If you or a family member were injured in a trucking accident in Port St. Lucie, FL, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced Port St. Lucie truck accident attorney at Kibbey Wagner, PLLC can help you stand up to the insurance companies. Call us today at (772) 247-3374 to discuss your case.
We’ve recovered over $60 million for accident victims since we opened our doors in 2014 – and we’ve earned a reputation for getting results in complex personal injury cases. We’ll fight to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and your pain and suffering.
Our lawyers are always available to take your call, so contact our law firm in Port St. Lucie, FL to schedule a free consultation today.
How Kibbey Wagner Can Help After a Truck Accident in Port St. Lucie
The aftermath of a truck accident can be overwhelming. While you’re struggling to heal and get better, you shouldn’t have to worry about how you’ll pay the bills. Unfortunately, medical bills and daily costs can add up quickly – all while you’re unable to work because of your injuries.
Let an experienced Port St. Lucie personal injury lawyer help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
At Kibbey Wagner, our lawyers collectively have over 40 years of experience handling all types of personal injury cases. Our founding attorney is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law and is a former insurance defense attorney who knows how the other side works. We’ve been recognized by Super Lawyers and Rising Stars and earned an Avvo “superb” rating for our exceptional legal representation.
Trust us to protect your rights, and you can count on us to:
- Conduct an investigation into your crash
- Gather the evidence to prove causation and establish liability
- Work with respected experts whose testimony can strengthen your claim
- Demand fair compensation from all responsible parties
- Negotiate with the insurance companies to get you the maximum compensation possible
Your case is unique, and our Port St. Lucie personal injury attorneys are here to give your case the personal attention you deserve; we’ll guide you every step of the process. If you were involved in a truck accident, don’t wait to seek help. Contact our law group to schedule a 100% free consultation today.
How Common Are Truck Accidents in Port St. Lucie?
Accidents involving big rigs, semi-trucks, and other commercial trucks tend to cause significant damage.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 5,005 large trucks were involved in fatal truck crashes across the U.S. in 2019. Another 119,000 truck accidents caused injuries that year.
Unfortunately, Florida ranks third in the nation (behind Texas and California) when it comes to truck crash fatalities. Statewide, 340 large trucks were involved in fatal car accidents in 2019. Sadly, 349 people were killed in fatal truck crashes that year – and 297 of those people were occupants of smaller passenger vehicles.
What to Do After a Truck Accident in Port St. Lucie, FL
After an accident, the steps you take can significantly affect your truck accident claim.
Here are some things you should do after a truck crash:
- Check for injuries: Check yourself, any passengers, and others involved in the collision to determine if anyone is injured.
- Call 911: You should report the accident and have an officer prepare a crash report. This report will be crucial evidence if you file a claim or lawsuit. Calling 911 will also allow you to request paramedics if anyone is injured.
- Exchange information: If you can, exchange contact and insurance information with the other parties involved. You should also ask the truck driver for information regarding their employer. Also, interchange contact information with eyewitnesses.
- Gather evidence: Document the accident scene by taking photos and videos. Note the positions of the vehicles, skid marks, property damage, visible injuries, and anything else that could be relevant.
- Seek medical treatment: If you aren’t transported to the hospital from the accident scene, try to get medical attention as soon as possible – even if you don’t think you’re hurt. Some injuries may not present symptoms right away. Additionally, seeing a doctor soon after the accident will prove that any injuries you sustained were caused by the truck accident.
Once you’re able, contact a Port St. Lucie truck accident attorney to discuss your accident. An attorney will help you navigate the claims process and possibly file a third-party lawsuit on your behalf against any liable parties, including the trucking company.
What is My Port St. Lucie Truck Accident Case Worth?
Every accident case is different. To get an idea of how much your specific personal injury claim is worth, call our lawyers to schedule a free case review.
Some of the factors that we’ll discuss include:
- The type and severity of the injuries you’ve sustained
- Whether you’ve missed work because of the injury and lost wages
- Whether your doctor expects you to require future medical care
- The cost of your past medical treatment, property damage, and other costs
- The physical pain and emotional distress you’ve suffered since the collision
- Whether you’re being blamed for causing the collision
Our truck accident attorneys will carefully assess any factor that may be relevant to your case. In some cases, we may even hire experts who can offer guidance while we’re calculating the value of your case.
What Types of Damages Are Available to Truck Accident Victims in Florida?
Truck accident victims are entitled to compensatory damages for their economic losses and non-economic losses.
