Federal, state, and local laws hold commercial vehicle drivers to higher standards than other motorists. These regulations govern how long truckers can remain behind the wheel to prevent driver fatigue. They also dictate how often drivers must perform inspections and how cargo is loaded.
A massive truck crash can cause severe injuries to those involved. If you were hurt in a Palm Beach County truck accident, you could file a claim for compensation against the driver and trucking company. Our legal team is committed to helping truck accident victims and their families.
Contact a West Palm Beach truck accident lawyer today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Trucking Companies Must Adhere to Strict Safety Standards
When truck drivers take safety rules seriously, they can avoid getting into a crash. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), trucking companies must adhere to the following procedures:
- Adequately train drivers on safety procedures
- Ensure that drivers do not operate vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Vet the driving records of all employees
- Maintain a safe fleet of vehicles
- Discipline drivers that fail to meet safety standards
- Meet all local, state, and federal regulatory compliances
Failing to adhere to the above measures in a truck accident case could expose a trucking company to liability.
Examples of Truck Driver Negligence
Trucking companies can be held liable for the negligent behavior of their employees, even though the company isn’t present in the collision. Common truck driver negligent behaviors include:
- Distracted driving
- Ignoring roadway signage
- Aggressive driving
- Working too long without a break (hours of service violations)
- Drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs
For a free legal consultation with a truck accidents lawyer serving West Palm Beach, 800-747-3733
How Long Do I Have To Take Legal Action After a Florida Accident?
Florida has specific deadlines for filing a personal injury lawsuit. You have four years to file per Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a). If you lost a loved one, the statute states you only have two years to file a wrongful death claim to receive compensation.
While these deadlines may sound like a long time to act, several factors can delay your case. For instance, insurance negotiations can take more time than expected. Investigating your losses can also take a while in some cases.
Our West Palm Beach truck accident team can ensure your case meets all deadlines and stays on track.
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How Does Liability Work in a Truck Accident Case?
The first step to assigning liability is gathering evidence. Our lawyers can handle this step of your case. Without clear evidence, it will be difficult to prove that another party was responsible for your accident.
Once we’ve built a case file, our team can work to prove the four elements of liability. These include:
- Duty of care: Truck drivers are responsible for keeping others on the road safe from harm. Anyone driving a motor vehicle has a legal obligation to uphold a duty of care.
- Breach of duty: A breach of duty occurs when the at-fault party fails to uphold their duty of care. In a truck accident case, this could be a lack of safety procedures on the part of the trucking company or unsafe driving on the truck driver’s part.
- Causation: You must prove another party behaved negligently before your accident and demonstrate that their negligence caused the collision. For example, the truck driver may have failed to check their blind spot when changing lanes.
- Damages: Finally, you must show that you suffered injuries in the crash. We can review your medical records and expenses to show that you experienced damages from your truck accident.
Assigning Liability in a Truck Accident Case
Assigning liability is an important step in the legal process after a truck accident. If you can’t prove that someone else caused your accident, you can’t recover damages. The stronger the case you make, the harder it is for the other party’s insurance provider to dispute your right to fair compensation.
Our team can handle every aspect of your case from start to finish; however, the more time we have, the better. Gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses takes time. The sooner you reach out to our firm, the sooner a truck accident attorney in West Palm Beach can get to work on your case.
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Who Can Be Held Liable After a Truck Accident in West Palm Beach?
We could hold the trucking company responsible based on the facts of your case. However, they aren’t the only potentially liable party in a truck accident case. Other responsible parties may include:
- Another driver: A third driver could have contributed to the accident and your injuries. All drivers are legally obligated to keep others safe; failure could open them up to liability.
- A truck manufacturer: Truck manufacturers have a similar duty of care. If their vehicles are unsafe, they can be liable for an accident. For example, if a faulty truck part caused your accident, we could seek compensation from the truck or parts manufacturer.
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How Does My Auto Insurance Claim Work if I Suffered Serious Injuries in a Truck Accident?
