Rear-Ended by a Semi-Truck?: Florida Settlement Guide

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Have you been rear-ended by a semi-truck? You may receive financial compensation through a settlement.

If you’re a victim or being hit from behind by a commercial truck, you need to know what settlement you should receive. Our Pensacola truck accident attorneys can review your situation, let you know if you have a claim, and how to pursue your settlement.

Settlement Guide For Rear-End Semi-Truck Crashes in Florida

In this guide, we’ll discuss:

  • Why no-fault insurance benefits aren’t all you can claim. You may deserve much more in compensation.
  • How settlement amounts vary based on injuries, suffering and other factors.
  • Why the truck driver is presumed at fault if they are the following vehicle– and how that helps you prove your case.
  • How to pursue your settlement and how our lawyers can help.

The Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers present this Florida Settlement Guide for Rear End Semi-Truck Accidents.

Rear-End Truck Accidents in Florida

If you’re rear-ended by a truck, the collision likely could have been prevented. Common causes of rear-end collisions in Florida are failing to leave sufficient following distance between vehicles, inadequate truck maintenance and poor driving skills. That means if you’re rear-ended by a semi-truck, you’re a crash victim, and you deserve fair monetary compensation.

This compensation may be paid by the party responsible for the crash, which is often the trucking company itself.

Serious Injuries? You’re Not Limited to No-Fault Benefits

Your case may be worth more than you think.

Most clients that we meet for the first time know about Florida’s no-fault laws. They know that no-fault laws mean having their insurance which provides limited benefits in the event of an accident. No-fault laws don’t require the victim to prove who is at fault for the accident.

However, the law doesn’t stop there. When you’re rear-ended by a semi-truck, you may be able to sue the trucking company. Your settlement may include pain and suffering and other non-economic damages. Compensation from the responsible party is available if you have injuries that are especially serious, permanent or disfiguring.

Rear-End Semi-Truck Settlement by Severity of Injury

Minor injury

It’s uncommon for a semi-truck collision to result only in minor injuries. Examples of minor injuries from a rear-end semi-truck accident include:

  • Whiplash (that heals in a few weeks)
  • Minor cuts (self-treated)
  • Mild concussion (single doctor visit)
  • Sprains (or other soft tissue damage)

If you have mild injuries that heal quickly, your case will stay in the no-fault system. You may claim for medical care and loss of income through your insurance. However, if you’re rear-ended by a semi-truck, weighing up to 40 tons, you likely have injuries that are far more serious.

Serious injury

Serious semi-truck rear-end collision injuries include:

  • Broken bones
  • Concussion
  • Cuts, requiring dressing
  • Internal organ damage
  • Spinal cord injury and nerve damage
  • Severe whiplash
  • PTSD, anxiety and other mental health injuries

A settlement resulting in serious injuries should include medical bills, other financial losses and non-economic damages. Remember that there are many types of medical expenses including ambulance transfer, emergency or urgent care, surgical procedures, medication, physical therapy and medical devices. In addition, pain and suffering compensation should reflect the relative severity of injuries and recovery period.

Catastrophic injury

If you suffer a catastrophic injury in a Florida semi-truck collision, you may receive compensation that includes future damages and pain and suffering. You may claim compensation for loss of lifestyle. Catastrophic injuries may include:

  • Paralysis
  • Permanent nerve damage
  • Amputation
  • Disfigurement, scars
  • Brain damage
  • Irreversible damage to bodily organs or systems
  • PTSD, anxiety and other mental health injuries

A settlement depends on the extent of injuries, future prognosis and suffering. To arrive at the correct settlement, you must verify your injuries with medical records, expert testimony and other evidence.

Presumption of Fault for Rear-End Semi-Truck Crash

To receive a Florida semi-truck crash settlement, you must prove fault for the crash. In the case of a rear-end semi-truck crash, Florida law is on your side. Florida law presumes that the following driver in a rear-end collision is solely responsible for the accident.

While the defense may rebut the presumption, they must point to mechanical failure, sudden and unexpected actions by the other driver or illegal stopping. Department of Highway Safety v. Saleme, 963 So. 2d 969 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2007).

As you pursue your settlement, remember that you are required to prove fault – but know that there is a presumption of fault for the driver of the following vehicle in rear-end semi-truck crashes.

Florida uses a modified comparative fault system. However, if you’re rear-ended by a semi-truck, the most likely outcome of a crash investigation is that the semi-truck driver or trucking company negligently caused the collision. At your consultation, we can discuss the specifics of your case and whether modified comparative fault might be a factor.

The Settlement Process

If you are rear-ended by a commercial truck in Florida, you must take steps to receive a settlement. Talking to the insurance company representative isn’t enough to protect your rights. Florida recently made the deadline to start a claim shorter. You must file your claim by the expiration of the deadline.

Even if your goal is a settlement, you must start a case by filing legal documents. Then, you may build your claim through discovery and pursue settlement negotiations. By understanding the amount of compensation you should receive, based on your damages and legal factors, you can seek the appropriate settlement.

How our lawyers can help

As your lawyers, we can:

  • Determine if you have the right to a settlement outside of Florida’s no-fault law
  • Help you understand the settlement you deserve
  • Explain what factors may influence your compensation amount
  • File legal paperwork on your behalf
  • Negotiate your settlement
  • Answer your questions and make sure you understand your settlement

If you have been rear-ended by a semi-truck, our lawyers can help you pursue your settlement. We can represent you at any stage in the case. Contact Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers today. You can use our online form or call us at 850-444-0000 to get in touch with us.

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