Port St. Lucie Truck Accident Lawyer
Located at less than an hour’s drive from Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie has a growing urban population. The city is known for its nature preserves and rivers, as well as its love of baseball and golf. As of 2020, the city has a population of over 195,000 people.
With a large population comes the establishment of a range of businesses. Port St. Lucie also has a number of trucking companies, including American Freight Inc., Maguire’s, Bryson, and more. The increased number of trucks on the roads has also increased the percentage of accidents involving large commercial vehicles. In 2017, according to the US FMCSA, there were nearly 4,700 trucks involved in fatal accidents, and around 363,000 trucks involved in accidents that led to property damage.
Truck accidents can cause fatal injuries, property damage and affect your quality of life. If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck accident, you can pursue a claim for damages from the at-fault party. Contact the experienced attorneys at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers to review your case and to explain your options.Common Truck Accidents in St. Lucie County
There are a number of different types of trucks that are involved in accidents, including the following:Commercial Trucks
Although commercial trucks may come in different models, they need to fulfill some basic requirements to be categorized as “commercial.” These include:
- Having a weight rating of 26,001 lbs or more
- Owned by a company, is on a lease, etc.
- May be used to haul different types of cargo, including certain hazardous materials.
These are probably the most common types of trucks used for commercial purposes. Cargo can be loaded onto them from the top, side, or back because only its tent cover needs to be moved around to create an opening. They look similar to pick-up trucks and can hold a decent amount of cargo.Tractor Trailer Trucks
Also known as truck trailers, these are popular among organizations because of the quick loading/unloading time. These trucks have a very solid build to keep the cargo inside safe and are usually quite large and spacious.Company or Rented Trucks
Commercial trucks may either be owned by a corporation or other company, or they may be leased out by another organization. Some trucks may also be rented to companies by private owners. In such cases, if an accident occurs, your attorney can help you determine who is liable before pursuing your claim.Moving Trucks
Moving trucks are used to transport goods such as furniture and so on when the parties involved are changing their location for long term use. This may include changing homes, or large scale moves like changing corporate offices.Work Trucks
Work trucks are designed for commercial purposes and must fulfill 2 requirements:
- Have a weight rating between 8,500-10,000 lbs.
- Are not trucks designed for transporting people.
Truck accidents occur due to a number of reasons including but not limited to the following:
- Lack of truck driving experience
- Overloading trucks
- Driving for too long without taking a break
- Failure to monitor the driving hours of the truck driver
- Operating oversized trucks on narrow roads
- Failure to see other vehicles due to the truck’s large blind spot
- Hiring an unqualified or unfit truck driver
- Not keeping the tractor and/or trailer in a safe, working condition
Truck drivers must fulfill certain requirements before they are legally allowed to drive a truck on public roads. However, in some cases, drivers fail to comply with these, and in complicated circumstances, they are unable to steer their trucks safely. In poor weather conditions like fog or sleet or on rough surfaces, truck drivers may lose control of the vehicle, which may skid, topple over, or crash into other vehicles that turned up in their blind spot.
Trucks are designed to carry a specific amount of weight, and the cargo must not exceed a certain height within the truck. In case of hazardous or other items that require delicate handling, these regulations become even more important.
An overloaded truck faces the danger of toppling over affecting other vehicles nearby, and if the cargo is flammable, an explosion causing mass-scale fatalities is also possible.
Truck driving is a pretty intense job, and there is usually a fair bit of time pressure in the transportation of goods, especially perishables. This means that truck drivers cover a lot of ground in less time with little to no breaks.
According to the NHTSA, 91,000 motor vehicle accidents in 2017 involved drowsy driving. Driving constantly without a break may cause truckers to feel drowsy and not be as alert to the road, which may lead to accidents caused by missed traffic signals, unnoticed obstructions and vehicles, and so on.
Legally, truck drivers are not allowed to drive for more than 14 hours straight after which they need to get sufficient rest before resuming their journey. Exceeding this time limit can impair the driver’s clarity to think and focus on the road and cause them to get distracted, drowsy, and reckless on the road.
It is ideal for truck drivers to block out any noise with the help of earplugs and find a cool place to rest in after a 14-hour shift to resume their journey safely.
The government has set up truck routes that map out all the roads that have sufficient space for trucks and other large vehicles. Truck drivers that try to take shortcuts and end up roads that are too narrow may lead to vehicle accidents if they fail to see a vehicle in their blind spot or reach a point on the road where there isn’t sufficient space for the truck to pass through without damaging surrounding property.
Truck drivers are usually seated above the average seating position of other vehicle drivers, such as cars and motorcycles. If either of these vehicles is trying to change lanes or moving towards an intersection, their indicator may go unnoticed by the truck driver leading to an accident that may be a slight fender-bender or a fatal crash depending on the speed of the drivers and the situation.
