Truck Accident Attorneys in Florida
Tractor trailers transport the goods we need every day, so they’re a necessary part of life, both in Florida and throughout the United States. Unfortunately, with so many tractor trailers/semi-trucks on our roads, truck accidents happen often and have the potential to result in injuries or death. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries resulting from a truck accident, speaking with a Florida truck accident attorney at Parker Waichman LLP can help give you a better understanding of what to do next.
Legal Help for Truck Accident Injury Victims Throughout Florida
At Parker Waichman, many of our Florida personal injury and truck accident attorneys spend a significant portion of their time representing clients who have been involved in severe and sometimes fatal truck accidents. Truck accidents can be more complicated than car accidents to investigate, as trucks are regulated by different state and federal rules and statutes. When a truck accident happens, multiple parties will be involved in any potential lawsuit. As such, anyone injured in a truck accident or anyone who has lost a family member to fatal injuries resulting from a truck accident should consider working with a skilled lawyer at Parker Waichman. Call us today for a free consultation to explore your legal rights and get the compensation you deserve.
Causes of Florida Truck Accidents
Truck accidents happen for many of the same reasons as any car accident. However, because truck drivers must follow numerous local, state, and federal regulations, additional factors may contribute to truck accidents that do not always contribute to car accidents. Common causes of Florida truck accidents include:
- Driving while drowsy or falling asleep at the wheel
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (including prescription and over-the-counter drugs)
- Speeding, failing to yield, failing to use a turn signal, following too closely, failing to stop at a stop sign, running a red light, or other traffic violations
- Texting, using social media apps, taking pictures/videos, talking on the phone, or other distracting behaviors while driving
- Inexperienced and/or unauthorized drivers
- Weather conditions, which can be especially troublesome for large trucks
- Defective equipment, such as tire failure, failed brakes or any other equipment failure that contributes to an accident
How a Qualified Florida Truck Accident Attorney Can Help Establish Fault
It’s not always easy to determine who is at fault when a truck accident happens. Like with car accidents, it takes a thorough analysis of a truck accident to find out what went wrong and who is to blame. Because trucks are heavily regulated, governing bodies such as the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) may investigate the accident to find out if any laws were broken and if the accident was preventable. An experienced Florida truck accident lawyer can look at these investigation results and see if you have a legal case.
Keep in mind that a truck driver or a truck is not necessarily to blame in an accident; other drivers can also be at fault in these wrecks, and this can complicate your potential lawsuit. Before concluding how and why a truck accident happened, it’s good to talk with an attorney who can examine the potential causes of the accident. An experienced Florida truck accident attorney can help sort out what can and should be done to get compensation for your injuries.
Frequent Florida Truck Accident Injuries
Injuries associated with Florida truck accidents can range from minor to catastrophic or even fatal. Such injuries include:
- Back, neck, and spinal cord injuries (some resulting in paralysis)
- Open head injuries and gashes
- Closed head injuries (such as concussions and other traumatic brain injuries [TBI])
- Fractured or broken bones
- Organ damage (such as a punctured lung from blunt-force trauma)
- Orthopedic injuries (such as torn muscles or cartilage and damaged ligaments/tendons)
- Cuts, gashes, and other open wounds that require stitches or surgery
- Internal bleeding
Because trucks can cause severe accidents, all motorists should be aware of one another on our roads and highways, driving as carefully as possible when around large trucks. While most truck drivers follow the rules and get the required amount of sleep, these drivers still may be fatigued given the long shifts they have day after day; a truck driver does not have to be a bad driver to fall asleep at the wheel. Whether you’re a truck driver who has been injured in an accident or another driver who was involved in one of these catastrophic wrecks, speaking with a Florida truck accident attorney can help answer your legal questions. With the help of an experienced truck accident lawyer, Florida accident victims can get their lives back on track.
The Uptick in Fatal Florida Truck Accidents
Florida sees more fatal truck accidents than all other states except California and Texas, with the trend moving upward year after year. The sheer volume of traffic in this state creates a situation where accidents are going to happen, and sadly, many of them are fatal. The NHTSA keeps track of all large truck accidents and has compiled the following Florida statistics:
- In 2013, there were 187 truck-involved fatal accidents
- In 2014, there were 179 truck-involved fatal accidents.
