The number of large trucks involved in fatal accidents rose by 1 percent between 2017 and 2018, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). It might seem trivial in terms of data, but the statistic means thousands of people die in serious accidents with large trucks every year. Florida depends on large trucks for freight-carried goods for everything, from food to fuel.
Safety should be the top priority for large truck drivers in Florida, but accidents still happen. Victims of serious truck accidents can work with a lawyer to navigate recovery from their injuries and losses. If you are interested in learning how a Sarasota truck accident lawyer might be able to help with seeking compensation in your situation, contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC, at (800) 630-9229 for a free consultation.
Rules for Truck Driving in Florida
Large trucks like 18-wheelers, tractor-trailer trucks, and semi-trucks have no single definition. Each type of large truck might be rated to carry a different weight load and type of trailer. The specific type of truck involved in an accident can make the difference between an accident victim’s life and death.
Trucks can weigh 20 to 30 times as much as passenger cars, and tower over them in height, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). Trucks are large, complicated vehicles that require state-regulated expertise to drive.
In Florida, no one can drive most large trucks legally without a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Still, it all depends on the carrier vehicle’s intended power, called the gross combination weight rating, according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). Of course, knowing this information at the time of the accident is not the most important thing to consider. Still, it might warrant further verification if inexperience with truck driving is a primary cause of the accident.
Florida Insurance Laws
All Florida drivers must carry a minimum amount of insurance coverage for damage from car accidents. Because Florida is one of the top states for uninsured drivers, this could complicate your situation from the start. The minimum required amount of insurance for all Florida drivers is $10,000 in personal injury protection, plus property damage liability.
For commercial vehicles and their drivers, Florida law expands the minimum insurance coverage requirements. Florida Statutes § 627.7415 stipulates that CDL drivers must at least carry “fifty thousand dollars per occurrence for a commercial motor vehicle… less than 35,000 pounds,” and at maximum “three hundred thousand dollars” for every vehicle 44,000 pounds or more.”
Often, businesses want to prevent taking on financial burdens of any potential accidents, so the actual coverage amount may be much higher.
Along with Florida’s nuanced insurance rules, you must remember that as a no-fault state, the first steps to seeking compensation for your recovery are with your personal injury protection insurance policy. But this does not prevent you from seeking additional compensation with the help of a Sarasota truck accident lawyer. This is especially true for cases where the other driver was liable for your injuries and losses in the accident.
If you have been in a truck accident in the Sarasota area and are interested in taking legal action to recover financial awards, give Ben Crump Law, PLLC, a call today. You can tell a member of our legal team about your situation, and we can speak with you about possible next steps.
For a free legal consultation with a truck accidents lawyer serving Sarasota, call (800) 630-9229
Legal Options for Truck Accidents
After any accidents involving commercial vehicles, drivers are required to report all resulting damages, according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. According to the same source, the time limit for reporting the accident is from within 60 days of when it happened. A lawyer can file all necessary documentation from the start, ensuring that your case has a strong foundation and a chance for success.
When pursuing a legal case for a truck accident, the goal is to help you recover the physical property lost, plus the cost of recovery for any bodily injuries. There might be an opportunity to seek additional compensation for nontangible injuries, but that will depend on your case’s unique circumstances. The outcome could depend on the timeliness and skill with which you construct a case for your losses. For many people, working with a lawyer is a beneficial route toward recovery.
Building a Case
A lawyer’s job is to build a case robust enough to hold up in court, even when chances of progressing to a courtroom are low. Sometimes insurance companies and liable parties will settle for a monetary award before adding to the accident’s cost with legal fees, courtroom costs, and more. A Sarasota truck accident lawyer can articulate your needs and fight to defend your rights when you suffer needlessly at the hands of negligent truck drivers.
There are many known risks of truck driving, which is just one reason most truck drivers require a CDL to operate large trucks on public roads. Common factors in accidents with large trucks include:
- Blind spots
- Trailer load limit and weight distribution
- Safe following distance
- Impaired, distracted, or drowsy driving
- Mechanical issues
- Large truck markings and required visibility materials
The factors above might not necessarily pertain to your case, but they might be under consideration when building your claim.
There are few limits to seeking compensation outside of insurance and criminal law cases. The most important part is helping to communicate to liable parties the damages you suffered and the total cost of your full recovery. Additionally, under comparative fault rules in Florida, there might be a limit on the amount of compensation you can claim or the percentage of damages paid out to you by the party that holds more liability in the accident.
Another important limitation to consider is the statute of limitations, which is the time you have from the initial accident to file and claim compensation for your injuries and losses. Again, this specific information can only be determined by a Sarasota truck accident lawyer who can guide you through the legal process and explain your options from start to finish.
Sarasota Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me (800) 630-9229
Getting Legal Advice from a Truck Accident Lawyer
When you get into an accident with a truck driver, do not let the sheer size of the case discourage you from getting the settlement you deserve. A Sarasota truck accident lawyer can play a vital role in your full and quick recovery.
You do not have to handle the massive aftermath of a truck accident alone. To pursue legal recourse in your situation, contact the team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, (800) 630-9229 to set up a free case evaluation.