Motor vehicle accidents can involve all types of situations and all types of vehicles, but those involving commercial trucks often stand apart from the rest. As civil trial lawyers who represent injured victims and families in personal injury and wrongful death claims across Orlando and the state of Florida, our team at Todd Miner Law knows wrecks involving tractor-trailers and other large commercial vehicles demand a different approach, an understanding of unique and varied issues, and a great deal of determination.
If you or someone you love has recently been involved in a wreck involving a commercial truck, knowing what your potential injury claim may involve can help you understand the importance of working with attorneys who have proven experience handling these cases. Below, we discuss some of the key differences between truck and car accident claims, and why not every personal injury lawyer has what it takes to tackle tough trucking cases.
- Serious injuries – Due to their size, weight, and inability to easily control or quickly stop, tractor-trailers and other large commercial class trucks are the most dangerous vehicles on our roads. As a result, they’re more likely to cause injuries than wrecks involving your typical car or pickup truck. That includes serious and catastrophic injuries which can alter the lives of victims and their families, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and paralysis. These types of serious injuries can have a far-reaching impact on victims and families, often resulting in significant physical, financial, and emotional damages, and making full compensation all the more important for covering lost wages and future income, pain and suffering, and other long-term or lifelong needs.
- Fatal risks – Statistics from agencies like the Federal Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show commercial trucks cause an estimated 5,000+ deaths each year in the U.S. Given the number of commercial trucks on the road, that number illustrates the increased fatal risks posed by trucking accidents. When those deaths result from the negligence of trucking companies, their drivers, or other negligent parties, families may have the right to file wrongful death claims.
- Unique laws – Civil personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits are known as “torts,” and they generally entail the same essential elements of proving fault and liability (i.e. proving the existence of a legal duty, a breach of duty, causation, and damages). Though those elements are consistent in most injury-related cases, trucking accident claims require a specific understanding of the unique patchwork of laws and regulations surrounding the trucking industry. That includes a number of regulations enforced by the DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which cover rules regarding things like cargo securement and vehicle weight restrictions, hazardous material transportation, vehicle maintenance standards, hiring and licensing of commercial drivers, hours-of-service rules, drug and alcohol testing, and more.
- Insurance-related issues – Civil injury cases typically entail matters insurance coverage, which is why our firm’s Founding Partner, Todd Miner, has been able to drive our record of success using his insider knowledge as a former insurance defense attorney. It’s also why we frequently stress the importance of ensuring people are fully covered (with insurance like PIP and UM / UIM) to prevent insufficient coverage issues that threaten a victim’s ability to recover their damages. Trucking accident cases have unique insurance issues of their own, including the fact that trucking operators often carry large commercial insurance policies given the risks of their industry. Those larger policies may provide more opportunity for victims, including those with serious injuries and greater damages, to recover what they need, but they also raise the stakes and prompt insurers to aggressively defend against lawsuits, dispute or deny liability, and do whatever it takes to pay as little as possible.
- Legal representation – There’s no law requiring you to have an attorney when seeking compensation for your injuries, but having a lawyer by your side can make all the difference. That’s especially true in matters as complex and high stakes as trucking accident claims, which demand the attention with attorneys who have the necessary experience and resources to conduct investigations, understand when regulatory violations occur, and fight back against corporate powers and insurance carriers who don’t want to fairly compensate victims. When vetting potential attorneys following a truck accident, be sure look for those with proven experience in commercial vehicle cases, not just car accidents.
Injured in a Trucking Accident? Our Orlando Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help.
Todd Miner Law is comprised of highly dedicated personal injury attorneys who have extensive experience representing victims and families in a range of accident cases involving tractor-trailers and other commercial trucks and vehicles. We’re also led by a former insurance defense attorney who knows the tactics insurance companies use to protect their bottom line, and the strategies to help clients effectively fight back.
If you have questions about your rights and the next steps in your legal journey, contact us for a FREE and confidential case review. Todd Miner Law serves clients throughout Orlando and the surrounding areas of Florida.