Being involved in an accident involving a commercial vehicle can be a stressful situation. Generally, commercial vehicles are larger and heavier than most cars on the roads, causing more traumatic — and therefore expensive — injuries. Additionally, if the commercial vehicle is owned by a large company, the amount of damages they consider you eligible for will be determined by their big-shot insurance company whose primary objective is to pay out as little as possible.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a commercial vehicle accident in the Fort Lauderdale area, a Fort Lauderdale commercial vehicle injury lawyer can help you pursue the damages you deserve.
Types of Commercial Vehicles in Fort Lauderdale
The most common type of vehicle associated with the term commercial vehicle is an 18-wheeler or other big rig. However, commercial vehicles actually come in all shapes and sizes. Legally, a commercial vehicle in Florida is defined in the statutes under §316.003 as any motor vehicle used commercially on the public roadways that has a weight of 5 tons or more, is designed to transport more than 15 people including the driver, or is used in the transportation of hazardous materials. This includes the following:
- Cargo vans
- Moving trucks
- School buses
- Passenger buses
- Garbage trucks
- Delivery trucks
- Commercial vans
- Construction vehicles
An accident with any one of these vehicles could result in serious physical damages and severe bodily injury. If you have been involved in an auto accident caused by a reckless or negligent operator of a commercial vehicle, an experienced Broward County personal injury attorney will be able to help you sort through the damages and pursue appropriate strategies for compensation.
Causes of Broward County Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Operating a commercial vehicle is a huge responsibility due to the great amount of risk involved. Not only is the upmost care for vehicle and cargo safety important, it is critical that the driver be in top health and optimal driving condition when operating the vehicle. Failure to ensure these three factors may make the owner of the vehicle, the driver, or both liable in the event of an accident. The most common causes of commercial vehicle accidents in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding areas are:
- Vehicle manufacturing defect
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Poor trailer maintenance
- Overloading cargo
- Improperly loaded cargo
- Improperly secured cargo
- Speeding or other reckless driving
- Fatigued driver
- Failure to adjust driving to inclement weather
- Failure to heed traffic signs
- Distracted driving
- Stimulant use
- DUI alcohol or drugs
Though causation and percentage of fault are usually the most burdensome to prove in a personal injury case involving motor vehicles, it is usually determining ownership and/or liability in a commercial vehicle accident. With owner operators, leasing companies and contractors all out on the road, just determining who to file a lawsuit with can be tricky. A skilled Fort Lauderdale commercial vehicle injury lawyer will be able to sort through the details and pursue damages in the correct manner.
Injuries from Weston Commercial Vehicle Accidents
The average sedan on Florida roads weighs around 3,000 pounds, with your typical SUV weighing in at 7,000 pounds. Under Florida law, a commercial vehicle weighs 10,000 pounds (5 tons) or more. Without even accounting for the dimensions of the commercial vehicle, it clearly has the advantage when it comes to a motor vehicle accident. Even if you are in an SUV, many severe injuries can occur as a result of impact with such a massive vehicle at any rate of speed. These injuries include:
- Head injury
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)
- Paralysis / Quadriplegia
Commercial Vehicle Accident Resources
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – The NHTSA website offers information and resources regarding driving safety, vehicle safety, research, data and laws & regulations.
Florida Department of Transportation – On the primary website of the Florida DOT, you can find information and resources on the department itself, the safety office, various statistics, travel information and FDOT facilities.
Broward County Civil Court – The Broward County Clerk of Courts website allows users to look up case results, addresses and phone numbers, along with finding information about court services, forms, online services and frequently asked questions.
Frequently Asked Questions About Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Florida laws limit the amount of time a person injured in a commercial vehicle accident has to file a personal injury claim. Generally, the limit is 4 years from the day the accident occurs. Once this time period has passed, the injured person will lose the ability to seek damages.
In some rare cases, the courts may make exceptions to this statute, such as if the accident causes an injury that isn’t discovered until later.
Different law firms use different payment systems when taking on commercial vehicle accident cases. At Lisa S. Levine, P.A., we work on a contingency fee basis. Our clients do not pay up front for our legal services, but rather we get paid when we recover compensation for you either through a settlement or favorable trial verdict.
Learn more about attorney fees after an commercial vehicle accident
In a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawsuit, including commercial vehicle accident claims, the injured party may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The exact amount of compensation is highly variable and depends on factors such as the extent of injuries, long-term impact on daily life, viability before and after accident, and many others.
Read more about the factors involved in determining commercial vehicle accident compensation
YES. While posting on social media sites is a part of daily life for most of us. However, when you are in the middle of any type of personal injury lawsuit, including one involving a commercial vehicle, social media activity can hurt your chances of a successful claim.
Find out what experienced accident attorney Lisa Levine advises when it comes to social media and personal injury claims in Fort Lauderdale.
Get Help from a Fort Lauderdale Commercial Vehicle Injury Lawyer in Broward County
The amount of damages incurred by a commercial vehicle accident varies according to the severity of bodily injury to the need for repairs or replacement of the victim’s vehicles. If you have suffered personal injury due to a commercial vehicle collision in Fort Lauderdale, Weston, Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Coral Springs, Tamarac, Hollywood, or the surrounding areas, the experienced personal injury lawyers at Lisa S. Levine P.A. will be able to review your case in detail and determine an optimal strategy for pursuing the maximum damages you deserve from all liable parties.
Lisa Levine has over 35 years of experience with personal injury cases like yours in Broward County and the surrounding areas of Miami-Dade County and Palm Beach County. Lisa and her personal injury team at Lisa S. Levine P.A. are driven by a compassion for their clients and a determination to get them maximum restitution for their damages.
If you have suffered injury due to a commercial vehicle accident, let the experienced attorneys at Lisa S. Levine P.A. fight for you. Call 954-256-1820 today to set up your free and honest initial consultation.