Florida Truck Accident Attorneys

Ready to Fight Big Trucking Companies for You

The chances of a trucking company or insurance company taking care of you after a truck accident are low. You have to look out for yourself and take legal action to pursue the compensation owed to you. To make that process simpler and less stressful, team up with Zimmerman & Frachtman. Our truck accident attorneys in Florida offer outstanding legal representation to injured motorists and pedestrians in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Coral Springs, and everywhere in between.

Call (954) 504-6577 to speak with our true and trustworthy truck accident attorneys in South Florida!

Why Do I Need a Truck Accident Lawyer in Florida?

Semi truck and trailer on the highway

If you've been injured in a trucking accident in Florida, you will first pursue compensation through your own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy. Unfortunately, PIP coverage is often not enough to cover the serious injuries and other losses sustained in a truck accident. That's because commercial vehicles like semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and tractor-trailers cause way more damage than passenger vehicles due to their huge size and immense weight.

When you've reached the limit of your PIP policy, you may be able to pursue additional compensation from the at-fault driver through a personal injury lawsuit. However, by the time you realize you need to file a lawsuit, it may be too late to preserve necessary evidence that proves your claim.

To ensure the best possible outcome of your case, it's imperative to hire an experienced attorney as soon as possible to help you with:

  • Submitting an error-free claim and meeting important deadlines
  • Collecting essential evidence such as video footage, truck logs, and medical records
  • Filing a personal injury lawsuit against all liable parties (truck driver, trucking company, truck parts manufacturer)
  • Negotiating a settlement with the at-fault party's insurance provider
  • Taking your case to trial if a favorable settlement cannot be reached

Don't wait until any longer to hire an experienced truck accident lawyer in Florida. Zimmerman & Frachtman, P.A. has the skill and resources you need to take on big trucking companies and their insurance providers and recover the compensation you deserve.

Types of Truck Accidents We Handle

At Zimmerman & Frachtman, we are proud to be able to say that our team of Florida truck accident lawyers is able to manage all sorts of cases. No matter what type of accident you were in, we have the knowledge and experience required to handle your claim. We will aim to secure a fair and maximized settlement as soon as possible, so you can move on with your life and put this ordeal behind you.

Overweight Trucks

A truck that is overweight or overloaded can present a large danger to other motorists using the road. When there is too much weight on a truck, it can be difficult to control and require a longer distance to stop. Cargo that is not properly tied down may shift causing objects to fall off and become a hazard. The truck may also overturn more easily because its center of gravity is too high.

A trucking company can be held liable for accidents or injuries that occur because of an overloaded or overweight truck. This can apply to a weight being miscalculated, or if the driver was acting within the company’s interest at the time of the incident by driving a deliberately overloaded truck.

Speeding Trucks

Trucks that drive fast may be unable to control their vehicles under severe weather conditions or bad road conditions. In addition, the sheer size of these commercial trucks means the driver must have solid control over the vehicle. By speeding recklessly, the driver may be unable to control the vehicle effectively at high speeds. This can result in the truck jack-knifing another vehicle, rolling over on the road or going off the road and hitting property.

Truck Driver Fatigue

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is in charge of enforcing different regulations that are put upon truckers in United States of America. These rules are put into place in order for truckers to be able to drive more safely. The problem is that many truckers feel like they are under a lot of pressure to make the deliveries on time and because of that they may turn to things such as stimulants or other products that are made to help them to stay awake. In reality these stimulants will not keep them awake forever and truckers need to take out the time to rest and take care of themselves. Many truckers tend to ignore symptoms such as tiredness, fatigue, and lane swerving. Since that is the case they have been the cause of many serious car accidents.

Distracted Truck Drivers

Truck drivers spend a great deal of time driving. As a result, many times they are tempted to do other things while driving like eating, using a cell phone, and even using a computer in some rare instances. Distractions like these can quickly make a driving environment very dangerous and subsequently increase the risk of a serious accident occurring. Sadly, driving distracted is one of the leading causes of car accidents. However, when a distracted driver is driving a huge truck, the outcome of an accident can be extremely serious to catastrophic.

