Fort Lauderdale Truck Accident Lawyers
Personal Injury Lawyers Dedicated to Protecting Truck Accident Victim Rights Throughout Broward County, Florida
While any type of motor vehicle accident can cause devastating injuries, truck accidents are different from accidents involving smaller cars and vehicles for a number of reasons. The most obvious reason, of course, is that commercial trucks are much larger than passenger vehicles. When the two vehicles are involved in a collision, the laws of physics dictate that passengers in the smaller vehicle will suffer exponentially more severe injuries than would otherwise be the case.
There’s also a big difference between making a claim for compensation against a truck driver or trucking company versus claims against the driver of a passenger vehicle. Large trucking companies often possess the resources to hire the best legal defense teams possible, making it much more difficult for injured parties to recover the compensation they deserve –unless they’re working with experienced truck accident lawyers who have a proven track record of success.
The attorneys at Lawlor, White & Murphey have handled a wide range of motor vehicle accident cases, including cases against large trucking companies. We’re well-versed in trucking regulations, establishing liability after a truck accident and building strong and smart counterarguments to the types of defenses that trucking companies usually put forward. If you or a loved one have sustained injuries in a truck accident in Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere in South Florida, call our offices to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case today.
Common Injuries in South Florida Truck Accidents
Any number of different factors can come into play in order to cause a truck accident in South Florida, including:
- Driver distraction
- Drug or alcohol use
- Driver exhaustion
- Poorly trained truck drivers
- Failure to see a smaller vehicle turning or changing lanes
- Mechanical problems with the truck
- Improperly loaded truck cargo
- Improper maintenance of brakes, tires or other truck components
Regardless of the cause of the accident, the injuries caused by a truck crashing into a smaller vehicle often result in lifelong debilitating injuries or even fatalities. Some common injuries caused by truck accidents may include:
- Back and neck injuries. In some cases, chronic back or neck pain caused by a truck accident may never fully heal, and can require lifelong care. Bruising, sprains, strains, dislocations, road burn, spinal fractures, and torn or ruptured discs are examples of the types of back and neck injuries that a truck accident victim may suffer.
- Broken bones. Sadly, it’s rare to see a truck accident where there the accident victims do not suffer from at least some broken bones. Broken bone injuries in truck accidents are often much more severe than simple hairline fractures, as the impact of the collision can result in severe breaks that cause significant pain, require extensive recovery periods, and significantly impact the day-to-day life of the injured person.
- Internal injuries. The bladder, pancreas, kidneys, liver, and spleen are some of the organs that can suffer internal bleeding due to the blunt trauma that often occurs in truck accidents. Your organs can also suffer lacerations or perforations, in the same manner as the skin itself. These types of injuries can be excruciatingly painful and life-threatening if you don’t receive prompt medical treatment.
- Burns. Some truck accidents are so severe that the passenger vehicle will catch fire because of a fuel tank explosion, resulting in severe burns that may require skin grafts, reconstructive surgeries and a long, costly recovery process.
- Spinal cord injuries. Because the spinal cord is the part of central nervous system that connects the brain to the rest of the body, a spinal cord injury can result in partial or full paralysis that will significantly impact the truck accident victim’s quality of life. Even if full paralysis does not result, spinal cord injuries can impair motor function, and often result in chronic lifelong pain.
- Traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries range in severity from concussions to skull fractures to significant brain damage that changes a person’s personality or makes it difficult for them to accomplish many basic daily activities of living.
The Experienced Truck Accident Lawyers at Lawlor, White & Murphey Can Help With Your Florida Truck Accident Claim
At Lawlor, White & Murphey, our skilled team of truck accident attorneys, investigative staff and support staff truly care about the well-being of the people in our South Florida community. We have extensive experience working with people who have been involved in truck accidents, and we know just how serious and costly the resulting injuries can be.
