Florida Truck Accident Attorneys
Collisions with large commercial trucks often leave victims with catastrophic injuries and overwhelming financial strain through no fault of their own. If you have been harmed in a Florida truck accident, you need a tenacious team fighting for the compensation you deserve.
At Paul Knopf Bigger, our attorneys have successfully handled numerous injury claims against some of the largest companies in the world. Through hard work and persistence, we have recovered millions of dollars in rightful compensation for those we represent. But we know the cases we handle aren’t just about money. They’re about people. That’s why we put our clients’ needs at the heart of every case, providing individualized attention and compassionate guidance every step of the way.
We are ready to stand up for you against trucking companies, hold the liable parties accountable, and win the compensation you need to heal and move forward. Contact our law firm any time, 24/7, for your free case review with a Florida truck accident injury lawyer.
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What Is Considered a Truck in Florida?
According to Florida law, a truck or commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is defined as any of the following:
- Any vehicle that is not owned or operated by a government entity, uses special fuel or motor fuel on public highways, and has a gross vehicle weight of 26,001 pounds or more
- Any vehicle that has three or more axles, regardless of weight
- Any vehicle used in combination with others that have a total weight exceeding 26,001 pounds
The only exception is for vehicles that occasionally transport personal property to and from closed-course motorsport facilities for non-profit purposes and without corporate sponsorship. In other words, Florida law considers almost any heavy, multi-axle vehicle used for business purposes on public roads to be a commercial truck unless it meets this specific exception.
What Are Common Commercial Truck Accidents in Florida?
Due to their large size and weight, trucks can cause severe and sometimes fatal injuries when involved in traffic collisions. Some common types of truck accidents on Florida roads include the following:
- Rear-End Collisions – This occurs when a truck hits another vehicle from behind, often due to the truck driver’s failure to slow down in time or maintain a safe following distance.
- Sideswipe Accidents – These types of truck crashes happen when the side of a truck scrapes against or collides with another vehicle traveling parallel in an adjacent lane.
- Rollover Crashes – Trucks have high centers of gravity, making them prone to rollovers. These dangerous accidents can easily crush smaller vehicles nearby.
- Underride Collisions – This is when a smaller vehicle slides under the trailer of a truck in a crash. Underrides can result in fatal head and neck injuries to passengers in underriding vehicles.
- Jackknife Accidents – These occur when a truck’s cab and trailer fold in on each other in a “V” shape. Jackknifing trucks are dangerous because they can block traffic and strike nearby vehicles.
- Wide-Turn Crashes – Trucks require extra space when making turns. Drivers who attempt tight turns can hit other vehicles or pedestrians as their trucks swing wider than expected.
- Blind Spot Accidents – Large blind spots around trucks make it difficult for drivers to see smaller vehicles around them, contributing to many merge and lane change crashes.
- Failure to Yield Accidents – These happen when truck drivers fail to yield the right of way as required, often due to lack of awareness, negligence, or impaired driving.
- Cargo Spill Accidents – Unsecured or unbalanced cargo falling from trucks or cargo tank leaks can create dangerous road hazards and cause multiple collisions.
- Mechanical Defect Accidents – When truck tires have sudden blowouts or brake systems fail, drivers can lose control and strike other vehicles or road users as a result.
- Backing-Up Accidents – Limited rear visibility makes it easy for inattentive truckers to strike pedestrians, cyclists, or other vehicles behind them when backing up.
What Are Common Injuries Someone Can Sustain in a Florida Truck Accident?
The force of impact in a truck accident can inflict severe and catastrophic injuries on the occupants of passenger vehicles. Some of the most frequently occurring truck accident injuries are:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Broken bones
- Neck and back injuries
- Severe lacerations and abrasions
- Crush injuries
- Burn injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Vision loss
- Hearing loss or tinnitus
- Nerve damage
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Joint injuries
- Chest injuries
- Pelvic fractures
- Internal bleeding
- Respiratory injuries
- Muscle tears
If a Florida trucking accident ends up being fatal, the victim’s family could file a wrongful death lawsuit.
What Compensation Can I Expect to Recover in a Florida Truck Accident Claim?
With a successful Florida truck accident claim, you could recover compensation for the following accident-related losses and expenses:
- Medical Expenses – This category covers all medical treatment costs you incur due to the accident, including hospitalizations, surgeries, medications, and more.
- Lost Income – If your truck accident injuries prevent you from working for a period of time or force you to accept lower-paying work, you could seek compensation for lost income.
- Loss of Future Earning Potential – If you develop a permanent disability that affects your future ability to work and earn income, you could claim money for lost earning capacity.
- Pain and Suffering – This type of compensation addresses the physical pain and emotional distress you suffer because of the truck accident and your injuries.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life – If you lose the ability to participate in hobbies, activities, or experiences you enjoyed previously, you could claim compensation for lost quality of life.
What If I Am Partly to Blame for a Florida Truck Accident?
In Florida, you can still seek compensation from other at-fault parties even if you are partially responsible for the truck accident that injured you. But under the state’s new modified comparative fault law, the amount of compensation you can recover decreases based on your fault percentage. If you are more at fault than the other party, you can’t obtain compensation at all.
If another party claims that you’re partially at fault for the accident, a skilled Florida Trucking accident attorney can make a significant difference in your case. Your lawyer will know how to counter these claims and minimize the degree of fault attributed to you. They can gather and analyze evidence like police reports, witness statements, dashcam footage, and expert testimony to build a strong case demonstrating the other party’s fault.
Ultimately, having legal representation during these complex situations increases your chances of maximizing your settlement. With a reputable attorney on your side, you have a dedicated advocate who understands how Florida trucking laws apply to your case and can protect your rights accordingly.
How Long Do I Have to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit in Florida?
Florida law now allows two years from the date of most injury accidents — including a truck accident — to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you miss the applicable filing deadline for your case, the court will likely refuse to hear it, preventing you from seeking compensation for your injuries in court.
The complex and variable nature of these filing deadlines, and the potential consequences of missing one, underscore the importance of hiring a skilled lawyer promptly after a truck accident. A knowledgeable Florida truck accident attorney can identify and meet all relevant deadlines on your behalf and manage any exceptions or complications that arise.
Further, acting quickly is important because building a strong case takes time. Your attorney might need to investigate the accident, gather evidence, consult with experts, and participate in one or several rounds of negotiation with the other side. Contacting a Florida lawyer as soon as possible after a trucking accident gives them ample time to develop the best legal strategy and maximize your payout.
How a Florida Truck Accident Attorney Can Help with Your Case
The right truck accident lawyer in Florida will utilize every tool at their disposal to build the strongest case possible and obtain a full financial recovery on your behalf. Some key steps they might take in pursuit of the compensation you are owed include:
- Thoroughly investigating the accident scene and preserving key evidence
- Obtaining hours of service logs, trip inspection reports, training documents, and other records
- Consulting with accident reconstruction experts to determine who or what caused the crash
- Working with medical experts to demonstrate the extent and long-term effects of your injuries
- Documenting the full extent of your losses, including medical bills, lost income, and future costs
- Identifying all potentially liable parties, such as drivers, trucking companies, and manufacturers
- Locating and evaluating all applicable insurance policies and coverage limits
- Filing claims with insurers in a timely manner to avoid preventable delays or denials
- Negotiating aggressively with insurers to obtain the maximum settlement possible
- Taking your case to court if the other party refuses to pay a reasonable settlement
- Appealing any verdict or award that is inadequate based on your unique circumstances