Miami, FL Truck Accident Attorney
Accidents involving commercial trucks can present a significant financial burden to the victims and their loved ones. Since the injuries incurred in a truck accident are extensive, victims often face long recoveries and the associated costs. If you or someone you love suffered harm in a truck accident and you believe someone else is responsible, contact our Miami truck accident attorneys today to schedule a free case evaluation. We help families in Miami-Dade County and throughout Florida seek fair compensation for their injuries, pain, and suffering.
Our Miami truck accident lawyers carry a small caseload so they can give personal attention to each client’s case from start to finish. Personal injury and wrongful death cases are all we represent. This means we have a more focused, intimate knowledge of these laws to give you an optimal path to maximum compensation. We win difficult cases that many other law firms won’t take. That includes multimillion-dollar settlements for clients rejected by multiple law firms.
The Severity of Commercial Truck Accidents
Accidents involving commercial trucks have unique concerns. Truck accidents tend to make up a relatively smaller portion of all crashes on Miami’s roadways, but the results are more extreme. Truck accidents are more likely to be fatal, according to a report released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Those who survive truck crashes are more likely to incur severe or permanently disabling injuries.
Did you know that the FMCSA allows large commercial trucks to weigh as much as 80,000 pounds when fully loaded? The average passenger vehicle weighs just 4,000 pounds. When you consider the weight difference, it is easy to see why these crashes are often so devastating.
Truck accident claims usually involve higher damage amounts because the injuries sustained by crash victims are extensive than in a Miami car crash. Generally, a victim is entitled to damages to compensate for health care and lost wages, but also intangible losses such as physical pain, suffering, and loss in life quality. Our Miami truck accident lawyers can help families get full and fair compensation for these injuries and immaterial losses.
How often do truck accidents occur?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration tells us that, during the latest reporting year, there were thousands of accidents involving large commercial trucks in the United States. Out of these incidents, we know that there were:
- 4,761 total fatalities
- Approximately 148,000 injuries
Florida is a very busy place, and our economy depends on these large trucks. Millions of these trucks move through the state each year.
Common truck accident injuries
Due to the weight and size of commercial trucks, the injuries caused by crashes tend to be much more severe than crashes involving only passenger vehicles. At the Flanagan Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Law Firm, P.A., it is not uncommon for us to see the following injuries in the aftermath of a truck crash:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Bone fractures or dislocations
- Significant disfigurement
- Loss of or damage to a bodily organ
- Dismemberment or amputation
- Other injuries that inhibit a person’s daily activities
We want to take a moment to mention that many large trucks carry hazardous and toxic materials. When a crash involved one of these trucks, the situation becomes much more dangerous. Not only are the people involved in the crash at risk of more serious injuries, but the people who live around the crash could be in danger.
All of these injuries require immediate medical attention. In many cases, truck accident victims need extensive physical therapy, rehabilitation, or surgery to make a full recovery. In the worst cases, a truck crash victim may be disabled due to their injuries.
What are the most common causes of truck accidents?
When discussing truck accidents, it is not uncommon for us to see them caused by a negligent driver or careless truck companies and operators.
Negligent and careless drivers are a danger on the roadway. Drivers must all be properly trained for each vehicle they operate and should follow all state laws and all FMCSA regulations. This includes not carrying more weight than they are allowed to carry and operating only the appropriate amount of hours each day and week. Under no circumstances should a truck driver operate while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They should also never be distracted by their phones or other devices.
Truck companies and operators have a duty to regularly inspect and maintain their vehicles. Because these trucks are so large, a malfunction to any part of the vehicle could lead to disaster on the roadways. We commonly see truck crashes caused due to mechanical failures of the powertrain, wheels/tires, steering, brakes, suspension, lighting, and more. Trucking companies could be held liable if they fail to maintain their vehicles.
Liability in Truck Crash Cases
The trucking industry faces regulation from both state and federal law. As such, liability in a trucking accident may require the assistance of our Miami truck accident attorney. Data from the FMCSA suggest the majority of truck crashes arise from driver error, but any number of parties may share liability for a trucking accident. These include:
The company that employs the driver
Trucking companies may be liable for damages incurred in an accident as a result of negligent hiring. Some trucking companies try to escape this responsibility by hiring their truckers as independent contractors, but they’re actually employees in the eyes of the law.
The manufacturer of the truck or its component parts
Accidents that result as a malfunction of the vehicle may indicate grounds for a product liability claim.
A municipal entity
When a trucking accident occurs from negligently maintained roadways, the entity responsible for upkeep may be liable for any injuries that result.
