Florida attracts thousands of travelers every year, including truckers transporting goods in and out of the state. With all the traffic in the state, accidents happen.
You can’t always prepare for a crash, but you can know your rights if you are injured. When you get into a truck accident, South Florida laws state that you must take certain steps afterward. Ensuring that you and the other driver follow these steps allows you to fight for the best possible outcome for your case.
If you get into a truck accident, get in touch with our team to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney. At DiBiaggio Law, we’ll put our over 20 years of experience to work to help you seek compensation for your injuries or monetary losses.
Offer Reasonable Assistance
In Florida, you must offer reasonable assistance if someone gets injured in an accident. Reasonable assistance goes beyond exchanging contact information.
If you see that the other person has injuries due to the accident, you must contact authorities, call for emergency medical attention, and remain on the accident scene until help arrives to assess the situation.
If the uninjured driver leaves the scene without offering this assistance, they have committed a third-degree felony or a second-degree felony if the accident resulted in serious injuries.
Report and Document the Truck Accident In Florida
Florida law states that drivers must abide by guidelines set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These regulations require you to offer documentation about the accident for an accident register, such as a police report.
You must report the accident to your local authorities, especially if you or the truck driver has sustained injuries. In cases involving a truck like an 18-wheeler, you must report the accident and create a written crash report, even if no one suffered any injuries.
Make sure you take pictures of your vehicle and the surrounding area, including debris and your injuries. These photos will provide evidence in your case.
Get Medical Attention
Even if you don’t think you are injured, seek medical attention. Not getting medical attention can harm your case because it shows you did not take all possible steps to ensure your well-being.
The court and your insurance company might see your lack of medical attention as negligence on your part to prevent more severe consequences of your accident. Not all injuries appear immediately after the crash, so make sure you get evaluated by a medical professional.
What Is the Statute of Limitations?
The statute of limitations for reporting and filing a claim after a truck accident depends on the type of accident. You have four years to file a suit in negligence cases, whereas, with wrongful death cases, you have a two-year limit.
Statutes of limitations ensure that all evidence and witness accounts of the accident stay as accurate as possible. It also protects your legal rights and those of the truck driver. In a truck accident, gathering pertinent evidence and organizing it quickly is vital.
Who is Liable for the Accident (Truck Accident In Florida)?
While Florida is a no-fault state, in accidents that end up in court, liability still matters. The truck driver isn’t always at fault in an accident. Sometimes conditions on the road, like weather and other drivers, can create unavoidable hazards and cause an accident, even if the truck driver was driving safely
Other times, the trucking company can be held liable. For example, if the driver’s employer makes the driver work in a truck that has not undergone a safety inspection or demands the driver work without adequate rest, they have made unreasonable and unsafe demands.
Additionally, receiving injuries in an accident doesn’t mean you can’t be liable for it. If you cut the truck driver off on the highway and brake in front of them, you didn’t allow the driver time to stop safely.
The court determines the truck driver’s liability based on the following factors
- Driver intentions
- Driver conduct after the accident
- Duty the driver was hired to perform
- Employer expectations of the driver
- Time allowed for the driver to complete their job
If the driver acted within their job’s scope, the liability then falls on the employer.
How Do You Determine Compensation?
After an accident, attorney expertise can help you determine how much compensation you may be entitled to. Your lawyer will compile a case with evidence and documentation related to your accident.
The documentation will include the accident report, medical bills, car repair or replacement costs, and claims for pain and suffering. Your compensation will vary, especially if you plan to sue for pain and suffering.
Economic damages, like medical bills and car repair costs, are easier to calculate because they have a quantifiable value. However, pain and suffering are non-economic damages, which makes it more challenging to determine their value.
Work with a Leading Florida Truck Accident Lawyer
Our Florida truck accident attorneys know how to navigate difficult cases involving trucks and other commercial vehicles. At DiBiaggio law, we have the experience and determination you need to fight for your rights in court successfully.
Contact DiBiaggio Law today at (561) 473-9800 to request a consultation and talk to us about your personal injury case. We serve Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe County, and the surrounding areas.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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