Truck Accident Liability in Orlando - Paul Knopf Bigger

A truck accident in Orlando may occur due to the actions or inactions of one or more parties involved in the trucking industry, such as a truck driver, a trucking company, a freight company, or a truck manufacturer. When you’ve gotten hurt in a truck crash, an Orlando truck accident attorney from Paul Knopf Bigger can help you identify liable parties and pursue compensation and justice from them.

Contact our firm today for a free initial case evaluation to learn how our legal team helps truck accident victims by righting wrongs and fighting injustice. Our proven and trusted attorneys have a proven track record of success in many complex accident cases.

What Are the Truck Accident Liability Laws in Florida?

In Florida, a party may have liability for a truck accident if they cause it through negligence or recklessness. Negligence occurs when someone breaches a legal duty or duty of care, such as following traffic laws or driving a vehicle safely. Recklessness occurs when a party consciously disregards a substantial risk that their actions will injure somebody.

Florida law requires truck drivers or trucking companies to have combined bodily injury/property damage liability insurance when conducting operations within the state. Minimum required policy limits depend on the truck’s gross vehicle weight rating, ranging from $50,000 to $300,000. Trucking companies engaged in interstate shipping must meet federal insurance requirements, which range from $750,000 to $5 million, depending on the goods transported.

Who Could Be Liable for Truck Accidents in Orlando?

Truck accidents can occur due to the negligence or fault of parties other than truck drivers. Depending on the cause of a crash, various individuals or companies may bear responsibility for the injuries and losses suffered by truck accident victims. Examples of parties who may have liability for a truck accident in Orlando include:

  • The Truck Driver – A truck driver may bear liability for an accident if they operate their vehicle carelessly or recklessly, such as by speeding, making unsafe or illegal maneuvers, driving while intoxicated/distracted/tired, or failing to conduct pre-trip inspections to identify issues with the truck/trailer or cargo load.
  • The Trucking Company – The trucking company may bear employer liability for a truck accident caused by a negligent truck driver if the company employs the driver. However, many truck drivers work for trucking companies as independent contractors, precluding employer liability for the trucking company. A trucking company may also directly cause a truck accident through its negligent acts, such as instructing or encouraging a truck driver to drive carelessly or illegally; hiring an unqualified truck driver even though the company knows or should know that the driver would be at significant risk of causing an accident; or failing to maintain trucks adequately.
  • The Truck’s Owner (if Not the Truck Driver or Trucking Company) – In some cases, a third party other than the truck driver or trucking company owns a truck involved in an accident. The truck’s owner may bear liability for a truck accident if the owner fails to maintain the truck, leading to a mechanical issue that causes a crash.
  • The Cargo/Freight Company – A shipping company responsible for loading cargo into a truck or trailer may bear liability for a truck accident caused by an unsafe cargo load, including a load that exceeds the truck/trailer’s hauling capacity, unbalanced load weight, or an unsecured load that can shift or fall out of the truck.
  • The Truck’s Manufacturer – A truck or trailer manufacturer may have liability for a truck accident caused by a mechanical issue in the vehicle arising from a design or manufacturing defect.
  • An Auto Part Manufacturer – Manufacturers of parts used on a truck or trailer, including brakes and tires, may also have liability for a truck accident caused by a defective part.
  • The Truck’s Mechanic – Some trucking companies use third-party mechanics to service their vehicles. Third-party mechanics may bear responsibility for a truck accident caused by a mechanical issue that results from the mechanic’s negligent servicing.

