5 Key Differences Between Florida Car And Truck Accidents
If you have been injured in a Florida truck accident, your life may never be the same. You may have suffered life-threatening, debilitating, or even permanent injuries that can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical costs and lost wages. Most people are more familiar with car accidents because they are more common; if the vehicle that caused your wreck was a commercial truck (a semi-truck, a flatbed truck, a cement truck, etc.), you may not be sure what to do next. Rest assured that you are entitled to maximum monetary damages. However, in terms of recovering compensation, here are 5 differences between Florida car and truck accidents that you need to know about!
We know about these differences because we are award-winning Florida car and truck accident lawyers who have over 38 years of experience and who have recovered over $1 billion on behalf of injured auto accident victims statewide.
Truck accidents are much more severe than car accidents. Because commercial trucks are so much larger than the average passenger car – anywhere from 20-30 times as heavier, in fact – and because of the types of cargo trucks may be carrying, any collision between a truck and passenger car is likely to be catastrophic. Fatalities and permanently disabling injuries (such as traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries) are much more likely to occur in an accident when a truck was involved.
2) Insurance Coverage
Because trucks cause more severe damage when they are involved in accidents, they also are usually required to carry more insurance. All Florida motorists are required by law to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection coverage (PIP). However, for commercial trucks, there are different minimums in place based on the type of cargo the trucks are transporting and whether or not they are traveling out of state. Trucks carrying household goods must have a minimum of $300,000 in liability insurance; for general freight, it’s $750,000; for oil, it’s $1,000,000; and for hazardous materials, $5,000,000 is the minimum required coverage amount. If they are traveling out of Florida, they must meet federal liability limits. Greater minimum coverage limits mean that accident victims may be able to recover greater compensation!
Another one of the main differences between Florida car and truck accidents is how complex it is to recover compensation. Recovering compensation in any truck accident case is much more complex than recovering it in a car accident case, mainly because it is harder in truck accident cases to determine fault. In a car accident, 98% of the time it is the driver of one or both of the cars who caused the crash. In many truck accident cases, it is also the driver who is at fault – they were tired, they were speeding, they were drinking, they were texting, etc. However, in a truck crash, there may be other parties who were at fault as well: the driver’s employer, who may have scheduled the driver to drive for too many hours or pressured them to meet unreasonable deadlines; the mechanics or technicians who maintained the truck and may have made erroneous repairs; the manufacturer of the truck, who may have missed a defective part; and the company that loaded the cargo, if they did so incorrectly. There may be multiple insurance companies representing these parties, which makes negotiations and litigation more complex.
As we have already mentioned, most car accidents are caused by driver error, but truck accidents can have a variety of causes. The sheer size of trucks means that it is much harder for truck drivers to stop quickly or make turns if the vehicles around them are acting unpredictably. Commercial trucks also spend more time on the road and travel longer distances than most passenger cars, so they sustain more wear and tear and must be maintained even more regularly. Drivers are often required by the trucking company they work for to be on the road for days at a time, which can cause them to be drowsy or distracted.
In any accident, the more evidence you have to support your claim, the better. In car accidents, the evidence usually includes the police report, photos or videos of the crash, eyewitness testimony, and medical documentation. However, one of the key differences between Florida car and truck accidents is that there is always much more evidence available in a truck accident. Trucks have a data recorder. There are log reports, there are cargo manifests, there are hiring records….there are multiple sources of evidence that can be used to accurately determine fault and make a strong case for you to get paid a fair settlement! for your injuries!
Injured in a truck accident? Call The Florida Law Group!
Truck insurance companies will fight to avoid paying you the full amount your injuries are worth. If you have been seriously injured in a truck collision that wasn’t your fault, call the experienced, aggressive truck accident injury attorneys at The Florida Law Group to fight for you! We can work with you to investigate the crash, explain your legal options, value your injuries, and recover the compensation you deserve. We offer free consultations, and you never have to pay us until you win! We have 11 offices throughout the state in order to better serve you. Call now to speak with an attorney and discuss your case.