Frequently Asked Legal Questions
Being involved in a trucking accident is no joke. This is often a very traumatic experience and the number one priority should be your safety – assess for any injuries you or your passengers may have sustained and be sure to get proper medical treatment as soon as possible.
Call 911 for emergency services and the police to assess the scene, gather eye-witness accounts and document a crash report.
When it comes to details of your crash, there’s no such thing as too much information. Depending on your state of mind and health after a crash, you may or may not be able to stay on the scene and collect information yourself.
If you have to leave in an ambulance, ask a friend or family member to stay and take down details for you, if possible.
- The name of the trucking company
- The trucker’s full name and contact information
- The trucker’s insurance information
- The truck’s registration number and license plate number
- Names and contact info of any eyewitnesses to the accident
- Date, time, and location of the accident
- How and why the crash occurred, from your point of view
- Accident scene and damages to both vehicles
- Photos of injuries
- Photos of road conditions, skid marks, signs, etc
*Very Important* Blackbox Information
After a truck accident, attorneys and police officers can download black box data to help determine what caused or contributed to the crash.
Avoiding truck accidents means taking proactive measures to avoid ever putting yourself in a threatening situation. While it’s not always possible to avoid colliding with a negligent truck driver, there are things you can do to decrease your odds of an accident in Florida.
- Allow plenty of room
- Don’t drive in the “No-Zone”
- Pass on the outer edge of the road
- Move over for stopped truckers
- Anticipate wide turns
- Be predictable
- Stay attentive on the road and surroundings (a no-brainer, but can’t emphasize enough)
Use this tips list to stay safe on Florida’s urban and rural roads, even when surrounded by big rigs.
As a victim in a large truck wreck, one of your main goals should be to recover your damages from the party that caused the accident.
This might be the:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Owner of truck or trailer
- Product manufacturer
There are certain ways insurance companies and judges determine fault and liability for accidents. Proving fault involves gathering evidence such as data from the truck’s black box.
A truck accident lawyer knows how to navigate the complexities and time-sensitive details and can help you secure proper compensation. However, there are things within your power as the accident victim, that can optimize your odds of a successful insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
- Saying less is more, don’t admit fault
- Gather as much evidence as possible
- Talk to possible witnesses
- Create & organize a crash folder
- Work with an experienced lawyer
Like other states, Florida has statutes of limitations for filing a personal injury, wrongful death, and property damage claims. This means there are deadlines you must adhere to when filing, or else risk the courts refusing to hear your case.
There are different statutes of limitations in place depending on the type of claim you wish to file. Florida has longer time limits on personal injury claims than many other states.
To file a personal injury claim (this would be the category for a truck accident claim unless the accident resulted in wrongful death), you must do so within four years from the date of the accident.
The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in Florida is two years from the date of death. Claims on the basis of injury to personal property (not personal injuries) also have four years from the date of the accident.
The insurance claims adjuster is the person in charge of assessing your insurance claim and possibly offering you a settlement after a truck accident. Keep one thing in mind; the claims adjuster works for the insurer, not for you.
Your best interests are not the adjuster’s top priority; instead, he or she is striving to get you to settle for as little as possible. You can maintain the upper hand during conversations with an insurance adjuster by using these tips and advice from a truck wreck lawyer – and ultimately get the most out of your claim.
- Stick to the Facts and basic details
- Refuse to a record or write a statement
- Refuse to say yes to a quick settlement
- Talk to a lawyer beforehand, or better yet have your lawyer speak on your behalf
- Keep a record of the conversation
Truck accidents are some of the most severe and destructive traffic crashes on Florida’s roadways. You might have lost things like your physical health, your job, your car, or even a loved one in a bad wreck. These losses are all compensable damages in the eyes of the Florida courts, meaning you could be eligible to recover their value in a lawsuit. The compensation you receive depends on the types of damages the accident caused.
- Past and Future Medical Bills
- Lost Wages/Capacity to Earn
- Pain and Suffering
- Property Damage
- Court Costs/Attorney Fees (in some cases)
- Loss of Consortium
The following are examples of injuries that might allow you to file a claim against an at-fault driver:
- A traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Broken bones
- A wrongful death
- Burn injuries
- Any injury requiring extensive medical care or an inpatient hospital stay.
