The most recent data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FDHSMV) reports that more than 28,000 crashes involving trucks that weigh over 10,000 lbs occurred in 2016. Any motor vehicle accident can be a physically and emotionally traumatic experience, but being involved in a truck accident is oftentimes worse. Truck accidents bring more challenges because of their complexity: a truck accident often causes severe injuries and property damage and involves multiple parties, such as the truck driver and the company that owns the truck. Additionally, heavy trucks that carry freight have more complicated insurance policies.
If you were injured in a truck accident through no fault of your own, seek the representation of the experienced truck accident team at Meldon Law. We know how to navigate these complex cases to achieve the best results possible for our clients. Call us today at (954) 334-1276 to schedule a free consultation.
Meldon Law’s Results in Truck Accident Cases
The legal team at Meldon Law has extensive experience working to get the best possible outcomes for its clients. Recent truck accident cases include settlements for $135,000, $337,500, and $425,000. These examples do not guarantee results; each case has its own set of individual circumstances that contribute to how much of a recovery, if any, a client might receive.
What Are Typical Truck Accident Injuries?
Trucks are much heavier than cars, so injuries are often worse and more likely to be fatal, particularly if the truck was traveling at high speed. If your loved one has died in a truck accident, contact an attorney at our office to discuss whether you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim.
Even when truck accidents do not result in fatalities, the injuries can be serious, including:
- Shattered and broken bones
- Cuts, scrapes, bruises
- Road rash if you are thrown from your vehicle
- Burns, scarring, disfigurement
- Spinal cord injuries including paralysis
- Neck and back injuries such as slipped discs
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries that may cause long-term damage
- Severe internal bleeding caused by breaking ribs or a punctured organ
Who Can Be at Fault?
Truck accident cases are often complex because they tend to include multiple parties. On crowded roads, a truck involved in an accident can strike multiple other vehicles. Trucks also carry heavy loads belonging to other parties. If those loads aren’t balanced correctly, they can threaten the safety of the trucker and the other drivers with whom he shares the road.
Because truck accidents often involve multiple parties, assigning fault for them can pose a real challenge. A truck driver, his employer, the owner of his cargo…even the city or state that maintains roads, could all share some fault for an accident. For example:
- Driver—The driver may be liable for a truck accident if he or she was driving distracted, driving under the influence, or violating other traffic violations.
- Employer—If the employer forced the driver to log more hours than what is legal or didn’t maintain equipment properly and it led to an accident, they might hold a portion or all of the liability.
- Government entity—If a poorly maintained road caused a truck accident, the state, county, or government might be liable.
- Truck Manufacturer—When a defective truck causes an accident, the truck manufacturer might be at fault.
- Cargo owner – Truck drivers are often independent contractors, towing cargo containers owned and loaded by someone else. When that container is defective or the load isn’t packed properly, the party responsible for that container and cargo could be liable for an accident.
What Kind of Damages Might Be Recovered When a Truck Accident Happens?
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries from the parties whose actions caused the accident. The specifics of each accident differ, but some of the most common types of damage that you may recover include:
- Medical costs such as ambulance rides, hospital stays, surgery, x-rays, and medication
- Lost wages and benefits due to time missed from work
- Future lost wages and benefits in the case of a long-term disability that prevents you from returning to work
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation costs
- Assistive device costs for items such as wheelchairs, canes, walkers, prosthetic limbs, etc.
- Long-term healthcare in the case of long-term disability
- Modifications for your home such as ramps, handrails, handicap accessible bathrooms, etc.
- Replacement services for things that you may not be able to do yourself anymore such as cooking, cleaning, lawn care, and other domestic help
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Consortium if your injuries have affected your family relationships
What Ways Do Those Liable Try to Get Out of Paying Their Fair Share?
Those who might bear legal liability for a truck accident may go out of their way to avoid paying their fair share. Insurance companies may deny claims and suggest your injuries are less serious than you claim. Trucking companies will distance themselves from the driver, the driver will distance himself from the cargo owner, and so on.
Parties in complex cases have an incentive to shift blame because Florida is a pure comparative negligence state, which means that in a lawsuit seeking damages for a truck accident the court or jury must assign a percentage of fault to everyone involved. The amount you may be able to recover will then be reduced by the percentage of fault you bear for the accident. For example, if the court finds that the defendant was negligent, but decides you were 10 percent at fault for your own injury, the court would reduce a $500,000 award to $450,000.
Working with an experienced truck accident attorney is the best way to ensure that other parties involved in a truck accident do not shift blame in a way that reduces your ability to recover compensation.
How Much Does a Truck Accident Lawyer Cost Me?
At Meldon Law, we offer a free consultation for you to discuss your case with an attorney who can help determine if you may be eligible for compensation. If we agree to represent you, we may also agree to handle the case on a contingency fee basis in which we would recover our fees only out of any settlement or judgment we recover on your behalf.
A truck-accident injury may change the course of your life. A skilled attorney can handle the details of seeking the compensation you deserve, while you focus on your rehabilitation and recovery. If you have been involved in a truck accident in Palm Beach County, call the experienced attorneys at Meldon Law at (954) 334-1276 for a free consultation.