Big rigs are large commercial trucks that weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. As such, these massive trucks can cause catastrophic damage to small passenger vehicles, resulting in devastating injuries or death.
Big rig accidents are some of the most disastrous and complex. Contact a West Palm Beach truck accident lawyer today if you’ve sustained injuries due to a truck wreck. Our law firm offers free case evaluations.
Common Causes of Big Rig Accidents
Various factors, including driver fatigue, distracted driving, and improper maintenance, can cause big rig collisions. Other common causes include:
- Speeding or reckless driving
- Failing to check blind spots before changing lanes
- Poorly loaded cargo
- Unsafe road conditions
- Defective parts or equipment
A qualified lawyer could help you file a personal injury claim against the liable party or parties. Your attorney could help handle your legal case and fight for financial compensation for all your damages.
Common Injuries Sustained in Big Rig Accidents
Big rig truck collisions are some of the most devastating and catastrophic crashes seen on Florida roadways. Large semi-trucks are capable of causing serious injuries to those in smaller cars and trucks, including the following:
- Neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Fatal injuries
When a big rig is involved in a truck crash, the size and weight of the semi can also cause extensive property damage.
How a West Palm Beach Big Rig Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
You should contact a qualified attorney immediately if you’ve been injured in a big rig accident. A truck accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and pursue fair compensation.
Your attorney could investigate the crash, gather evidence, negotiate with the trucking company and their insurance carrier, and represent you in court if necessary.
At our personal injury law firm, we understand the complexities of accident cases involving large tractor-trailer trucks and are committed to helping you get justice.
We have a team of skilled attorneys who can help you fight for compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other damages, such as loss of enjoyment.
Specific Ways We Help Our Clients
Our attorneys will manage your case from beginning to end.
- Our team will file your paperwork and communicate with insurers for you.
- We will update you on your case status and answer all your questions.
- We can even help you schedule appointments or get your car fixed.
- Your attorney will build your case with evidence and documentation to prove liability.
- Your attorney will negotiate a settlement that covers your losses.
- We can represent you at trial if the insurance company or trucking company refuses to settle your case fairly.
We provide responsive legal care to every one of our clients. Our West Palm Beach team is committed to helping accident victims in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, and elsewhere in Palm Beach County.
Please look at our client testimonials to better understand how we help injured people in South Florida fight for the compensation they need and deserve.
Determining Liability After a West Palm Beach Big Rig Accident
When working on your West Palm Beach personal injury lawsuit, your attorney will try to gather evidence to prove negligence and liability. The truck accident attorney must demonstrate how the commercial driver was negligent and how their actions caused the collision and your injuries.
Your attorney will collect evidence and build your case by discussing the facts with you, talking to witnesses, and reviewing police reports. Your case might need expert testimony from a crash reconstructionist and other professionals.
There are four elements of liability: duty, negligence, causation, and damages.
Duty of Care
The first element is to prove there was a duty of care owed to you by the defendant in your case. For example, all drivers must obey traffic laws for their safety and the safety of others on the roads.
The second element is to show there was a breach or violation of the duty owed to you by the defendant. In trucking accidents, a driver may have violated a traffic law such as speeding or failed to follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations.
The third element is proving that the defendant’s negligence caused actual harm. Your case must establish a connection between the defendant’s negligent actions and your injuries. For example, the truck driver was speeding, which caused the crash and your injuries.
Your case must demonstrate that you suffered damages due to the defendant’s negligence. For instance, you may have medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses associated with your truck accident injuries.
Potential Defendants in Big Rig Accidents
Semi-truck accidents sometimes involve more than one defendant. Your lawyer can help identify all parties who may be liable for your injuries, including:
- The truck driver: The driver may be liable if their negligence caused the accident.
- The trucking company: The truck company might be vicariously liable for its employee’s actions. Some employers are also negligent. For example, they may have hired an unqualified driver.
- The truck’s manufacturer: A defect in any part of the truck could cause an accident, including brakes, tires, and steering components.
Available Compensation After a Florida Accident
Your attorney can help you fight for several forms of compensation, including:
Medical expenses are one of the most common damages awarded after a big rig accident. You have the right to compensation for all costs related to treating your injury, including past and future hospital bills, doctor visits, medication, and rehabilitative care.
Lost wages are also commonly awarded after a big rig accident. You should be reimbursed for the time you missed from work due to your injuries.
Diminished Earning Capacity
Decreased earning capacity comes into play when your injuries affect your ability to continue working at your current job or force you to find a new lower-paying position.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering compensate injured victims for physical pain and mental anguish after an accident.
The property damage can be extensive when a big rig is involved in a collision with another vehicle. Depending on the size of the truck, it can cause significant damage to other vehicles and structures. Your vehicle might be totaled, depending on the severity of the crash.
Permanent Disfigurement or Disability
If you suffered permanent injuries, you might be entitled to monetary compensation for a reduced quality of life. This includes damages for the inability to perform day-to-day tasks, pursue hobbies, or engage in activities you once enjoyed.
Wrongful death is a legal term used to describe a situation in which someone has died due to another person’s negligence or intentional act. When this happens, the deceased’s family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party.
A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by surviving family members of the deceased, such as their spouse, children, parents, or siblings. The civil suit can seek a compensation award for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost wages, and other damages.
If you lost a loved one due to an 18-wheeler accident, we could help you pursue a wrongful death claim.
Punitive damages are a type of financial award that is sometimes available to victims of motor vehicle accidents. Punitive damages are only awarded when the court finds the defendant’s actions were particularly heinous.
This type of award is also known as “exemplary damage” and is meant to make an example of the defendant. To be eligible for punitive damages, you must prove that the defendant acted with gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
If you or a loved one was involved in a big rig crash, it is important to seek advice from one of our West Palm Beach truck accident attorneys as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and fight for the compensation you are owed.
Florida Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Lawsuits
You generally have four years from your accident date to file a personal injury lawsuit, per Florida Statutes § 95.11. If you miss this deadline, you may be unable to file your suit and recover compensation.
Our team can help you meet the statute of limitations requirement by filing the necessary paperwork on time.
Contact a West Palm Beach Big Rig Accident Lawyer Today
Big rig accidents are complex, and many issues need to be taken into account for you to be compensated. Each situation is unique, and the team at Anidjar & Levine can go the extra mile and help you fight for the maximum compensation available in your case.
If you have been injured in a collision with a commercial vehicle, it is important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer from our West Palm Beach team can help you understand your rights and fight for the compensation you need. Contact us today for a free consultation.
We Can Help.