18 wheelers are very dangerous. They can get into accidents easily and cause numerous injuries and deaths. If you are ever hurt or sustain property damage because of an accident with a truck, you need to know what you will need to do to win a personal injury case.
Well, one of the first things that you should do in this instance is to hire a good truck accident lawyer. He or she will tell you what you must do to hold the trucker responsible and get the settlement that you want, need, and deserve!
Florida is a No-Fault State
All drivers must carry personal injury protection insurance if they want to drive in Florida. This insurance will pay for up to $10,000 for property damage or bodily injuries that a person (not necessarily the person who carries the insurance) may sustain in an accident.
The insurance coverage has an 80% cap on all medical expenses and a 60% cap on all income lost. Truck drivers must carry extra insurance since they’re always on the road and drive larger and heavier vehicles. Therefore, they’re much more likely to get into accidents and cause more injuries and property damage when they do so.
There are two exceptions when you can bypass the no-fault system to bring a case against a truck driver. You either have to meet the $10,000 PIP limit, or you have to have what Florida personal injury law calls a serious injury.
How Does Florida Define a Serious Injury?
Your injury must fall into at least one of the categories that the 2019 Florida Insurance Statute defines as a serious injury to qualify for a serious injury in the state:
- Substantial and permanent loss of a major body function
- Permanent bodily injury that a doctor can say beyond a reasonable doubt was caused by the accident – this doesn’t include scarring or disfigurement
- Significant and permanent scarring and/or disfigurement
You should meet with a personal injury lawyer when trying to determine if your injuries meet these criteria since the language used to describe and define what is substantial is vague.
Your personal injury lawyer will consider the following when trying to prove that the truck driver was negligent.
Evidence of a breach of duty
All drivers must follow the rules of the road and exercise a certain duty of care about other drivers. You’ll have a much easier time winning your case if you can prove that the truck driver breached this duty of care. Some of the more common breaches of duty include:
- Driving while drunk or buzzed
- Using drugs when driving
- Driving while exhausted
- Driving a truck with faulty parts
Companies that don’t use due diligence when hiring truck drivers tend to hire drivers who breach their duty of care to other drivers.
Evidence of causation: You will need to prove that the breach of duty is what caused your accident. A good example would be if a trucker who was drunk hit a person in a parked car.
Evidence of damages: You have to prove that the truck driver caused your damages. These can include bodily injury, property damage, disability – temporary or permanent, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, among other aspects.
For more information about filing a claim and getting compensated, contact Graves Thomas Rotunda Injury Law Group. Call us today at (772) 569-8155.