A truck's size and weight—it can weigh up to 80,000 pounds fully loaded—can cause more severe injuries than some car accidents. You'll want to ensure you can recover enough compensation to cover all of your medical expenses and other damages you must suffer. Because of the number of businesses and tourists in Coral Springs, the city sees a lot of truck traffic, which increases the chances of getting into a wreck with a truck.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, has experience with vehicle accidents, including truck accidents. Contact our Coral Springs truck accident lawyers for a free case evaluation if you suffered injuries in a truck accident or if you lost a loved one in a truck accident.
- Why Choose Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA in Coral Springs
- Recovering Compensation After a Coral Springs Truck Accident
- Truck Accidents in Coral Springs
- Truck Accidents and Truck Accident Injuries
- Working With Insurance Companies
- What to Do After an Accident
- Coral Springs Truck Accident FAQs
- Contact a Coral Springs Truck Accident Lawyer at Dolman Law Group
Why Choose Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA in Coral Springs
Most legal issues, especially truck accidents, are complex. When a truck driver is at fault, he or she might not be the only person at fault for the accident. The trucking company, the city, county, state, a truck mechanic, inspector, or several others could share in the responsibility for your injuries.
If someone else's actions or inactions contributed to the reason the truck driver crashed into you, you now have several Coral Spring injury attorneys and insurance companies involved in settlement negotiations or the lawsuit, if it goes that far.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, represents those who were in complicated truck accidents to ensure they receive the compensation they deserve. While no guarantee of future success, In one past case, the firm recovered a $3.85 million award for someone who suffered brain injuries in a truck accident. In another case, the firm recovered $3.2 million in another truck accident case that resulted in brain injuries.
We work with each of our clients individually—you are not just a number when you choose Dolman Law Group to represent your interests. We take the time to investigate every case to determine who is responsible for your injuries and ensure that we understand the consequences of any injuries, especially those that could result in long-term or permanent disabilities.
Our case evaluations are always free, and you can come to us, we can come to you, or we can arrange a telephonic or video meeting. Contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, in Coral Springs, FL, for a free case evaluation today.
Recovering Compensation After a Coral Springs Truck Accident
When someone else is at fault for a truck accident, you can recover compensation for your damages. Florida allows you to recover two types of damages: Compensatory damages and punitive damages. The law breaks compensatory damages into two categories: Economic damages and non-economic damages.
Sometimes referred to as special damages, economic damages have a monetary value. Almost everyone in an accident can recover economic damages, including:
Your medical expenses include much more than doctors' appointments, surgeries and follow-up appointments.
In addition to those types of expenses, you could recover compensation for:
- Prescriptions and prescribed over-the-counter medications.
- Ambulatory aids.
- Cognitive therapy.
- Occupational therapy.
- Physical therapy.
- Psychological therapy.
- Home health care.
- Rehabilitation and/or nursing home expenses.
- Hand controls for your vehicle.
- Upgrades to your home, including but not limited to wheelchair ramps, grab bars, handrails, and widened doorways.
Most people realize that they can recover compensation for lost wages. You can also recover compensation for loss of future earning capacity. If your injuries lead to long-term or permanent disabilities, we look at your current salary, increases in the cost of living from now until you retire, and your retirement date to figure out what the defendants owe you for not being able to work after the accident.
During a truck accident, your vehicle and possibly other personal property will suffer damage. You can recover compensation to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property, including your vehicle and anything of value in your vehicle or on your person. For example, if your laptop and dry cleaning were in the vehicle and the accident destroyed them, the defendants must compensate you for those items.
If you lost a loved one in a truck accident, you could recover compensation—not that it brings back your loved one, but it significantly reduces the financial stress you will find yourself dealing with.
Death-related expenses include:
- Funeral expenses.
- Burial expenses.
- Cremation expenses.
- Certain probate court expenses.
- Probate attorney's fees and costs.
Sometimes referred to as general damages, non-economic damages do not have a monetary value. You can't put a value on pain and suffering and other general damages. Not everyone can recover non-economic damages. In most cases, you must be able to show your injuries will result in long-term or permanent disabilities or lost a loved one in a truck accident to recover non-economic damages.
Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress.
- Loss of quality of life.
- Loss of companionship.
- Loss of consortium.
- Loss of use of a body part or bodily functions.
- Inconvenience if you have to hire someone to do the chores you usually do, such as grocery shopping, lawn maintenance, house cleaning, and home repair and maintenance.
- Disfigurement and/or excessive scarring.
Florida also allows you to recover punitive damages. However, not everyone can recover this type of compensation. The court must award compensatory damages, and you must be able to prove that the defendant's actions or inactions were intentional or grossly negligent.