We believe that it’s bad enough if you already have to pay for another person’s, company’s, or manufacturer’s mistakes through the physical and emotional pain caused by serious injuries. You should not also be required to shoulder the burden of the financial costs of the injury. That’s why we fight tooth and nail to make sure every single truck accident victim we represent gets the compensation they need to cover the costs of medical care, physical therapy, lost wages, and any other associated costs. Our lawyers understand the complications that arise in truck accidents, and know that, in many cases, multiple parties may actually be responsible for the damages that the accident has caused. We fight to determine who is actually responsible for the accident by investigating the scene to determine whether any of the following parties may be financially accountable for your injuries:
- The truck driver
- The truck owner, usually as the truck driver’s employer
- The company charged with maintaining the truck
- The company that loaded the cargo onto the truck
- The manufacturer of a truck component that malfunctioned and caused the accident
- Another entity that was involved in shipping and tracking the truck cargo
If you cannot make the trip to our offices while recovering from your injuries, our lawyers are happy to meet with you in the hospital or in your home, if you prefer. We provide our clients with a free initial consultation, during which we will review the details of your case and discuss what we think will be the best course of action in recovering compensation. Sometimes we can obtain the full and fair compensation you deserve through negotiations and a settlement agreement, but if the individual or trucking company who caused the truck accident refuses to provide a fair settlement offer that will fully cover your expenses, our lawyers do not hesitate to try the case in court to make sure you get what you deserve. We conduct a full investigation for every one of our truck accident victim clients, which includes:
- Obtaining the truck’s safety logs and inspection records
- Investigating to determine whether the truck driver was properly screened and trained
- Obtaining the truck’s “black box” recording device where available
- Determining whether the trucking company has a history of safety violations
- Consulting with expert witnesses to determine the true cause of the accident
- Interviewing eyewitnesses to gather evidence as to the actual events of the accident
After sustaining injuries in an accident with a truck, you need a legal team comprised of equal parts compassion and professionalism. The law firm of Lawlor, White & Murphey has the specific legal knowledge, resources, and the commitment you need to win this kind of case.
Injured in a Truck Accident? Don’t Delay—Contact Our Florida Truck Accident Lawyers Today
Recovering from a truck accident can be a long and painful process. Recovering after losing a loved one in a trucking accident is even more difficult. Whether you’re struggling to pay the medical or physical therapy costs of your truck accident injuries or wondering how you can go on after the wrongful death of a loved one who was killed in a truck accident, the skilled personal injury lawyers at Lawlor, White & Murphey want to help. We can’t bring back the person you lost or make your injuries heal any faster, but we can help you win the compensation you deserve so that you don’t have to worry about your financial situation while you heal physically and emotionally from the accident.
Our initial consultation is always free and carries no obligation. If you do decide to work with us, you can be rest assured knowing that our lawyers all work on a contingency basis, meaning that you don’t pay us anything until we recover your compensation. You have nothing to lose and much to gain from working with us, so call our offices today or fill out this brief online form and a compassionate and experienced personal injury attorney will respond to you promptly.
Frequently Asked Questions About South Florida Truck Accident Lawsuits
FAQ: I have extensive medical bills that need to be paid now, and the insurance company is offering me a settlement offer. How do I know whether to accept that offer?
You should never accept the insurance company’s initial settlement offer without first consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Your medical bills may seem extensive now, but depending upon the type and severity of the injuries, you may require significant additional ongoing care or rehabilitative therapies that can be extremely expensive. If you accept a settlement offer that does not fully account for those costs, your bills may not be covered in the future. Our lawyers can help construct a much more fair estimate of your long-term costs and negotiate with the insurance companies to make sure you get what you deserve.
FAQ: Will a truck accident impact how much I have to pay for car insurance?
If the truck driver was at fault for the accident, your South Florida insurance company is legally not permitted to raise your insurance rates even if you have to make a claim with your own insurance company because the truck driver was underinsured or not insured at all.
FAQ: Where else do you handle truck accident cases?
We handle truck accident claims throughout South Florida including but not limited to:
- Pompano Beach Truck Accidents
- Lake Worth Truck Accidents
- Fort Lauderdale Truck Accidents
- Boynton Beach Truck Accidents
- West Palm Beach Truck Accidents
- Boca Raton Truck Accidents
- Delray Beach Truck Accidents
- Weston Truck Accidents
- Miramar Truck Accidents
- Coral Springs Truck Accidents
- Greenacres Truck Accidents
- Palm Beach Gardens Truck Accidents
- Royal Palm Beach Truck Accidents
- Sunrise Truck Accidents
- Plantation Truck Accidents
- Miramar Truck Accidents
- Hollywood Truck Accidents
- Pembroke Pines Truck Accidents
FAQ: What do you do after you’ve been in a truck accident?
If you have been injured in a truck accident, it is important that you work quickly to obtain evidence that may be critical to proving your case before such evidence is lost or destroyed. This evidence can include photos of the accident scene, the truck driver’s logs (which can show if the driver may have been fatigued at the time of the accident), the truck driver’s toxicology report (which can show if the driver was under the influence), the truck’s data recorder information (which can show if the truck was speeding or being driven recklessly at the time of the accident), or the load manifest (which can show if the truck was overloaded). You should also seek prompt medical attention for your injuries; this will allow you to demonstrate that your injuries were caused by the accident and did not pre-exist the accident.
FAQ: Why do I need an attorney for my truck accident claim?
If you have been injured in a truck accident, it is important that you have an experienced, skilled attorney to represent your interests. The big trucking companies and their insurers will work hard to limit their legal liability to you to pay as little compensation to your as possible. An attorney will uncover all the parties who may be responsible to you along with all the financial resources that may be available to compensate you.
FAQ: What does it cost to hire a lawyer to help me after a truck accident?
