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Truck Accident Attorneys Serving Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Car accidents happen every day. In many cases, they cause minimal damage and you can work through the insurance claim fairly easily. However, for those involved in an 18-wheeler accident, the effects can be far more devastating including severe injuries or even death. Trucking accidents are often severe and because of this, your insurance claim process will likely be complicated.  

To speak with an experienced truck accident attorney about your options for seeking financial compensation, contact our team at the Law Offices of McCullough & Leboff, P.A. We serve Fort Lauderdale, Florida and the surrounding areas including Davie, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, Weston, Sunrise, and Plantation. 

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Laws Affecting Truck Accidents  

Semi-trucks have to adhere to stricter laws than passenger vehicles because they pose a significant threat to other drivers on the road if not operated and maintained correctly. To do this, truck drivers and the companies they work for must follow both federal and state laws.  

One of the largest government agencies that puts these regulations in place is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This agency works within the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) with an aim to reduce crashes and injuries caused by large trucks and their regulations apply to any truck weighing over 10,001 pounds. 

One of the most important of these federal laws regulates how many hours in a row a driver can operate a large truck. For example, most commercial truck drivers are only allowed to operate their truck for 11 consecutive hours within a 14-hour work period. Additionally, they must then be off work for at least 10 hours before they can begin another shift. They also set rules on how many total hours within a week drivers can work, capping this at 60 hours during a seven-day stretch. 

Understanding these laws is important when filing your claim. Your attorney will investigate your accident case and, if any of the aforementioned laws were broken by the truck driver or company, they can use that as leverage to strengthen your claim to receiving the maximum compensation you deserve.  

Assessing Liability  

If you’re involved in a commercial truck accident the most important thing you’ll have to do is determine liability which can be a complicated process. For help with this, it’s recommended you work with a personal injury attorney

Who can be liable?  

Liability in a truck accident can lie with one or more parties. The first possibility is the truck driver themselves if it was their own carelessness or negligence that led to the crash. However, the truck company that employs the driver may also be held responsible if it was their actions that caused the crash.  

For example, if they knowingly sent a driver out to work who wasn’t adequately trained. In other cases you may be able to file a claim with the truck or parts manufacturer if there was something defective on the truck itself. In this case, fault wouldn’t lie with either the driver or the trucking company if they could prove they had no knowledge of the defect. 

There are still other scenarios where the person who loaded the cargo could be held at fault or the maintenance personnel. If the goods inside the truck are unbalanced, it can easily tip over when making a turn. Or, if the truck was inspected beforehand and the maintenance team failed to address an issue, they could be the ones at fault for the semi-truck accident. 

Factors in Determining Liability  

When determining liability, your attorney will evaluate several different factors. These include the actions of the driver. For example, if they were overly tired, had inadequate training, or failed to follow the regulations in place for how many hours they could work.  

In some cases, fault will lie with the vehicle driver and this can happen if the driver didn’t signal a turn or lane change correctly or failed to give the truck adequate room on the road. It can also happen that fault doesn’t lie with either driver and was instead simply due to poor road conditions.  

Filing a Personal Injury Claim  

If you were the victim of a truck accident, you can file a personal injury claim anytime within four years of the date of the accident. This is substantially longer than most states which can be beneficial, but it will also be essential that you retain all documentation when the accident actually occurred and keep a detailed record for your claim.  

If you’re representing a loved one who was incapacitated or lost their life, you only have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim.  

Truck Accident Attorneys Serving Fort Lauderdale, Florida

If you’re in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida area and would like to know more about your options for seeking compensation after a semi-truck accident, call our personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of McCullough & Leboff, P.A to schedule a consultation.