Every year, there are approximately 400,000 car and truck accidents in the state of Florida. In 2018, there were 403,626 accidents, with about 40,000 of them involving trucks of all different sizes. There are many contributing factors to a truck accident, like malfunctions, improper training, unsafe conditions, or whether or not the driver is under the influence of any drugs or alcohol.
18-wheelers are large in both size and weight, making them much more dangerous than driving a regular car or even an everyday truck. A commercial truck can weigh around 80,000 pounds, in comparison to a passenger car, which only weighs around 3,500 pounds. This weight difference is one of the main reasons commercial trucks can be so dangerous. They take longer to stop and have larger blindspots, making the accidents that happen more likely to cause greater injuries or fatality.
When accidents cause severe injuries, the cost for medical care can be through the roof. In many situations, the severely injured will also miss out on wages from work, and have to pay to have simple services done for them, like cooking and cleaning. Severe injuries also present more concern, and can have many complications. This adds to the large medical price tag they’re already facing.
Do I Need an Attorney if I Was Injured by a Trucker?
Personal injury can be a complex field to venture into all by yourself, and a personal injury lawyer can be a big help in getting you the money you deserve after your accident. The driver, the trucking company, and you all have different stakes in the accident, and therefore it can feel like a lot of different parties arguing over the outcome. Having an experienced attorney by your side throughout the process may help you come to a better conclusion. They’ll take care of everything for you, so you can just worry about feeling better after your accident.
Filing a Truck Accident Lawsuit in Florida
Filing a truck accident in Florida can be difficult, because many people can be responsible for the accident’s occurrence. Depending on what exactly happened, the responsibility could fall on many different parties. If the driver was driving recklessly, it could be their fault, but if the truck crashed due to a malfunction, the blame could land on the trucking company, or the manufacturer of the part or the truck. There are also many third party claims that could be involved in the case, which is why hiring a personal injury lawyer is the easiest route to take. Claims could be submitted by the driver, the truck’s insurance company, your insurance company, the employers, road maintenance, truck loaders, training companies, or part/truck manufacturers.
A Florida Truck Accident Attorney Understands Negotiations
Insurance companies are usually prepared to pay only the bare minimum necessary so they can get away from the case without losing too much money. As many personal injuries lawsuits like these are solved during pretrial, it’s important to get a lawyer who understands and can negotiate well on your behalf. You want to make sure that they know exactly what damages you’re entitled to and how to encourage insurance companies to give you a solid payout. Because these negotiations can continue until the case reaches court, good attorneys need to create a balance between getting you what you deserve and alienating the other parties.
Ensuring Your Truck Accident is Thoroughly Investigated
Your attorney should bring on an experienced investigator to gather more information on your case. The investigator will interview witnesses, review the records, and even visit the scene of the crime to gather more data on what actually occurred. They may be able to find out something you never noticed during the accident, and this may lead to an increased settlement for you.
Preparing for Trial if Negotiations Don’t End in Fair Compensation for You
It’s important to know that you are the most important person in your case. You have the final word on whether or not to accept a settlement offer or whether or not you want to take your case to a jury trial. Your attorney will give you their opinion, stating whether or not they believe that you should accept or deny the settlement, or whether or not you should take it to trial. However, you are not required to listen to this advice and you may do whatever you like. You should however, be prepared for what happens if you aren’t granted the money that you deserve.
If your negotiations aren’t going anywhere, or your attorney doesn’t seem to be the best at their job, it may be time to go elsewhere. Having a strong attorney who has the skills to win a case is very important. Knowing how to handle a courtroom can be a difficult task, and this is something your attorney should have strong knowledge of.
Types of Damages from a Truck Accident
Damage can be internal and external. Although we relate the word damage most often to injuries, damage can fall in a lot of different categories. It can be the loss of wages from being unable to work, or bills from going to the hospital. Your attorney should understand the different types of damages and how they fit into your case.
Economic damages can include things like hospital bills, lost earnings, child care expenses, any transportation required after the accident, fees for surgeries, ambulance bills, therapy, rehabilitation services, and any other calculable expense that occurs because of the accident.
Lost wages account for anything that you may have already lost as a result of the injury. This accounts for any work that you missed due to your injury or the accident.
Future wages, otherwise known as loss of earning capacity, is in reference to any wages you may lose in the future as a result of the accident. If you have a mobile job and your legs are injured, you may be entitled to compensation because of your loss of earning capacity.
Non-economic damages or intangible damages account for things like pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical disfigurement, or loss of companionship.
Punitive damages account for any unacceptable behavior the defendant has caused, and are meant to be used as a punishment against them. This can include any unethical or egregious behavior that occurs. This amount cannot exclude either three times the sum of non-economic and economic damages combined, or more than $500,000, depending on whichever is greater.
Contact an Experienced Florida Truck Accident Attorney Today
Because these personal injury cases can be so intense and in-depth, with pretrial, multiple involved parties, and a lot at stake, hiring an experienced personal injury attorney will be the best way to get what you deserve from your case. Our personal injury lawyers here at The Eberst Law would be happy to take on your case. If you’re located in the Gainesville, FL area and you’ve been injured in a truck accident, please contact us online or at (352) 269-0017.
About the Author of this Page: The above information was written or reviewed by one of the attorneys at The Eberst Law Firm who have extensive experience trying legal cases outside and inside courtrooms throughout Florida. This article was also extensively researched to ensure that all information is accurate and up to date. If you want to know more about the author of this page, view our our attorney bios here.