Driving a truck is a dangerous job, and truckers must be extremely careful. Due to their size, trucks can quickly inflict catastrophic damage on both people and other vehicles. Unfortunately, some drivers are still careless and end up causing accidents on the road.
If you or a loved one got injured in a truck accident in Clay County, FL, it’s crucial to know how you can be compensated for your losses. A Clay County truck accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you take legal action.
Proving the Clay County Truck Driver’s Liability
Much like other vehicular accident cases in Clay County, you will need to prove that the truck driver was negligent. That is unless they intentionally harmed you. All motorists have a duty of care to others on the road. The truck driver must have driven responsibly to avoid accidents by following traffic and motor carrier regulations.
A Clay County truck accident lawyer from our firm can help compile proof of the truck driver’s fault in the accident, such as dashcam or highway surveillance footage. Our attorneys thoroughly research the applicable laws in your case and are skilled at identifying truck driver violations that may help establish their liability.
When Truckers Drive Beyond Allotted Hours
For instance, let us say that the truck driver violated their hours of service. As a result, they became tired and crashed into a car. They would then be negligent as it was their duty to obey the mandated service hours and get sufficient rest. The trucking company would also be negligent if they had ordered the driver to work beyond their allowed hours.
Getting Compensated After Truck Accidents in Clay County, FL
Like the rest of Florida, Clay County road accidents, including truck collisions, fall under the Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law. It means you cannot head straight to filing a claim with the liable driver. Here is how you can get your expenses covered after a truck accident.
You Must First Use Your Personal Auto Insurance
Your initial option for recovering from financial losses is to file a claim with your auto insurance provider. All Clay County motorists must carry Personal Injury Protection or PIP insurance. It helps pay for the injury-related expenses resulting from the accident, such as medical treatments. The minimum PIP coverage requirement here is $10,000.
Qualifying for Third-Party Claims in Your Clay County Truck Accident
Federal and state laws require commercial trucking companies to provide bodily injury and property damage liability insurance. The coverage helps pay for the victims’ expenses if a truck driver causes accidents.
To be eligible for a liability insurance claim, FL Stat § 627.737 requires your injuries to be severe enough to significantly or even permanently affect your health and lifestyle. For example, some mild bruises would likely not qualify, while permanent brain damage and bone fractures would. You may also file a liability claim if the accident killed a loved one.
But if you only want to file a liability claim for your damaged vehicle or other personal property, you can do so even if you are uninjured.
Filing a Truck Accident Lawsuit in Clay County
The trucking company’s liability insurance only covers accidents caused by truck drivers while on the job. If they were not on duty at the time of the accident, you would have to submit a claim with the driver directly. However, because Florida does not require motorists to carry personal auto liability insurance, the Clay County truck driver may not have any coverage. As a result, you will need to file a truck accident lawsuit to seek compensation.
In a truck accident lawsuit, the judge or jury will decide how much you can receive after reviewing the evidence and arguments from both sides. Our Clay County truck accident lawyers can guide you through the processes involved in making a civil lawsuit. We can also speak on your behalf if the case goes to court.
Damages in a Truck Accident Case
Generally speaking, you can recover two types of damages after settling your truck accident claim or case:
- Economic damages pay for the actual financial costs, including medical bills, car repairs, and lost wages. If a loved one died, economic damages could also cover funeral expenses.
- Non-economic damages compensate for the accident’s non-financial costs, such as disfigurements, disabilities, and trauma. The amount usually increases if more severe injuries or deaths are involved.
Compiling as many records of your expenses – hospital bills, prescription drugs, car repairs, and so on – will help in accurately calculating your total damages. Our Clay County truck accident lawyer can also assess your situation to make a rough estimate.
How the Comparative Fault Rule Affects Recovery
Since Florida is a comparative fault state, you might not receive your damages in full. FL Stat § 768.81 can reduce the recoverable amount based on the percentage of fault you share.
Suppose you drove slightly above the speed limit while the truck driver ran a red light. After reviewing the case, the court or claims adjuster decides that you are 40 percent liable. As a result, you would only receive 60 percent of the total damages.
Case Filing Deadlines for Clay County Truck Accidents
Clay County truck accidents follow the same statute of limitations as other accident cases throughout Florida. Under FL Stat § 95.11, you have up to four years to file the case regardless of whether it is for injuries or property damages. However, you only get two years if you file on behalf of a deceased loved one.
A Clay County truck accident lawyer can check your case for tolling exceptions listed in FL Stat § 95.051. These can suspend the statute of limitations, basically moving the deadline. For example, the time limit can extend to seven years if the truck accident victim is a minor.
Discuss Your Case with Our Clay County Lawyers Today
Though dealing with injuries and car repairs after a truck accident are distressing, know that you can seek compensation here in Clay County. The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine has a Clay County truck accident lawyer ready to represent you and help comply with legal requirements.
Our personal injury attorneys have handled truck accidents, premises liability, defective products, and other accident claims throughout Florida for over 15 years. If you have any questions about our legal services, you can call the team at (800) 747-3733. The call is free, and there is no obligation.
We Can Help.