What are the most common types of truck accidents?
There are various types of accidents that occur in large truck crashes. They include:
If a large truck brakes too hard or hits wet/icy spots on the road, the front of the truck and the trailer will end up going different speeds. This often leads to the trailer skidding outward to the side, making a 90-degree angle with the cab of the truck.
Trucks rollovers can be devastating and often happen when the vehicle is moving at high rates of speed and the driver loses control. These incidents often lead to the truck entering oncoming traffic.
You have probably seen truck tires on the side of the road. These tires weigh a lot and they can cause serious problems when they strike a passenger vehicle. A tire blowout can also cause the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle.
These turns are also known as “swinging turns” and happen when the drivers “swings” the truck left in order to make their right turn easier. When they swing the truck, they run the risk of striking vehicles on their left side.
Large trucks have blind spots on all four sides of the vehicle, but these blind spots are particularly pronounced along the sides. If you cannot see the driver’s reflection in their mirrors, they cannot see you.
Due to their weight, it takes trucks much longer to slow down. If traffic slows unexpectedly or there is an accident in front of them, truck drivers could rear-end the vehicles in front of them.
These collisions usually happen when the truck driver or a passenger vehicle driver are driving on the wrong side of the roadway.
You will typically see T-bone collisions with a large truck if the truck driver runs a red or yellow light.
These collisions happen when a vehicle slides under the side or rear of a truck. Typically, the top of a passenger vehicle is significantly damaged or sheared off.
Any truck crash involving hazardous or toxic materials is a danger to those in the immediate crash zone and beyond, depending on the material being transported.
Why Do You Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?
Many people think they can handle accident claims on their own. Insurance claims seem easy enough to navigate, and Florida’s no-fault system theoretically means victims should receive fair and speedy compensation for their injuries. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Insurance companies often try to take advantage of a victim’s lack of knowledge and try to underpay claims. Additionally, trucking accidents often involve several possible liable parties, so victims may need to pursue them separately. A Miami truck accident attorney can conduct a thorough investigation into the accident and hold all responsible parties accountable for a victim’s damages.
How can a truck accident attorney help?
A knowledgeable and experienced attorney will understand all aspects of these cases. They will be able to:
- Obtain all of the evidence in the case, including accident reports, medical records, video surveillance, eyewitness accounts, and more.
- Have your medical records reviewed by a trusted medical professional that will testify on your behalf.
- Have an expert reconstruct the accident scene if necessary to prove the other side’s fault.
- Secure the truck driver and truck company’s safety and inspection records.
- Properly calculate your total losses and negotiate a settlement that secures the compensation you deserve.
- Prepare to take your case to trial if necessary.
What to do after a truck accident?
If you are in a truck crash, there are some steps you need to follow:
- Seek medical attention. Ensure you and your passengers seek medical attention immediately after a truck crash. Even if your injuries are minor or you do not feel pain, please know that signs and symptoms of some truck crash injuries may not become apparent for hours or days after the incident.
- Document the scene. If you are able to do so, use your smartphone or another camera to take photos of everything. This includes damages and injuries, any causes of the crash, traffic conditions, weather conditions, and more.
- Speak to eyewitnesses. Get initial statements from anyone who saw the crash. Get their names and contact information. Their version of what happened could be useful when it comes to insurance or lawsuit purposes.
- Get the accident report. Make sure the police complete an accident report and ask them how to obtain a copy of the report.
- Do not speak to the insurance company. Soon after a crash occurs, the truck driver or truck company’s insurance company will ask you for a statement. Politely decline to do so. They will record anything you say and use it against you in the future.
- Seek help from an attorney. These crashes can become complicated, so involve an attorney as soon as possible so you have an advocate by your side.
What are the different types of compensation available in a truck accident?
When discussing compensation for a truck accident, we need to look at both economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include things that are quantifiable, such as your medical bills and lost wages if you cannot work. These can still be hard to calculate, especially when discussing the future cost of medical care and future lost earnings.
Non-economic damages include things that are a bit harder to calculate. This can include pain and suffering damages, mental anguish damages, and more.
In cases where the truck driver or company were grossly negligent, there is the possibility of punitive damages as well.
Contact Our Miami Truck Accident attorneys today
If you or a loved one suffered injuries or other damages in a truck accident, contact the Miami truck accident attorneys at Flanagan Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Law Firm P.A. We can ease the process and demand fair compensation from the responsible party, so you can focus on your recovery. Schedule your free case evaluation with our firm today.