The goal is to make the victim “whole” again to the extent possible.
Economic damages are those with a clear financial value, including:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages, income, and employment benefits
- Diminished earning potential
- Nursing care
- Medical devices
- In-home assistance or modifications to your home
- Property damage
Non-economic damages compensate for your emotional and physical suffering, as well as other non-financial losses, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Diminished quality of life
- Anxiety, depression, or PTSD
- Loss of consortium
Some courts may award punitive damages if the defendant’s actions were especially shocking. For example, if the truck driver was drunk and caused the crash, you may be eligible for this type to punish the driver for that behavior.
Can I Recover Compensation If I’m Being Blamed for a Truck Accident in Port St. Lucie, FL?
Shared fault doesn’t automatically bar you from recovering compensation under Florida’s pure comparative fault laws. Instead, your compensation can be reduced by the percentage of fault allocated to you after an accident.
So, if you were 30% at-fault for the accident, you’re only entitled to 70% of your settlement or verdict.
Common Injuries Resulting From a Port St. Lucie Truck Crash
Truck accidents often cause more severe injuries than typical auto accidents.
Trucks are large, heavy, and can be difficult to maneuver.
Possible truck accident injuries involve:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Burns and road rash
- Broken bones
- Nerve injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Head and neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Organ damage
- Crushing injuries
- Chest injuries
- Catastrophic injuries
- Wrongful death of a loved one
If you were injured in an accident, seeking medical care should always be your top priority. Once you’ve received the treatment you deserve, contact our truck accident attorneys at Kibbey Wagner to learn more about your legal rights.
What Causes Most Truck Accidents in Port St. Lucie, Florida?
A truck accident can have many causes. Studies show that most truck accidents happen because of driver error.
Some of the most common causes involve:
- Driver fatigue and violation of FMCSA hours-of-service regulations
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Reckless driving behaviors
- Brake problems
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Unfamiliarity with the roads
- Lack of driving experience
Some additional causes may involve:
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Mechanical failures
- Unsafe passing
- Dangerous lane changes
- Dangerous or illegal turns
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Inexperienced drivers
- Road hazards
- Hazardous cargo
- Failure to secure the cargo properly
- Failure to inspect and maintain the vehicle
Truck drivers are often under pressure to meet tight deadlines. That makes them more prone to violate traffic rules or FMCSA safety regulations.
Federal Trucking Laws And Regulations
Commercial trucks are governed by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. These rules are implemented to reduce collisions and keep everyone sharing the road safer. Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) contains the laws that regulate the U.S. trucking industry.
Some important Title 49 regulations include:
- Part 382 – This section lists alcohol and drug testing requirements for truck drivers and the penalties for substance use-related conduct. It also requires employers to enact policies on the misuse of drugs and alcohol and undergo training on substance abuse.
- Part 383 – This section sets forth standards and requirements to obtain a commercial driver’s license and penalties for failing to comply. It also describes the testing and licensing procedures and required skills for truck drivers.
- Part 387 – This section lists the insurance requirements for commercial trucks.
- Part 395 – This section regulates the hours of service for truckers – meaning the maximum amount of hours they can drive at one time. It also discusses electronic logging devices (ELDs), which are used to record truck drivers’ driving time.
These are just a few federal laws and regulations governing truck drivers and trucking companies. Your attorney should be familiar with these laws since they may be vital to your personal injury case.
How Do I Know If I Can Pursue Legal Action After a Truck Accident in Port St. Lucie?
You have to file a liability claim with your PIP insurance provider first, regardless of who was responsible for the accident. However, you may be able to file a third-party liability claim or lawsuit against the trucking company or other liable party if your damages exceed your PIP policy limits or you suffer a serious injury.
The best way to know if you can pursue legal action after a collision with a semi-truck is to schedule a free case evaluation with a Port St. Lucie truck accident lawyer.
Reach out to us today to discuss your truck accident in Florida. We’ll evaluate your case and determine all available sources of compensation.
Do I Need a Truck Accident Lawyer to Pursue My Claim?
If you want to maximize your compensation and get the best outcome in your case, you should probably hire a lawyer. A truck accident claim can be complex because it could involve multiple parties and complicated insurance policies.
An experienced truck accident attorney has access to leading experts who will help build and value your case. Our practice has made us familiar with state and federal trucking regulations, which can be difficult to understand for other lawyers.
Additionally, a lawyer will help you pursue all avenues of compensation. You must go through your own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance provider first, but you could be entitled to file a liability claim or lawsuit against other parties.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer in Port St. Lucie?