DUI Truck Accidents

Drunk drivers are dangerous. Drunk truck drivers are extremely dangerous. Truckers who are bored with their routines sometimes drink and drive because they no longer pay attention to what is right and safe while on the job.

Under the Florida law, a truck driver is considered intoxicated at a 0.04 percent BAL or more, which is half the standard 0.08 in Florida for typical drivers. This is a stark contrast and one worth noting – it doesn’t matter how much the person has had to drink, once that limit is reached, the person is easily susceptible to DUI.

Tire Blowouts

18-wheelers need all 18 of those wheels to carry the weight of the vehicle safely. If a tire blows up suddenly, then the truck driver can instantly lose control and cause a horrible crash.

Some reasons for a tire blowout are:

  • Bald Tires: driving with bald or warn out tires during adverse weather conditions can cause the truck driver to lose control of the truck, have difficulty stopping, or the tires will burst. Even on dry land a dire that is bald makes it difficult to stop and easy to puncture.
  • Under-inflated or over-inflated: Correct air pressure is essential, the ability to steer and stability when turning are seriously compromised when a tire is over or under-inflated.
  • Manufactures defects: Any instability in a tire has the potential to cause a tire to blow; if a tire blows the truck driver and lose control of his rig causing an accident.
  • Excessive heat: Most people think that rain and cold weather affects tires more than hot weather; the truth is that air is a gas, when gas is heated it expands. This causes a truck’s tires to have more volume than they should. Truck drivers have been trained to deal with their tire pressure and a tire left unchecked can blow, causing a serious accident.

U-Haul Accidents

People who rent U-Haul trucks are not given any sort of training course to ensure they know how to safely operate the vehicle. Let us know if you got hit by someone who rented a U-Haul and did not know how to drive it.

Jackknife Accidents

If the trailer behind a tractor swings outward and forward in a crash so that it comes to rest next to or in front of the cab, it is called a jackknife accident. This type of accident endangers drivers in all lanes of a highway.

What Causes Truck Accidents?

The cause of your truck accident will be one of the focal points of your claim and our investigation. We have to prove that the truck driver did something wrong to cause the crash, which will make them liable for your damages. To figure out what they did wrong, we need to begin with the underlying cause.

Four common causes of truck accidents include:

  • Driver error: Many truck accidents are caused by human error, just like car accidents. From overcorrecting and speeding to driving while texting, what might seem like a small mistake can create life-changing consequences in a second.
  • Equipment malfunction: Broken or defective truck parts can be the cause of truck accidents, especially when a part fails without warning. Routine maintenance is a must to reduce the chances of a dangerous equipment malfunction.
  • Incorrect cargo loading: Placing cargo into or onto a trailer incorrectly can be the direct cause of a truck accident later. For example, a top-heavy trailer can tip over when the truck driver rounds a tight corner or needs to make a sudden lane change.
  • Inclement weather: Rough weather can contribute to a truck accident, such as torrential rain that is so common throughout Florida. Truck drivers need to drive safer than usual in bad weather or just delay their route entirely.

Determining Fault in a Truck Accident Case

Knowing what caused your truck accident is different from knowing how to prove it. Our Florida trucking accident attorneys can work diligently to uncover evidence that shows without a doubt that you did nothing wrong. In some cases, we will work with outside experts like engineers and accident reconstruction professionals.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how fault is typically determined in a truck accident:

