Federal statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)show that one person is injured or killed every 16 minutes in the United States, as a result of a serious truck accident. That amounts to more than 500,000 truck accidents in the United States annually, and more than 13,000 truck accidents daily. As many as 5,000 of these accidents result in fatalities. Florida accounts for a significantly large number of motor vehicle accidents in comparison to other states, with tens of thousands of car crashes taking place in Miami-Dade County alone each and every year. Many of these accidents involve large commercial semi-trucks, with large truck crashes accounting for over 4 percent of fatal crashes in Miami.
Collisions involving trucks are considerably more likely to result in serious injuries to all individuals involved; including both drivers of these trucks and passengers. Southern Florida in particular, especially after the economic boom and influx of residents experienced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, is undergoing significant construction. As a result, there are a wide variety of truck types, including dump trucks, which can be found in South Florida and North Miami Beach.
Some common truck types include dump trucks, gravel trucks, other truck types include sanitation vehicles, tow trucks, delivery trucks, and large 18-wheeler trucks used by large national retailers such as Walmart, Amazon, and Publix. These trucks can be either privately or publicly owned.
When big rig truck and tractor-trailer drivers violate Florida traffic laws and operate their vehicles in a reckless and careless manner, serious and devastating consequences can result. If you or someone you love was injured in a serious truck accident, time may be of the essence in your case. This is because under Florida law, in most cases, injured truck accident victims only have four years from the date of the accident to file a claim or lawsuit for personal injuries pursuant to the Florida statute of limitations; failure to do so bars the accident victim from ever being able to seek monetary damages.
At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, our experienced truck accident lawyers in North Miami Beach and truck accident lawyers in Florida can ensure that your claim or lawsuit is filed in a timely manner, thereby safeguarding your legal right to recover monetary compensation for your injuries. If you are the victim of a City of Miami dump truck accident or any other type of trucking accident, contact us online or via phone call at (305)-676-8154 for a free consultation today.
The personal injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, have extensive experience representing people injured in all categories of personal injury cases and wrongful death cases, including but not limited to: head-on collisions, accidents involving intoxicated or drunk drivers, accidents involving individuals who are either uninsured or underinsured, truck and motor vehicle accidents, rideshare accidents, motorcycle crashes and pedestrian accidents.
Whether you are in need of a truck accident lawyer or a motorcycle accident lawyer in North Miami Beach, we represent individuals in all aspects of personal injury cases, and also regularly represent trucking accident victims in North Miami Beach, West Palm Beach, Tampa, West Miami, Doral, Fort Lauderdale and countless other cities located throughout both South Florida and the state of Florida generally.
Why You Should Hire a Miami Truck Accident Attorney After Your Semi-Truck or 18-Wheeler Truck Accident
Truck accidents in particular, due to the nature and size of the vehicle(s) involved, can have incredibly violent and painful consequences for all those involved. The aftermath of a truck crash can include severe, including permanent and/or debilitating physical injuries, loss of wages due to inability to work, financial burdens involving medical bills and expenses, emotional trauma, inability to function on a daily basis in various respects. It is your right to demand and receive compensation if you are the victim of a trucking accident, and another individual is fully, or partially, to blame.
In light of the overwhelming stress and disruption to your life as a result of such an accident, the last thing you want to deal with is the added stress involved in legally pursuing difficult semi-truck cases. For this reason, retaining an attorney who handles personal injury cases on your behalf is in your very best interest, as they can navigate the claims process and allow you to focus on your treatment and getting better as soon as possible so you can get back to your normal life. Your attorney will handle all communications with insurance companies, adjusters, and trucking companies involved in the accident.
In addition, there are many substantial benefits of hiring an attorney to handle your case, such as:
(i) your attorney conducting a thorough case investigation to determine cause, fault, and liability; which includes consulting with various experts to most accurately assess your true case value and extent of injuries sustained;
(ii) expertly and adeptly handle all insurance company communications in an effort to ensure they do not deny you the compensation you deserve and are legally entitled to;
(iii) aggressively pursue all possible damages incurred, including for medical bills, lost wages, disability, emotional trauma, pain and suffering, etc., pursuing such compensation through negotiations, and litigation, if necessary;
(iv) utilize their legal expertise to come up with a customized approach and legal strategy in order to secure the best possible outcome in your case; and
(v) mitigate any contributory or comparative negligence and/or liability if you share any amount of fault in the accident.
As part of our legal strategy aimed at maximizing your financial recovery after an accident, we will pursue all avenues of compensation and hold all possible parties liable to the fullest extent of the law. Depending on the situation, the liable party may include the truck drivers, truck employers, trucking companies, truck manufacturers, other drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and government entities in instances where a truck was publicly owned.