Instead of making you whole again, as compensatory damages do, the court orders the defendant to pay punitive damages as a punishment for his or her grossly negligent or intentional behavior.
A truck accident lawyer at Dolman Law Group ensures that you recover enough compensation to cover all of your damages, including non-economic and, where applicable, punitive damages. Your attorney fights the insurance company for a fair and reasonable settlement so you can concentrate on recovering as best as possible.
Truck Accidents in Coral Springs
Because of the number of tourists and businesses in the area, truck accidents are more likely. Trucks must bring in the goods for the businesses—mix that with people who do not know where they are going, and you have a recipe for an increase in truck accidents, especially if a trucker has never been to this area.
After a truck accident, you have only four years to take legal action based on negligence. However, if you lost a loved one in a truck accident, the statute of limitations is just two years. While it sounds like you have plenty of time, you do not—those two or four years go by very fast. A personal injury attorney must have time to investigate your case and conduct settlement negotiations with one or more insurance companies.
The more insurance companies involved, the longer it takes to come to a fair and reasonable settlement, as the insurance companies will argue over who was more at fault. For example, the driver's insurance company could argue with the trucking company's insurance company that the company should pay more.
The truck accident attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, work with everyone involved to ensure you recover the compensation you deserve.
Truck Accidents and Truck Accident Injuries
Trucks can get into all types of accidents, depending on the cause, including:
- Rear-end wrecks.
- Head-on accidents.
- Sideswipe crashes.
- Rollover accidents.
- Jackknife wrecks.
- Dropped load accidents.
Improperly loaded trucks, driver fatigue, driving under the influence, aggressive and reckless driving, and even the weather can cause any of these accidents, which could cause any number of injuries, including:
- Minor injuries such as cuts, scrapes, bruises, bumps, and scratches.
- Strains and sprains.
- Pulled and torn muscles and other soft tissue injuries.
- Simple and compound fractures.
- Crushed bones and other crush injuries.
- Internal injuries.
- Face and eye injuries.
- Head, neck, and shoulder injuries.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
- Road rash.
- Thermal and chemical burns.
- Amputation of a digit or limb.
- Back and spinal cord injuries.
- Secondary injuries, such as infections.
Working With Insurance Companies
Since insurance companies are in business to make money, they abhor paying claims. Every claim an insurance company must pay cuts into its bottom line. An insurance company—even yours—will do anything to get out of paying a claim. Barring that, it will do what it can to pay the least amount possible. Many times, that amount won't even cover your medical expenses, never mind other damages.
Once you call your insurance company to report a claim, the representative will start asking you questions about the claim. One of the tricks insurance companies use is to twist what you say to make it look as though you are the at-fault driver so the insurance company can justify denying your claim.
Another trick is to admit the other driver was at fault but only offer you a pittance, telling you that is all the insurance company can pay. It is hoping that you do not have an attorney to tell you otherwise or take the company to trial.
If an insurance company contacts you or you initiate the claim filing process, only give the insurance company your name, contact information, policy number, the date and location of the accident, and your attorney's contact information.
If the representative presses for more information about the accident, politely refer him or her to your attorney and end the call. Give our office a call to inform us what the insurance company said. If you have not retained us yet, call us to schedule a case evaluation as soon as possible so that we can ensure the insurance company does not violate your rights.
What to Do After an Accident
In many cases, you might not have the ability to do anything after an accident.
However, if you can move without hurting yourself:
- Check on others involved and call first responders.
- Take photos of the accident scene, ensuring you get any damage done to the roads and nearby property. Be sure to take pictures of the accident from all angles, as they can help accident investigators re-create the wreck.
- Give the police your statement, but refrain from saying or implying that it was your fault or partially your fault.
- Allow emergency medical technicians to check you over, even if you believe your injuries are minor. Some injuries do not manifest until hours or days later. This is the first step to documenting your injuries.
- When the police release you, seek medical attention immediately. Let the medical professionals know that you were in an accident with a big truck.
- Contact a truck accident attorney at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA.
Always keep all doctors' appointments. The defendant will argue that your injuries are not as bad as you allege if you do not keep doctors' appointments. You should also keep a diary with appointment times, dates, and reasons, and your recovery process.
If possible, obtain a copy of the police report. If you have trouble obtaining the police report, we can help you with that. The additional documentation you obtain and create will help our investigators recreate the accident. It also helps us in reviewing your medical records to determine whether your injuries will cause long-term or permanent disabilities.
Coral Springs Truck Accident FAQs
Because of the size and weight of trucks, they can result in serious injuries and death. When you call for more information and to schedule a free case evaluation, we understand that you might be in physical and/or emotional pain and forget to ask certain questions.
