Delivery truck accidents are very different from ordinary road traffic accidents involving cars or smaller vehicles. The damage is often far worse, and the ensuing lawsuits are more complicated and harder to resolve. That’s why it’s so important to hire an experienced personal injury attorney. This will give you the best possible chance of receiving the compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical expenses, pain, suffering, and other damages.
Every year, thousands of Americans are killed in accidents involving large delivery vehicles. Serious injuries, fatalities, grieving families, financial devastation — these are common in the wake of truck accidents. With the rise of online shopping and home deliveries, this number is only likely to increase. It’s more likely now for people to be injured or killed in an Amazon delivery truck accident, say, or a FedEx delivery truck accident.
Many factors can cause a delivery truck accident. Speeding, distracted driving, driving while impaired by drugs, driver exhaustion — all of these can contribute to truck accidents. It’s important to get support from an experienced attorney, someone who can help guide you through the complexities of such an accident: determining who is at fault and effectively seeking compensation.
Who’s Liable in a Delivery Truck Accident?
One of the crucial issues in a delivery truck accident case is determining who’s at fault. For your case to succeed, you’ll need to prove negligence on the part of the driver or other parties.
In some cases, the delivery company may be liable for negligence. For instance, in a UPS delivery truck accident, UPS might theoretically be responsible. Sometimes, though, the delivery truck driver may be an independent contractor who might be held criminally liable for the crash.
In some cases, delivery companies may attempt to evade being sued by claiming that the driver was an independent contractor. Independent contractors, however, must satisfy certain specific conditions under the relevant employment and tax laws. If it can be proven that a company is paying employment taxes, then the driver can be shown to be an employee rather than a contractor.
Other parties may bear liability for a delivery truck accident. For example, if the accident is due to a cargo having been improperly loaded, the person or entity responsible for loading the cargo may be liable. If the accident is due to a defective truck part, the manufacturer can be sued. If the accident is due to a poorly maintained road or a faulty traffic signal, the authority responsible for their upkeep may be liable.
Comparative Fault in Delivery Truck Accidents
Some people assume that if they were partly responsible for the accident, they wouldn’t be entitled to compensation. This is a misconception. In many states, including Florida, you may still be entitled to a percentage of compensation even if it’s determined that you’re partly at fault.
Delivery Truck Accident Settlements
The amount you’re entitled to will depend on several factors. Your settlement may include:
Property and vehicle damage: It’s common for smaller vehicles involved in delivery truck accidents to be very severely damaged. In many cases, they will be written off entirely. You may receive compensation for your damaged or destroyed vehicle.
Medical expenses: Many victims of delivery truck accidents are left facing substantial medical bills. While there’s a lot of variation between cases, your settlement will generally be higher depending on your treatment’s cost and length.
Lost income: You may have to take a lot of time off work after an accident. Some people are rendered unable to work.
Pain and suffering: You may be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering caused by the accident.
Other costs included in your settlement may consist of legal fees, expenses relating to ongoing care, and funeral expenses.
Because lawsuits relating to delivery truck accidents are so complicated, it’s important to get expert legal advice. At Graves Thomas Rotunda Injury Law Group, we have the expertise to bring you the compensation you deserve.
If you find yourself unable to work due to disability, applying for SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) can be the lifeline you need. SSID is awarded based on an assessment of your need, factoring in things like your income, assets, and level of disability. This means that some claims are rejected.
The refusal of your claim is not the final word, however. It is possible to appeal a rejection, and many appeals are successful. Your claim can be reconsidered and may be successful if you keep trying. Because social security disability benefits can be so important for maintaining your quality of life, it’s well worth fighting for them. Read on to find out what steps you can take to challenge the decision and claim the benefits you need.
Ask for a reconsideration
Your first step might be to file for reconsideration. When you receive your decision from the Social Security Administration (SSA), you will usually get an explanation of why you were refused SSDI. If you think this reason is wrong for any reason, you are entitled to file for reconsideration. The SSA must then review your case in its entirety as if it was a new application. If you were correct, your claim may be reinstated. A disability attorney can help you with this.
Request a hearing with an administrative law judge
Even if the reconsideration doesn’t go your way, you still have plenty of options. You can appeal again, requesting a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ). These hearings take place locally. The ALJ will review your application and question you about your situation. The judge will also speak to any medical experts and attending witnesses involved in your case. You’re entitled to representation during this process. During hearings, you should consider having a disability attorney present to support you.
Submit fresh medical evidence
If your medical condition has changed during the SSDI application process or you were appealing, you must inform the SSA. You can submit this new evidence separately or in conjunction with a request for reconsideration.
Providing information on medical changes is a requirement and can also help your application. New medical information and evidence can bolster your case, giving the evaluator additional cause to award you SSDI.
