Though there are safety precautions you can take to avoid semi-truck accidents, negligent and fatigued truck drivers can make it impossible to protect yourself from a collision. If you’ve been involved in an accident caused by a reckless truck operator, you could be suffering from painful injuries and facing mounting medical bills.
The aftermath of a truck crash can be challenging, but a Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyer from the Schiller Kessler Group can provide the aggressive representation you need to get maximum compensation and peace of mind. Reach out to an experienced and committed Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer today to find out if you’re eligible to file a truck accident claim.
Truck Accidents vs. Car Accidents
Trucking accidents are a different beast compared to regular car accidents, and it’s crucial to understand the unique challenges they pose.
Size and Weight
One of the key distinctions lies in the sheer size and weight of semi-trucks. While a normal passenger vehicle weighs an average of around 4,000 pounds, a fully loaded commercial vehicle can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. This significant weight difference means that the force and impact of a truck collision are exponentially greater, leading to more severe injuries and damages.
Regulations and Laws
Another factor that sets truck accidents apart is the complex web of federal regulations and laws that govern the commercial trucking industry. Truck drivers and trucking companies must adhere to specific rules regarding driver qualifications, hours of service, and vehicle maintenance.
Furthermore, the liability in truck accident cases can be more complicated. Multiple parties may be responsible, including the truck driver, the trucking company, maintenance providers, and even manufacturers, if a defective part contributed to the accident. Identifying the at-fault parties and holding them accountable can be a complex and challenging task.
Given these unique challenges, it’s clear that handling a truck accident case requires a skilled and experienced accident lawyer. Their knowledge of industry regulations, their ability to navigate complex liability issues, and their negotiating skills with insurance companies are essential in ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.
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What Causes Truck Accidents in Fort Lauderdale?
Truck accidents can occur due to a variety of factors, and understanding the common causes can help shed light on the dangers these accidents pose.
- Driver fatigue: Truck companies often force employees to work long hours and may push themselves to meet tight deadlines, leading to exhaustion and decreased concentration.
- Distracted driving: Truck drivers may be tempted to use their phones or engage in other distractions while on the road, diverting their attention from the task at hand.
- Cargo issues: When cargo is not properly secured, it can shift during transit, causing the truck to become unbalanced and potentially leading to a rollover or jackknife situation.
- Poor vehicle maintenance: When trucks are not properly maintained, brake failures, tire blowouts, or other mechanical issues can occur, increasing the risk of an accident.
These are just a few examples of the common causes of truck accidents. By understanding these causes, individuals involved in truck accidents can better assess liability and work with an experienced attorney to seek compensation for their catastrophic injuries and damages.
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How a Truck Accident Lawyer From Fort Lauderdale Can Help You
An attorney can provide a variety of services to help you recover from a truck accident. They’ll start by evaluating your situation and advising you on your best course of action. If they determine that filing an insurance claim or lawsuit is your best option, they’ll start collecting evidence of your truck crash.
Once your attorney has enough evidence to file a claim, they’ll do so and negotiate a settlement with the insurance provider. Insurance negotiations can be difficult, as adjusters are usually eager to deny claims and reduce their liability.
Fortunately, our attorneys have a great deal of negotiation experience and knowledge. They’ll cut through dishonest insurance company tactics and work hard to obtain the offer you deserve. That said, if insurers refuse to budge on an offer that isn’t large enough to make up for your losses, our Fort Lauderdale truck accident attorneys can take your case to court.
An Attorney Can Collect Evidence to Support Your Claim
A motor vehicle accident lawyer will need records, reports, and other forms of evidence to identify the party that caused your accident and hold them liable for your losses. They’ll gather the following pieces of evidence to make sure your claim is as strong as possible:
- The truck driver’s driving logs
- Information from the truck’s event data recorder
- The official police report
- Photos of the accident scene
- Traffic or dashboard camera footage of the collision
- Witness testimony
- Your medical records and bills
Once your lawyer has analyzed the evidence listed above, they’ll likely be able to determine who’s to blame for your collision.
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Identifying the Liable Party
There are a number of different individuals and entities that your lawyer could target with a lawsuit. They’ll use the evidence they collected to determine which of the following parties owes you financial compensation for your bills and losses:
The Truck Driver
Truck drivers must follow all of the same safety laws and rules of the roads that other drivers comply with. If the driver was speeding, driving recklessly, drunk driving, or breaking the law in another way, they might be held responsible for your monetary and non-monetary losses.
The Trucking Company
Trucking companies are required to train drivers properly and only hire truck operators with a commercial driver’s license. Companies are also prohibited from incentivizing drivers to violate Hours of Service Regulations.
If your attorney finds that the company pushed drivers to work dangerously long hours or hired an unlicensed driver, it can be held liable for your injuries and medical bills.