After a Florida car accident, contact the Tampa car accident lawyers as soon as possible. Remember, consultations are always free, so a Tampa Car Accident Lawyer will be able to tell you in a risk-free meeting if you qualify for a personal injury claim.
In some cases, the cause of the accident is clearly the negligence of one person. However, in many cases, both drivers involved played some role in causing the accident. Consider the following example: a truck driver changes lanes without looking and fails to see the car in the next lane, but the driver of the car was distracted by his or her cell phone at the time and did not notice the truck coming at them until it was too late to avoid the accident. In this scenario, both drivers played some part in causing the accident.
Florida law provides for the driver of the car to still seek compensation for their injuries. If the case were to go to trial, the court may determine that the distracted driver contributed 25% to the accident while the truck driver was 75% to blame. If the total compensation sought by the distracted driver was $100,000, the court would reduce their compensation by the 25% the court found them to be at fault in the accident. However, the driver would still receive $75,000 in compensation for their injuries.
Insurance companies may try to intimidate you into thinking you can receive no compensation because you were partly to blame for the accident. However, this is not the case. Florida law protects victims of car accidents, even if they were partially at fault in causing the accident.
After a car accident in Tampa, you may have legal grounds for a personal injury claim. These claims compensate for medical bills, lost wages, and the ongoing costs of your rehabilitation and care. They also provide reimbursement for intangible losses such as pain, suffering, and any loss of life quality.
Car accident claims require the following elements:
- Did another driver owe you a duty of care? The answer is most commonly “yes,” as drivers owe a duty of care to all other drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.
- When a driver breaches their duty of care (such as by committing a traffic violation), it’s called “committing negligence.” In a legal sense, we say someone commits negligence when he or she fails to act in a manner that another reasonable person would.
- Next, you must show a driver’s negligence directly led to your injuries.
- Lastly, you must show you suffered damages as a result, such as medical bills or missed work.
If all of the following elements apply, you likely have legal grounds for a car accident case. Most people don’t realize that a car accident claim requires guidance from an experienced personal injury attorney, thinking that their insurance companies will handle it all. Unfortunately, these companies do not have your best interests at heart. Contact a car accident attorney who can protect your right to fair compensation today.
Car accidents are one of the leading causes of accidental death and injury, both in the United States and in Florida. While a car accident can occur in any number of ways, some are more common than others. Some scenarios giving rise to Redington Beach area car accidents include:
- Distracted driving. Cell phone use and texting are a well-documented risk factor for motor vehicle crashes. According to a recent report by the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Florida ranks second worst in the nation for distracted driving. In 2016, there were nearly 50,000 crashes related to distracted driving, and these accounted for 233 deaths and more than 3,500 serious injuries.
- Impaired driving. Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, illicit drugs, or even prescription medications can lead to death and injury.
- Tired Driving. Driving tired can be just as dangerous as operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, according to safety experts.
- Driver behavior. Other common driver behaviors such as speeding, failure to assure a clear stopping distance, changing lanes abruptly, or road rage are all contributing factors in Redington Beach car accidents.
- Defective cars or automobile parts. Sometimes, car accidents can give rise to product liability claims against a vehicle’s manufacturer, such as an accident caused by a faulty steering column.
- Defective roadway design. In some cases, a motor vehicle accident may give rise to a personal injury claim against the government, especially when a poorly maintained roadway, unclear road markings, or an inherently dangerous road design causes an accident. In fact, a recent Washington Post report found half of all fatal accidents involve a poorly designed or maintained roadway.
- Senior driving behavior. Florida is home to the most senior citizens per capita in the country – about one in 20 citizens are over the age of 65. The elderly tend to have poorer vision, slower reaction times and can contribute to serious accidents.
Car accidents are traumatic and frightening. However, it is important to follow all of these steps if you are ever involved in one. Immediately after the collision, check for life-threatening injuries and call an ambulance if necessary. If no serious injuries are found, make sure to photograph the damage done to the cars before they are moved. Next, it is important to contact law enforcement to assess the scene. They will write a report, issue any citations, and exchange necessary information.