Common Causes of North Miami Beach Truck Accidents
Car accidents and truck accidents can be very similar. Either may be caused by speeding, careless driving. Other causes can be reckless driving or failing to keep a proper look-out for other vehicles on the road. However, there can be certain factors inherent in the driving of a truck that distinguishes truck accidents from other vehicle collisions.
There is no dispute that the highways and roadways throughout the greater North Miami Beach area are heavily trafficked—most especially with big rigs and large trucks, as well as tractor-trailers, rushing to arrive at their destinations ahead of schedule. These commercial trucks are heavy and fast, and when they strike smaller vehicles, serious accidents can ensue. While car accidents and truck accidents are similar in many respects, there are certain distinguishing factors that are unique to trucking accidents, such as maintenance, improper/defective truck parts as determining the cause of the accident, load size and type, weight restrictions, proper training, and truck maintenance, among others. In addition, oftentimes, the driver and the truck owner will be different, as the driver is typically employed by a trucking company who is the actual registered owner of the vehicle. This creates additional complexities as far as liability issues are concerned.
There are many reasons why truck drivers operate their vehicles carelessly and recklessly. In some cases, there is a financial incentive to drive fast and arrive at their final designation sooner than planned. In other cases, truck drivers may have been on the road for so long that they are physically exhausted and not giving their full and careful attention to the road. In still other cases, truckers may resort to drugs to keep themselves awake on the road for long periods of time. A summary of some of the most common causes of truck accidents—especially on North Miami Beach highways—includes:
- Speeding (including driving too fast for the existing road and weather conditions, such as wet conditions)
- Inexperienced drivers
- Reckless or careless driving
- Distracted driving (such as improper radio or cell phone use)
- Cutting curves too sharply
In some cases, truck accidents may not result from negligent truck drivers at all. Rather, they may result from improper or defective truck parts, such as brakes, or improper maintenance on the truck shortly before the accident. In these instances, the injured accident victim may make a products liability claim against the parts manufacturer or distributor, or against the truck repair facility that last performed maintenance on the truck, tractor, or trailer.
Types of Miami Dade Truck Accidents
Truck accidents come in all shapes and sizes—from minor fender benders to catastrophic accidents with multiple fatalities. Common North Miami Beach truck accidents include classic rear-enders, tractor or trailer overturns (often as a result of hydroplaning or cutting a curve too sharply), chain-reaction collisions, pileups, and chemical or hazardous waste spills in the roadway. One final type of truck accident occurs when a trailer's cargo is not tied down to the trailer securely, causing it to dislodge from the trailer into the roadway. When this occurs at a high rate of speed, an oncoming vehicle may collide with the cargo, resulting in a serious, and potentially fatal, accident.
Some of the most common kinds of trucking accidents include:
- Jackknifing: Occurs when a truck skids and loses control, thus beginning to rotate and the trailer moves forward. The driver loses control, thereby causing the truck to swing into traffic and results in serious harm.
- Rollovers: Common type of accident resulting in more than 1/3 of fatal motor vehicle accidents nationwide, the average passenger vehicle is particularly vulnerable to rollovers in situations where there is a high-impact collision with a truck. Can also occur when a truck speeds too fast around a curve and/or a turn, or where there are high speed winds involved causing the trailer to become unbalanced.
- Sideswipes: Often occurs if one vehicle is driving in the blindspot of a truck, causing the truck to hit said vehicle when changing lanes.
- Wide turns: Large trucks often need to make wide turns, causing any other vehicle in a neighboring lane to be potentially vulnerable to a head-on collision or crash.
- Rear-end collisions: Large trucks, mainly due to their large size, are difficult to maneuver as quickly as a standard motor vehicle. As a result, they are unable to come to a quick stop and this commonly results in rear-end collisions taking place as well. They can also be caused by a driver of a rear vehicle being distracted or following the vehicle in front of it too closely, along with slippery road conditions and/or wet conditions, or driver miscalculation.
- Broadside collisions: Also commonly referred to as "T-Bone" accidents, where the front-end of one vehicle collides with the side of another vehicle. These types of crashes often take place when drivers fail to abide by the law or when a driver of a car fails to provide a neighboring truck with sufficient room to make a turn.
- Overrides and Under rides: Due to the fact that trucks are significantly larger in comparison to most other vehicles on the road, override accidents commonly occur when a truck overruns a smaller vehicle, while under rides commonly occur when a car is wedged underneath a truck due to a rear-end collision taking place.
- Mechanical failure accidents: Some trucking accidents are not caused by any action on the part of the driver, but rather are due to a truck part or component fails due to improper maintenance and/or defective parts.
