuit is to prove that someone else was responsible for the death and recover just compensation. According to Florida’s statute, the personal representative of the estate files this kind of lawsuit, so look in the person’s will to see who is named personal representative. If your loved one died without a will, then the probate court will name a personal representative.
Although the personal representative files a wrongful death action, it is the family members who receive the award of compensation recovered. If your wrongful death suit is successful, family members can recover the following compensation:
- The value of your loved one’s lost services and support.
- Compensation for lost companionship of a spouse and for mental pain and suffering.
- Compensation for minor children for lost parental companionship, guidance, and instruction along with mental pain and suffering.
- Reimbursement of funeral expenses.
- The estate can recover damages for your loved one’s lost earnings.
These types of wrongful death lawsuits are complicated, so make sure you hire an Aventura lawyer experienced in this field.
Don’t Negotiate With Insurers on Your Own
In the days after the accident, an insurance agent representing the trucking company might contact you. They might ask you to explain what happened or they might make an offer for quick cash if you will only agree to the settlement. Rather than engage with the insurance agent, you should put down the phone and contact a lawyer. Insurance agents represent the insurer—they do not represent you. Instead, they are collecting evidence to use against you later by, for example, getting you to admit that you somehow caused the truck accident. Remember to politely decline to sign anything without showing it to a lawyer first.
Florida does not give injured motorists an unlimited amount of time to file lawsuits for their injuries. Instead, Florida’s statute of limitations gives most injured victims only four years to file if they are suing for negligence, and only two years from the date of death if they are bringing a wrongful death claim. Should you miss these deadlines, a judge may dismiss your case “with prejudice,” meaning you can’t refile it.
Four years might sound like plenty of time, but investigating the crash and making a demand with the trucking company’s insurer can take a year or more. Before you know it, four years have passed. To protect your rights, reach out to a truck accident attorney as soon as possible.
Contact an Aventura Truck Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you have been injured in a collision with a commercial truck, you might qualify for financial compensation for your injuries. At Sibley Dolman Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP, we have extensive experience representing accident victims just like you. To see whether you have a valid claim, we offer potential clients a free consultation where they can stop in and ask any questions that they want. To schedule yours, please call 954-302-7068 or submit our contact form.
Sibley Dolman Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
20807 Biscayne Boulevard Suite 100,
Aventura, FL 33180
What Our Clients Have to Say:
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