All truck drivers must have a commercial driver’s license in order to operate a heavy-duty vehicle. However, some companies may hire drivers who do not have this qualification or are not experienced in handling the type of cargo being transported. Such drivers may be unaware of truck routes, unable to maneuver in tough weather, and may end up getting involved in an accident.
Trucks cover large distances in every shift and during the entire workweek. They may cover a few thousand miles and need to be serviced properly before the start of each new journey. Even minor problems like worn-out brakes or a slightly cracked windshield can cause massive problems in a vehicle this size. These may impair the truck driver’s vision and can become the cause of fatal road accidents.
Commercial truck accidents may lead to injuries, holding the at-fault parties liable over a number of reasons, including the following:
- Not complying with the size, weight, and height restrictions of the cargo allowed in the truck.
- Drivers not observing the driving limit- this limit is 14 hours for cargo carriers and 10 hours for passengers.
- Truck drivers who were distracted while driving- this includes texting, talking on the phone, and so on.
- Drivers who were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Drivers involved in truck accidents must undergo a BAC (blood alcohol consumption) test and a drug test.
- Drivers who did not comply with regulations requiring them to abide by the speed limit and to maintain a distance of at least 10 feet with other vehicles on the road.
Trucks involved in road accidents may also occur due to a lack of driver qualification, etc. In some cases, other parties like the manufacturer may be liable if the vehicle is faulty, or the company may be held liable for not servicing the vehicle at the required days.
An employer may be held liable for any actions performed by the employee as long as that action was within the scope of their job description. Essentially, this means that if you sustained any injuries in a rig accident in South Florida, the trucking company or other corporation involved could potentially be held responsible. Despite the fact that this means tentatively getting a higher payout, it may also bring on the additional challenge of dealing with a stronger, seasoned opponent.
Some truck accidents occur due to oversights by the truck maintenance company, the vehicle or parts manufacturers, or even the tire manufacturer. Contact the legal team at Frankl Kominsky - Personal Injury Lawyers serving Port St Lucie. We can try to help you determine who is at fault for your injuries and fight for your rightful compensation.
It is important to keep in mind that many automobile accidents can be complicated with more than one party at fault. In some cases, responsibility for the accident may be shared between the two parties. In some cases you may be held partially liable for the collision. While this does not keep you from getting your compensation, it does lower the amount you are likely to receive due to the concept of comparative negligence.Truck Accidents in St. Lucie County: Common Injuries
Truck accidents tend to be quite serious and can lead to severe injuries in their victims. Among the many common injuries in such road accidents are:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Broken or Fractured Bones
- Dislocated / Injuries to the knee, shoulder, or hip
- Nerve Damage
- Internal Bleeding
- Injuries to the Spine
- Back and Neck Injuries
- Cuts and Bruises
Major truck accidents can cause traumatic brain injuries that can have a permanent impact, such as paralysis or loss of some general motor skills. Patients may require extensive surgery and therapeutic treatment in order to recover completely.
Minor accidents may leave victims with a slight concussion. Concussions may vary from dizziness and headaches to more serious problems like affected memory and focus. It is imperative for those injured in a truck accident to have get checked for a concussion and to reach out to a medical health professional if they show symptoms of serious damage.
The injured parties in a truck accident are likely to suffer the most impact of the accident, especially if they are pedestrians, on a motorcycle, or a vehicle that has toppled or flipped over in the accident. The force of the accident can break or fracture your bones in the arms, legs, hips, and more. Extensive bone grafting may be required to help the patient heal.
Much like the impact of an accident can cause broken bones, it can also dislocate your arm, shoulder, hip, and so on. In some cases, this dislocation may be permanent. If you display the symptoms of a dislocated joint, your doctor will run tests, including X-rays, to determine whether it is injured or dislocated and determine your treatment accordingly.
Nerve damage leads to a range of problems ranging from dizziness and dry eyes to constipation, chest pains, and even heart attacks. Nerve damage may cause involuntary twitching in the body and even paralysis. The force of the accidents causes the nerves to compress, and this trauma may lead to nerve damage.
Whiplash is caused by the sudden impact of an accident and is common in rear-end truck accidents. The symptoms range from slight neck pain to dizziness, impaired vision, memory problems, and so on. While most people recover completely from whiplash, it is important to get your symptoms checked by a doctor, especially if the pain persists.
Even if you’ve managed to steer clear of nerve damage or severe brain injuries, you may experience internal bleeding in your spleen, bladder, kidneys, and so on. These injuries are often worse than physical ones since their symptoms may, at times, go temporarily unnoticed and can even cause death.
Injuries to the spine are particularly traumatizing because they can lead to temporary or permanent paralysis in your lower body. Even if you recover, the process is long and painful and requires months, maybe even years of surgery, treatment, therapy, and other devices.