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, it may be possible to hire a lawyer to help you after a truck accident without having to pay any money up front. An attorney may be able to take your truck accident case on a “contingency” basis, which means that you do not have to pay anything unless and until your attorney recovers financial compensation for you. The attorney will then be paid an agreed-upon percentage of the financial compensation that you receive in your case.
FAQ: How much is my truck accident case worth?
The amount of money you can receive in your truck accident case will depend on several factors. If you were injured in your accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses. If you miss work because of the accident, you may also be entitled to seek compensation for your lost wages or lost earning potential.
FAQ: What makes a truck accident so much worse than a car accident?
Although many people may believe that there is no difference between truck accidents and car accidents, truck accidents are often more complicated than car accidents. This is because there are additional pieces of evidence that are often involved in truck accidents, such as the truck driver’s logs, the truck’s data recorder, the truck’s maintenance logs, and the truck’s load manifest. In addition, when a truck is at fault for an accident, there are multiple parties that may bear some liability, including the truck driver, the trucking company, the freight or shipping company that loaded the truck, the company responsible for maintaining the truck, or the truck manufacturer. Finally, these parties often have multiple layers of insurance coverage that can make it difficult to determine how much coverage is available to compensate an injured party.
FAQ: What are the common causes of truck accidents?
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents that our attorneys have seen in cases we have handled include the truck driver’s fatigue, the truck driver’s use of alcohol and/or drug, inexperienced truck drivers, speeding, careless or reckless driving, distracted driving, poor maintenance of the truck, or improper loading of truck cargo.
FAQ: How is fault determined in a truck accident?
Fault in a truck accident is usually assigned to a party involved in the accident who was negligence. A party is negligent if he or she owes a duty of care and breaches that duty of care due to his or her acts or omissions, and if a party’s breach of his or her duty of care directly and proximately causes the truck accident and another party suffers some form of compensable damages from the accident.
FAQ: If I was injured in a truck accident, can I receive money for the time I missed at work?
Yes. If your injuries prevent you from returning to work, you can seek lost wages damages for the time you missed from work. If you are able to go back to work but can’t earn the same level of income you could prior to your accident, you may also be entitled to receive compensation for your lost earning capacity.
FAQ: Who Is responsible in a truck accident – the driver or the trucking company?
If a truck driver is responsible for an accident, he or she will bear legal liability for his or her negligence. Whether or not the trucking company can also be held responsible will depend on the relationship between the truck driver and trucking company. If the truck driver is an employee of the trucking company, the trucking company can usually be held responsible for the driver’s negligence. However, if the truck driver is considered to be an independent contractor, the trucking company may not be legally responsible for the driver’s negligence.
FAQ: Do truck drivers get fired for accidents?
Yes. If the circumstances of the accident cause a truck driver to lose his or her commercial driver’s license, he or she will be ineligible to drive trucks or other commercial vehicles. Or the trucking company may decide that a driver who gets into an accident poses too much of a risk.
FAQ: What documents do I need for my truck accident case?
You will need to collect evidence to prove that the truck driver was at-fault for the accident, that the accident caused you injuries, and that you have incurred financial damages that you can be compensated for as a result of the accident. This evidence can include accident scene photographs, the police accident report, the truck driver’s logs, the truck data recorder and maintenance logs, the truck’s load manifest, along with your medical records of your treatment, bills and invoices you’ve received, and paystubs or income statements.
FAQ: If I may have been partially at fault for the truck accident, can I still win the lawsuit?
Yes. Florida is a “pure” comparative negligence state. This means that a plaintiff in a truck accident can recover compensation regardless of his or her share of fault for the accident. An injured party’s damages in a truck accident case will be reduced by his or her share of fault. For example, if an injured party is determined to have suffered $100,000 in damages and is found to have been 50 percent at fault for the truck accident, his or her damages will be reduced by 50 percent, or $50,000.
FAQ: The trucking company’s insurance adjustor wants a statement from me. Should I give them one?
It is highly advisable that you do not speak with the truck company’s insurance adjuster until you have spoken with your truck accident attorney. The trucking company’s insurer is solely interested in reducing the amount of compensation it will have to pay to you. Therefore, the insurance companies will look to use any statements you give as proof that you were partially or entirely at fault for the accident or that you have not suffered the injuries or damages that you claim. A skilled truck accident attorney can speak with the trucking company and its insurer on your behalf to ensure that your rights and interests are fully protected.
FAQ: Why should I not just accept the insurance settlement?
Although it may be tempting to accept an insurance settlement, especially when you have medical bills piling up and you are out of work and not getting paid. However, the first settlement offer you receive from an insurance company is usually not a fair and full settlement of your losses nor is it the maximum amount of compensation that the insurance company may be willing to offer you. It is good practice to consult with a knowledgeable truck accident attorney who can evaluate any settlement offer you receive and advise you as to whether it will fully compensate you for your past and future losses from your accident.