If you were injured in a truck accident and want to pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit, it is in your best interests to consult with a seasoned personal injury attorney to find out what legal remedies may be available to you. A Belle Glade truck accident lawyer who has experience with litigating commercial vehicle collisions could address your concerns, answer your questions, and help you determine the best course of action to proceed with your claim. En Español.
The Importance of Accident Reports
Florida Statutes §316.066 requires every driver involved in a truck crash or the responding officer to submit a written accident report within 10 days of the collision. Accident reports are vital evidence for a Belle Glade truck crash attorney to cite when establishing the cause of an accident and the severity of the injured party’s damages. An accident report can also be used to link the victim’s injuries to the crash.
The Impact of No-Fault Insurance
State law generally requires an injured person to file for damages through their own vehicle insurance, even when they are not responsible for the accident. FL Stat §627.736 mandates licensed motorists to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
PIP would pay up to 80 percent of an individual’s medical, x-ray, surgical, and other reasonable expenses, provided they receive their initial care within 14 days of the crash. PIP could also pay a portion of the injured party’s lost wages, but no more than a total of $10,000 for their medical bills, lost income, and disability combined.
Pursuing Damages after a Truck Accident
PIP policy limits could be wholly inadequate in many truck collision cases, which is why state law permits an injured claimant to step outside the no-fault system to pursue the driver. However, in order to qualify for civil litigation, they must meet the serious injury threshold.
Conditions which are likely to be permanent within a reasonable degree of medical probability and those which lead to significant loss of bodily function or permanent scarring and disfigurement may allow a claimant to pursue damages in civil court.
Establishing Liability for a Commercial Vehicle Collision
If another person’s carelessness causes a truck collision, a Belle Glade lawyer could file a lawsuit for damages by alleging the driver’s negligence. Every individual who operates a motor vehicle on the roadway has a legal duty to drive in a way that does not threaten the safety of others. It would therefore be necessary to prove that the defendant driver owed the plaintiff a duty of care.
Additionally, it is crucial to show that the defendant driver breached that duty of care by carrying a load of cargo over the permitted weight limit, for example or by driving a truck with dysfunctional signals. One of the attorneys at Domnick Cunningham and Whalen would also work to establish a direct link between a defendant driver’s negligence and the plaintiff’s injuries.
Not only do large trucks require more time to come to a stop because they are larger and heavier than passenger vehicles, but they are also more likely to fishtail or flip over in the event of an accident. In addition, commercial vehicle operators tend to carry expensive insurance policies compared to other drivers.
Federals laws and regulations apply to the commercial trucking industry, and violations could impact liability on the part of the trucking company. Furthermore, there is often more than one defendant in a truck accident case, including the trucking company, driver, cargo loader, and the company in charge of vehicle maintenance. Liable parties depend on the exact cause of a wreck.
The Deadline to File a Lawsuit
State law generally gives truck accident victims four years from the date of the crash to pursue an injury claim against responsible parties in civil court. Failing to file a lawsuit within the designated statutory time frame could bar the injured party from any financial recovery whatsoever.
When a defendant’s negligence causes the untimely passing of another person in a truck accident, a two-year statutory filing deadline applies to wrongful death cases. This time limit may differ substantially for cases involving minor children.
Speak with a Belle Glade Truck Accident Attorney Today
An experienced attorney from our firm could provide invaluable legal assistance to evaluate and investigate the liability and insurance factors in the stressful and often traumatic aftermath of a truck collision. You can call a Belle Glade truck accident lawyer today to schedule your consultation and learn more about pursuing an injury claim.
Speak to a member of our team today.