Types of Truck Accident Injuries
Semi-truck accidents have the potential to cause an immense number of fatalities thanks to the immense size and weight of a semi-truck that can generate massive crushing forces in a collision. Those that do not lose their lives in semi-truck accidents will very rarely walk away from the ordeal unscathed. Semi-truck accidents result in brutal damage and immense physical trauma, therefore being known to cause especially severe injuries when compared to other types of motor vehicle accidents.
Some of the more common Semi-truck accident injuries include:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Semi-truck accidents can cause drivers to suffer immense blows to their heads and sustain what are called traumatic brain injuries as a result. A traumatic brain injury is when someone experiences a severe blow to the head that causes damage to the brain. This damage to the brain can have severe consequences making the immediate diagnosis and treatment of a traumatic brain injury a high priority. The damage caused by a traumatic brain injury can lead to cognitive issues that manifest as debilitating symptoms that affect a person's thinking, personality, etc. This damage to the brain also has a way of being permanent with little that can be done aside from symptom management through medication and therapy. Among the more common traumatic brain injuries that a person can suffer in a semi-truck accident are concussions, diffuse axonal injuries, coup-contrecoup injuries, penetrating brain injuries, and brain contusions to name a few.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The physical trauma caused by a semi-truck accident can inflict massive damage to a person's back. Any severe blow to the back has a chance of doing damage to the spine and by extension, the spinal cord. The spinal cord is responsible for relaying sensory information to the brain and any damage to it can interfere with this function. The trauma inflicted on the spine because of a car accident can result in spinal cord injuries, such as the fracturing of the vertebrae that encases the spinal cord or the misalignment of the spine in a way that can cause damage to the spinal cord either by putting pressure on it or tearing it. Spinal cord injuries are known to cause paralysis, incontinence, loss of sensation in the extremities, movement disabilities, and other organ control and sensation issues.
The internal organs of a person that has been involved in a semi-truck accident can be damaged by the physical forces at play in the collision. All kinds of things can go wrong in a way that can lead to rupture, tearing, and contusion, of internal organs which can be quite severe. This can be because of those organ's loss of function or the internal bleeding that can lead to the damage of other internal organs.
Truck Drivers and Trucking Companies - Determining Fault, Liability and the Investigation Process
Under Florida law, an injured motor vehicle driver cannot proceed directly against a negligent truck driver or trucking company until after his or her personal injury protection (PIP) benefits are exhausted and/or the accident victim sustained a permanent injury. It goes without saying that when truck drivers operate their vehicles in a careless or negligent manner, they can be on the line for the injuries and damages they cause. However, in addition to the negligent truck drivers, the trucking companies that employ them may also be on the line.
To show that the truck driver was negligent in order to prove fault in personal injury cases, the accident victim must show that the driver violated some rule of the road and that this violation directly resulted in his or her injuries and damages suffered. If the truck driver was employed by a trucking company—and drove the truck with the express and/or implied permission of the trucking company as part of an employment relationship—then the trucking company could also be sued for negligence. The accident victim may also be able to allege that the trucking company was negligent for hiring or retaining the negligent truck driver who ultimately caused the accident. Accident victims may recover the costs of their medical bills and lost wages (for example, for time missed from work as a result of the accident), as well as compensation for pain and suffering, loss of use, and lost enjoyment of life. In serious cases, the accident victim may even recover compensation for the estimated costs of any future care—including future medical procedures. In the most extreme truck accident cases, the family of a person killed as a result of a fatal accident in North Miami can also bring a claim for wrongful death.
Determining Liability for a North Miami Beach Trucking Accident
In order to prove liability for a trucking accident in Florida, the legal standard used is that of negligence, which must be met and established in order to receive compensation from the various liable parties involved, including the driver and the truck's owner, as applicable. There are four elements required to establish negligence: duty of the truck driver, the truck driver's breach of said duty, show causation between the negligence and the injuries sustained as a result, as well as proving your actual damages incurred due to the trucking accident.
As discussed in detail above, truck accidents can happen in a variety of different ways and due to a number of various causes. In some cases, they can result due to the actual impact of the crash between the truck and another vehicle and/or pedestrian. In other cases, a truck's mechanism or a large and/or hazardous load falling results in too much force being applied. This can cause forceful injury or death to a pedestrian and/or bystander, as applicable. Due to the inherently dangerous elements of truck accidents, truck drivers must be extremely cautious and pay the utmost attention when driving in order to avoid a potentially serious injury or death to another person. In such situations, the act of not paying attention in and of itself, or failure to properly secure the contents and load of a truck could be deemed a breach of the truck driver's duty owed to others.
It is in your best interest as a victim of a Florida trucking collision to immediately contact a North Miami truck accident lawyer. Florida has specific laws, rules and regulations in place with respect to large trucks traveling on state roads and highways. This includes legal time restrictions and statutes of limitations, insurance requirements, fault and liability determination, as well as the ability and eligibility to recover various damages and types of financial compensation. Violations may involve both legal and regulatory issues. An experienced Miami truck accident lawyer will assist with each and every aspect of your accident claim.