Once the chaos has settled, it is important to keep in mind that injuries are not always apparent at the scene of the accident. Make sure to see a doctor if any pains or injuries are discovered in the days to come. Finally, you will need a lawyer to navigate the intricacies in communicating with the various insurance companies.
Collecting the right details are important. When law enforcement arrives at the scene, they will gather all the parties vehicles registration, driver’s license, and auto insurance. You will receive a copy of this as well.
Before leaving a scene, these are some important details that you need to make sure you have:
- Insurance Information
- Policy Number
- Vehicle Year, Model and Make
- Vin and License Plate Number
- Photos of all vehicles, road conditions, and nearby traffic signs
Injuries are not always apparent immediately following an accident. During the scene of a collision, adrenaline often puts you in a state where you will not notice any injuries or pain. Concussions and soft-tissue injuries are very common following car accidents. It is best to check for these injuries within 48 hours and get them documented by a doctor. A trained physician will then determine if your injuries need to be monitored.
Your PIP (personal injury protection) or no-fault benefits from your own auto insurance company, will pay up to $10,000 in medical bills. Any deductibles or amounts not paid, you can look at the no-fault driver’s bodily injury policy or the uninsured motorist coverage provided by your insurance company.
Keep in mind however that your PIP pays medical bills as they are submitted. The no-fault driver’s bodily injury coverage and your uninsured motorist coverage will only offer one payment after observing fault, causation, and extent of injuries.
If you were found innocent at the scene of the accident, then the payment for a rental car will be paid for by the at-fault driver’s insurance company through property damage coverage. However, if the damages to your car exceed the amount of the at faults property damage coverage, then they will not pay for your rental car. In this situation, you will need to personally pay for your rental car. Unless however you previously purchased additional insurance through your own auto insurance company.
It is important to speak with a lawyer before personally reaching out to insurance companies. This is due to the fact that what you say can be held against you. It is a good idea to plan the conversation prior to speaking with insurance companies, or just let the lawyer handle the call for you. Every release for every claim needs to be evaluated. There can often be more than one release for an auto accident.
Before you sign anything, make sure you understand whether you are releasing claims for property damage as well as bodily injury. If you sign a release for bodily injury, it is difficult to set aside the release and further seek money. Our recommendation is not to sign anything until you speak with your lawyer.
This process is contingent on several factors. Depending on how busy the courts are, how much evidence exists, whether or not the case is settled, or if your case even makes it to trial, is how long your personal injury lawsuit will take. From start to finish, your case might take a year to settle if it goes to trial.
It is always good to consult an attorney about the specifics of your situation to better understand how long your particular case might take.
Case value is dependent on many factors. These include available coverage, the extent of the injuries, and liability. Another very important factor is the reputation that your lawyers have for going to court.
At Bulluck Law Group, our lawyers are trial attorneys with extensive courtroom experience. Insurance companies know which Florida law firms are willing to go to court to get full value for your case and which take a quick settlement to avoid filing a lawsuit. We always strive to get full value for your claim at Bulluck Law Group.
On average, it can take approximately 12-16 months to get the case resolved in a pre-suit setting. However, many factors can affect this time frame such as the extent of your injuries, the extent of your treatment, any prior injuries that required treatment, liability or coverage disputes and just plain human factors like a difficult adjuster from the insurance company.
That being said, if the case does not settle and does go to litigation, we strive to get the case resolved within one year from the filing of the lawsuit. Again, many factors can influence this time frame that are out of our control such as the judge’s docket but this is a rough time frame that usually holds.
Bulluck Law Group operates on a contingency-fee-basis, which means you only pay us if and when we win your case. Our fee would come in the form of a percentage of the settlement or verdict amount we obtain, which we discuss with you during your free consultation.
Our dedicated staff at Bulluck Law Group will call you within 24 hours after submitting your form. Our legal assistant will review and understand your case during the initial call. Then you will schedule a time to meet with David Bulluck himself to evaluate your case together.
During the call, our legal assistant will review and understand your case during the initial call. Then you will schedule a time to meet with David Bulluck himself to evaluate your case together.