The back and neck contain a number of small bones that are fragile enough to break due to the impact of an accident. They can lead to whiplash, and in many cases, the symptoms of such injuries may surface some time after the accident. It is important to keep an eye out for these symptoms and get medical help immediately if they surface to avoid permanent injuries.
Apart from severe internal and external injuries, the survivors of truck accidents end with scars and bruises, many of which leave permanent marks. The heated rubber and fuel may rupture gas tanks and cause burns that may even penetrate below the skin.Florida Truck Accidents: Damages You Can Pursue
Being in a truck accident can lead to physical and mental injuries as well as property damage. Here are the damages you can pursue against the at-fault party:Medical Bills and related expenses
All medical expenses incurred due to the accident can be pursued. This includes emergency transport to the hospital, emergency care, the cost of running tests, pain management, therapeutic treatment, prescription medication, therapy, and so on. This also includes all those expenses incurred for injuries that surface later on but are connected to the accident.Current and Future Lost Wages, and Loss of Earning Capacity
Truck accidents may leave the victims impaired for a long period of time, during which they are unable to work or earn. Such victims can claim for lost wages and reduced earning potential.Pain and Suffering, Mental Anguish
Apart from physical injuries, truck accidents can cause mental trauma, including PTSD, anxiety, and depression. For victims who had to undergo amputations, they may also suffer from phantom limb pain. Victims may be able to pursue a claim for their pain and suffering, including the cost of therapy.Repair or Replacement of Your Vehicle
Truck accidents cause heavy damage, including completely totaling other vehicles involved in the accident. The affected parties may make a claim for the repair of a vehicle or complete replacement if the vehicle is beyond repair or the repair costs are beyond its actual market value.Loss of Consortium
Those injured in a truck accident may find themselves unable to seek pleasure from their spouse and have strained or broken relationships. In such cases, they can file for loss of consortium. If the injured party dies due to the accident, their parents, spouse, children, etc. can pursue a wrongful death suit against the at-fault party.Florida Truck Accidents: How to Protect Yourself Following a Truck Accident Scene of the Crash
If you have been involved in a truck accident, do not leave the scene of the accident. Instead, start off by calling 911 or your local police department. Wait for them to arrive at the scene of the accident. Reach out to the Port St. Lucie Police Department. Be sure to get a copy of the drivers exchange and the crash report.
If you were injured during the accident, obtain medical care, and if needed, you may be transported to a local hospital for emergency treatment. Port St. Lucie Hospital has a 24-hour emergency department to treat road accident patients.
Take plenty of photos and make videos of the scene, including the damaged vehicles, nearby traffic signals and signs, and of the overall scene of the crash. Take photos of your injuries.
If there were any witnesses, obtain their personal contact information such as a phone number, email address and address.After the Crash
Once you have been discharged from the hospital, collect your medical bills and records, including emergency and other care.
Contact an experienced truck accident injury attorney. At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, we can help you with your claim for personal injuries and property damages.
If you are contacted by an insurance agent on behalf of the at-fault party, do not give them a recorded statement or sign any documents without speaking to your attorney first.Florida Statute of Limitations: Truck Accidents
The Florida statute of limitations has set timelines within which the affected parties in a truck accident case can file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations for a negligence claim is 4 years from the date of the accident. This statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is 2 years from the date of death. Failure to file within the Statute of Limitations will likely result in the court dismissing your case. Contact the attorneys at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers for any questions regarding the Statute of Limitations in your truck accident claim.What Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers Can Try To Do For You
Many victims feel like they’ll be able to handle cases on their own or settle claims with the insurance company, but they may end up with much less than the value of their claim. It is important to consult with an attorney as early as possible to:
- Collect evidence supporting your case, including dealing with witnesses and evidence that could potentially disappear. This includes accessing surveillance camera footage, etc.
- They will also handle all interactions and negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company. If necessary, they will file a lawsuit on your claim.
- Help advise you through any complications regarding finding the at-fault party, the statute of limitations, and so on.
With growing businesses and increasing road traffic, truck accidents have risen in the Florida region. Truck accidents can cause personal and property damage. If you or someone close to you has been impacted by a reckless or negligent driver, it is advisable that you consult with an experienced attorney available that serves the Port St. Lucie area.
At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, we provide you with access to attorneys who specialize in accident and injury cases. They will help you find all the necessary evidence, put together the legal documentation, and establish how the accident has impacted your life.
With over 40 years of legal experience and millions recovered in settlements and verdicts, our attorneys will fight to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Through excellent representation and client service, you can expect a seamless journey throughout your case.
Call 772-800-8000 for a free consultation for your case or reach out to us online. You can also check out our YouTube channel.