Every year, countless lives are disrupted due to the devastating impact of 18 wheeler accidents in Orlando. A skilled and aggressive Orlando 18 wheeler accident lawyer at our office can guide victims through these challenging times and help them seek justice.
The aftermath of a truck accident often leaves victims with severe injuries, costly medical bills, lost wages, and immense pain and suffering. However, if the accident was caused by negligence or reckless driving behaviors from the truck driver or trucking company involved, you have rights, and you may be able to seek compensation through a personal injury claim.
An Orlando 18 wheeler accident lawyer at our office can help because we understand Florida's complex traffic laws and how they apply to your case. We can help identify all the potentially liable parties, gather evidence to establish liability, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf - all while ensuring that you receive fair compensation for your losses.
If you've been injured in an 18 wheeler-related incident due to someone else’s negligence, don't delay in pursuing a claim. Valuable evidence, like black box data, dash cam footage, and other information can be lost over time. Additionally, the statute of limitations for 18 wheeler accident cases in Florida is 2 years; thus, if you wait to pursue a claim, you may lose the right to seek damages.
The Devastating Impact of Truck Accidents in Orlando
Truck accidents in Orlando, Florida often cause severe injuries due to the significant difference in size and weight between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles. Common injuries resulting from 18-wheeler accidents include traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, fractures, and even fatalities.
In addition to the physical harm endured by victims following accidents caused by negligence on Orlando highways and Florida roads, there is also a substantial financial burden associated with medical treatment costs for catastrophic injuries resulting from crashes involving motor vehicles like 18-wheelers.
Negligent driving behaviors by truck drivers are a major cause of these devastating outcomes. Data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration indicates that speeding or distracted driving significantly contribute to such incidents.
Distracted Driving: A Leading Cause of Truck Accidents
In many instances, distracted driving is found to be a major contributing factor in 18 wheeler accidents in Florida. This includes activities diverting attention away from safe vehicle operation, which could be anything ranging from texting, looking at videos, or fiddling with onboard navigation systems while driving. Data provided by the Florida Department Of Transportation (FDOT) clearly highlights how distracted driving is a leading reason for 18 wheeler accidents.
The Consequences of Impaired Driving
Impaired driving, whether due to alcohol, drugs, or fatigue, is another significant factor leading to 18 wheeler accidents in Orlando, Florida. Operating such large vehicles requires a heightened level of alertness and physical control, and any impairment can severely compromise a driver's ability to safely control the truck.
As a result, even a slight impairment can result in devastating accidents, often leading to severe injuries or even loss of life. It is incumbent upon all drivers, especially those operating large commercial vehicles, to ensure they are in a fit state to drive and adhere to all road safety regulations to prevent such tragedies.
If you have been a victim of an 18-wheeler accident caused by impaired or negligent driving, contacting an experienced Orlando 18 wheeler accident lawyer should be your first step. Your attorney can guide you on how to pursue a personal injury claim and fight for the compensation you deserve. Remember, seeking legal advice is crucial in navigating the complex aftermath of such incidents.
The Role of Florida Laws in 18 Wheeler Accident Claims
When it comes to truck accident claims, the laws within the state of Florida are unique. In Florida, a "no-fault" system applies to truck accident and car accident claims, which requires individuals involved in the incident to seek compensation from their respective insurance companies regardless of who is at fault.
This rule is primarily governed by Personal Injury Protection (PIP), as per Florida Statute § 627.736. It mandates that every motorist carry a minimum of $10,000 PIP coverage, typically covering up to 80% of medical bills and 60% of lost wages after an accident.
Although this $10,000 PIP coverage can provide enough coverage for many car accidents, 18 wheeler accidents often involve serious injuries that require more extensive medical treatment. Accordingly, victims of 18 wheeler accidents will often need to pursue a claim against the 18 wheeler driver's insurance policy to cover their medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. The good news is that commercial vehicle policies are typically significantly larger than the average motorist's insurance policy, and thus a victim of an 18 wheeler accident may have access to a substantial insurance policy.
Meeting the "Permanent Injury" Threshold
In certain circumstances where injuries sustained from a trucking incident are severe or permanent, victims may step outside the no-fault framework and file a lawsuit against the negligent driver directly. However, they must meet what's known as the 'permanent injury threshold'.
A "permanent injury" refers specifically to a significant loss of important bodily functions; permanent injuries within reasonable degrees of medical probability other than scarring, disfigurement; significant permanent scarring, disfigurement, death, etc. If your damages align with these criteria, you could be entitled to additional compensation such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience, physical impairment, disability beyond what your PIP coverage can provide.