A person can file a wrongful death when his or her loved one died because another person or organization was negligent, reckless, or unreasonable. Wrongful deaths can occur in the workplace, in car accidents, in slips and falls, or endless other scenarios. If you need more information or are unsure if you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim, contact Bulluck Law Group. We can help you determine whether it was a wrongful death.
The question of who has the right to file the claim is more complicated in wrongful death cases than other personal injury cases. In most personal injury cases, the injured party files the claim. For obvious reasons, the victim is unable to file in wrongful death cases. Florida law allows only certain people to file a claim. A variety of people can file, but the first group to have the right to file a claim is the surviving spouse or children. If there is no surviving spouse or child, the court gives other direct family members or the personal representative of the deceased’s estate the right to file.
Once the eligible person has filed a wrongful death claim, the case proceeds in a way that is like most other personal injury cases. The person the family filed the claim against is notified, both attorneys meet to work on a settlement, and if they are unable to settle, the case goes to court.
Because of the nature of a wrongful death claim, the court awards damages that focus on helping the family recover, as opposed to helping the victim recover. The court could award you damages for many different things. Medical expenses for the deceased prior to his or her death and after his or her death are standard in these cases. Expenses after the victim’s death include the cost of the funeral and burial, as well as the loss of future earnings.
The court could also order the defendant to compensate the family for emotional damage. Emotional damage would encompass any loss of care, companionship, comfort, and love that the family lost when the loved one died.
Punitive damages are a type of compensation the court only assigns in certain situations. While other forms of compensation focus on supporting the family, punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant. In most personal injury cases, the defendant is guilty of being negligent, reckless, or carelessness. The defendant in most personal injury cases did not mean to injure the victim, but their negligence created the situation.
If the defendant’s actions were willful, the courts generally look at the case differently. The court awards punitive damages when it believes the defendant intentionally injured the victim. If the defendant made a willful decision that led to the victim’s death, the court could assign him or her punitive damages along with the other wrongful death damages. The court can also assign punitive damages against companies and organizations. The court orders defendants to pay punitive damages in hopes that they will change their behavior and as a deterrent for them and others who may act similarly.
Like many other personal injury cases, the settlement that the court awards you in a wrongful death case is not taxable. The only damages the government can tax are punitive damages that the defendant is ordered to give you.
The length of a wrongful death lawsuit is dependent on the attorney you have and various other parts in the process. There are many steps in a wrongful death case, some of which take extended periods of time to accomplish. Gathering evidence and statements, for example, can take months for attorneys to do.
Before going to court, your attorney and the defendant’s attorney will meet. They will try to find a compromise and settle your wrongful death claim to prevent you and the defendant from going to court. If the attorneys can reach an agreement, the case will essentially be complete. If the settlement is unsuccessful, you will need to take your claim to court if you want to continue pursuing the case. Once the court is involved in your claim, your wrongful death lawsuit could last substantially longer.
At Bulluck Law Group, we understand how difficult wrongful death lawsuits can be for the whole family. We will do everything we can to finish your case as soon as possible, so you and your family can begin moving on from your loved one’s death.
Sometimes, often due to medical malpractice, a hospital is responsible for a loved one’s untimely and wrongful death. If a doctor, nurse, other medical professionals, or the hospital is responsible, you need to hold them accountable – both in honor of your loved one and to prevent such tragic circumstances from recurring. You have the option to file a claim against a specific person or the whole hospital. Bulluck Law Group can help you determine whether you have a wrongful death claim against a hospital or medical professional.
The statute of limitations is the time that you have between the incident and filing before you can no longer make a claim against the guilty party. Generally, the statute of limitations in a wrongful death claim is two years, however, there are some exceptions. Contact Bulluck Law Group to discuss your case and the statute of limitations for Florida wrongful death cases. Be sure to file a claim as soon as you can so that you do not lose the right to file.
If your loved one has died because of another person or organization’s negligence, no amount of money could bring them back, but fair compensation after their death can mean you have time to grieve and can potentially avoid such an early death happening to another. Bulluck Law Group has the experience and commitment to represent you effectively. We will not charge you anything unless we can win your case, so you do not need to worry about attorney fees and expenses while you are trying to recover from the tragedy of your loved one’s untimely death. Contact Bulluck Law Group for advice on next steps and skilled representation for your case.