It should come as no surprise to learn that truck accidents are some of the most deadly, devastating incidents occurring on the nation’s roadways, but a key statistic might shock you: According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Florida places third among all US states when it comes to fatal truck crashes. There are more than 300 collisions involving semis, 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, and other large commercial vehicles every year, and only Texas and California rank higher. Hundreds of thousands of victims also suffer serious bodily harm in the 102,000 total injury-causing truck accidents nationwide.
Fortunately, victims and their families have the authority to pursue the at-fault driver in a truck crash. As with any legal matter, there are multiple laws that apply and some of them are important to know. A Miami truck accident lawyer will address the details, but take note of the following issues that impact your claim.
Florida Fault Laws
Unlike other US states that follow at-fault rules, Florida goes by the law of no-fault for vehicle crashes. In most cases, you would file a claim with your own auto insurance company and you do not need to prove that the other driver was responsible for causing the accident. However, you are limited to recovering a portion of your losses unless you suffered serious bodily injury. If you were hurt badly, which is likely in a truck accident case, you can pursue compensation by filing a claim with the operator’s insurer.
Negligence Laws on Liability
When you sustained serious injuries or loss of bodily function, you WILL need to prove fault to the truck driver’s insurance company. In order to establish your right to monetary damages, you will need evidence showing that the truck collision was the direct result of the operator’s failure to drive safely. Examples of negligence include:
- Driving while drunk or distracted;
- Running red lights; and,
- Erratic lane changes and turns.
Statute of Limitations
Every US state imposes a deadline for initiating litigation in a truck collision case, and Florida’s statute of limitations is four years. The date of the accident starts the clock. If you do not file a lawsuit in court before the statute of limitations expires, you cannot recover any compensation for your losses.
Florida law also takes into account any negligence by the victim in a truck crash claim. Your own careless acts behind the wheel, such as the examples mentioned above, could lead to reduction of your monetary damages. Comparative fault principles work according to the percentage of fault attributable to the victim.
Call Now to Speak With Our Miami Truck Accident Attorneys
These laws may impact your rights after a truck crash, which is why having experienced legal counsel on your side is critical. The Gerson & Schwartz, PA team has the knowledge and skills to tackle the challenges, so please contact our firm to schedule a free consultation. We can meet with you at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL.