West Palm Beach is a paradise with its palm-lined streets, beautiful beaches, and luxury shopping districts. Tourists flock to the city in droves during peak season, often sharing the road with massive commercial trucks.
This makes the roads especially dangerous for travelers and contributes to the state’s Number Three ranking in U.S. truck accident fatalities. You need a trusted legal advocate if you or a loved one suffered injuries in a truck accident.
The West Palm Beach truck accident lawyers from Kaiser Romanello, P.A., understand the complexities of truck accident cases and are committed to fighting for your rights. Contact us today to discuss your case, and let us help you get the compensation you need and deserve.
Why Choose Kaiser Romanello, P.A., West Palm Beach Truck Accident Lawyers, for Your Truck Accident Case?
Kaiser Romanello, P.A., represents victims of truck accidents throughout West Palm Beach and the surrounding areas. We recognize the unique challenges and hardships that come with these types of accidents, from severe injuries to property damage and emotional distress. That’s why we provide the legal support and guidance you need during this difficult time.
With a deep understanding of state and federal regulations governing the trucking industry, we are well-equipped to investigate the circumstances of your accident, determine liability, and pursue the compensation you deserve.
Our unwavering commitment to justice and our track record of success in securing millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients set us apart as a trusted advocate in West Palm Beach’s legal community. Contact us today for your free consultation and case evaluation.
How Common Are Truck Accidents in Florida?
Truck accidents are hazardous due to several factors distinguishing them from typical car accidents.
Trucks, especially semi-trucks and tractor-trailers, are significantly larger and heavier than passenger vehicles. This size and weight discrepancy means that when a truck collides with a smaller vehicle, the great force can lead to severe damage and catastrophic injuries.
Unfortunately, truck accidents happen too often in the U.S. and Florida.
According to the latest statistics from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), 154,993 people in the United States were injured, and 5,788 were killed in traffic accidents involving large trucks last year. This increased by 9 percent and 17 percent over the previous year, respectively.
In Florida, 373 people died in truck accidents, earning the Sunshine State the third-highest ranking in truck accident fatalities in the U.S., behind Texas and California.
What Compensation is Available for Truck Accident Victims?
Truck accident victims may be eligible for various types of compensation to cover their losses and expenses resulting from the accident. The specific compensation available depends on the circumstances of the accident and the extent of the victim’s injuries.
Here is some typical compensation available to truck accident victims:
Medical Expenses: Truck accident victims can seek compensation for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to their injuries. This includes ambulance fees, hospital bills, surgeries, doctor’s visits, medications, rehabilitation, assistive devices, and ongoing medical treatment.
Property Damage: If the truck accident damaged the victim’s vehicle or other property, they can pursue compensation for the repair cost or the damaged property’s fair market value.
Lost Earnings: Victims who cannot work due to injuries can seek compensation for their lost income. This includes past and future lost income and any loss of earning capacity resulting from long-term or permanent injuries.
Pain and Suffering: Accident victims may recover compensation for the physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish they have experienced because of the accident and their injuries. Pain and suffering are non-economic damages and can vary widely based on the severity of the injuries.
Under Florida law, the victim only recovers these damages after a truck accident if injuries result in:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
Loss of Consortium: Spouses of truck accident victims may be entitled to compensation for the loss of companionship, support, and intimacy resulting from the injuries sustained by their loved ones.
Wrongful Death Damages: If a truck accident results in a fatality, the surviving family members may be eligible to seek wrongful death damages. These can include funeral and burial expenses, lost financial support, and compensation for the emotional and financial losses suffered due to the loss of a loved one.
Do I Have a Truck Accident Case?
The four elements of negligence apply to truck accident cases just as they do in any personal injury case. To successfully establish a negligence claim in a truck accident case, the plaintiff (the injured party) must prove each of these elements.
Here’s how the four elements of negligence apply in a truck accident case:
- Duty of Care: The first element establishes that the defendant (usually the truck driver and/or the trucking company) owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. In a truck accident case, this duty of care typically includes the responsibility to operate the truck safely, follow traffic laws and regulations, and take necessary precautions to prevent accidents. Trucking companies must also properly maintain their vehicles and ensure their drivers are qualified and adequately trained.
- Breach of Duty: The second element involves showing that the defendant breached their duty of care. This means demonstrating that the truck driver or the trucking company failed to act as a reasonably prudent person or entity would under similar circumstances. Examples of breaches in a truck accident case may include the truck driver’s speeding, distracted driving, driving while fatigued, or the trucking company’s failure to maintain the vehicle adequately.
- Causation: Causation is the third element, and it has two components:
- Cause in Fact (Actual Cause): The plaintiff must establish that the defendant’s breach of duty was the direct cause of the accident and resulting injuries. This means showing that, but for the defendant’s actions or negligence, the accident would not have occurred.
- Proximate Cause (Legal Cause): Proximate cause examines whether the injuries were a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the defendant’s actions. It helps determine if the defendant bears responsibility for the plaintiff’s injuries, considering the scope and extent of the harm caused.
