If you drive in Miami and the surrounding areas, you have surely had closes calls with 18 wheelers and semi trucks. With the expansion of the Port of Miami trucks enter and exit the highway at record numbers. Transportation and trucking is an integral and essential part of the American economy. Truck companies and individual truckers, in their quest to maximize profits and to meet strict delivery deadlines all too often ignore safety regulations.
When accidents involve a truck, the risk of serious injuries and death increase drastically. The damages in accidents involving trucks are significantly higher when compared with other accidents.
Trucking Accidents are all about establishing fault, and that fault often turns on the post accident investigation. It is imperative to hire a skilled lawyer as early as possible following an accident. It is virtually impossible for an individual to receive full compensation for his/her Injuries without the guidance of a competent and experienced Florida truck accident lawyer.
STEPS TO TAKE IF YOU ARE INVOLVED IN A TRUCK ACCIDENT.
If you have been the victim of a truck accident, then the actions you take soon after a truck accident can have a major impact on the amount of compensation that you may receive. Our Miami truck accident lawyers recommend that you do the following:-
- STAY AT THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT AND MAKE SURE YOU ARE SAFE.
After an accident, do not leave the scene of the accident. Stay in the vicinity of the accident scene and remove yourself, your passengers and the vehicle from being exposed to further harm.
- REPORT THE ACCIDENT. It is important to call the emergency services and the Police to report of the accident.
- GATHER INFORMATION. After informing the Police, you should get information which includes:
- The truck driver’s license information.
- Insurance information of the truck driver.
- Truck’s make and model details.
- Truck’s license plate number.
- Vehicle identification number (VIN).
- Names and addresses of witnesses.
- TAKE PHOTOS AND CAPTURE VIDEO FOOTAGE OF THE WRECK. If possible, use your cellphone to capture images of the entire scene and also of vehicles involved in the accident from various angles. It is important to take photos of road signs, road conditions (such as slickness from rain). Check for skid marks left on the road by the vehicles involved in the accident.
- AVOID MAKING STATEMENTS OR GIVING DETAILS OF THE ACCIDENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA. Posts on social media right after an accident can be used against you in an injury lawsuit with regard to severity of injuries sustained. While speaking to representatives of other parties involved in the accident, refrain from blaming anyone or accepting blame for the accident.
- CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY. Explaining your version of what happened is important in establishing the liability of the truck driver. Therefore, it is imperative to contact your own insurance company right after an accident.
- GET YOURSELF ASSESSED FOR SERIOUS INJURIES.
Concussions and internal bleeding do not show obvious symptoms right away. Medical records of injuries sustained can be vital in recovering adequate compensation.
COMMON TYPES OF TRUCKS.
The manner in which truck accidents occur depends on the trucks involved in the accidents too. Our expert truck accident lawyers have years of experience in identifying different kinds of trucks and are also aware of the types of accidents and damage they can cause.
The most common types of trucks are :
- 18 wheeler trucks.
- Logging trucks.
- Big Rig.
- Semi trucks.
- Cargo trucks
- Steel trucks.
- Coal trucks.
- Tow trucks.
- Construction trucks.
- Tanker trucks.
- Fire trucks.
- Fuel trucks.
- Garbage trucks.
LEADING COMMERCIAL TRUCKING COMPANIES OPERATING IN THE UNITED STATES.
- FED EX.
- US Express.
- J.B. Hunt.
ESTABLISHING FAULT IN A TRUCK ACCIDENT.
Determining liability in a truck accident can be a logistical nightmare. In a potential truck accident related lawsuit, more parties tend to get involved and not just the drivers involved in the actual crash.
Some of those parties are :-
- TRUCKING COMPANIES.
In most truck accidents, the truck is owned by a company. The driver’s insurance is covered by the company and it’s legal team handles details of the crash.
- TRUCK MANUFACTURERS. If the accident occurred due to a mechanical or technical failure in the truck, accountability will shift towards the manufacturer of the vehicle. Malfunction of air brakes is one of the leading causes of truck accidents.
- SHIPPING COMPANY. The company that paid for the shipment of a load may pursue legal action for non delivery or delay in delivery of the load if the truck carrying it was involved in an accident.
- LOADING COMPANY. If a truck is over loaded or cargo falls off a truck causing an accident, the loading company will bear major percentage of liability.
- OTHER DRIVERS AND PEDESTRIANS. There may be additional persons who might get injured in a truck accident such as other drivers and their passengers as well as pedestrians. Each party involved is backed by their own insurance company which tries to shift blame away from their own client. It is therefore necessary to enlist the services of an experienced Miami Truck Accident Lawyer to recover adequate compensation.
- OTHER PARTIES WHO CAN ALSO BE DEFENDANTS IN A TRUCK ACCIDENT. Truck accident investigations and claims can be complex. Depending on the specifics of a truck accident, the list of defendants may also include Insurance providers, City or County Governments, defective vehicle spare parts manufacturers etc.
COMMON CAUSES OF TRUCK ACCIDENTS.
Government agencies and truck manufacturers work together to ensure road, vehicle and driver safety, yet truck accident numbers continue to rise. Some major factors that contribute to truck accidents are:-
1. Driver errors.
The most common errors of truck drivers that lead to accidents are as follows:
- Distraction/ Inattention.
- Failure to yield right of way.
- Impairments (alcohol, illness, fatigue).
- Reckless driving.
