If you or a loved one were in an accident with a commercial truck or a semi, you deserve a fierce advocate who will fight at your side with skill and knowledge. Our experienced north port truck accident legal team will focus on your financial recovery while you and your family focus on your emotional and physical health. Our North Port personal injury lawyers regularly obtain big results for our clients, and we’ll fight for maximum compensation for you.
Commercial truck accidents differ significantly from the ordinary collision of two passenger vehicles. The first and most dangerous difference is simple physics. The average passenger vehicle weighs somewhere around 4,000 pounds. A fully loaded 18-wheel semi-truck and trailer can exceed 80,000 pounds. That 20-times weight disparity means that any collision at any speed between those two vehicles will be really bad for the car and its occupants.
In addition, it’s harder to know who might be liable in a large truck accident since there are more parties involved than just the driver. Often, a skilled and experienced truck accident attorney from Boohoff Law can make all the difference for your recovery.
As noted above, a semi-trailer truck outweighs most of the other vehicles on the road by a factor of about 20. Given this, these trucks can easily demolish anything they hit. They’re big, heavy, hard to maneuver, slow to stop—and you’re in their way. These potential injuries are life-threatening and may leave victims with a permanently diminished quality of life.
Once a semi-trailer does hit your car, catastrophic injuries will result, including:
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) – Traumatic brain injuries commonly feature in truck accidents because of the violence of collisions involving large trailer trucks. Often called concussions, traumatic brain injuries result from bumps, blows, or jolts to the head or body. Physicians used to talk about them as ranging from mild to severe. Still, more recently, medical science has established that any injury to the brain is severe, and we must treat them with great respect.
Spinal Cord Injuries – Again, because of the extreme violence resulting from the forces of the semi-truck hitting the car, passengers are forcefully tossed around the interior of the vehicle and sometimes even evicted from it. One of the potential consequences of this violent movement is a spinal cord injury. A fracture of a vertebra or bruising or tearing the nerves inside them can injure the spinal cord. As a major component of the central nervous system, the spine and its proper function are vital to day-to-day living.
Spinal cord injuries can cause:
In a commercial vehicle accident, the driver may not be solely responsible for the damages resulting from the accident. The trucking company may share in that liability. If you simply sue the driver, you follow the regular rules of Florida’s no-fault insurance laws as to when you can or cannot sue. A truck accident attorney from Boohoff Law’s North Port office can help you untangle this web of potential liability.
In addition to the driver, you can sue the driver’s employer. Under Florida law, the trucking company can be vicariously liable for the driver’s conduct. For you to succeed with this kind of suit, the driver must have been actively engaged in work duties when the accident occurred. In other words, if a commercial truck driver hits you while on duty and performing the job, you can sue the driver’s employers. This process can allow you to receive a much higher level of compensation simply because the company will carry bigger policies limits.
You can also sue the company that owns the truck if they failed to keep it properly maintained. If the problem is with the truck itself, you can also sue the maker of the truck or its parts.
In other words, determining liability when a commercial vehicle is involved can be complex. If you’ve been a victim in a commercial truck accident in Florida, let the experienced truck accident attorneys at Boohoff Law help you figure out who might be liable for your injuries.
As with any motor vehicle accident in Florida, a collision involving a semi-trailer truck usually requires that you prove that the truck driver was acting carelessly. In other words, like any accident, this is a personal injury lawsuit based on the theory of negligence.
To win a case in negligence, you must allege and prove that it is more like than not that:
Florida allows four years from the date of injury to bring a personal injury lawsuit. Even though this sounds like a lot of time, it can run out faster than you expect. Your condition may change, changing the nature of your lawsuit, and evidence can be hard to gather. Use this time to work with a skilled and knowledgeable truck accident attorney who can build and negotiate your case while you and your family focus on mental and physical recovery.
The damages you can recover depend on the facts and circumstances of your case. Florida recognizes three types of personal injury damages.
Economic Damages – Economic damages are your out-of-pocket losses and expenses easily evidenced by paid bills and pay stubs. They include things like:
Non-Economic Damages – Non-economic damages are harder to prove than economic damages but are often more significant and longer-lasting.
They include things like:
Although some states impose a cap on non-economic damages, Florida does not.
Punitive Damages – Punitive damages are not compensatory damages. Rather than compensate the victim (although they do so), lawmakers intend for punitive damages to punish the at-fault party and to deter others from engaging in the same kinds of conduct. Punitive damages in Florida require that there be actual damages and that the trier of fact finds by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant committed intentional misconduct or gross negligence. Gross negligence involves a conscious disregard of the life, safety, or rights of others. Generally, the law makes it quite difficult to impose punitive damages on an employer in Florida.
Delivery trucks and cargo trucks have become much more a part of our everyday life as the COVID-19 pandemic and its supply chain problems continue to drive us toward reliance on online shopping.
Seven of ten Americans have shopped online, and more do so every day. One in four of us buy something online every month, and some of us buy virtually everything online.
We look out our windows and welcome the arrival of the smiling arrow of the Amazon truck, the red, white, and blue of FedEx, and the comforting browns of the UPS vehicle. All of these vehicles deliver packages to us that were ultimately sourced by 18-wheel semi-trucks that are also present everywhere on the roads, often with drivers who have significant stress from the pandemic and are tired from driving too many hours.
Consequently, truck accidents were up 43 percent in the past decade. These large vehicles account for ten percent of all the vehicles involved in fatal crashes, even though they are only four percent of the vehicles on the road. Just over two recent years, there was a 5 percent increase in truck crashes resulting in injuries. Frighteningly, these statistics are from the period before the pandemic-induced increases in truck traffic volume.