Truck Accident Lawyers in West Palm Beach
Have you been injured in a truck accident?
You may be able to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit to obtain compensation for damages from your injuries, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
However, you will likely need an attorney because truck accident cases are complicated and stressful, making them tough to manage on your own. Gordon & Partners’s West Palm Beach truck accident lawyers have detailed knowledge of Florida’s traffic and trucking laws and the other aspects of these cases. We are prepared to help you fight for fair compensation for all of the damages you have suffered. We know how important compensation can be as you attempt to recover from your serious injuries and move forward with your life.
Our West Palm Beach truck accident lawyers offer free initial consultations, and we only get paid when we obtain a monetary recovery on your behalf.
Types of Trucks That Often Cause Accidents
Due to the wide variety of products being transported throughout the U.S., many different types and sizes of commercial shipping vehicles can be found on America’s roadways, including:
- 18-wheelers, including semi-trucks, tractor-trailers and “B” double varieties
- Road trains
- Delivery vehicles, such as UPS, FEDEX and US Postal Service trucks
- Fire engines
- Armored currency transporters
- Garbage collectors
- Dump trucks
- Passenger buses and coaches
- Livestock carriers
- Flat-bed trucks
- Tanker trucks
These vehicles are involved in many different types of truck accidents that give rise to truck accident claims.
If you were injured in an accident with one of these types of vehicles, contact our truck accident attorneys in West Palm Beach for a free consultation. You may be entitled to various forms of compensation.
Common Types of Truck Crashes
There are numerous types of truck accidents, but some are more common than others, including:
- Jackknife Accidents – These occur when a truck’s trailer spins around and faces backward, making the truck resemble the shape of a partially unfolded jackknife or pocket knife.
- Rollovers – If the immense weight of a truck’s cargo causes the truck to lose stability, the truck can begin to roll.
- Rear-end Collisions – This type of accident occurs when the driver is unable to come to a complete stop before hitting the rear end of another vehicle.
- Underride Crashes – Smaller vehicles can rear-end a semi-truck and be pushed underneath the truck’s trailer, as the height difference between the truck’s trailer and the front of passenger vehicles is often substantial.
- Cargo Spills – These accidents occur when improperly loaded cargo, or cargo that exceeds a truck’s weight capacity, falls off the truck and onto the roadway.
Our experienced West Palm Beach truck accident lawyers are prepared to handle cases involving these and other types of truck accidents. We know how to conduct a detailed investigation to help determine the cause of the accident and who is liable for your injuries.
We will use our legal knowledge and experience to help you receive the justice and maximum compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Serious Truck Accidents
Just like other traffic accidents, some truck crashes could not have been avoided. However, many others could have been prevented because they were caused by the negligence of the driver or another party legally responsible for the truck or its cargo.
Common forms of negligence that often cause truck accidents include:
- Insufficient training for the driver
- Driver fatigue
- Lack of vehicle inspections
- Improperly loaded cargo
- Transporting cargo that exceeds the vehicle’s weight capacity
- Distracted driving
- Tailgating other vehicles
- Drunk driving
- Driving without the proper license
- Malfunctioning parts on the truck or trailer
- Disobeying traffic laws, such as right-of-way laws
Some of these causes are violations of federal or state regulations on the trucking industry. That is why our trusted truck accident lawyers in West Palm Beach have in-depth knowledge of the many regulations governing the trucking industry.
If we can establish that regulations were violated and this led to your accident, we may be able to recover compensation for all of the damages you suffered.
Our West Palm Beach truck accident lawyers at Gordon & Partners can provide trustworthy legal counsel for all truck accident victims. If you or someone you love has been involved in a truck accident, please contact us today to discuss your legal needs.
Regulations for the Trucking Industry
Many truck accidents are caused by violations of trucking industry regulations. The trucking industry is regulated at the federal level by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and at the state level by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). These agencies set numerous regulations governing drivers, vehicles and the cargo they are carrying.
Hours on Duty Restrictions
Federal regulations state that drivers who are carrying cargo cannot drive more than 11 hours after being off duty for 10 hours. Commercial vehicle operators who are carrying passengers cannot drive more than 10 hours after eight consecutive hours off duty.
Under Florida statute 316.302(c), drivers of commercial vehicles who are not transporting hazardous materials are not allowed to drive after they have been on duty more than 70 hours over a period of seven straight days or 80 hours in a period of eight straight days.
The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) may request motor carriers to provide records or other written verification of hours of service to ensure that the driver and motor carrier are in compliance.
If we take your case, our West Palm Beach truck accident attorneys may contact the DHSMV to determine if any hours of service regulations were violated by the driver who caused your accident. This could be crucial in holding the driver or his or employer liable for your injuries.