- Failure to keep in proper lane.
2. Trucking companies hiring unfit drivers who lack the required commercial driving license (CDL).
3. Failure of trucking companies to train and supervise their drivers.
4. Failure of trucking companies to inspect and maintain vehicles regularly.
5. Improperly loading cargo.
6. Allowing or encouraging truck drivers to work excessive driving hours.
7. Defective parts such as tires, wheels, brakes or axles.
8. Failure of the State to properly maintain roads
TYPES OF TRUCK ACCIDENTS.
The most common types of truck accidents are:-
- Head on trucking accidents.
- Rear end trucking accidents.
- Rollover trucking accidents.
- Jackknife trucking accidents.
- Tire blowouts.
- Trailer load spills.
TYPES OF INJURIES SUSTAINED IN TRUCK ACCIDENTS.
Most common truck accident injuries are:
- Broken bones and Fractures.
- Facial damage.
- Spinal injuries/ paralysis.
- Internal bleeding.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
- Permanent disability.
- Wrongful death.
COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE STATE.
Florida being a Comparative Negligence State, an at-fault driver is also entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit for damages, even if he or she was partially at fault for causing a truck accident.
STATUTE OF LIMITATION FOR FILING A TRUCK ACCIDENT CASE IN FLORIDA
There are specific time limits, restrictions and rules for filing an accident claim. An experienced truck accident lawyer ensures that you fully understand the Federal, State and Local laws that might apply to your case. Florida statute of Limitations for truck accidents is four years after the accident occurred. In general terms, residents of Florida have four years from the date of the accident to initiate a civil lawsuit.
It is in the best interests of the plaintiff to enlist the services of an experienced truck accident lawyer. Trucking companies are only required to keep records for six months. Sufficient time is necessary to collect evidence to establish the defendant’s liability. Various witnesses have to be traced and interviewed. Numerous records have to be collected and opinion of experts has to be sought.
COMPENSATION FOR VICTIM OF A TRUCK ACCIDENT IN MIAMI.
Miami truck accident lawyers seek to get maximum compensation for the victim of a truck accident and help him or her explore other options and alternative ways to seek additional compensation for injuries sustained.
HOW MUCH COMPENSATION CAN YOU RECOVER?
Factors that influence the amount of Compensation you might receive include:
- The severity of your injuries.
- The value of your medical expenses.
- Whether you can establish that the truck driver or the responsible party was at fault.
- Whether you have missed time from work due to the accident.
- Your age.
- The impact of the accident on your lifestyle and quality of life.
Florida laws provide compensation to truck accident victims for injuries and damages caused by the negligence of truck drivers. Given below are the types of damages that a victim of a truck accident may be able to recover:-
- Past and future medical bills.
- Past and future lost wages and business income.
- Loss of future earning capacity.
NON ECONOMIC DAMAGES.
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional distress.
- Loss of consortium.
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
WHY HIRE KAIRE & HEFFERNAN ?
Our qualified and experienced truck accident attorneys possess in depth knowledge and experience to assist a victim and his family to navigate through complex accident laws. Our team relentlessly fights to secure maximum compensation through verdicts and settlements for victims of truck accidents in Miami and all across Florida.
Accident cases involve complex and intricate legal concepts. If you hire our Miami truck accident lawyers, you can expect the following:-
1. THOROUGH INVESTIGATION OF THE ACCIDENT.
Our truck accident lawyers compile and analyze evidence such as:
- Accident scene evidence.
- Eyewitness statements.
- Damage to all vehicles involved.
- Cellphone records of the truck driver.
- Driver’s toxicology test results.
- Police accident reports.
- Driver’s criminal and traffic background.
- The trucking company’s history of violating safety rules.
- Logbook and other company records.
- Electronic data recorder “Black Box” data.
- Satellite tracking data.
- Vehicle Inspection Reports.
2. CONSULT EXPERTS FROM VARIOUS FIELDS. Thanks to our vast experience in auto accident cases, we have built a network of experts which includes:
- Accident reconstruction experts.
- Rules compliance/ safety experts.
- Driver training (trucking school) experts.
- Mechanics and Engineers.
- Experts from various areas of medicine.
- Life care planners.
- Toxicology experts.
3. PROTECTING AND PRESERVING EVIDENCE. Our Miami truck accident lawyers seek Court Orders to force trucking companies to provide and preserve any evidence that is important in the case. Our team of experienced truck accident lawyers collect, review and document medical records of victims which are essential in determining adequate compensation that he or she is entitled to.
4. SEEK A TIMELY SETTLEMENT. Our team of Miami truck accident lawyers know how to effectively deal with Attorneys and Insurers of the Defendant who try to deny the plaintiff’s claim or reduce the claim value significantly. Our Florida truck accident lawyers present a strong and solid case to insurance companies and demand full and adequate compensation for our clients.
5. TAKE YOUR CASE TO COURT.
If the need arises, our team of truck accident lawyers in Miami are prepared to take the case to court for trial.
CONTACT A MIAMI TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER.
If you or your loved one has been injured due to the carelessness or negligence of a truck driver, you deserve to be duly compensated for the injuries suffered and other damages. Call an experienced truck Accident lawyer at our firm for a free case evaluation right away.
Mark Kaire has been practicing law in Miami for nearly 30 years. He is dedicated to helping the injured people of Miami receive compensation. Mr. Kaire has been blogging on Miami’s legal issues for many years.