Evidence That Could Support Your Truck Accident Liability Claim

To prove liability for a truck accident in Orlando, you and your attorney need evidence from the accident. State and federal regulations require trucking companies to keep detailed records of their operations. These records may provide critical information to identify who may bear responsibility for the truck accident. Examples of evidence that you might use to support your Florida truck accident liability claim include:

  • The truck driver’s hours of service logs
  • The truck’s event data recorder (“black box”) logs
  • The truck’s cargo/freight manifest
  • The trucking company’s dispatch logs
  • The truck driver’s post-accident alcohol/drug test results
  • Pre-trip inspection reports
  • Truck/trailer maintenance records
  • Accident scene photos/videos
  • Police accident reports
  • Trucking company incident reports
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Post-accident vehicle inspections or repair reports
  • Surveillance/traffic camera footage
  • Dashcam footage
  • Accident reconstruction/engineering expert reports and testimony

Types of Compensation Available for Truck Accidents in Orlando

After getting into a truck accident that was someone else’s fault, you may have the right to recover compensation for losses you sustain due to the crash. Examples of compensation available for truck accident victims in Orlando include:

  • Reimbursement of the value of your car if it was totaled in the truck accident
  • Costs of medical treatment and rehabilitation, including emergency care, hospitalization, surgeries, prescriptions, pain management care, and physical/occupational therapy
  • Costs of care and support services for long-term or permanent disabilities, including home health services, housekeeping, or installations of disability accommodations
  • Loss of wages or income after missing time from work or experiencing reduced earnings while recovering from injuries
  • Loss of earning capacity and job benefits if you become disabled from employment
  • Physical pain and emotional distress/suffering from your injuries and subsequent medical treatment
  • Loss of quality of life because of physical disabilities or visible, permanent scarring and disfigurement
  • Costs of vehicle repairs and related expenses, such as car rental fees

How the Florida Comparative Negligence Laws Could Affect Your Case

Florida’s comparative negligence laws may alter your rights to recover compensation after a truck accident if you bear some share of fault for causing the crash. Under Florida’s modified comparative negligence system, you may not recover compensation after a truck accident if you have a larger share of fault for the crash than the party or parties from whom you seek compensation. However, you can file a claim if you have an equal or lesser share of responsibility for the truck accident.

Comparative negligence laws can reduce your financial recovery if you bear some responsibility for the truck accident. A court may reduce your compensation award at trial in proportion to your percentage of fault for a truck crash. Because comparative negligence laws may limit your ability to recover money for your losses, you should contact an Orlando truck accident attorney for help securing the maximum financial recovery available under the facts of your case.

Time Limits for an Orlando Truck Crash Claim

Under Florida’s statute of limitations, you have limited time to file a lawsuit after a truck accident in Orlando. In most cases, you have only two years to file your lawsuit against a liable truck driver or trucking company. If you file suit after the limitations period expires, you may lose your right to recover compensation if the trial court dismisses your case due to late filing.

Speak with an Orlando truck accident attorney as soon as possible after a crash to ensure you file your lawsuit on time.

Why You Should Hire an Orlando Truck Accident Attorney

A truck accident can have life-altering consequences for you. You may suffer severe injuries that require extensive medical care, leaving you unable to work and earn a living. You deserve to focus on your treatment and rehabilitation to get your life back on track as quickly as possible. However, you may also pursue compensation to have financial resources to support your recovery.

An Orlando truck accident attorney from Paul Knopf Bigger can provide the advice and advocacy you need to obtain financial compensation and justice after a truck accident. The benefits of hiring an Orlando truck accident attorney for your case include:

  • An attorney can expertly investigate your case to secure all available evidence to help prove the at-fault party’s liability.
  • Your lawyer will document your injuries and losses to ensure you receive compensation for your past and ongoing expenses and losses you will likely incur after your truck accident case.
  • Your attorney can file insurance claims and demand letters on your behalf and handle negotiations with adjusters, trucking company representatives, and defense lawyers, allowing you to focus on your physical recovery.
  • An experienced truck accident litigator can persuasively advocate for your interests in court and at trial if you need to pursue a truck accident lawsuit.

Get the Help You Need from an Orlando Truck Accident Lawyer

When you’ve gotten hurt in a truck accident in Orlando due to someone else’s wrongdoing, you deserve to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.

Contact Paul Knopf Bigger today for a free, no-obligation consultation. You can speak with an Orlando truck accident lawyer about how our firm can help you pursue accountability and justice for your harm and loss.