Under Florida law, law enforcement officers from the DHSMV can require the driver of a commercial vehicle to stop and submit to an inspection of the vehicle or the driver’s records.
If the officer finds that the vehicle is unsafe, lacks the proper equipment and the continued operation of the vehicle would be unduly hazardous, he or she can require the vehicle or driver be removed from service until the condition is corrected.
Failing to fix issues that were raised during an inspection could be a cause of a trucking accident. This is one of the areas we may review as we try to build your case.
Drug and Alcohol Testing
The FMCSA requires anyone who wants to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to test negative for alcohol and other illegal substances. Employers of truck drivers are also required to test drivers for alcohol and controlled substances as soon as it is practical after an accident.
In December 2016, the FMCSA announced a new rule that establishes a clearinghouse for drug and alcohol test results for commercial truck and bus drivers. This clearinghouse contains records of violations of drug testing policies by those who hold CDLs.
Motor carriers are required to query this system to find information about current or prospective employees who have violations of alcohol and drug testing regulations.
This is another area our West Palm Beach truck accident attorneys may look at when building your case. If the driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash, it could be much easier to prove that he or she is at fault and you are entitled to compensation for your injuries from the accident.
Under FMCSA regulations, commercial vehicles that exceed certain weight limits are not permitted to travel on interstate highways.
Trucks can weigh no more than 80,000 pounds in total. They also cannot have more than 20,000 pounds on a single axle or 34,000 pounds on a tandem axle.
Under Florida law, a semitrailer that is part of a truck tractor-semitrailer combination cannot exceed 48 feet in the extreme overall outside dimension. This is measured from the front of the unit to the rear.
Vehicles that exceed that limitation can travel in the state if issued a permit from the state and if the trailer meets other requirements for equipment and safety.
The truck accident lawyers in West Palm Beach at our firm are committed to thoroughly reviewing your accident and the parties involved to determine if any regulations were violated and who is responsible.
Liable Parties in a Truck Accident
Drivers are not the only ones who could be held liable for a truck accident. Numerous other parties could share some of the fault for your crash.
Some of the other parties that could be held liable for your crash could include the:
- Motor carrier that employs the driver
- Entity that leased the truck
- Company that owns the vehicle
- Company that repairs the truck
- Company the made the truck
- Companies that made different parts of the truck
- Cargo company
It is extremely important that your West Palm Beach truck accident lawyer is able to discover all of the parties who are liable for your accident. This is the only way to help ensure you receive fair compensation for the accident.
For example, if your attorney pursues an insurance settlement from the motor carrier but another party has a policy with a higher value, you could potentially miss out on some compensation.
Our truck accident attorneys in West Palm Beach have many years of experience pursuing compensation for truck accidents. We know how important it is to determine all of the liable parties in the crash. We want you to have all of the compensation you deserve so you have a chance to make the best recovery you can.
What Types of Compensation are Available?
Our truck accident lawyers in West Palm Beach may be able to recover various types of compensation in your truck accident case:
This includes all past, current and future medical bills for treatment you received related to your injuries. For example, if you needed surgery or stitches or other medical treatment right after the accident, you may be able to obtain compensation for it.
Other types of medical expenses you can claim compensation for include:
- Medical testing, including blood tests
- Mileage to doctor’s appointments
- Medical equipment required for your recovery, like canes or crutches
You should save all medical bills and receipts from any treatment you have received to document all of your medical expenses.
Lost Wages and Lost Earning Capacity
If your injury prevents you from working, you may be entitled to compensation for wages you lost for the time you missed work.
If you are permanently disabled you may be able to recover compensation for lost earning capacity from your injury. This would compensate you for the fact that your injury caused you to have to work fewer hours or in a different capacity than you did before your injury. For instance, your injury may cause you to have to work in a different industry or in a position that earns less money.
If your injury causes you to miss work, ask your employer to write a letter documenting the times you missed work and your rate of pay. This will allow our West Palm Beach truck accident attorneys to accurately value the amount of lost wages we should claim.
Pain and Suffering
Personal injuries can also cause significant physical pain that can make it difficult to work or perform everyday activities. Injuries can also lead to emotional and psychological suffering, including depression, anxiety, stress and many other forms of emotional distress.
Pain and suffering are difficult to evaluate because there is no monetary value for physical and emotional issues caused by your injury. We recommend you keep a daily journal documenting the pain and emotional issues you are dealing with because of your disability.
The West Palm Beach truck accident lawyers at our firm are committed to trying to determine an accurate valuation of your claim. We want you to obtain all of the forms of compensation you deserve.
Contact us as soon as possible to review your legal options. There is a limited amount of time to file a claim and pursue the compensation you may be entitled.
