Fort Pierce Truck Accident Lawyers
Large Truck & Commercial Vehicle Accidents in St. Lucie County
When semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and other large commercial vehicles are involved in accidents with smaller passenger cars and motorcycles, the results tend to be devastating. Often, the people in the smaller vehicles sustain catastrophic injuries, and many large truck accidents are fatal. To make matters worse, the trucking company and its insurance company may try to say that the victims were the ones at fault for the accident, making it difficult for victims to recover the fair compensation they are owed.
At Smith, Ball & Báez, we understand the many challenges truck accident victims and their families face in the aftermath of these collisions—and we know how to help. Our Fort Pierce truck accident lawyers have spent years fighting on behalf of injured victims throughout St. Lucie County and the surrounding communities. Insurance companies know that we are not afraid to go to trial, and we have the resources and skills to effectively seek the maximum compensation our clients are owed.
If you or someone you love was involved in an accident with a large commercial truck, help is just a call away. Reach us at (561) 500-HELP for a free consultation with a member of our team.
How Do Large Truck Accidents Happen?
Like other motor vehicle accidents, most large truck accidents are the result of negligence. Sometimes, it is the truck driver who is negligent; in other cases, the negligence of a third party leads to a serious or even deadly collision.
Specifically, some of the most common causes of large truck accidents include:
- Distracted driving, including texting or using a cellphone while driving
- Speeding, including driving too fast for current conditions
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Failing to yield the right of way, disobeying traffic lights, and other traffic law violations
- Fatigued driving, often as a result of hours-of-service violations
- Overloaded or improperly loaded freight/cargo, leading to shifting during transit
- Improper (including failure to complete) truck or trailer maintenance
- Defective trucks, trailers, and tractor-trailer components, such as tires or brakes
- Negligent trucking company practices, including negligent hiring or training
- Dangerous or defective roadway design, construction, or maintenance
At Smith, Ball & Báez, we work alongside accident reconstructionists and other industry experts who help us evaluate the available evidence to determine exactly how a truck accident occurred. This, in turn, allows us to identify the liable party (or parties) and aggressively seek maximum compensation on behalf of our clients.
Can You Sue a Trucking Company After a Truck Accident?
Typically, you must file a personal injury protection (PIP) claim with your insurance provider to receive compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other covered economic damages. However, PIP only covers up to 80 percent of your medical bills and up to 60 percent of your lost wages, and it does not provide any compensation for non-economic damages, like pain and suffering. Because of this, it is often necessary to go outside the no-fault system and file a lawsuit directly against the liable party, whether that’s the truck driver, the trucking company, or another entity.
Because Florida follows a no-fault auto insurance system, there are several things you must prove to step outside this system and file a lawsuit against a trucking company (or another liable party). Specifically, you must prove that your injuries meet Florida’s definition of a “serious injury.”
In Florida, a “serious injury” is defined as one that results in:
- Permanent injury
- Permanent/significant scarring or disfigurement
- Permanent/significant loss of a bodily function
Most victims of non-fatal truck accidents suffer severe injuries that meet the serious injury threshold. However, the definition of a “serious injury” is relatively subjective; it’s important that you work with an experienced attorney who can prove the severity of your injury and the effects it has had—and will continue to have—on your life.
The Fort Pierce truck accident lawyers at Smith, Ball & Báez can help establish the serious nature of your injury, as well as the fault of the other party. We know how to aggressively pursue these claims and have a long history of success representing accident victims and the families of those wrongfully killed in lawsuits against major trucking companies, insurance carriers, and other powerful entities throughout Florida.
Why Hire a Truck Accident Attorney?
Truck accident cases are not the same as standard car accident claims. In nearly all cases, filing a truck accident claim is a far more complex and challenging process than filing a standard PIP claim. As the person bringing the claim, you have the burden of proof, meaning you are the one responsible for proving your injuries, damages, and the other party’s liability. This often involves an extensive investigation into the cause of the accident and the various factors involved, as well as proof of your injuries and damages.
To make matters worse, trucking companies and their insurance carriers often dispute, devalue, or even deny these claims altogether. These entities have large teams of investigators, insurance adjusters, and defense attorneys who all work together to avoid paying out high settlements to claimants. You need an equally powerful team in your corner.
At Smith, Ball & Báez, our Fort Pierce truck accident lawyers are prepared to aggressively protect your rights and fight back against the trucking company or insurance carrier’s efforts to dispute your claim. We are ready to handle all of the legal aspects of your case so that you can focus on getting the medical care you need, managing your bills and everyday expenses while out of work, and moving forward with your life. When you trust your truck accident case to our team, you can rely on us to aggressively fight for the maximum compensation you are owed—even if that means taking your case to court.
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