Any motor vehicle accident can be terrifying, painful, and even fatal. Still, a collision between a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle can be extremely dangerous even at speeds that would constitute a “fender bender” between like-sized vehicles. This is simply due to the fact that there is an enormous difference between a tractor-trailer and a passenger vehicle. Anyone who has driven next to a commercial truck can understand this risk simply based on this experience, but the reality is an accident can have lifelong impacts on a victim.
Fortunately, truck drivers are held to stricter rules and regulations than passenger vehicle operators, starting with the requirement to have a Commercial Drivers’ License, as well as a range of additional certifications depending on the nature of the cargo and the specific type of commercial trucks they operate. However, no amount of licensing will guarantee that a driver will never cause an accident, which is why it is so important that victims of Fort Lauderdale truck accidents partner with experienced personal injury attorneys as soon as possible.
Contact 1-800-Injured For a Free Consultation With a Truck Accident Lawyer
1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service. In the days and weeks after a serious accident, trying to add complications to an already-stressful situation can feel impossible, which is why many people choose to file a claim on their own. 1-800-Injured can connect you with a law firm for a free consultation with experienced personal injury lawyers, where you can speak with a legal professional about your unique situation and learn more about how they can help you get fair compensation for your suffering.
Once you are partnered with a lawyer, you can focus on recovering from your serious injuries while they fight for a fair settlement.
You Do Not Need To Do This Alone
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a tractor-trailer or semi-truck, you’re entitled to recover damages, but you may not realize how difficult this process can be without the assistance of a diligent truck accident attorney. You might assume that your expenses are covered between your car insurance policy and your medical insurance, but that’s not always the case. And even when your damages are covered, you may be facing a number of immediate challenges, such as paying insurance deductibles, getting your car back from the tow yard before you accrue storage costly storage fees, identifying witnesses to your car accident, collecting medical records, gathering information on doctors and rescue workers — the list goes on. Part of a Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyer’s job is to coordinate and execute many of these tasks on your behalf. Without an attorney in your corner, you may find it very difficult to recover compensation from a hospital bed or even from your home while you recover from your injuries.
Read more below about some of the specifics of truck accidents, and contact us now to schedule a free consultation with a truck accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale.
Why Is a Truck Accident More Complicated Than Other Types of Accidents?
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a Fort Lauderdale truck accident, you may already be aware of some of the many complexities of your situation. Many of these complexities stem from the fact that commercial trucks pose a greater risk of catastrophic injuries, as well as the fact that they are carrying valuable cargo — either humans or freight — in complicated commercial trucks. In addition, the truck driver may not be explicitly liable for the crash: the trucking company may have played a role in the crash for a number of reasons.
A truck driver may work for themselves, or they may be employed by a trucking company. Depending on their situation, they may own their semi-truck or may operate a vehicle owned by the trucking company, meaning that the driver or the trucking company may be responsible for things like vehicle maintenance and more. Additionally, the driver may not have anything to do with the cargo they are carrying: there is likely a warehouse team that loaded the trailer, and in the event that an imbalance load caused the crash, the freight company (not the driver or their trucking company) may be liable for the crash. Fortunately, Fort Lauderdale truck accident attorneys are experienced with determining the at-fault party before proceeding with the rest of the injury claim.
More Data To Analyze
Truckers are required to keep meticulous records of their travels, truck maintenance history, and more. All of this information can help with accident reconstruction and determining fault but often requires an experienced truck accident attorney to interpret all of this information. Trucking companies often install cameras that monitor the outside of the truck as well as the cockpit, which can shed light on what the truck driver was doing in the lead-up to the crash. It is also common for a semi-truck to have a “black box” installed, otherwise known as an Electronic Control Unit, which tracks valuable information such as the speed of the vehicle, braking patterns, and more. One of the many important skills that a Fort Lauderdale truck accident attorney brings to your claim is the ability to interpret all of this data in order to understand what went wrong.