Florida sets a threshold for filing a fault-based claim. Let’s say you suffer catastrophic injuries that leave you with permanent impairments or scarring. In this instance, you will likely qualify to file a third-party liability claim to collect compensation for your losses from the following parties:
In most car accident cases, we would file this claim against the at-fault motorist’s insurance policy. However, when a trucker causes a crash, a legal doctrine known as vicarious liability often comes into play.
This doctrine states that an employer is responsible for employees’ actions while completing their job-related duties. So, when a trucker acts negligently behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer, their employer (usually a trucking company) is liable for the damages they cause.
The Trucking Company
While you probably do not want to think of going toe-to-toe with a large corporation for your insurance payout, this is good news for most accident victims.
These companies typically carry much larger insurance policies than an individual driver would, allowing you to recover more compensation to cover ongoing care costs and future medical needs.
The truck company will probably have a team of attorneys trying to reduce the value of your claim at every turn. This is why having an experienced commercial truck accident lawyer is vital. Our team has a track record of success in these cases and is ready to work for you.
What if I Only Suffered Minor Injuries in My West Palm Beach Truck Accident?
Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state, meaning motorists must carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance or pay out of their pocket to cover minor injuries from a crash. This is true no matter who causes the accident.
These laws aim to reduce the number of claims that reach the court system and help accident victims quickly receive the money they need. If you only suffered minor injuries in a crash with a trucker, we can contact your insurance provider to file a claim.
The adjuster may ask to see your vehicle or ask for photos. We will also need to provide them with your medical bills and other proof of your medical expenses. If they refuse to pay out what you deserve or have other issues getting your compensation, we can help sort things out and get you the money you need.
What Happens if a Mechanical Failure Causes the Accident?
If a West Palm Beach truck accident occurs from a mechanical failure, you could pursue a negligence claim against the trucking company or manufacturer. In such cases, an experienced truck accident lawyer can help victims gather evidence to prove that the mechanical failure was caused by negligence on behalf of the company or manufacturer.
Actions our lawyers could take include:
- Inspecting the vehicle for any defects
- Obtaining documents regarding maintenance and repair records
- Interviewing witnesses who may have observed any issues with the truck before the accident
An attorney can also review applicable laws and regulations to determine whether they were violated in any way. If we find the accident is a result of a mechanical failure, you could recover compensation for your injuries and other losses you’ve suffered.
What Happens if the Truck Driver or Trucking Company Disputes the Negligence Claim?
Suppose the truck driver or trucking company disputes the claim of negligence in a West Palm Beach truck accident. In this case, it is important to seek legal advice from an experienced truck accident lawyer.
We will review the evidence and determine whether there is sufficient proof to prove negligence on behalf of the driver or trucking company. Depending on the facts of the case, we could negotiate with the insurance companies for a settlement or file a lawsuit against them.
What Specific Steps Will the Lawyer Take To Gather Evidence and Build a Case?
Collecting the proper evidence to prove negligence and build a strong case for maximum compensation is one of the most difficult parts of any liability claim. When the liable party is a trucking company, it makes this process even more challenging.
This is because the trucking company has the most important evidence. We are prepared for this. One of the first things we will do as your representation is issue a letter of spoliation to the trucking company and other potentially liable parties.
These letters notify them of our intent to file a claim and implore them to preserve any evidence relating to your case. If they do not collect and protect this evidence, they may face sanctions from the court.
Available Evidence in Truck Accident Cases
Because of the increased laws and regulations for truckers, there is more evidence in most truck accident cases than in a typical car accident. Truckers must log their work hours and rest, keep documents about inspections and maintenance, and undergo mandatory drug and alcohol testing after an accident.
Their trucks also have computers that record digital data about their habits behind the wheel and what happened in the moments before the crash.
Evidence like this could prove vital to your case, so we must send the spoliation letter as soon as possible to ensure they preserve the applicable files.
Accident Reconstruction Specialists and Other Expert Witnesses
We also have a team of researchers, accident reconstruction specialists, and other investigators available to us. These experts allow us to understand better exactly how your accident occurred and the trucker’s role in causing it.
The documents and testimony from these professionals may also help us secure the maximum payout possible based on the facts of your case.
How Much Is My West Palm Beach Truck Accident Claim Worth?
The best way to understand what a fair settlement will look like for any personal injury claim is to let us review your case. We can look at the losses you’ve suffered and give you an estimate of your claim.
After identifying all possible accident-related losses and expenses, we can offer you a range of values for your claim. Every case is unique so individual results will vary. However, recoverable damages in a truck accident case often include the following:
- Medical bills, including hospital stays, surgeries, physical therapy, and prescription medications
- Loss of income from missing work
- Loss of earning capacity if you are unable to return to your job
- Pain and suffering damages for physical and emotional trauma
- Loss of enjoyment or diminished quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage costs for vehicle repairs or replacement
- Funeral expenses in wrongful death cases
Without an experienced personal injury attorney calculating your case’s value, you may settle for less than you need to cover all your expenses.
Too many people pay for in-home nursing or other medical care out of their pocket because they agreed to a settlement far below the true value of their claim.
We Offer Responsive Legal Representation for Truck Accident Victims
Our law firm has years of experience fighting for injured people’s rights. We’ve represented clients in a variety of cases. This translates to an all-encompassing understanding of the codes that make up Florida’s legal system.
Strong communication is a core value at our firm. When you sign on as a client with us, you’ll receive the following benefits:
- Consistent case updates from our team
- The phone number of the lawyer assigned to your case
- Home or hospital visits, if you can’t come to one of our offices
- Attentive care (we’ll help you schedule appointments related to your case, like auto repairs and hospital visits)
- Prompt responses to your calls or emails (we want to make sure you have peace of mind)
You can rest assured we will go the extra mile so you can relax and focus on getting better.
We Make Truck Accident Assistance Accessible to Those Who Need It
Our personal injury law firm offers a pricing plan that keeps our services affordable to everyone. We offer:
- Free case evaluations: Allowing a team member to evaluate your claim won’t cost you a dime. We’ll work to understand the details of your case for free.
- Contingency-fee pricing: Our personal injury lawyers work on contingency. This means a portion of your court award or settlement pays our attorneys’ fees. You won’t pay upfront for anything.
These policies mean that we don’t add to your financial burden when you work with us. We are in business to win and only get paid when you do.
What Makes Our Florida Personal Injury Law Firm Stand Out from the Rest
We’re a leading legal practice in West Palm Beach, known for our exceptional representation in personal injury cases. Our firm’s attorneys are known for their expertise in handling truck accidents, car accidents, slip, and fall accidents, and other types of personal injury cases.
We Fight for Our Clients’ Rights
We’re dedicated to fighting for our clients’ rights and ensuring they receive the compensation they deserve. Clients can expect top-notch legal representation and personalized attention.
We Are Dedicated to Achieving a Positive Outcome
Our firm’s attorneys are dedicated to providing a high level of service and will work tirelessly to achieve a positive outcome for our clients.
We Have Deep Experience and Expertise
Regardless of what type of accident you’ve been in, we have the experience and expertise to guide you through the legal process and help you achieve the best possible outcome.
We Work to Give You a Stress-Free Experience
Our team is not only highly skilled and knowledgeable, but we are also compassionate and understanding. We understand that being involved in an accident can be a traumatic experience, and we’ll work to make the legal process as stress-free as possible for our clients.
When you team up with us, you can feel confident that you are in good hands and that your case is in the hands of highly experienced and dedicated legal professionals.
How Can I Talk To a Truck Accident Lawyer in West Palm Beach?
At Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we offer free consultations to help you understand your legal options after a Palm Beach County truck accident. We can help you determine whether you meet Florida’s threshold to file a claim. We can then identify the liable parties and build a strong case for maximum compensation.
Don’t let an insurance company take advantage of you. We are here to help you navigate the claims and litigation process. Contact us today for a free consultation with a West Palm Beach truck accident attorney.
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