Again, as we talked about above, victims of 18 wheeler accidents often suffer much more severe injuries than if their collision involved another motor vehicle. That's because 18 wheelers are much larger than the average vehicle, and thus the impact from an 18 wheeler often causes devastating damage.
Comparative Fault in Florida
Beyond understanding how no-fault rules work in Orlando, it's also essential to grasp the comparative fault principle. Florida is a modified comparative negligence state, which means that a victim cannot recover damages if the victim is more than half (50%) at fault. If the victim is at fault but less than 50% at fault, then any damages awarded are reduced proportionately according to the victim's percentage of fault.
For example, if the court finds the victim partially responsible, causing say about 20% of the total award, it will reduce the victim's recovery by 20%. Insurance companies often use this to deny claims or minimize claims by alleging that the victim was at least partially responsible for the 18 wheeler accident.
Thus, understanding and applying these complex legal concepts is crucial to a successful claim process. This is where an experienced Orlando 18 wheeler accident lawyer can help guide you through the nuances and intricacies associated with personal injury claims.
Unraveling the Complexity of Liability in Truck Accidents
In truck accident cases, proving liability is often a convoluted process. It's not just a matter of assigning fault to the at-fault trucker in the collision. In fact, under Florida law and federal motor carrier safety administration regulations, other parties such as trucking companies or companies responsible for loading cargo could also be held accountable.
To establish that negligence caused an accident requires diligent collection of evidence from various sources including Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which maintains comprehensive records for all registered commercial vehicles operating interstate.
Determining Negligent Driver's Record
One of the first steps your Orlando 18 wheeler accident lawyer will take towards establishing liability involves scrutinizing whether the truck driver has a history of reckless driving or trucking accidents. This includes examining their driving history, hours logged before the collision, potential substance abuse issues, and compliance with federal highway safety regulations.
If impaired driving was involved - perhaps due to alcohol or drug use - police reports or toxicology results can serve as crucial proof against this negligent party. Additionally, drunk or impaired driving may be a basis for pursuing punitive damages.
Evaluating the Role of the Trucking Company in the 18 Wheeler Accident
Beyond investigating individual drivers' actions leading up to these catastrophic incidents, our Orlando 18 wheeler accident lawyers will evaluate the possible wrongdoings by the trucking company that hired the truck driver involved in the accident. These entities are responsible for ensuring its drivers strictly adhere to FMCSA standards.
For example, if we discover that the trucking company knowingly hired an unqualified driver with a history of crashes or road traffic violations (and we often do), then the trucking company could potentially face legal repercussions, in addition to its employees.
Gathering Evidence: A Critical Step Towards Proving Liability in an 18 Wheeler Accident Case
Thoroughly collecting pertinent data is crucial when establishing liability in personal injury cases stemming from 18 wheeler accidents in Orlando. Essential evidence can encompass photographs capturing vehicle damage and road conditions at the scene, witness testimonies outlining the events leading to the collision, black box data, and any available dash cam footage, among other things.
This information serves as instrumental in building a case and demonstrating that the negligent driver or trucking company acted recklessly or carelessly and is therefore liable for damages caused by the accident. In order to protect your rights as a plaintiff in these scenarios, it is best to secure legal counsel from an experienced Orlando 18 wheeler accident lawyer who can help you navigate this complex process.
Compensation for Victims of 18 Wheeler Accidents in Orlando
In the aftermath of a truck accident, victims often face substantial financial strain due to medical bills and lost wages. It's essential to be aware of your rights and the kinds of damages that may be available under Florida law.
The first category is economic damages, which include tangible losses such as medical costs from treating injuries caused by negligent truck drivers or future care if long-term treatment or rehabilitation is needed. Compensation can also be sought for loss of earnings if an injury results in permanent disability affecting earning capacity.
Non-economic damages may also be available, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress. This kind of compensation seeks to provide the plaintiff with adequate recovery for losses that are not easily quantifiable.
The ultimate goal should be to secure maximum financial compensation for your injuries and losses, but pursuing a personal injury claim is rarely a straightforward process. Legal counsel from an experienced Orlando 18 wheeler accident lawyer can help victims navigate this complex landscape and achieve the best possible outcome.
Filing Wrongful Death Claims After Losing a Loved One
Sometimes, 18 wheeler accidents in Orlando result in fatalities, leaving families devastated and financially burdened. When such tragedies occur due to negligence, wrongful death claims can be filed.