Obtain testimonials from your doctor(s)
Doctors’ evaluations are weighted very heavily by the SSA. Should your initial social security disability application be denied, additional information can help when you appeal. If you haven’t already done so, ask your doctor to fill in an RFC (residual functional capacity) form. If your condition has worsened, you can ask your doctor to submit a revised RFC form. Your doctor can also submit additional information to support your case, detailing your condition, and explaining why you should receive benefits.
Contact a Social Security Disability Attorney
Whether you’re applying for the first time or appealing an unfavorable decision, enlisting an experienced social security disability attorney is always a wise move. Disability attorneys know exactly what an SSA evaluator is looking for in a claim and can ensure that your case is adjudicated fairly. Disability attorneys are very well versed in the appeals process and can make this daunting endeavor much less painful. Disability attorneys are required to advise you for free until you win your appeal and begin to receive benefits. This means that the attorney is highly motivated to do everything they can to ensure that your appeal is successful.
If you’re thinking about appealing your SSDI decision, it’s a good idea to seek professional legal advice as soon as possible. Graves Thomas Rotunda Injury Law Group’s experienced, compassionate disability attorneys can help you receive the SSI disability benefits you deserve.
A death in the family is always a tragedy. It can be so much worse if you know that the death was avoidable and that someone else was to blame. There is nothing that can truly compensate for the loss of a loved one. In the case of wrongful death, however, taking legal action may help provide closure and address some of the material consequences of your bereavement.
What is a wrongful death lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a special kind of legal action. It is brought when somebody dies, and the death is the result of someone else’s negligence or because of an intentional act. Wrongful death settlements can help compensate for things like loss of income, the loss of the deceased person’s companionship, and costs relating to medical treatment and funeral expenses.
When is a wrongful death lawsuit applicable?
Although any death is a blow to the bereaved, not all deaths can be deemed “wrongful.” For a wrongful death claim to have merit, the victim would have to have been killed as a result of a wrongful action by the defendant. Here are some examples of situations where a wrongful death lawsuit might be brought:
If a person dies as a result of murder or manslaughter, a wrongful death suit may be brought against the culprit. The wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action and independent of any criminal cases brought against the person responsible. For example, a person might be found not guilty of murder or manslaughter yet still be found liable for a wrongful death claim.
Vehicle accident fatalities involving negligence or dangerous driving
A person who causes death due to negligent or dangerous driving may be liable for a wrongful death claim if it can be proven that they caused the accident through their negligence.
An employer may be the subject of a wrongful death lawsuit if an employee (or someone visiting the workplace) is killed due to negligence. For example, if dangerous machinery isn’t properly maintained and guarded, and someone dies as a result, the courts may deem this a wrongful death.
Death as a result of medical malpractice, may be grounds for a wrongful death claim. If a doctor misdiagnoses a condition due to negligence or fails to administer a reasonable level of appropriate care, a death resulting from this may be deemed wrongful.
How can you prove a wrongful death case?
For a wrongful death lawsuit to be successful, the plaintiffs (usually the victim’s surviving family or their estate) need to meet a particular burden of proof. The plaintiffs must show that the defendant had a duty of care and that death resulted from a breach of this duty.
Wrongful death damages
The categories of losses that a survivor might be compensated for include:
- Loss of the victim’s expected income
- Loss of the services that the victim would have provided if they’d survived
- Any inheritance lost because of the death
- Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before death, also known as the survival claim
- Medical bills incurred before death as a result of the injury
- Loss of the deceased’s love and companionship
- Loss of the deceased’s care, guidance, and nurturing
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral and burial costs
How to proceed
Wrongful death lawsuits are very complicated and can be difficult to resolve. It’s important to seek advice from an experienced wrongful death attorney to ensure that you receive the damages you’re entitled. If you think you have a claim for wrongful death, contact Graves Thomas Rotunda Injury Law Group for expert legal advice in the Vero Beach area.
While road traffic accidents have tended to decrease year after year, the number of traffic fatalities in Florida remains regrettably high. In particular, Florida currently ranks third in the US for traffic fatalities when you look at accidents involving trucks. Injuries are unusually high, too.
It’s estimated that a person is hurt or killed in a truck accident every 16 minutes in the US. Every year, an average of 700 people die while driving or as passengers in trucks. In 2018 alone, over 40 people died in truck accidents in Florida. Over 1,250 others were severely injured, with hundreds incapacitated.
How many semi truck accidents per year occur in Florida? How many lift truck accidents are reported each year? The number varies, but certain factors seem to remain consistent. The size of the vehicle is important. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety’s Crash Report, six people died in 2018 after being in accidents involving light trucks of 10,000 lbs or less. Fifty-three people suffered incapacitating injuries, while 236 are less severely injured. In total, In the case of medium and heavy trucks (those over 10,000 lbs), the numbers are much, much higher. In 2018 there were 39 deaths, 129 people suffered incapacitating injuries, and 421 had less severe injuries. There are also several hundred people who may have been injured but whose medical status was not recorded.