  • Gather Evidence at the Scene: Immediately after the accident, if possible, gather as much evidence as you can. This includes taking photographs of the accident scene, damaged vehicles, skid marks, and any road signs or conditions that may have contributed to the accident. If there were witnesses, obtain their contact information. Other types of evidence that can be used to prove fault include dashcam footage, emergency responder reports, trucking company records, and truck "black box" data.
  • Contact Law Enforcement: Call the police to the scene of the accident. A police report is often a crucial piece of evidence in determining fault. Ensure that the responding officers document the details of the accident, including any statements from the involved parties and witnesses.
  • Seek Medical Attention: If you or anyone else involved in the accident is injured, seek medical attention immediately. Prompt medical treatment can help establish the extent of injuries and their connection to the accident.
  • Preserve Evidence: Keep any evidence related to the accident, such as vehicle damage, personal belongings, and medical records. This evidence can be crucial in determining fault and assessing damages.
  • Obtain Eyewitness Statements: Speak to eyewitnesses and ask them to provide statements about what they saw. Eyewitness accounts can help establish the sequence of events and who was at fault.
  • Review Trucking Company Records: If a commercial truck is involved, request records from the trucking company, including driver logs, maintenance records, and any data from the truck's electronic control module (ECM) or black box, which can provide information about vehicle speed and braking.
  • Consult with Experts: Accident reconstruction experts and forensic experts may be called upon to analyze the evidence and recreate the accident's sequence of events. These professionals can offer expert opinions on fault based on their expertise.
  • Review Traffic Laws and Regulations: Examine relevant traffic laws and regulations to determine if any party violated them. Violations can establish negligence and fault.
  • Interview the Parties Involved: Obtain statements from all parties involved in the accident, including the truck driver, other drivers, and passengers. These statements can provide insight into their actions leading up to the accident.
  • Consult Legal Professionals: If you believe you were not at fault, consult with a personal injury attorney experienced in handling truck accident cases. They can provide guidance, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent your interests in legal proceedings.
  • Insurance Company Investigations: Insurance companies for the parties involved may conduct their own investigations. Be prepared to provide statements and cooperate with their inquiries, but exercise caution when dealing with insurance adjusters, as their primary goal is often to minimize payouts.
  • Legal Proceedings: If fault cannot be determined through negotiation or if disputes arise, the case may proceed to a legal trial. A judge or jury will then make a determination of fault based on the evidence presented.

Who is Liable for Causing a Truck Accident?

In a truck accident, liability for the accident and resulting damages can be attributed to various parties depending on the specific circumstances of the accident. Liability is generally determined by assessing who was negligent or at fault for the accident.

Here are some parties who may be held liable in a truck accident:

  • Truck Driver: The truck driver can be held liable if their negligence contributed to the accident. This includes behaviors like speeding, reckless driving, distracted driving (e.g., texting while driving), driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or violating traffic laws.
  • Trucking Company: The trucking company that employs the driver may also be held liable if it can be shown that they were negligent in their hiring, training, or supervision of the driver. Additionally, if the company encourages or tolerates unsafe practices, they could be held liable.
  • Truck Owner: If the truck is owned by a different entity than the one operating it, the owner could be held liable if the accident resulted from a mechanical failure or maintenance issue that they were responsible for addressing.
  • Maintenance and Repair Contractors: If the accident was caused by poor maintenance or inadequate repairs to the truck, the contractors responsible for these services may be held liable.
  • Manufacturer or Supplier: If a defective truck part or component played a role in the accident, the manufacturer or supplier of that part could be held liable for producing or distributing a faulty product.
  • Cargo Loaders and Shippers: If an improperly loaded or secured cargo played a role in causing the accident, the company or individuals responsible for loading and securing the cargo may be held liable.
  • Other Drivers: In some cases, the actions of other drivers on the road can contribute to a truck accident. If another driver's negligence caused the accident, they may be held liable.
  • Government Entities: If road conditions or infrastructure played a significant role in the accident, liability may extend to government entities responsible for designing, maintaining, or repairing the road.

Florida Statute of Limitations for Truck Accidents

Florida gives you four years to file an injury claim after being in a truck accident. Even though this statute of limitations is one of the longest in the country, do not plan on using all four years’ time. The longer you wait to file a claim, the less information you will remember about your case, which makes creating an effective claim more difficult. Please act quickly to learn more about your legal options by dialing (954) 504-6577 today.

Consult Our Team Today for Legal Assistance

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident while driving the roads of Florida, our attorneys are the first people you should call for comprehensive and compassionate legal assistance. It is our passion to provide the wrongfully injured people in our state with outstanding services that make pursuing compensation simple. It might never be fun to deal with a truck accident claim, but we believe it should at least be stress-free.

Contact us online if you want to know more. Initial consultations are free.

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