- Damages: The fourth element requires the plaintiff to demonstrate that they suffered actual damages in the truck accident. Damages include medical expenses, property damage, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other losses.
The plaintiff’s truck accident attorney will gather evidence to establish these four elements. This may involve collecting accident reports, eyewitness testimony, truck maintenance records, data from the truck’s black box (if available), and medical records to demonstrate the extent of the injuries.
Who May Be Liable in a Truck Accident Case?
After accidents involving commercial trucks and tractor-trailers, you may seek compensation from more than one party.
Here are some common parties that may share blame in a trucking accident.
The Truck Driver
Truck drivers can be held liable in a truck accident if their actions or negligence contributed to the cause of the accident. Liability in a truck accident case is typically determined based on negligence.
Here are several ways you can hold a truck driver liable in a truck accident:
- Distracted driving
- Following too closely behind other vehicles
- Driving without being adequately trained
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failing to abide by traffic laws
- Improperly changing lane
- Overloading or improperly loading cargo
- Negligent truck maintenance
- Road rage or driving aggressively
- Failure to exercise caution in bad weather conditions
The Trucking Company/Truck Owner
You can hold a trucking company or the owner of the truck liable for their driver’s accident if the company engaged in negligent behavior, such as:
- Negligent hiring or retaining a driver with a poor driving or safety record
- Failing to properly train the driver
- Encouraging or pressuring a driver to violate safety regulations, such as driving beyond their hours of service
- Failing to keep trucks properly maintained
- Violating federal regulations
- Failed to enforce safety policies
A Truck or Parts Manufacturer
You can hold makers of trucks or truck parts liable for an accident if the plaintiff can show that a defective or unreasonably dangerous product contributed to the accident. Liability in cases involving defective products depends on product liability laws.
The Cargo Loader
The plaintiff can hold a cargo loader liable for a trucking accident if they establish that the cargo loader’s actions or negligence while loading the cargo contributed to the accident.
Here are some ways you can hold a cargo loader liable in a trucking accident:
- Improperly distributing the cargo, which can make the truck unstable or difficult to control
- Failing to adequately secure cargo can cause it to shift during transit, causing the driver to lose control of the truck
- Loading cargo that exceeds the weight limits specified by federal or state regulations can affect its handling and braking capabilities
- Failing to follow industry standards and safety regulations when loading cargo can be considered negligence if it results in an accident
- Failing to document and keep up-to-date records of cargo, including its weight and distribution, can make it difficult to prove the loading was done correctly and safely
How Can a West Palm Beach Truck Accident Lawyer Help with My Truck Accident Claim?
Here’s how a truck accident lawyer from Kaiser Romanello, P.A., can assist you:
Legal Advice and Guidance
A personal injury lawyer from our firm has a deep understanding of the relevant laws and regulations, including federal and state trucking regulations. They can provide you with valuable legal advice tailored to your specific case.
Your lawyer can thoroughly investigate the accident, gathering evidence such as accident reports, witness statements, photographs, and any available video footage. They can also work with accident reconstruction experts to determine liability and causation.
Identifying Liable Parties
Truck accidents can involve multiple parties who you may hold liable for your injuries, including the truck driver, the trucking company, maintenance providers, and manufacturers of defective truck parts. Your lawyer can help identify all liable parties and hold them accountable.
Communication with Insurance Companies
Dealing with insurance companies can be challenging, as they often try to minimize payouts. Your attorney can handle all communications with insurance adjusters so you don’t inadvertently say or do anything that could harm your claim.
An experienced lawyer from our firm can assess the full extent of your damages, including medical bills, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, and future expenses related to your injuries. They can determine a fair and comprehensive settlement amount.
Negotiation and Settlement
Your lawyer can negotiate with the at-fault parties and their insurance companies to reach a fair settlement on your behalf. They will maximize your compensation while accounting for the long-term consequences of your injuries.
If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, your lawyer can file a lawsuit and represent you in court. They will gather evidence, present your case, and advocate for your rights before a judge and jury.
If your case goes to trial, your lawyer will provide legal representation, present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and make persuasive arguments to secure a favorable verdict.
Ensuring Compliance with Deadlines
There are strict deadlines for filing truck accident claims, and missing these deadlines can result in your claim being dismissed. Your lawyer can complete all necessary paperwork and filings on time.
Providing Peace of Mind
Knowing that a truck accident lawyer is handling your case and fighting for your rights can provide peace of mind.
Contingency Fee Arrangements
The truck accident lawyers at Kaiser Romanello, P.A., work on a contingency fee basis. We only get paid if you recover compensation in your case. This makes legal representation more accessible to accident victims and their families who cannot afford the upfront legal fees some attorneys require.
Contact a West Palm Beach Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident in West Palm Beach, your rights and future deserve immediate attention. Take action immediately.
Contact our experienced West Palm Beach truck accident attorneys at Kaiser Romanello, P.A., today for a free consultation. We are here to fight for justice, ensure you receive fair compensation, and hold those responsible accountable. Your recovery starts with a simple call.
Contact us today at (844) 877-8679 or through our online form, and let us help you navigate the legal process and get the compensation you deserve.