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 instances, the negligence of a person is an obvious cause of the accident. In several situations, however, each driver played a part in the resulting crash.
Let’s say the driver of a truck fails to look before changing lanes and hits a car. The driver of the car was paying attention to their cell phone and didn’t see the truck driver enter their lane until it was too late. In this situation, each driver played a role in causing the crash.
In Florida, the law still allows the car driver to seek reimbursement for injury. However, if the case went to court, it may be determined that the car driver who was distracted contributed 25% to the crash, while the driver of the truck was blamed for 75%.
If the car driver was seeking $100,000 in compensation, the court would reduce their award by the 25% the court ruled they were at fault for. The car driver would then get $75,000 for injury compensation.
If you were partly at fault in the accident, an insurance company may attempt to intimidate you into believing you’re not entitled to compensation. That’s not the case. In Florida, the law protects car crash victims even if they were partially to blame.
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.
Motor vehicle crashes are one of the primary causes of accidental death and injury in the state of Florida, as well as the United States. While many factors can cause a wreck, some come up more frequently than others. Situations that often lead to car accidents include:
- Driving while impaired. Operating a car while under the influence of prescription medications, illegal drugs, or alcohol can result in injury or death.
- Driving while tired. Safety experts say being sleepy behind the wheel can be just as treacherous as driving drunk.
- Driving dangerously. Behaviors like changing lanes abruptly, failing to maintain stopping distance, speeding, and road rage are all causes of car accidents.
- Driving while distracted. The use of cell phones and text messages are proven risk factors for car wrecks. The State Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports Florida is second-worst in the country for driving while distracted. There were around 50,000 crashes related to driving while distracted in 2016, which resulted in 233 deaths and over 3,500 serious injuries.
- Problems on the road. A car accident may lead to a personal injury claim against the government, particularly when road markings are unclear, roads are poorly maintained, or the design of the road is dangerous. A report from the Washington Post discovered half of all deadly wrecks involved a poorly maintained or designed road.
- Defective parts or vehicles. Car accidents can sometimes lead to product liability claims against the manufacturer of a vehicle, like a faulty steering column causing a crash.
- Elderly drivers. Florida has the most senior citizens per capita in the nation. Around one in 20 citizens is 65 years of age or older. Seniors tend to have slower reaction times and poorer vision, which can lead to serious crashes.
Car wrecks are frightening and traumatic. However, you should follow several steps if you’re involved in a crash. Right after the accident, see if there are any life-threatening injuries and call for an ambulance if one is needed. If there are no serious injuries, be sure to take pictures of the damaged cars before the vehicles are moved. Next, call the police to examine the situation. Officers will write up a report, hand out citations if necessary, and provide you with important information.
After things have calmed down, remember injuries are not always obvious at the scene of a crash. Be sure to see a physician if you discover pain or injuries in the following days. Lastly, you should seek a lawyer’s help in dealing with 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 no-fault benefits from your insurance company—or PIP (personal injury protection)—will pay medical bills up to $10,000. You can check the no-fault driver’s bodily injury policy or uninsured motorist coverage offered by your insurance company for coverage on any remaining costs.
Remember, your PIP covers medical bills as they come in. A no-fault driver’s bodily injury policy and uninsured motorist coverage will only provide payment after evaluating causation, fault, and extent of injuries.
If it’s proven you were not at fault at the accident scene, a rental car will be paid for via property damage coverage from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. But, if your car’s damage is more than the at-fault driver’s property damage coverage, your rental car will not be paid for. In this scenario, you’ll have to pay for your rental vehicle unless you have additional coverage through your insurance company.
You should talk with an attorney before getting in touch with insurance companies. Why? What you say may be used against you. It’s wise to plan out a conversation before you speak with insurance companies or let the lawyer handle the communication. Each release for each claim should be examined. Often, there’s more than one release for a car wreck.
Be sure you understand whether you are releasing claims for property damage and bodily injury before you sign anything. If you sign a bodily injury release, it’s hard to set it aside and seek money. We recommend not signing anything until you talk to an attorney.
How long your personal injury lawsuit will take depends on several factors: How busy the courts are, how much evidence exists, whether the case is settled and if your case even makes it to trial. From beginning to end, it might take a year to settle your case.
You need to speak with a lawyer about the details of your case to better understand how long your lawsuit might last.