Impact of Geographic and Environmental Factors on Truck Accidents
Florida’s unique geography significantly influences the frequency and severity of truck accidents. Its extensive coastline and flat terrain facilitate high-speed travel, which can lead to more severe accidents. Additionally, Florida’s position as a commercial hub with major ports and highways increases truck traffic, escalating the risk of accidents. This state’s layout, with long, straight roads, can lead to driver fatigue, a common cause of many truck-related incidents.
The state’s hurricane season and frequent thunderstorms create hazardous driving conditions, contributing to truck accidents. Heavy rains lead to slippery roads and reduced visibility, challenging even the most experienced truck drivers. Furthermore, Florida’s high humidity can affect vehicle maintenance, particularly brake systems, increasing the likelihood of mechanical failures that can lead to accidents.
Challenges in Truck Accident Cases
One primary challenge victims and their attorneys face in truck accident cases is the web of potential liability. Many parties play a role in putting commercial trucks on the road. Determining liability requires thorough investigation and understanding of commercial trucking operations. When you hire a West Palm Beach truck accident attorney at Gordon & Partners, we identify the liable party or parties for your accident and explain what makes them responsible for your losses.
Another significant hurdle is the severity of injuries and damages involved. Truck accidents often result in catastrophic injuries or fatalities, leading to complex legal battles over substantial compensation claims. The extent of damages necessitates detailed medical assessments and expert testimonies to quantify the impact on victims’ lives accurately. Moreover, trucking companies often have extensive legal resources and insurance policies to minimize payouts. These entities deploy aggressive defense strategies, challenging claims and complicating the legal process for victims seeking justice and compensation.
Responsibilities of All Potentially Liable Parties
Each potentially liable party for a truck accident case could be responsible for damages under specific circumstances. Consider situations that would implicate truck drivers, trucking companies, cargo loaders and third-party maintenance companies in a truck accident.
Truck drivers can be liable for accidents due to various factors related to negligence or breach of duty. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs places responsibility on the driver. Excessive speed, often to meet tight delivery schedules, can lead to loss of control and increased severity of accidents. Driver fatigue, a common issue in the trucking industry, could also implicate the driver and the trucking company.
Neglecting vehicle maintenance is another factor that can lead to liability. Failing to perform regular checks and repairs, especially on critical components like brakes and tires, can cause mechanical failures that result in accidents. Contracted drivers, meaning those who own their trucks, are even more responsible for maintenance than direct employees. Finally, distracted driving and any traffic law violation are causes directly implicating the truck driver.
Trucking companies may become liable for accidents due to various factors rooted in negligence and failure to adhere to safety standards. Companies must routinely inspect and maintain their trucks to ensure safe operation. This is in addition to the less thorough inspections and maintenance truck drivers do on the road.
Inadequate driver training is another negligence claim against trucking companies. They are responsible for ensuring their drivers receive comprehensive training on vehicle operation, safety protocols and accident avoidance techniques. Additionally, they must adequately vet drivers before hiring them to ensure they do not have a record of traffic violations. This means they must conduct proper background checks.
If a company ignores regulations regarding driving hours, leading to driver fatigue, it can be liable for accidents caused by tired drivers. A common issue with trucking companies is incentivizing drivers to meet impossible delivery times, requiring them to violate Hours of Service.
The Cargo Loader
The party responsible for loading the cargo in the truck trailer, which can include the driver, company or a third party, can be liable for a truck accident if they fail to adhere to strict loading standards and practices. Liability arises when the loader improperly secures cargo, leading to a shift or spill during transit, which can cause the truck to lose balance or obstruct the road.
Overloading, or exceeding the truck’s maximum load capacity, would also make the cargo loader responsible. Additionally, if loaders use defective securing equipment or neglect to inspect the cargo’s condition, their actions can directly contribute to accidents, indicating negligence in fulfilling their duties.
Trucking companies commonly hire third-party mechanics to handle inspections, maintenance and repairs for the fleet of trucks. These parties can be liable if they fail to properly carry out their duties, such as skipping inspections or neglecting maintenance needs. They may use substandard parts or overlook critical issues during servicing, making them liable for an accident resulting from a malfunction.
The Process of Filing a Truck Accident Lawsuit
Filing a truck accident lawsuit is a structured process involving several essential steps occurring regardless of the unique circumstances surrounding your case:
- Evidence collection. Immediately after the accident, gather all relevant evidence, including photos of the scene, witness statements and police reports. Document injuries and medical treatments meticulously.
- Attorney consultation. Seek help from a qualified attorney specializing in truck accidents at Gordon & Partners. We will review your case, provide legal counsel and guide you through the lawsuit.
- Filing the complaint. Initiate the legal process by filing a complaint in court. This document outlines the negligence claims against the party responsible for your accident.