Many of our truck accident clients have questions about the difference between truck accidents and regular car accidents. We will try to answer some of those questions here, including the different laws truck drivers have to follow and why you should choose a Coral Springs truck accident lawyer with experience handling truck accidents.
If you still have questions regarding any of these topics or other topics, feel free to give our office a call for more information.
What Is a Commercial Truck?
Most people think of tractor-trailers as commercial trucks, but they are more than that. Any truck used for business is a commercial truck, even a pickup. However, a pickup may not cause as much damage as a firetruck, ambulance, garbage truck, big rig, bus, cement truck, or other large vehicles.
Furthermore, pickup drivers do not have to have a commercial license and do not have to follow federal laws meant for tractor-trailers and other commercial trucks. Cases involving commercial pickup may, however, have more than one defendant who should share responsibility for your injuries. For purposes of this article, we define a commercial truck as any truck where the law requires the driver to have a commercial license.
What are a truck's blind spots, and why is it dangerous to drive in the blind spots?
A tractor-trailer has huge blind spots. When traveling near big rigs, you have to drive through a blind spot, get through them as soon as possible—never hang in the blind spots.
A big rig has four large blind spots:
- Twenty feet directly in front of the truck. Give a tractor-trailer at least 20 feet before merging in front of it.
- One lane on the driver's side. The blind spot starts at the driver's door mirror and extends more than three-quarters of the length of the trailer.
- Two lanes on the passenger's side. The blind spot starts at the front bumper and extends about 20 feet past the end of the trailer in both lanes to the right of the truck.
- Thirty feet in the back of the trailer. Pushing or tailgating a tractor-trailer means you are in the driver's blind spot. You should be able to see the driver in his or her door mirror when you glance around the side of the truck. If not, you are in the rear blind spot.
Who Is Responsible for My Injuries?
The truck driver might not be the only person or entity who shares responsibility for your injuries and other damages.
Others that might share the responsibility include:
- The driver of another vehicle.
- The trucking company.
- A truck mechanic.
- An inspector.
- A third-party dispatcher.
- The truck manufacturer.
- The trailer manufacturer.
- A vehicle manufacturer.
- The city, county, or state that maintains the road.
In some cases, no one is at fault. For example, if the truck driver is following all laws and is driving the appropriate speed for the conditions, and ice, wind, or even sun causes the accident, the driver might not be at fault. Your insurance company would cover your damages up to the amount of your coverage.
I Hear People Saying Truck Accidents Are More Likely to Cause Catastrophic Injuries. Why?
In a nutshell, it's because of the size and weight of the vehicle. A fully loaded tractor-trailer's top weight is 80,000 pounds. If the truck is hauling an oversize load, it could weigh over 100,000 pounds. The average passenger car weighs around 3,000 pounds. With all that weight, the crash is more severe, thus resulting in more severe injuries.
Is the Truck Driver Automatically at Fault if the Truck Jackknifes?
No. If a vehicle cuts a truck off and the truck hits the brakes too hard, the trailer will jackknife. In this case, the other driver is most likely at fault. The same goes for a truck trying to avoid something that fell off the vehicle in front of it. In cases like this, it is impossible to avoid a jackknife unless the truck driver rams into the vehicle that cut him off or runs over the debris. In both cases, that alternative could be deadly to others.
How Do I Prevent Tangling with a Truck?
Always pay extra attention when you drive near commercial trucks. Expect the unexpected, such as an unexpected gust of wind shoving the truck and trailer into you and other things the truck driver cannot anticipate or avoid.
Additionally, stay out of a truck's blind spots except to pass. When passing, be sure to check for the truck's turn signals. The truck driver may have already looked for traffic if the turn signals are on. If you end up in his blind spot mere seconds before the truck driver merges, the driver will most likely not see you.
Always give a truck plenty of space so that the driver has time to react. Trucks take longer than passenger vehicles to react to the driver's control. And, don't forget that this is a big vehicle—it is best to stay at least 30 feet away from the truck in all directions.
What Are Some of the Common Causes of Truck Wrecks?
Many factors can cause truck accidents, including but not limited to:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Distracted driving.
- Mechanical failure.
- A passenger vehicle driver's reckless or aggressive driving, driving under the influence, or distracted driving.
- Improperly balanced loads.
- Fatigued or tired truck driver.
- Speeding, excessive speed, going too fast for conditions, reckless driving, or aggressive driving.
Can a Car Accident Lawyer Represent Me as well as a Truck Accident Lawyer?
Probably not. Truck drivers have different federal and state laws they must abide by. For a successful case outcome, the attorney should know the additional laws and regulations that truck drivers must follow, including but not limited to the Hours of Service regulations and other Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations.
A truck accident lawyer not only knows these regulations but is familiar with how truckers, trucking companies, and insurance companies try to get around them.
