While traveling through Lakeland, Florida, it is not uncommon to see construction trucks transporting materials to job sites. However, accidents can still happen, no matter how cautious their drivers are when transporting heavy objects. Given large trucks’ size, weight, and contents, a collision can result in severe injuries, fatalities, and property damage.
If you are a recent construction truck accident victim, the law allows you to seek compensation for your losses. A Lakeland construction truck accident lawyer from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can work with you in getting your costs covered.
Liability in Construction Truck Accidents
Truck owners (which can either be the construction firm or an independent contractor) and their drivers have federal and state rules regulating how they operate in Lakeland and throughout Florida. These include laws on:
- Gross weight limits
- Cargo securement standards
- Travel lane restrictions
- Routine maintenance
- Drug and alcohol use
An attorney for construction truck accidents can help investigate the incident to determine how the construction company or driver might have violated trucking or traffic laws. Moreover, they can compile evidence such as police crash reports, surveillance and dashcam footage, and eyewitness testimonies. A lawyer can also help gather proof of your injuries, such as medical records and official medical expert reports.
How to Get Your Accident Expenses Covered
PIP Insurance Claims
Florida’s no-fault policy for motor vehicle accidents means that you typically cannot go straight to filing a claim against the liable construction company or driver. Instead, you can only use your PIP or personal injury protection insurance first. PIP helps pay for your injury-related costs, including medical bills and lost earnings.
Qualifying for Liability Claims Or Trucking Accident Lawsuits
To take legal action against the liable truck company or driver, you must first meet one of the conditions in Florida Statutes § 627.737. In general, you would be able to sue the other party if your injury was severe enough to disfigure or disable you temporarily or permanently. A loved one’s death would also qualify you for third-party actions.
However, if you only want to recover from auto repair costs and other property damage expenses, you can bring a property damage liability claim regardless of your injuries.
Your lawyer can assess your accident details to determine whether filing a liability claim or a lawsuit is the right course of action.
When to File a Liability Claim
Federal trucking regulations require truck owners to carry liability insurance for all their trucks. The regulation also applies to construction companies with their fleet. If an accident occurs, the liability insurance will pay for the victim’s injury and property damage expenses.
The construction company or truck owner’s liability only applies if the driver was on-duty or did not willfully harm you. If the driver were off-duty during the accident, you would have to file the claim with their personal auto insurance provider. Remember that they might not have injury liability coverage as it is not mandatory in Florida. Furthermore, insurers might not accept claims arising from intentional actions.
We can help negotiate with the insurance provider if you do not accept their initial offers.
When to Consider Filing a Lawsuit
If you cannot settle an insurance claim, you could consider proceeding with a construction truck accident lawsuit. However, the court will decide the amount you can recover, not an insurance claims adjuster.
The county where the accident occurred will have jurisdiction over your lawsuit. You can bring the case to the Polk County Courthouse since your accident happened in Lakeland. We can advise and represent you during the court proceedings until a verdict is reached.
There Is a Deadline in Florida to File a Lawsuit for Your Accident
Like other accident cases, your construction truck accident lawsuit follows the same filing deadlines specified in Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a). You typically have to file the suit within four years if you suffered injuries or property damages. However, if the crash killed a loved one, you must file within two years instead.
Building the suit sooner than later would be more prudent since lawsuits will automatically get dismissed if submitted late. In addition, your attorney can track the progress to ensure you file on time.
They can also check if your case has tolling exceptions, which are unique situations that can stop the statute timer. For example, if you file the case on your child’s behalf, you would have up to seven years from the incident date to file, not the usual four years.
Types of Damages to Pursue for Your Accident With a Construction Truck
Economic and non-economic damages are two types of damages that you could recover in a construction truck accident settlement. Economic damages compensate for expenses, such as medical bills, lost wages, and auto repairs.
Meanwhile, non-economic damages repay you for your pain and suffering, such as trauma, disabilities, and loss of consortium. While no strict formula exists in Florida, a common method is to multiply your economic damages by a particular value based on your injury’s severity. The more severe your condition, the higher the multiplier will likely be. Third-party actions will let you recover both economic and non-economic damages.
A Lakeland construction truck accident attorney can help compile the documents of your expenses to calculate your economic damages. As for your non-economic damages, the attorney can evaluate your injury reports to estimate the cost of your pain and suffering.
Comparative Fault Affects Third-Party Action Settlements
Take into account that sharing liability for the construction truck accident can reduce the amount you can recover. According to Florida Statutes § 768.81, your recoverable damages will get a deduction based on the percentage of liability shared.
So, if you were 25 percent liable for speeding while the construction truck driver was 75 percent at fault, you would get 75 percent of your total damages.
Discuss Your Claim With a Lakeland Construction Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you want legal assistance in getting compensated after your accident with a construction truck, the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help. We have handled accidents and other personal injury cases throughout Florida for over 15 years.
Request a free consultation with our Lakeland construction truck accident lawyer by sending us the incident details through the online form. You may also call our office or speak with our live chat support anytime. We are here 24/7 for your legal concerns and other inquiries.
We Can Help.