- Engaging in discovery. Both parties exchange detailed information through interrogatories, depositions and document requests. This is vital for building a solid case.
- Trial proceedings. If the case does not settle, we will prepare for trial. Both sides present their arguments and evidence to a judge or jury, who makes the final decision.
The victim’s active involvement and the attorney’s expertise are integral throughout these stages. The victim’s role includes providing detailed information and making informed decisions based on legal advice. Meanwhile, we navigate the legal complexities, advocate for your rights and try to secure the best possible solution. Our collaborative effort ensures we meet all procedural and legal requirements. Contact Gordon & Partners to schedule a free consultation with an experienced truck accident lawyer today.
When Should I Contact a West Palm Beach Truck Accident Lawyer?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions about truck accident cases. Victims are unsure if and when they should make contact with an attorney to review their legal options or pursue a claim.
The answer is that you should contact a West Palm Beach truck accident attorney as soon as possible. If we pursue an insurance claim, there may be a limited amount of time to file a claim and attempt to obtain compensation. This is because insurance companies often have deadlines for pursuing claims.
In a truck accident lawsuit, there is a statute of limitations for filing a claim. A statute of limitations is a deadline for filing a lawsuit. If you fail to file a lawsuit before the deadline expires, you will be unable to file a lawsuit and will lose possibly your only chance of obtaining compensation.
In Florida, personal injury lawsuits, including truck accident cases, have a four-year statute of limitations. This means you have four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit and pursue compensation.
Many people make the mistake of thinking that four years is a long time. However, much of this time could be taken up by pursuing an insurance claim. It can also take a while to conduct an investigation.
This is why it is so important to contact a West Palm Beach truck accident lawyer as soon as possible so he or she can begin building your case and have a chance to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.
Contact Our West Palm Beach Truck Accident Lawyers
For many accident victims, knowing what to do and who to contact after being involved in a serious truck accident can be very confusing.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a large, commercial vehicle, it is important to contact a reputable, experienced truck accident lawyer who can help explain your legal options and relieve the burden of pursuing an injury compensation claim.
At Gordon & Partners, our truck accident lawyers in West Palm Beach are sympathetic to injury victims and are prepared to fight for your rights in a court of law. We charge no upfront fee for your initial consultation and work on contingency, which means we do not collect legal fees unless you receive compensation.
Free Case Evaluation
Verdicts & Settlements
Recovery for man and family for injuries caused by a defective auto part.
Recovery for man who suffered brain injury and paralysis after collision with Blood Mobile.
Jury verdict for the family of a 23-year-old woman killed in a tractor-trailer accident.
Jury verdict for family of mother of two killed in tractor-trailer accident.
Recovery for parents of a man killed in aviation crash.
Recovery for the family of a man killed by a tractor-trailer.
Recovery for the family of 8-year-old killed in an auto accident.
$2,230,000 recovery for a 78 year-old man injured in collision with tractor trailer.
Recovery for a 16-year-old who suffered a brain injury when he was run over by a tractor-trailer in a parking lot.
Recovery from tractor trailer company for a man who lost leg when his car struck illegally parked tractor trailer after collision with car.
Recovery for the family of a man killed in a motorcycle accident.
Recovery for family of man killed because car dealer sold car with worn tires.
$1,075,000 recovery for man injured in an accident with a tractor trailer.
$1,047,574.70 combined recovery for two persons injured in an auto accident.
Recovery for man burned in truck accident.
Recovery for the family of a man killed when a tractor-trailer pulled into his lane of traffic.
Jury verdict for a car accident in Broward County. The original offer from Allstate Insurance Company before trial was just $17,500.
$332,000 for back and neck injuries in a car accident case with minimal visible property damage. The highest offer by the Defendant before trial was $25,000.00.
Truck Accidents News
- The Challenges of Truck Accident Lawsuits and How to Overcome Them
- What Are the Insurance Requirements for Florida Commercial Trucks?
- Trucking Industry Regulations in Florida
- 5 Tips for Sharing the Road with Semi-Trucks
- What Is the Hours of Service Rule for Truck Drivers?
- Who Can I Hold Liable for a Truck Accident?
- Steps to Take Following a Truck Accident
- 5 Common Truck Accident Injuries
- Three Reasons to Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer
- Sleep Apnea Among Truckers Increases Accident Risk
- Fatal Semi-Truck Accident Reported in Belle Glade
- Changes Proposed to Improve Truck Rear Impact Protection
- Truck Crashes into Power Lines Killing One, Injuring Another
- Dangers of Large Trucks
- Do’s and Dont’s of Truck Accidents
Robert E. Gordon
Robert E. Gordon is a personal injury attorney and founding member of the law Offices of Gordon & Partners. He is a strong advocate in fighting for the injured.Read more