Truck accidents are no doubt one of the most horrific occurrences on American highways. Tractor-trailer rigs abound on Florida roadways in both urban areas and the open interstates. Many incidents happen at high speeds and for a variety of reasons, resulting in many serious injuries and far too many fatalities.
Settling claims following accidents can be complicated legal matters, no matter the amount of damage. Collisions are bad enough between standard vehicles, but no vehicle is a physical match for an 18-wheeler.
Shipping companies and their insurance providers are recognized in the legal industry for the level of defense they use when fighting claims, especially when there are multiple vehicles involved. Upon applying Florida’s no-fault law, claims become even more complicated and strongly contested.
Because of the potential issues that can arise during an accident claim negotiation, it is always essential to have an experienced Florida truck accident attorney representing the claim for an equitable financial outcome.
Florida No-Fault Auto Insurance Law
The first hurdle in being properly compensated for a personal injury stemming from a truck accident is filing with your own insurance company per Florida injury claim law.
This applies even in truck accident cases, and your attorney must prove to the court after the initial injury claim that it qualifies as a long-term medical problem requiring pursuit of damages from the trucking company based on negligence.
The problem with no-fault coverage is that it does not allow for general damages based on pain and suffering that are only available through a negligence claim. This means that all avenues of compensation can now be applied to the case.
Investigating the Accident
All truck accidents will generate an investigation by the state and the respondent transportation company, and trucking companies typically send an investigation team to the accident scene immediately in hopes of impacting the official investigation.
Insurance company adjusters will also evaluate the accident as soon as possible, often before any claims have been filed. Damage control is a primary focus for both parties in an effort to limit liability in any truck accident.
A Florida truck accident attorney can conduct an independent accident investigation on the behalf of an injured victim and craft a case for negligence against all potentially liable parties. This is why a novice injured truck accident victim always needs professional negotiators handling their case, as it employs their own legal team providing all legal compensation rights.
After establishing with the court that an injury case is worthy of damage pursuit from the trucking company, a truck accident attorney can begin bargaining with the transportation company over a settlement of the case. This typically involves the insurance provider as a primary party, but the shipping company or independent driver can oppose the case as well.
Material facts of the accident matter significantly, and the level of negligence is central to any settlement that can be arranged to avoid a complete trial. The standard defense is comparative negligence when a respondent is willing to let a case go to trial, but other factors can be important as well.
Multiple injured parties in one accident are common with truck accident cases. All parties will be trying to shift responsibility in hopes of a higher settlement amount, and having solid legal counsel means protection in this process. Truck accident attorneys work hardest in this area of negotiation because an assigned percentage of fault will be used to reduce the total financial recovery available for the injured claimants.
While truck accident cases often result in very serious injuries, the possibility for maximum damages is much better when a trucking company is held responsible.
The minimum amount of insurance required for truck drivers and their companies is exponentially higher than a standard vehicle operator, and high-value claims could result in whole damage assignment when a case goes to trial. This possibility can provide excellent leverage for a truck accident attorney when the responsible party wants to avoid court.
Standard elements in a truck accident injury claim include recovery for medical bills, lost wages when they apply, and general damages for pain and suffering after the fact while dealing with the long-term difficulties of the injury.
Truck accident cases also regularly include material evidence indicating the liability of other parties, including the track record and policies of the trucking company. Truck log records and inspection documents can be vital in proving the level of negligence associated with the crash.
In addition, vicarious liability could be an issue when trucks are not been loaded properly at the point of origin by the trucking company and their workers. Punitive damages could also be available in gross negligence cases, not to mention defective product claims when automotive parts malfunction during the accident. Similarly, wrongful death claims following fatal accidents are common.
Always remember that truck accident injury claims in Florida are complicated legal matters that could be worth much more than you may realize. The issues begin with the very first injury claim filing.
Even qualifying to pursue proper compensation can be frustrating for the novice injured person who does not understand the nuances of Florida accident law with respect to financial compensation. Contact our attorneys at Harmon Parker in Tampa Bay for comprehensive legal representation.
Call Harmon Parker, Attorneys at Law today at (813) 452-4144 to learn more about how we can help you recover over a free consultation.