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How to File a Truck Accident Claim in Florida

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How Can You Protect Your Legal Right to Recover Compensation After a Florida Semi-Truck Accident?

Truck accident claims can often be much more complex than typical car accident cases due to the seriousness of the injuries involved and the number of potential defendants. Florida’s no-fault insurance requirements and recently updated contributory negligence statutes can further complicate the process. Enlisting the help of a skilled Florida truck accident attorney can be vital to ensuring that you navigate the process properly and give yourself the best opportunity to recover full compensation for your damages.

What Should You Do Immediately Following a Truck Accident?

Collisions involving a truck are often extremely violent, and the aftermath can be chaotic. Your initial concern should be for the safety of yourself and others involved in the crash. If anyone is injured, contact emergency medical services immediately. Carefully move to a secure location out of traffic, if possible, to avoid further impacts.

Taking the following actions after you are safe may improve the likelihood of a successful claim:

  • Call the police: An official police report provides key information about what occurred. It is vital to promptly inform authorities of the crash and understand how to get a copy of the report.
  • Get a medical evaluation: Even if you believe you escaped the collision unscathed, you should seek a doctor’s opinion. This action serves a dual purpose – protecting your health and ensuring you meet your insurance company’s requirements for receiving timely diagnosis and treatment.
  • Contact a local lawyer specializing in Miami truck collision cases before speaking to your insurer: Florida is a “no-fault” insurance state, so you must initially seek compensation from your own insurer, no matter who was at fault for the crash. But your insurer may not always have your best interests at heart. By consulting with a lawyer first, you can understand what your claim is worth and avoid common mistakes that could harm your case while speaking to the insurance adjuster.

What Are the Main Steps in Filing a Truck Accident Claim?

Every truck accident claim is different. However, most cases will follow roughly the same trajectory. The length of each step may vary based on the details of your case, but your legal team should communicate frequently to keep you up to date on developments.

Identify and Assign a Value to Your Damages

A personal injury claim aims to make you whole following the losses you’ve incurred from the accident. These losses may be economic, such as lost wages, property damage, or medical expenses. You may also be able to seek non-economic damages for the loss of your quality of life, pain and suffering, and impacts on your close relationships. Your lawyer will look at the full extent of your damages, gather supporting proof, and calculate the value of your claim.

Determine the At-Fault Parties

One challenging aspect of a truck accident is untangling how the crash occurred and who may be held liable. Depending on the situation, several parties may be named as defendants in the case, including the:

  • Truck driver
  • Trucking company
  • Truck driver training staff
  • Repair or maintenance personnel
  • Third parties responsible for loading cargo
  • Manufacturers of the semi or defective parts

File Your Claim With the Appropriate Insurer(s)

As part of Florida’s no-fault insurance laws, every driver must carry a minimum of $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. Following an accident, the victim must first file a claim against this insurance to cover their damages. PIP insurance will generally cover a maximum of 60% of lost wages and 80% of medical expenses, up to your policy limits.

Unfortunately, the severe injuries that typically result from a truck collision can quickly outstrip PIP coverage limits. At this point, your lawyer must file claims with the at-fault parties’ insurers to recover full compensation. But timing is key. You will want to ensure you have reached the maximum medical improvement level for your injuries so your lawyer can accurately calculate your long-term expenses. Settling too early can lead to financial issues in the future.

Negotiate a Settlement

This step is often the longest but also the most critical. Your lawyer will negotiate with the insurer(s) to reach the most beneficial settlement possible. Insurance companies attempt to protect their bottom line and generally balk at paying the large settlements involved in truck crashes. A determined lawyer can make all the difference in these challenging cases. Your lawyer can also help you explore financial options that allow you to get the medical care you need while you wait for your case to conclude. Nearly all claims eventually result in an out-of-court settlement.

Take Your Case to Court, if Necessary

A personal injury lawsuit may be unavoidable if the insurer refuses to come to a reasonable settlement. Negotiations can keep going even after a lawsuit has been filed and may result in a resolution before your trial begins.

Your lawyer will likely consult experts in several fields, such as accident reconstructionists and medical specialists, to gather corroborative information to support your case in court. After hearing the evidence from both sides, the judge or jury will rule on your case. If either side is unsatisfied with the outcome, they may opt to appeal.

What is the Statute of Limitations on Florida Truck Accident Claims?

In the past, victims of truck accidents had four years from the date of the crash to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, with the passage of the Florida Tort Reform Act 2023, any legal actions founded on negligence that accrue after March 24, 2023, are subject to a two-year statute of limitations. This change significantly curtails the length of time in which a victim can file a lawsuit, making it even more vital to contact a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you do not lose your right to seek compensation from the at-fault parties. 

Why Hire a Lawyer?

When attempting to recover from a devastating truck accident, the last thing you want is to be locked in a stressful battle with insurers over your claim. It can be incredibly hard for individuals to navigate the web of rules and regulations surrounding personal injury law in Florida. When you contact Galimidi Law, you can rest easy knowing that we will handle every detail of your truck accident claim from beginning to end. We treat every case with the care and respect it deserves so our clients can focus on their health and families. Call 305-692-0125 to schedule a free case evaluation to learn more about your legal rights and options.

For more information on Florida truck accident law, please see:

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