North Miami Beach Truck Accident Investigations
As previously mentioned, the truck's owner could be a public entity and/or a private company. Depending on the specific facts of the case, the truck's owner could be held liable along with the actual truck driver, who is more often than not an employee of the trucking company and not the actual owner. There are instances where only one party is liable, and other instances where both the driver and the owner are deemed liable for the accident. An experienced North Miami Beach trucking accident lawyer is experienced in matters involving fault and liability and will conduct an investigation which includes determining whether the driver is in fact an employee of the larger trucking company, along with whether they were acting within the scope and course of their employment at the time of the crash and/or resulting injuries. If this is in fact the case, the truck owner is likely to be held liable for the employed truck driver's negligence under the theory of vicarious liability.
There is also commonly an investigation conducted by your attorney with respect to the background and track record of the actual truck driver and their qualifications. Trucking companies are legally and ethically required to employ only qualified drivers and conduct any and all training for said drivers. They must be diligent in evaluating a driver's background checks and sufficiently train new hires in all matters of safety and related procedures and protocols they must follow while on the road. In cases where it is discovered during the investigation that a trucking company knew a driver had a questionable track record and history of accidents, or has/does not follow all required safety precautions and procedures, this serves as strong evidence that the company as the employer of the truck driver failed to properly train said employee, and also failed to ensure they were properly qualified to operate and drive a large truck as part of their required job duties.
Owners of trucks may also be held responsible if the truck itself was improperly maintained by the trucking company. In cases of manufacturing defects and defective parts or truck components, your North Miami Beach truck accident attorney will also file suit against the manufacturer of the part or component of the truck in question.
In addition to the investigation conducted by the North Miami Beach Police and the North Miami Police Department, it is also common for trucking companies and corporations to send a team of investigators immediately and directly to the actual scene of the accident. While the North Miami Beach Police Department will often investigate at the scene for purposes of documenting what took place and filing an official police report, the underlying purpose of the trucking company's investigation is significantly different in that it serves as a defense strategy to attempt to limit their liability.
This is done for the main purpose of attempting to mitigate claims and damages of injured parties by using aggressive defense tactics and insulate against claims of legal liability. By hiring an experienced Miami Dade attorney who specializes in handling truck crashes as well as other types of commercial vehicle accident cases, they will have the expertise necessary to combat these types of aggressive defense tactics and strategies in order to make sure you are receiving the maximum possible financial compensation possible.
Compensation for Truck Accident Damages
If negligence is successfully proven and established, the truck driver is held legally liable for any serious injuries and/or deaths resulting from their negligent behavior, whether due to careless or unsafe driving or resulting from their violation of any applicable federal or state-imposed legal safety rules and regulations.
As previously discussed, the trucking company itself could also be held liable for any actions of employees while on the job as well as for any negligence with respect to their internal policies, protocols, training requirements, as well as proper adherence to regular and proper truck maintenance and required repairs. In cases involving defective manufacturing of parts or components which are deemed to have caused the accident, the product manufacturer can also be held liable.
Regardless of which party you take legal action against in pursuing your accident claim, you are entitled to compensation for the following:
- Medical treatment bills and expenses, including any required future medical expenses
- Lost income and/or wages in cases where the resulting injuries lead to either a temporary and/or permanent absence from work or a reduction in earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and trauma, such as PTSD and associated fear and/or anxiety
- Wrongful death of a close family member in cases involving truck accident fatalities
By retaining an experienced North Miami Beach truck accident lawyer to handle your case, you will be able to thoroughly understand what your case value is potentially worth and make sure you receive the maximum and full amount of compensation which you deserve, and to which you are legally entitled.
Involved in a North Miami Beach Accident Today? Call a North Miami Beach Truck Accident Attorney to Discuss Your Case
Truck accidents can cause serious injuries and a lifetime of medical care and treatments. The experienced North Miami Beach truck accident attorneys at the law firm of Dolman Law Group can review your case and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Settlement negotiations in large truck accident cases involving commercial trucks are a tricky business since insurance companies and their adjusters routinely try to undervalue these North Miami Beach personal injury cases.
Our North Miami Beach truck accident lawyers will point out the strengths of your case and advocate for a high settlement number. If we cannot resolve your case out of court, our experienced litigation attorneys are not afraid to litigate your case through the court system or take it to trial. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with an accident attorney in North Miami Beach or a Miami motorcycle accident attorney, please call us at (305)-676-8154 or contact us online.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
1820 NE 163rd St #306,
North Miami Beach, FL 33162