Another motorist can be held responsible if they swerved into the truck’s lane, causing it to collide with your vehicle. If another motorist is to blame, a truck accident attorney from Fort Lauderdale can file a claim with their insurer.
A Parts Manufacturer
Sometimes, truck drivers lose control of their vehicles due to defective brakes, steering wheel malfunctions, or other mechanical problems. If our team finds that a defective component caused your accident, they can take action against the manufacturer that made it.
A Maintenance Provider
Mechanical issues can also stem from a lack of proper truck maintenance. If your lawyer discovers that the company in charge of keeping the truck in good working order failed to perform a critical repair, they could file a claim against the maintenance company.
The Cargo Loaders
Commercial trucks that transport cargo must be loaded correctly because imbalances can cause the vehicle to tip over and cause an accident. Loose cargo can also become dislodged and fly into vehicles behind the truck. If you were injured in an accident caused by poorly balanced or unsecured cargo, an attorney can seek damages from the cargo loaders.
Common Trucking Accident Injuries
Due to the immense size and force of semi-trucks, the impact of a collision can be catastrophic. People in smaller cars involved in a truck accident are much more vulnerable and may experience injuries such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal organ damage, and severe burns. These injuries can require extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and long-term care.
Furthermore, truck accidents can also lead to emotional and psychological trauma. Victims may experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues as a result of the accident. The physical, emotional, and financial toll of these injuries can be overwhelming for victims and their families.
It is essential to work with an experienced lawyer who understands the full extent of the potential injuries and damages involved in these accidents. They will ensure that you receive the necessary medical care and treatment, as well as fight for the compensation you deserve to cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Your lawyer will be your advocate, working tirelessly to protect your rights and help you rebuild your life after a truck accident.
Damages a Truck Accident Lawyer Could Recover for You
When you work with the Fort Lauderdale truck accident attorneys from the Schiller Kessler Group, you can be confident that your attorney will seek the highest amount of compensation possible for your losses. Depending on the expenses, income losses, and suffering you’ve been burdened with, you could receive several or more of the following damages:
- Current medical expenses
- Cost of future medical treatment
- Cost of medication, assistive medical devices, and rehabilitative therapy
- Vehicle repair costs (property damage)
- Lost wages
- Decreased earning capacity
- Pain and suffering (mental anguish)
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment or quality of life
- Wrongful death
In cases where the at-fault party acted with extreme disregard for the safety of others, a jury may also award punitive damages. These damages can be used to punish the responsible party for their egregious and reckless behavior.
Don’t Delay Legal Action After a Truck Accident
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident in Fort Lauderdale, you’ll want to contact a lawyer ASAP. Delaying legal action could prevent you from meeting Florida’s filing deadline for personal injury lawsuits. According to the law, you have a two-year deadline to submit your suit, and the clock starts on the day of your collision.
Two years may seem like a long time to file a suit, but you never know how long it will take your attorney to properly investigate the accident and complete the other required steps. Hiring a lawyer soon can help you avoid missing the deadline.
How to Choose the Right Truck Accident Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, FL
When it comes to choosing a lawyer after a semi-truck accident, there are several important factors to consider. Here are some key tips to help you make the right decision and find the best attorney to handle your case.
Truck Accident Lawsuit Experience
Firstly, it’s crucial to look for a lawyer with experience in truck accident cases. Truck accidents have unique challenges and regulations, so you want an attorney who is familiar with these complexities. Look for a lawyer who has a proven track record of success in handling truck accident cases and who understands the specific laws and regulations that apply to the commercial trucking industry.
Reputation and Credibility
Another important consideration is the reputation and credibility of the lawyer. Look for reviews and testimonials from past clients to get an idea of their reputation in the industry. A good lawyer will have a strong reputation for professionalism, communication, and dedication to their clients.
Additionally, you want to find a lawyer who is responsive and attentive to your needs. Communication is key in any legal case, so it’s important to choose a lawyer who is readily available to answer your questions and provide updates on your case. During your initial consultation, pay attention to how well the lawyer listens to your concerns and how clearly they explain the legal process to you.
Resources and Support
Furthermore, consider the resources and support that the lawyer has access to. Truck accident cases can be complex, and you want a lawyer who has a strong network of experts, investigators, and other professionals who can assist in building a strong case on your behalf.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Truck Accident Attorney in Fort Lauderdale
No one should go uncompensated for injuries and losses sustained in an accident they didn’t cause. If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident, you have the right to pursue compensation and justice from the at-fault party, and the Schiller Kessler Group can help you do so.
Since 2004, our law firm has advocated on behalf of truck accident victims and secured a number of impressive case results along the way. To get the experienced representation you need to file a successful claim or lawsuit, contact a Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyer today.