Accidents involving commercial trucks can cause devastating injuries and result in thousands of dollars in damages. In Florida, a no-fault state, your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance will cover most of your accident-related medical expenses and lost wages. It does not matter who caused the accident: Your PIP insurance should cover you.
However, if you suffered more serious injuries or a loss of bodily function, you have the option of filing a claim against the negligent truck driver to recover additional damages. You will have four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the truck driver and the trucking company that employed the driver.
Filing a negligence claim after a truck accident
It is generally much more difficult to operate a commercial truck than it is to operate a standard passenger vehicle. Because of these difficulties, truck drivers are required to follow many additional federal and state regulations to ensure that they are driving their vehicles safely. A driver’s failure to follow these regulations is considered negligence. Common violations include:
- Failure to undergo all required training
- Driving too many continuous hours without taking required breaks
- Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Tailgating/following too closely
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Failing to properly load/unload cargo
- Failing to properly inspect and maintain commercial vehicle
Filing a negligence claim after a truck accident requires you to establish that the driver was negligent and that his or her negligence caused the accident and your injuries. You may also have to establish that the trucking company is vicariously liable for its employee’s negligence if the employee was operating the truck within the scope of his or her employment.
As a victim of a truck accident, you may have a long road to recovery ahead of you. A personal injury attorney in your area can help make sure you recover the damages you deserve.