- In 2015, there were 215 truck-involved fatal accidents.
While the number went down slightly from 2013 to 2014, the total truck-involved accident fatalities increased significantly in 2015, and while more recent figures have not yet been released, this trend is expected to continue. As the population grows, so does traffic, and the increased traffic contributes to the incidence of fatal truck accidents, especially in Miami, with its large population.
What to Do if You or a Loved One Has Sustained Injuries in a Florida Truck Accident
The first thing to worry about after a truck accident is the health of everyone involved. Anyone injured should seek medical attention immediately and help others who have been injured. Keep in mind that many people involved in Florida truck accidents do not experience symptoms of an injury right away. Some people may begin to experience headaches, neck pain, or back pain days, weeks, or even months after a truck accident, so seeking a medical evaluation after a truck accident is crucial, regardless of whether a person believes they have sustained injuries. There is no harm in being evaluated for injuries.
The next step following a truck accident is to make sure all facts surrounding the accident are documented. This can include obtaining a copy of the police report, identifying all potential witnesses, and documenting all injuries stemming from the accident. Many injury victims contact their insurance company right away to file a claim, but it is important to first consider whether an attorney may be able to help. Working with insurance companies can be stressful, and sometimes, injury victims are taken advantage of and not compensated fairly for what they have been through. When they hire a good semi truck accident attorney, Florida residents get assistance from someone who knows how to best document the facts. By working with a Florida truck accident attorney, injury victims will have an advocate who can help them get the maximum amount of compensation to which they are entitled.
One additional factor to keep in mind is that admitting fault immediately following an accident by saying “I’m sorry” or “It was my fault” can be used against an injured person who seeks compensation later on. Therefore, it’s better to simply focus on treating injuries and discuss the matter with an attorney, rather than talking to others involved in the accident about who may be at fault. Remember, everything you say to your attorney is confidential; whatever you say to others is not.
Understanding the Time Limits Placed on How Long You Have to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit
The state of Florida has laws that limit how long an injured person has to file a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a deceased loved one. If a person wishes to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation relating to a truck accident, they have four years from the date of the accident to do so.
If a person suffered fatal injuries in a truck accident and the representative of the deceased victim’s estate (such as a spouse or child) wishes to pursue legal action, the representative has two years from the date of the victim’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This statute of limitations is stricter than a personal injury claim, so acting quickly to speak with an attorney after a truck accident is critical to ensure that time does not run out to file a lawsuit. Contact us for a free consultation with a Florida truck accident attorney today to get started on your case.
What to Expect When Filing a Truck Accident Lawsuit
All lawsuits are different; one lawsuit may be resolved quickly, while another could take quite a long time to resolve, especially if a case goes to trial. Typically, a trial date is set at least a year after a case is filed, and sometimes, the trial date could be considerably later. Patience is key when dealing with a truck accident lawsuit, and anyone considering legal action should know that the process can be time-consuming. But it can be well worth it to pursue compensation for injuries associated with a truck accident.
The standard process for most personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits includes the following:
- Initial case consultation and review of the facts
- Attorney review of initial case information
- Attorney’s decision on whether a potential client has a viable personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit related to a truck accident
- Attorney and client agreement to move forward and pursue legal action
- Gathering of evidence, such as medical records documenting injuries, police reports, government/agency reports, if any (such as those completed by the NHTSA), and witness statements
- Filing the lawsuit or attempting to settle the case without going to court
- The discovery process, when all parties exchange information and evidence to evaluate the claims and the documentation that supports those claims
- Settlement negotiations, arbitration, or mediation
- A settlement agreement or trial
It’s important to keep in mind that not every truck accident case will be successful; one case may be stronger or weaker than the next, so no attorney can ever guarantee that a client will win at trial or reach a satisfactory settlement. However, with the help of a truly skilled Florida truck accident attorney, injured individuals have a better chance of reaching a result that is fair and reasonable. At Parker Waichman, our legal team works tirelessly to help every client receive compensation for the injuries they have suffered. And when you trust your case to a Parker Waichman truck accident attorney, Florida residents pay nothing out of pocket for our services: We only get paid if we recover damages for you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Florida Truck Accidents
Can I Work With My Insurance Company to Seek Compensation After Suffering Injuries in a Truck Accident?