Most truck accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you owe nothing unless they secure a favorable settlement or verdict in your case. If the attorney wins your case, they’ll take an agreed-upon percentage of your awarded compensation. If the attorney doesn’t win your case, they receive nothing.
When you hire a lawyer, you’ll agree upon the percentage of your recovery they will receive.
This arrangement allows you to retain legal counsel without worrying about upfront costs. Be sure to review the fee contract and ask questions if you don’t understand something.
How Do I Prove Negligence After a Port St. Lucie Truck Accident?
To recover compensation after your wreck, you have to prove that someone else was responsible. Manufacturers of defective truck parts can be strictly liable for damages. In most other cases, you’ll have to prove negligence.
The four elements of a negligence are:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
Our lawyers will start investigating immediately.
We’ll collect the strong evidence you need to support your claim, including:
- Evidence from the truck’s black box recording device
- Police reports
- Results of any NTSB investigation
- The truck driver’s hours-of-service log
- The trucking company’s inspection and maintenance records
- Video surveillance footage
- Eyewitness statements
- Information about the trucking company’s internal hiring practices
You don’t have to handle your case alone. While you get better, contact our law offices to learn more about how an attorney can help.
Who Can Be Liable for Damages After a Truck Accident?
In a typical car accident case, the negligent person is usually liable for damages. Truck accident cases can be more complex. For example, when truck drivers cause a crash, the trucking company is often liable for paying your damages.
Examples of parties who may be liable in a truck wreck case include:
- Truck drivers
- Trucking companies
- Mechanics and maintenance companies
- Cargo-loading companies
- Manufacturers of defective vehicle parts and safety features
- Government authorities
- Third-party drivers
Trucking companies carry commercial vehicle insurance. Because the policy limits are usually higher, insurance companies are more likely to try to pin the blame on someone else. That makes it especially important to understand every factor that played a role in your collision.
Are Trucking Accident Claims Similar to Other Motor Vehicle Accident Claims?
A collision involving a semi-truck can be a terrifying and traumatizing event. Big rigs can weigh up to 80,000 pounds depending on the axles and length – meaning they can do a lot of damage.
Therefore, accidents involving large commercial trucks tend to cause more damage and catastrophic injuries. Accordingly, truck accident claims tend to be worth significantly more than typical car accident claims.
Additionally, truck accident cases are generally more complex. In a usual car accident claim, the at-fault driver can be held accountable for serious injuries caused by the collision. However, multiple parties can be responsible in a truck accident claim, including the truck driver, trucking company, cargo-loading company, manufacturers, and more.
It’s best to consult an experienced truck accident lawyer to review your case.
How Long Does It Take For a Port St. Lucie Truck Accident Case to Settle?
All truck accident cases are different, but many factors will affect how long it takes yours to settle, including:
- The severity of your injuries and how long it takes for you to reach maximum improvement
- The strength of your evidence
- Whether fault is at issue
- The number of parties involved in the case
- The willingness of the insurance company and other involved parties to negotiate a fair settlement
- The complexity of your case
Your case could take months or years to resolve, depending on the facts and circumstances. If your case goes to trial, it will take longer. Contact us today to discuss your case and get a better idea of how long it may take to settle.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Truck Accident in Florida?
Every state limits the amount of time you have to sue after an accident. In Florida, the statute of limitations gives most accident victims four years to file a personal injury lawsuit.
The consequences are serious if you miss the four-year deadline. You could lose your right to compensation entirely if you don’t take legal action within four years of the crash.
Contact a Port St. Lucie Truck Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Most truck accidents are preventable. If you were injured because someone was careless, call our Port St Lucie truck accident attorney at Kibbey Wagner to schedule a free consultation today.
Our lawyers have over 40 years of collective experience handling all types of personal injury cases. We’ll protect your legal rights and guide you every step of the process.
There’s no fee unless we win your case.
Our personal injury law firm in Port St. Lucie, FL also provides:
- Bicycle Accident Attorney in Port St. Lucie, FL
- Brain Injury Lawyer in Port St. Lucie, FL
- Car Accident Lawyer in Port St. Lucie, FL
- Catastrophic Injury Attorney in Port St. Lucie, FL
- Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Port St. Lucie, FL
- Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Port St. Lucie, FL
- Premises Liability Lawyer in Port St. Lucie, FL
- Wrongful Death Lawyer in Port St. Lucie, FL
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