Fort Lauderdale
Truck Accident Attorney

truck on highway

A truck’s enormous weight makes it particularly dangerous in the event of a collision, as it can impart enough force to cause severe injuries to whoever it hits. These accidents often leave victims with life-altering injuries requiring tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical treatments. They may struggle to keep up with mounting medical bills, pay for necessary vehicle repairs, or make ends meet while recovering.

If you were hurt in a truck accident in Fort Lauderdale, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other losses. The dedicated injury lawyers at Phillips | Tadros, P.A., can provide the legal assistance you need as you pursue it.

Our attorneys have nearly 40 years of combined experience successfully handling injury cases throughout Florida. We provide personalized, strategic representation to every client and take a thoughtful approach to every case.

Contact our office today to speak to a Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyer during a free consultation and find out what we can do for you.

Do You Have a Truck Accident Claim?

Florida follows a no-fault auto insurance model, meaning all motorists must carry no-fault insurance called personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. After a car accident, a motorist will rely on their PIP insurance to cover the costs of medical expenses and other financial losses related to the crash.

As the name suggests, no-fault insurance pays out no matter who is at fault. If you carry auto insurance in Florida and are involved in a truck accident, you should be able to file a no-fault insurance claim.

However, Florida requires motorists to carry only $10,000 in PIP insurance and has no minimum requirement for no-fault property damage insurance. The total cost of the medical expenses, lost wages, vehicle repairs, and other losses you incur due to a truck accident can quickly exceed the limits of your PIP policy. And if that happens, you may need to seek additional compensation from another source.

Florida motorists can only “step outside” the statewide no-fault system and directly file an insurance claim or a lawsuit against the at-fault driver when their injuries are deemed “serious” under state law. Specifically, they must have suffered a permanent injury or an injury that results in significant and permanent loss of bodily function, scarring, or disfigurement.

If you qualify to step outside of Florida’s no-fault system, you may be able to file a third-party insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit against the truck driver. By doing so, you can pursue compensation for non-economic losses not covered by PIP insurance, including emotional trauma, pain, and suffering. An experienced truck accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale can help determine whether you qualify to file a third-party claim or lawsuit.

Benefits of Hiring a Fort Lauderdale Truck Accident Attorney for Your Truck Accident Claim

When you hire the dedicated truck accident law firm of Phillips | Tadros, P.A., you can depend on us to help you with your truck accident claim by:

  • Explaining your rights and evaluating the potential value of your claim.
  • Identifying all possible sources of compensation for your crash injuries.
  • Investigating the cause of the truck accident.
  • Communicating with trucking companies, insurers, and other parties on your behalf.
  • Obtaining medical records, accident reports, and other evidence for your claim.
  • Interviewing eyewitnesses and medical experts for valuable testimony.
  • Managing essential case documents, details, and deadlines on your behalf.
  • Filing claim paperwork and negotiating aggressively to maximize your settlement.
  • Taking your truck accident case to court and representing you at trial, if necessary.

What Compensation Can Be Recovered in a Fort Lauderdale Truck Accident Case?

When you file a claim with your PIP insurance provider after a truck accident, you are typically entitled to compensation for:

  • Up to 80 percent of the cost of any reasonable medical expenses you incur for your truck accident injuries
  • Up to 60 percent of any wage losses you incur from missed time at work
  • Up to $5,000 in death benefits, if your loved one dies in a truck accident

With a successful third-party injury claim or lawsuit, on the other hand, you could be entitled to a broader range and more significant amounts of compensation, including financial relief for:

  • The total value of any medical expenses you incur to treat your accident-related injuries
  • The value of incidental expenses, such as mileage costs for medical travel
  • The full value of any lost wages you incur from missed time at work while healing from your injuries
  • The projected value of losses in earning potential, if you suffer permanent injuries
  • Subjective losses, such as injury-related pain, suffering, and lost quality of life

Why Truck Accidents Are More Complicated Than Other Motor Vehicle Crashes

Truck accidents tend to be significantly more complicated than most other types of crashes for several reasons, such as:

The Severity of the Collision

A fully loaded commercial truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, so passenger vehicle occupants bear the brunt of the impact in truck-on-car accidents. As a result, truck accident victims often suffer life-changing injuries and incur extensive property damage.