Yes, accident victims can work with their insurance companies after a truck accident. However, the insurance process is complicated, and often, many legal issues will need to be addressed by an attorney to ensure that an accident victim is not being taken advantage of. It’s a good idea to allow a Florida truck accident attorney to help with your truck accident claim. Your attorney can work directly with the insurance companies on your behalf to get you the best outcome possible.
How Long Will it Take to Settle a Truck Accident Case or Go to Trial?
It can take anywhere from less than a year to more than two or three years to get a case resolved. The courts in Florida are very busy, and it can also take months for a truck accident report to be issued, especially if the accident was catastrophic and multiple vehicles or injured people were involved.
How Is Compensation Calculated When Pursuing a Lawsuit for Injuries?
Compensation is calculated based on past, present, and future medical expenses as well as lost wages if an injured person is not able to work, either while recovering or indefinitely if the person’s injuries are permanent. All calculations will be unique based on an injured person’s age, costs of medical treatment, and prognosis. Depending on the type of accident, if a case goes to trial, an injured victim may be awarded additional punitive damages if a jury believes a person’s conduct was so egregious that financial punishment is warranted. For example, if a drunk driver caused a truck accident and a person suffered fatal injuries, a jury may find that the drunk driver’s conduct was bad enough that the victim deserves additional compensation.
How Many Attorneys Should I Speak With Before Choosing One?
It’s always good practice to research an attorney’s reputation, experience, and track record before deciding to retain that attorney. It’s also not a bad idea to speak with multiple attorneys to get a variety of viewpoints and opinions. Being patient and thoroughly vetting a potential attorney to help with a truck accident case will ensure that a client is picking the right attorney for the job.
Do I Need a Florida Truck Accident Lawyer?
Almost certainly, the answer is ‘yes’ if you are looking for the best results. But when you get a free consultation with one of our attorneys, we won’t recommend that you engage our services unless you have a case that will benefit from legal representation.
Why Choose an Attorney with Parker Waichman for Your Truck Accident Case?
Parker Waichman is a nationally recognized personal injury law firm that continues to strive for excellence, providing all clients with the individualized legal representation they deserve. In addition to helping Florida injury victims, our law firm also represents injured individuals from all across the United States, and we’ve recovered more than $2 billion for our clients through mediation, arbitration, negotiated settlements, and verdicts at trial.
Our firm is honored to have been positively rated and recognized by our peers in the legal community as well. Examples of such honors include:
- AVVO rating of 9.8/10;
- “AV Preeminent” peer-review rating
- Listed in peer-reviewed Best Lawyers
- Ranking of “5 Dragons” according to Lawdragon’s peer review
At Parker Waichman, our highly skilled and knowledgeable legal team works aggressively and methodically to help clients receive the maximum compensation possible. Our legal team is standing by to evaluate your potential case and provide you with candid and thorough legal advice.
Contact Us Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation
At Parker Waichman, our seasoned legal team helps truck accident injury victims and their families to get the compensation they deserve, and we can provide a free case evaluation to help you preserve your legal rights. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries resulting from a truck accident, contact a Florida truck accident attorney with our law firm right away to discuss your situation. Legal action should be pursued quickly because there are time limits on how long you have to file a lawsuit.
To learn about your potential legal options, contact the Florida truck accident attorneys at Parker Waichman today by calling 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to schedule your free consultation. Our Florida offices serve Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, Bonita Springs, Immokalee, Marco Island, and other cities across the state. And since we work on a contingency fee basis, you have nothing to lose by seeking the advice of a highly skilled Florida truck accident attorney. Don’t wait: Contact us today.