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.
Someone can file a lawsuit for wrongful death when their loved one dies as a result of reckless, unreasonable, or negligent behavior by a person or organization. Wrongful deaths may happen in car accidents and at the workplace. They can also occur through slips and falls, as well as many other situations.
If you aren’t sure if you’re able to file a wrongful death claim and need more information, get in touch with Bulluck Law Group. We will help you figure out whether your scenario was, in fact, a wrongful death.
Determining whether someone is eligible to file a wrongful death claim is complex. When it comes to personal injury cases, the person who usually files the claim is the injured party. The victim in wrongful death cases obviously cannot file a claim.
In Florida, the law permits specific people to be able to file a claim. This includes several possibilities, but the people with first rights are the surviving spouse and children. The court will give other direct relatives or personal representatives of the victim’s estate the right to file if there is no surviving child or spouse.
Once someone with eligibility files a claim for wrongful death, the case continues similarly to most cases involving personal injury. The person with the claim filed against them is informed and the lawyers gather to figure out a settlement. The case then goes to court if a settlement is not reached.
Due to the circumstances of a wrongful death claim, the court will award damages that center around helping family members recover. There are many different things the court could consider. Medical bills for the victim before and after their death are typical in these situations. Expenses incurred after the death would include funeral and burial costs plus future earnings lost.
The court may also force the defendant to reimburse the relatives of the deceased for emotional damage. This would include any loss of love, companionship, care, and comfort.
The court only assigns punitive damages in certain scenarios. While other types of reimbursement center on family support, punitive damages aim to penalize the defendant. This person is guilty of being reckless or negligent in most personal injury cases. Though their negligence created the situation, the defendant in most personal injury cases did not mean to harm the victim.
The court will view the case in a different light if the defendant’s actions appeared to be willful. When the court thinks the defendant harmed the victim on purpose, they will award punitive damages. The court may assign the defendant punitive damages, as well as other wrongful death damages, if a willful decision led to the victim’s death.
The court may also appropriate punitive damages against organizations and companies. The court forces defendants to pay the cost of punitive damages hoping they will change their ways and deter others from acting in a similar manner.
Just like several other cases involving personal injury, the settlement awarded to you by the court is not taxable. The government can only tax punitive damages the defendant is forced to give you.
The time it takes to settle a lawsuit over wrongful death depends on your lawyer and many other parts of the process. A wrongful death case has many steps. Some take a lot of time to complete. For example, lawyers can spend months gathering statements and collecting evidence.
The defendant’s lawyer will meet with your attorney prior to going to court. They will attempt to reach a compromise and settle your claim of wrongful death to keep from going to court. The case will be essentially over once the lawyers settle on an agreement.
If there’s no settlement, you’ll have to go to court if you want to continue pursuing the case. Getting the court involved in your wrongful death lawsuit could make the process last considerably longer.
The attorneys at Bulluck Law Group understand how hard lawsuits over wrongful can be for a family. We will do whatever is within our power to complete your case as fast as we can, so your family can begin to move on.
Sometimes, a hospital is responsible for the untimely and wrongful death of a loved one, often because of medical malpractice. If a nurse, doctor, another medical professional, or the hospital is to blame, you should hold them accountable not only for the sake of your loved one, but also to prevent a tragedy from happening again.
You may file a wrongful death claim against an entire hospital or a specific person. The attorneys at Bulluck Law Group can help you figure out which path to choose.
The time between when the incident occurred and when you can no longer file a claim against the defendant is called the statute of limitations. In general, the period is two years, but there are exceptions. You should file a claim as soon as possible so you don’t lose your right. To talk more about your case and the statute of limitations for wrongful death in Florida, contact Bulluck Law Group.
If another person or organization’s negligence is the reason your loved one died, no amount of money can make up for what you have lost. However, receiving fair compensation after their passing can give you time to grieve and may prevent a similar tragedy from happening to another family.
We have the commitment and experience to represent your case effectively at Bulluck Law Group. We won’t charge you a penny unless we are able to win your lawsuit, so you don’t have to be concerned with expenses and fees while you are grieving your loved one’s death. Get advice from Bulluck Law Group on your next steps as well as skilled representation.
Contact Bulluck Law Group for advice on next steps and skilled representation for your case.