Higher Policy Limits
Truck drivers are required to carry much higher insurance limits to cover the additional risk. While a higher policy limit is good news for someone who is trying to recover the compensation they deserve from an insurance claim, the reality is still the same: insurance companies focus on settling claims for as little as possible in the interest of profitability after truck accidents. Whether or not you have suffered injuries that will impact you for the rest of your life, whether or not your pain and suffering has had a measurable impact on your quality of life, the insurance adjuster will be focusing on saving money for their employer throughout the investigation of your claim. Your attorney will go through the many details of your accident in order to calculate things like your lost wages, medical bills, and many other damages such as your pain and suffering to ensure you are fairly compensated.
Higher Risk of Catastrophic Injuries
A catastrophic injury is one that limits a victim’s ability to pursue meaningful employment for the rest of their lives, meaning that there are lasting economic impacts on not only the victim but their family and dependents. Fort Lauderdale, FL injury lawyers understand the additional complications when it comes to calculating these long-term needs for compensation after an accident involving a large truck, but it is important to ensure that all of these long-term damages are clearly laid out before reaching any sort of final settlement agreement. Personal injury accident victims face a complicated recovery period and should not be responsible for any financial impacts caused by a negligent or reckless truck driver.
Calculating Damages For Fort Lauderdale Truck Accidents
There is a wide range of impacts that Broward County accident victims endure following truck accidents, and a proven law firm of truck accident lawyers can help victims recover fair compensation for these many damages they have suffered. When you file a claim with an insurance company in Fort Lauderdale, the claims adjuster assigned to your case will be working on behalf of the insurance provider in order to reach a quick settlement for as little as possible, meaning that it is up to you to hire Fort Lauderdale truck accident attorneys who can counter this goal and ensure that you get fair compensation after an accident with a large truck. Insurance companies commonly focus on the most obvious damages, such as lost wages and medical bills, but tend to avoid the many other damages allowed to a victim under personal injury law.
Your Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyer has the experience you need to identify these damages and then negotiation aggressively to reach a fair settlement.
Personal injury damages after truck accidents are broken into two distinct categories: economic damages and non-economic damages. Typically, truck accident lawyers will work to reach an out-of-court settlement, but if they are unable to reach a fair agreement, the next step will be to file a claim in the Florida courts.
Economic Damages After a Fort Lauderdale Truck Accident
Economic damages are the basis of a personal injury claim, and they account for the financially-measurable damages a victim suffers. They include lost wages, medical bills, and in the case of wrongful death, extend beyond the immediate damages to include the loss of financial support that the deceased would have provided in the future. These are just a few of the many damages that truck accident lawyers are skilled at identifying, quantifying, and negotiating for a settlement agreement.
Other economic damages include things like services that a victim may need to pay for while they recover, such as grocery shopping, transportation, or house cleaning. These are just a few examples of the many damages that truck accident attorneys will track down because the more detailed your claim is, the easier it is to prove the money you rightfully deserve after your Fort Lauderdale truck accident. Lawyers in Broward County know, though, that simply calculating these damages is only the first step. They will need to negotiate aggressively to reach a compensation agreement on your behalf.
In the event that the Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyer is filing a claim for wrongful death, additional costs such as end-of-life care, burial costs, and long-term contributions, including retirement accounts, 401k contributions, and much more.
Non-Economic Damages After a Fort Lauderdale Truck Accident
Non-economic damages are much more complicated than economic damages because they seek financial compensation for impacts that have no set market value or simple way to measure. They include things like the pain and suffering of your serious injuries, the trauma one endures in accidents with large trucks, and more. As you can imagine, assigning a dollar value to something like PTSD from a Fort Lauderdale truck accident requires a bit more calculation than simply submitting an invoice or receipt, but truck accident attorneys have a range of tools at their disposal for this situation.
An experienced Fort Lauderdale truck accident attorney has a range of tools at their disposal to both quantify and calculate these types of damages and will be able to use these tools to seek the maximum compensation owed to you following your crash. Once calculated, non-economic damages require much more aggressive negotiation than economic damages because of their abstract nature, as this is an area where the insurance company or legal team representing the trucking company can hope to reduce their financial obligation. Insurance companies understand the risks associated with commercial trucks and have a playbook of methods to save as much money as possible. Your lawyer will be able to push back.
Trucks play an important role in transporting freight across the USA. Fortunately, most truck drivers take all of the necessary precautions to avoid a collision. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Source: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/safety/data-and-statistics/81121/2017-pocket-guide-large-truck-and-bus-statistics-final-508c-0001.pdf