A wrongful death claim seeks to provide the surviving family members with compensation for their loss. It can cover various damages including lost financial support, loss of companionship, emotional pain, suffering, and funeral expenses.
Such claims are enforced under Florida's Wrongful Death Act. However, the process is often complex, and each case can vary based on the circumstances surrounding the accident. Legal assistance from a dedicated Orlando 18 wheeler accident lawyer is crucial to guide you through this process, helping you understand your rights, gather the requisite evidence, and represent your interests to ensure you and your family receive the compensation you deserve for your loss.
Why You Need an Orlando 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyer
After an 18 wheeler accident, victims are often left feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about how to proceed. This is where an experienced Orlando 18 wheeler accident lawyer comes into play.
The Role of an Attorney in Your Claim Process
An Orlando 18 wheeler accident lawyer plays a significant role in your claim process. They provide much-needed support, offering a systematic approach to handling every aspect of your case. A proficient attorney will thoroughly investigate the accident, gather vital evidence, and establish the guilty party's negligence or reckless behavior.
Equally important is an attorney's ability to accurately evaluate your damages, taking into account future medical costs and loss of earning capacity. In addition, a lawyer offers skilled representation in settlement negotiations and, if necessary, in court proceedings. The expertise of an Orlando 18 wheeler accident lawyer is invaluable, helping victims secure fair compensation and making the legal process less daunting.
The Cost of Legal Representation After an Orlando 18 Wheeler Accident
Our firm operates on a contingency fee basis, which means you don't pay us anything unless we get you a recovery, whether that is through a settlement, verdict, or negotiations. Thus, representation is free unless we win. This contingency fee structure allows people the opportunity to seek justice without the risk of losing money because we take all the risk on your case.
Time is of the Essence in an 18 Wheeler Accident Claim
If you've been a victim in an Orlando 18 wheeler accident, it's imperative to understand that Florida law sets strict deadlines for filing personal injury or wrongful death claims. Specifically, Florida law provides that victims have two years from the date of the incident to file their lawsuit. This may seem like plenty of time, but considering all the critical evidence that can be lost soon after an accident, it's critical for folks to pursue a claim as soon as possible.
Your attorney needs to investigate the truck driver records, black box data, dash cam footage, and possibly hire a crash investigation team to examine the scene of the accident to be sure the offending parties are held liable for the damage they caused. The negligent driver and the truck company will have a team to defend the claim, and that team will get involved quickly. Thus, you should reach out to a team of Orlando truck accident lawyers as soon as possible after your truck accident to be sure your rights are protected.
FAQs in Relation to Orlando 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyer
Q1: How much do truck accident attorneys charge for an 18 wheeler accident case in Florida?
A1: In Florida, most truck accident attorneys take personal injury and wrongful death cases on contingency, typically charging one-third (33.33%) to 40% of the settlement or award, depending on whether the case settles before a lawsuit is filed.
Q2: What is the statute of limitations on an 18 wheeler accident in Florida?
A2: The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit after an 18 wheeler accident in Florida is two years from the date of the incident. You should contact an Orlando truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after an accident to preserve and gather relevant evidence and to be sure your claim is filed within the statute of limitations. When you hire a truck accident lawyer at our firm, we get right to work on your case, making sure letters of preservation are sent out as soon as possible to ensure valuable evidence isn't lost or destroyed.
Q3: What is the average settlement for an 18 wheeler accident in Florida?
A3: Average settlements vary widely based on specifics. However, cases involving trucking accidents often involve substantial insurance policies and severe injuries which typically extend beyond the average car accident. Thus, these personal injury claims involving Orlando truck accidents can range from thousands of dollars to millions of dollars, depending on the severity of injuries, the egregiousness of the defendants' behavior, and the insurance coverage available, among other factors. Typically, an accident caused by a negligent truck driver that causes catastrophic injuries, spinal cord injuries, or fatal injuries, will bring substantial value, and a truck accident lawyer at our firm can help you pursue the damages you're entitled to under Florida law.
Q4: Do I need an Orlando 18 wheeler accident lawyer?
A4: Serious accidents involving commercial vehicles often involve complex laws and regulations. The insurance company will have a team assembled, and their job will be to minimize your claim and pay you as little as possible. Thus, to have the best chance of a successful outcome, you should consider hiring an Orlando 18 wheeler accident lawyer to help show the insurance company that negligence caused your truck accident injuries.