The Higher Value of Injury Claims

The catastrophic damage and injuries that often result from a truck accident can cost thousands of dollars. This means many truck accident injury claims have a high value, making them more contentious and challenging to resolve. The liable party may try to deny or undervalue a high-value claim.

The Number of Parties Involved

In a typical car accident involving just passenger vehicles, only motorists and other road users are affected. In a truck accident, however, multiple parties might be involved in addition to the drivers, including trucking companies, shipping companies, cargo loading teams, and truck parts manufacturers.

Common Types and Causes of Truck Crashes in Florida

Truck accidents can inflict life-altering injuries on victims because trucks are so large and heavy. Even seemingly minor truck crashes involving an 18-wheeler, a semi-truck, a big rig, or a commercial truck can be devastating. Common types of truck accidents that we see in the cases we handle include:

  • Head-on truck accidents
  • Sideswipe truck wrecks
  • T-bone truck accidents
  • Read-end truck accidents
  • Single-vehicle truck wrecks
  • Multi-car truck accidents
  • Cargo spill truck accidents
  • Jackknife truck accidents
  • Rollover truck accidents
  • Override truck collisions
  • Underride truck collisions

Truck accidents can occur for various reasons, but the most common causes of truck crashes that we see include:

  • Truck driver distraction
  • Truck driver impairment
  • Driving too fast for conditions
  • Following too closely for conditions
  • Failure to check blind spots
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way
  • Running red lights or stop signs
  • Improper turning or merging
  • Truck driver inexperience
  • Cargo shifts and spills
  • Defective truck components
  • Poorly maintained truck parts
  • Poor road conditions

Who Could Be Liable for a Truck Accident?

Depending on the circumstances, any of the following parties may be partly or fully liable for a truck accident:

  • The truck driver, if their actions or behaviors led to the crash.
  • Another road user, if their wrongful behavior somehow contributed to the truck accident.
  • The trucking company, if it engaged in improper driver screening, hiring, training, or communication practices.
  • A cargo loading team, if unbalanced, unsecured, or overloaded cargo caused a cargo spill accident.
  • A truck or truck parts manufacturer, if poor manufacturing standards contributed to a mechanical failure.
  • A local government agency, if poor road conditions due to inadequate maintenance or repair contributed to the crash.

How Is Fault Determined for a Truck Accident in Fort Lauderdale?

When insurance adjusters, lawyers, and other investigators look into truck accidents, they often rely on the following types of evidence to determine fault:

  • Photos of the crash scene, vehicle damage, and visible injuries
  • Video footage from traffic cameras and dash-mounted cameras
  • Statements from eyewitnesses who saw the truck accident occur
  • Data from “black box” devices, which record useful crash information
  • Hours-of-service (HOS) logs and data from electronic logging devices (ELDs)
  • Truck driver cell phone records, GPS data, and professional history
  • Documentation of the truck’s prior inspections, maintenance, and repairs
  • Cargo loading manifests, bills of lading, and other cargo information
  • Trucking company screening, hiring, training, and dispatch records

Florida follows a pure comparative negligence rule when determining fault in car accidents. This means a plaintiff can seek compensation through a personal injury claim even if they are partly to blame for the accident. However, under Florida Statutes § 768.81, the amount of compensation a plaintiff can recover will be reduced according to their percentage of fault.

Statute of Limitations on Truck Accident Lawsuits in Florida

Under Florida law, you have just four years from the date of a truck accident to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. In addition, if you lose a loved one to a fatal truck accident, you and your surviving family may pursue a wrongful death claim. If you attempt to sue after the four-year deadline, the court will likely dismiss your case, and you will lose your right to pursue compensation in civil court.

A Fort Lauderdale truck accident attorney can help you keep track of deadlines and file suit on time.