If you are involved in an automobile accident in Winter Haven, you will likely have to file a personal injury claim against the other driver and their insurance company to cover the costs of your medical treatment and vehicle repairs, as well as to make up for lost income while you are recovering from your injuries. However, if you are hurt in an accident involving any kind of commercial vehicle — such as a delivery truck or garbage truck — there are some important differences to keep in mind before moving forward with your legal options.
To that end, this truck accident attorney in Winter Haven, Florida is going to explain the two ways in which truck crash claims differ from other vehicle claims in Florida.
The Severity of Injuries
The injuries sustained in a truck accident can often be far more severe. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), large trucks comprise 4% of all registered vehicles in the U.S. but account for 9% of all fatal accidents.
The reason is simple: large trucks weigh about 20 to 30 times more than passenger vehicles. With added factors of high load capacity, high speeds, and low braking capacity, it is not surprising that truck accidents have a more severe impact on victims than those involving smaller passenger vehicles.
The more significant the injuries are, the higher the damages claimed. A truck accident attorney in Winter Haven, Florida can also assist the decedent’s surviving spouse or dependents with filing a wrongful death suit, as prescribed in F.S. § 768.21.
Commercial Vehicles are Subject to Additional Rules and Restrictions
In recognition of the greater risks commercial vehicles pose, policymakers have enforced rigorous rules and safety standards for licensing, maintenance, and loading of trucks, as well as screening, training, and monitoring of drivers.
You can find many such rules set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in CFR Title 49 Part 300-399. For example, the Hours of Service (HOS) rule dictates the maximum number of consecutive hours a driver can be on the road. This is important because driver fatigue is a common cause of fatal truck accidents in Florida.
Due to its unique nature, driver fatigue can be challenging for an truck accident attorney in Winter Haven, Florida to prove in court — however, evidence of a HOS violation can be enough to show negligence and win a trucking case. Per F.S. § 768.73, a major violation can even lead to the awarding of punitive damages.
Most auto insurance claims are relatively straightforward, but the same can’t be said of truck crash claims. The fact of the matter is that some drivers don’t understand how big rigs work and the unique challenges they present on the road. Not to mention, dealing with insurance companies is always tricky — and especially when the claims involve big rigs.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a truck crash, don’t let an insurance company railroad you. Your claim could be worth more than you think and dealing with it yourself is not worth your time. Instead, it’s best to turn to an experienced truck accident attorney in Winter Haven, Florida for help.
Looking for the Top-Rated Truck Accident Attorney in Winter Haven, Florida?
If you or a loved one is involved in a truck accident, it is important to take immediate action. In these situations, it’s important to have an experienced truck accident attorney on your side who can investigate the crash and fight for compensation for your damages. That’s where Tonya Stewart Law PA can assist you.
As the top-rated truck accident attorney in Winter Haven, Florida, Tonya Stewart and her legal team are committed to helping families impacted by a truck accident get the justice they deserve. Contact us today at (863) 279-4473 to schedule a free consultation.