What makes trucks more dangerous than other vehicles? Partly it’s their large size, which makes them slower to swerve or stop as well as producing worse injuries than a car or van. A semi truck might weigh over 30 times as much as a standard passenger car.
Does this mean that truck drivers are more careless or accident-prone than other drivers? No. While negligent or irresponsible driving on the part of truck drivers is to blame for some of these accidents, a large proportion of accidents involving trucks are the fault of other drivers who fail to respect the risks presented by these large vehicles.
Many drivers routinely drive too closely behind trucks, ignoring the stickers and notices reminding those behind them to stay back 50 feet. These mandatory warnings are there for a reason: in the event of an accident involving that truck, those 50 feet could mean the difference between a minor fender-bender and a life-altering or life-ending crash.
It’s especially important to be mindful of trucks when you’re driving in poor conditions. You should always remain aware of your surroundings, but when driving at night or in bad weather, your risk of an accident is elevated. There is a blind spot behind the trailer; you need to avoid this. Be alert to trucks that are changing lanes or driving more slowly than usual. If you must pass a truck, always avoid doing so on the passenger side.
Of course, if you’re a truck driver, you also need to stay alert and follow all the regulations governing safe driving. Don’t drive over the speed limit, even if under pressure to do so. Do not become distracted, and make sure you never disobey a road sign or sign and exercise caution while passing.
If you’re involved in a truck accident, the most important thing to do is avoid further harm. Get to safety and contact the emergency services. If you can, try to take photographs of the scene and make notes.
Once you’re out of danger and have received any medical attention you may need, you should contact an experienced truck accident lawyer. At Graves Thomas Rotunda Injury Law Group, we have the expertise in truck accident cases to give you the legal support you deserve. Call us to arrange a consultation.
Medical malpractice is always a complex area of injury law, never more so when dealing with treating an emerging disease like COVID-19. People who have lost loved ones or suffered long-term health damage due to COVID-19 may be considering legal options,
including bringing a malpractice suit against the medical professionals involved in their diagnosis and treatment. Read on if you’re wondering, “do I have a case for medical malpractice after COVID-19?”
When little is known about an infection, diagnosing the condition and administering the appropriate treatment may be very difficult. Cases may have unfavorable outcomes that, with hindsight, could have been prevented. Yet, these may not rise to the level of malpractice if medical professionals acted in accordance with the best available information at the time. Even so, it is still possible to commit malpractice if proper procedures aren’t followed. If a medical professional harms a COVID-19 patient through inaction or the administration of inappropriate drugs or procedures, the case may rise to the level of malpractice.
It can take many years for an infection to be thoroughly studied and proper treatment to be discovered and evaluated. When the condition isn’t properly understood, there are likely to be many interventions that seemed reasonable at the time but which turn out to be ineffective and even dangerous. A drug that shows promise initially may be found to be ineffective or to come with side-effects that rule it out in some cases. A procedure that would be routine in superficially similar cases may turn out to be counterproductive when used to address the new disease. People may be harmed by these interventions or may have a slower recovery than they would have if different interventions had been used.
In some cases, the disease may not be diagnosed in time, and the patient may suffer as a result. Even so, these situations needn’t be malpractice. A doctor or other medical expert may follow every recommended procedure and still not treat their patient successfully.
Another potential issue is the lack of resources. A medical professional’s preferred course of action may not be possible if the medication or equipment required isn’t available. If a patient needs oxygen and there is none available because it’s being used on other patients, the medical professionals may be forced to make difficult decisions about who should receive treatment. In this case, some patients may not receive the ideal spectrum of interventions — yet this may not meet medical malpractice requirements.
Preventing the spread of COVID-19 is everyone’s responsibility, yet medical professionals have a particular duty to avoid the transmission of viruses and other infectious agents. If a professional neglects to take all reasonable precautions against allowing a patient to be infected with COVID-19, it might theoretically be possible to build a case for malpractice if the negligence is especially egregious.
In the case of COVID-19, the situation is further complicated by measures designed to protect overburdened carers and medical facilities from lawsuits. Some states have now put laws in place that indemnify doctors and other care providers against legal action arising from COVID-19 cases. Florida may also introduce similar restrictions. In most states and districts, there is a proviso that excludes serious negligence or misconduct. In New York, for instance, treatment decisions must have been made “in good faith” for the practitioner to be protected. In Kentucky, medical professionals are only protected if they can show that their actions were “prudent and reasonable.” If Florida does bring in similar laws, they’ll likely be limited in the same way.
While the standards for malpractice may be higher in cases involving COVID-19, it may be more challenging to bring a malpractice case. You’ll need an expert medical malpractice lawyer to help navigate this complex situation.