Florida Truck Accident Lawyers for Accident Victims
Every year, truck accidents in the United States take anywhere from three to four thousand lives and injure tens of thousands more. Many of the injured suffer lifelong debilitation that requires astronomical long-term medical expenses. Even temporary debilitation, however, can turn your life upside down.
A serious truck accident can be horrifying. The knowledge that the accident would not have happened but for the wrongful conduct of someone else (typically the truck driver) can be infuriating. You don’t have to lie there and take it – Florida personal injury law provides you with a financial remedy that can be enforced with the assistance of a Florida truck accident lawyer.
Insurance Company Stonewalling
You can be certain that the insurance company will attempt to either deny your claim or minimize its value. After all, insurance companies are profit-seeking businesses, and they profit by accepting premiums, not by paying claims. Insurance adjusters seek one goal and one goal only – maximizing their employer’s profit by parting with as little money as possible.
With medical bills steadily mounting steadily and lost work time accumulating as you attempt to regain your health and psychological composure, you might not feel up to the task of bargaining with professional insurance company negotiators.
Leave the Negotiating to Me
Leave the negotiating to me – it’s my job. I know all the tricks that insurance companies try to pull, and I’m not going to fall for a single one of them. Naturally, I am willing and able to take them to court – which is, ironically, why most of my clients win out-of-court settlements without ever having to step into court at all.
Ultimately, of course, all major case decisions are yours to make, including whether to accept a settlement offer. I see it as may job to maximize the amount of the offer you receive and to take the stress off so that you can concentrate on regaining your health rather than worrying about how you are going to pay for it all.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I file a claim against the trucking company?
There is no simple answer to this question. A lot depends on whether the driver was an employee of the company or an independent contractor. A private company is responsible for the negligent acts of its employees under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior.
If the driver was an independent contractor rather than an employee (as most commercial truckers are) you cannot win a lawsuit against the trucking company unless you can prove that the company itself was negligent (if it violated trucking regulations enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, for example).
How are large truck accidents different from ordinary car accidents?
A tractor trailer weighs up to 40 tons, while most automobiles weigh one or two tons. The additional momentum of a truck lengthens stopping distances by 20 to 40 percent, making an accident more likely. It can also crush a car like an accordion. Wrongful death damages are available to family members if the victim does not survive the accident.
The insurance company wants me to release my medical records. Should I sign a release form?
Absolutely not. Although you may need to release at least some of your medical records at some point, there is no point in signing a blanket release of all of them. Consult with your attorney regarding exactly which information to release. Any extra information will operate as an invitation to the insurance company to try to find an excuse to deny your claim (a pre-existing injury, for example).
Can I sue the manufacturer of a defective brake drum if it caused the accident?
Yes, you can. You can win a products liability claim if you can prove that the brake drums were “defective and unreasonably dangerous” (a design defect, a manufacturing defect or insufficient product warnings) at the time they left the manufacturer’s possession. Not only can you win without even showing that the manufacturer was at fault, but you can also sue the distributor of the brake drum.
How do truck accident claims differ from car accident claims?
There are many reasons why a truck accident claim might differ from a car accident claim, including:
- There is often more than one defendant (the driver, the trucking company, the freight loader, etc.);
- Accident victims typically claim higher damages due to the typical severity of truck accidents;
- Insurance claim limits are typically higher because truckers are usually well-insured;
- The truck driver probably has a Commercial Driver’s License; and
- Since the trucking industry is highly regulated, the violation of a trucking regulation may be involved.
Can the IRS tax my personal injury compensation?
It depends on what you are being compensated for. Compensation is mostly tax-free, although there are exceptions:
- Punitive damages are taxable (keep in mind, however, that most truck accident victims do not receive punitive damages anyway)
- Interest that is assessed on your compensation is taxable.
- Your tax burden might be affected if you take a deduction for medical expenses for a tax year in which you received personal injury compensation.
Please consult a tax lawyer for detailed questions on tax matters.
What is the effect of proving that the truck driver violated a trucking regulation?
Under the right circumstances it could cause you to win your claim. To win by proving a regulatory violation, you must show that the regulatory violation was a substantial cause of the accident, and you must convince the court that it amounted to negligence under the circumstances.
You Owe Me Nothing Unless You Win
At my law firm, results are what matter, and results is the only thing you pay for. Since I don’t charge upfront fees, feel free to contact me without a dime to your name. Your bill will not come due until your case is won and your money is already in the bank. And if you don’t win, you don’t pay. It is the quality of your claim, not the size of your bank account that I care about.
Timing Matters – and the Time is Now
Generally speaking, the best way to win a truck accident claim is to jump on it as soon as it arises (at the time you are injured) and to pursue it aggressively until you either reach a settlement or win in court.
Contact DLE Lawyers for your truck accident today at (305) 363-7855, or fill out my online contact form for a free consultation, where I can listen to your concerns and answer your questions.