Cohen & Cohen Law Personal Injury Attorneys | Hollywood, FL | Call 800-332-6436

What To Do After a Truck Accident in Florida: Your Rights and Obligations

January 15, 2024 – Adam Mann

What To Do After a Truck Accident in Florida: Your Rights & Obligations | Hollywood, FL | Call 800-332-6436

Florida has experienced frequent commercial truck accidents in recent months. From a truck carrying one million bees overturning on a busy highway to a harrowing chase involving a road rage suspect and a devastating crash with a dump truck and multiple tractor-trailers on I-75, these terrifying incidents serve as a dire warning to motorists, commuters, and tourists traveling the state’s busy highways to be extra vigilant when sharing the road.

While there are multiple causes for truck accidents, understanding your legal rights if you have been injured or lost a loved one in such an incident is vital. You may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the truck driver, the trucking company, or other responsible parties.

Because truck accidents can be tricky to navigate, we want you to understand your legal rights and what to do after a truck accident. This blog from an experienced Florida truck accident lawyer explains the best actions to take if you have been harmed in a truck crash. Keep reading for valuable insights.

Have you sustained significant injuries in a Florida truck accident? Are you unsure of how to deal with insurance companies, truck companies and other liable parties? Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer to discuss your case at (800) 332-6436.

At Cohen & Cohen Law, we are here to be the experience you need and the representation you can trust with your truck accident case.

The Impact of a Florida Commercial Truck Accident

When a large commercial truck collides with another vehicle or pedestrian, the consequences can be severe. The size and weight of these trucks often make commercial truck accidents more serious than typical car accidents.

In Florida alone, commercial truck accidents have become an unfortunate occurrence. Recent data from the U.S. Department of Transportation reveals that in 2022, there were a staggering 9,824 commercial truck accidents in the state. These incidents resulted in 3,397 injuries and 303 fatalities.

Causes and Consequences of Commercial Truck Accidents

Several factors contribute to the occurrence of a commercial truck accident, including:

  • Truck driver fatigue
  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Improper vehicle maintenance
  • Overloading

Typical Injuries Sustained by Victims

The injuries sustained in a commercial truck accident can be life-altering, with victims often experiencing:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Internal injuries
  • Burns

The Intricacies of a Truck Accident Claim

A truck accident claim can come with various complications, for the following reasons.

Multiple parties: Unlike a car accident, a truck accident can involve multiple parties including the truck driver, the trucking company, cargo owners, and even the manufacturer. Determining who is responsible for the truck accident and negotiating a settlement can be a challenge.

Severe injuries: Due to their size and weight, a truck accident often results in severe injuries or even fatalities, resulting in higher medical expenses and lost wages for victims and their families.

Heavy regulations in the trucking industry: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates the trucking industry. Truck drivers and companies must abide by numerous laws and regulations. Violating these rules can make them liable for the accident.

Investigating truck accidents is no easy task: Due to the complexity of the vehicles involved and the potential involvement of multiple parties, a truck accident investigation is a daunting process. Trucking companies often have experienced legal teams ready to defend against accident claims, compounding the challenges for the injured party.

Navigating a truck accident claim requires a profound understanding of the complications involved. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, seek legal counsel from a seasoned Hollywood, FL truck accident lawyer. Truck accident claims can be time-consuming; securing a successful outcome requires an accident attorney with extensive knowledge of Florida truck accident law.

Vital Steps to Take After a Truck Accident in Florida

After you have been in a truck accident in Florida, take immediate and appropriate actions at the accident scene to protect your rights and interests.

Put Safety First: If there are any injuries, call 911 right away. Move your vehicle to a safe location if it’s safe to do so.

Gather Evidence: Exchange contact and insurance information with all parties involved. Take photographs of vehicle damages, injuries, and the overall scene. Additionally, gather contact details from any witnesses present.

File an Official Police Report: Always report the accident to the police, regardless of how minor it may appear. Police reports create an official record, and even seemingly minor incidents can have legal implications down the line.

Notify Your Insurance Company: Inform your insurance provider about the accident and start the claims process.

What to Remember When Witnessing a Truck Accident

Florida law mandates that you provide reasonable assistance to anyone injured in the accident, which involves taking prompt action to notify emergency services and remaining at the scene until help arrives.

Failing to offer assistance and leaving the accident scene can have severe consequences, potentially leading to felony charges. State law further requires that any accident involving a commercial truck, regardless of whether there are injuries or not, must be reported to the authorities. This reporting requirement applies to all cases involving commercial trucks.

Florida’s Comparative Negligence Reforms

Florida recently made a significant change to its approach in determining fault in personal injury claims. Thanks to the enactment of HB 837 by Governor Ron DeSantis on March 24, 2023, the state now follows a comparative negligence system.

What does this mean for you? If you are found to bear more than 50% of the blame for the incident, you will not be eligible for any compensation. However, if your share of fault is 50% or less, you can still seek damages. The only difference is that your compensation will be reduced proportionally to your percentage of fault.

Types of Damages You Can Claim After a Truck Accident

Damages can be divided into two categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Other quantifiable losses

Non-economic damages encompass:

  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship
  • Other intangible adversities

Protecting Your Interests from Trucking Companies and Insurers

When pursuing rightful compensation, know that trucking companies and their insurers have their own agenda.

Beware of Early Offers: It is not uncommon for trucking companies to present settlement offers that fall short of what is fair and reasonable. Although it may be tempting to accept the offer to avoid prolonged legal battles, it may result in receiving inadequate compensation.

Seek Legal Assistance: To navigate the complexities of truck accident claims in Florida, consult an experienced truck accident lawyer. With an understanding of the intricacies of these cases, they will properly represent you and seek just compensation.

Florida’s Statute of Limitations

Florida’s statute of limitations imposes strict time constraints on filing a negligence lawsuit. As of March 2023, you no longer have four years, but only two years, to file your claim after an accident.

This means that you have two years from the accident date to initiate a personal injury claim against the responsible driver, their employer, or their insurance companies. While it may seem like a generous window, building a solid case often requires time. Don’t delay or risk permanently losing your chance to seek compensation. If you’ve been a victim of a truck crash, consult an experienced truck accident lawyer for a case evaluation as soon as possible.

Critical Points to Remember

  • Seeking compensation after a truck accident in Florida is possible by filing a lawsuit against all involved parties, including the truck driver and the trucking company.
  • Truck accidents often involve multiple parties, ranging from drivers to manufacturers.
  • Strict adherence to FMCSA regulations is mandatory for truckers and trucking companies, as violations can impact your claims.
  • You have a two-year window from the accident date to initiate a personal injury claim, as of March 2023.
  • Florida’s comparative negligence system considers your percentage of fault when determining compensation.
  • Damages from a truck accident can include quantifiable economic losses and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.

With all these variables in mind, consult an experienced personal injury attorney after a truck accident in Florida to protect your rights and pursue fair compensation.

Trust the Knowledgeable & Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys at Cohen & Cohen Law with Your Truck Accident Case

Have you or a loved one been involved in a truck crash? Are you seeking the best truck accident lawyer to represent you? At Cohen & Cohen Law, our mission is to help the injured heal physically, financially, and emotionally from devastating accidents through exceptional legal representation and compassionate care. Founded in 1970, we’re proud of our over 50 years of experience serving South Florida injury victims. Call us at (800) 332-6436 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation.

Copyright © 2024. Cohen and Cohen Law. All rights reserved.

The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Cohen and Cohen Law
4000 Hollywood Blvd penthouse 705s
Hollywood, FL 33021
(800) 332-6436

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