Do I Move My Car after a Truck Accident?
If you are not blocking traffic, you should leave your vehicle where it is. It will help the police determine what happened. If you are blocking traffic and your vehicle will move, take photos of the accident scene from all angles, then move your vehicle, but only if the truck can also move. The photos cover you in case the other driver tries to lie about what happened.
What Information Do I Need From the Truck Driver?
Unlike other accidents where you just need the driver's contact information, registration, and vehicle information, you need to get some extra information from a truck driver, including the driver's:
- Home address and phone number.
- Regular license number.
- CDL license number and information.
- Insurance company name, address and phone number.
- Insurance company policy number.
- Employer name and address.
- Employer phone number.
What Laws Apply to Truck Accidents?
Truck drivers must follow many laws, including hours of service regulations. These regulations help keep drivers from driving fatigued or tired. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation also have commercial trucking laws and regulations. Florida also has additional rules for commercial vehicles.
Our truck accident lawyers at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, know and understand these trucking laws and can use them to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Should I Accept a Settlement from an Insurance Company?
If the insurance company offers you a settlement before you speak to an attorney, advise the insurance company that you must retain an attorney to review the settlement. You should never accept money or sign anything from the at-fault driver, his or her attorneys, or insurance company without discussing it with your attorney. One of the tricks insurance companies use is to offer you money and tell you that it is the highest they can go. That is almost always a lie.
Do I Have to Go to Trial?
No. However, if the insurance company refuses a fair and reasonable settlement, we recommend going to trial so that you have a better chance of getting the compensation you deserve. In many cases, once we file your case, the insurance company will reopen settlement negotiations because it costs a lot more to prepare for and attend a trial.
The insurance company could settle right up until the day before the trial, though most won't wait that long—the court does not like anyone wasting its time. The best time for re-opening settlements is right after you file the complaint through the week prior to the pre-trial hearing.
How Much Can I Recover if a Truck Accident Killed a Loved One?
There is no telling what an insurance company will agree to or what a jury will order.
However, if you lost a loved one in a truck accident, you could recover:
- Your loved one's medical expenses that are related to injuries suffered in the accident, including ambulance expenses.
- Funeral, burial, and/or cremation expenses.
- Certain probate court expenses.
- Probate attorneys' fees and costs.
- Pain and suffering (emotional distress).
- Loss of companionship.
- Loss of consortium.
If the court finds that the at-fault driver was grossly negligent or his or her actions and/or inactions were intentional, you could also recover punitive damages.
How Long Does it Take to Receive My Settlement Check?
It varies, but it could take a month to two months. Once you come to an agreement, an attorney—usually the insurance company's attorney—drafts a settlement agreement. We review it before forwarding it to you for your review.
If you have changes, we discuss the changes with the at-fault driver's insurance attorneys. If they agree to the changes, they will make the changes; then, the agreement goes through the review process again.
Once both parties agree that the settlement agreement is correct, you sign it, then we forward the signed agreement to the insurance company for its signature. The insurance company processes the agreement and cuts a check for the amount.
It then forwards the check to our office. We deposit the check. However, we must wait for the check to clear the bank before we take the next step. It could take up to 14 days to clear, depending on the amount.
Once the check clears, we review your file and pay any outstanding medical expenses you have (that are related to the accident). If you used your auto and health insurance to cover medical expenses until you received your settlement, we would reimburse the insurance companies.
We then deduct our attorney's fees and costs and cut you a check for the balance. Once you receive the check, you can deposit it and use it as you wish.
What Do I Do if my Injuries Do Not Allow Me to Contact a Coral Springs Truck Accident Lawyer?
A loved one, usually a spouse, parent, or adult child, can contact us on your behalf. We will give your loved one instructions on how to proceed.
What Happens if the Police Report is Incorrect?
We always investigate truck accidents as the police report is only as correct as the statement given to the police by the drivers involved in the accident. Even if all involved in the accident told the truth, it might be the truth as they know it and not what the law allows. We often use investigators to recreate the accident scene to help us understand how the accident happened.
Contact a Coral Springs Truck Accident Lawyer at Dolman Law Group
The time after a truck accident can be confusing and cloudy, especially if you suffered severe injuries. Keeping a diary about the accident can help you remember pertinent information that could make your case.
Truck accidents often cause catastrophic injuries that leave you incapable of taking care of business. If your injuries prevent you from taking any action, a loved one may contact us on your behalf.
Contact Dolman Law Group at 833-552-7274 (833-55-CRASH) for your free case evaluation after a truck accident. We have offices on both coasts and near Coral Springs, FL, to make it convenient for you to retain a truck accident lawyer in the area of the state where you suffered injuries.
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