Trials in Truck Accident Cases
Victims of truck accidents are often confronted with significant, life-altering injuries that require weeks, months, or even years of recovery time. These injuries also come with the financial costs associated with medical treatment, rehabilitative efforts, and changes in what a victim can do for work. Often insurance benefits are not enough to cover such expenses, and additional legal action is necessary so that victims can be made whole again. Although the majority of personal injury claims arising out of motor vehicle accidents settle, sometimes a trial is necessary in order for victims to receive fair compensation for their injuries. Miami truck accident lawyer Robert Dixon represents clients in cases arising out of serious collisions. These claims can be more complicated than those involving standard-sized vehicles because the injuries involved tend to be more serious, and there are usually more parties involved, such as trucking and insurance companies. Robert Dixon and his staff at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon also assist families who have lost loved ones in a fatal accident pursue legal action against those responsible. We represent clients across South Florida, including in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. If you need legal assistance following a truck accident in which you were injured or a loved one died, contact our office to set up a free, no obligation consultation and learn more about your legal rights and options.Trials in Truck Accident Cases
As a “no-fault” state, Florida requires insurance providers to offer personal injury protection (PIP) that covers a victim’s injuries arising out of a motor vehicle accident, including those involving trucks, regardless of who is at fault for causing that accident. Victims first receive PIP benefits for eighty percent of their medical costs from their own insurance policy. However, the remaining twenty percent, as well as other damages, may not be covered and therefore are the responsibility of a liable party, such as a negligent truck driver. In these instances, a personal injury suit can be filed against those responsible in order for victims to receive proper compensation.
In Florida, trials in truck accident cases can only proceed if a plaintiff has suffered $10,000 in medical expenses and lost income, or suffers a serious or permanent injury. Most victims of truck accidents meet this threshold. The first phase of litigation involves filing the complaint, which sets out your argument of negligence against a truck driver, trucking company, or other defendants. The trucking company and others can then legally refuse your claims.
The next phase of the process involves discovery, whereby evidence is shared between parties. This includes document requests, depositions, and other information collected in order to be used to support your claim. Each party involved in a truck accident is required to preserve evidence if it is reasonably foreseeable that a legal claim may be present, such as where a victim is seriously injured. In truck accident cases, there is a higher risk of “spoliation of evidence” than in other cases, since there are so many interested parties involved. Spoliation is when one party, either negligently or intentionally, destroys or loses important evidence, sometimes in an effort to thwart proceedings. Courts take these actions very seriously and can impose severe sanctions on any offending parties. Your truck accident attorney can help you raise the issue with the court if it appears as though spoliation has occurred in your case.
After discovery, the parties generally proceed with settlement negotiations, through which most cases resolve. In fact, 90 percent of litigation ends with a settlement. However, sometimes a fair agreement isn’t reachable, and a formal trial is necessary. When a case goes to trial, the plaintiff must show that the defendant acted negligently in order to prevail on a personal injury or wrongful death claim. This requires proof that the defendant breached a duty of reasonable care they owed to the plaintiff, causing the plaintiff’s injury or a victim’s death, and resulting in damages. The defense will also have an opportunity to present evidence supporting its claims. A judge or jury will then decide who is responsible and what damages to award.Consult an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer in Miami
Trials associated with truck accident cases can be complicated as well as lengthy. If you have questions regarding your legal options in the aftermath of a truck accident, call the attorneys of the Law Offices of Robert Dixon at 877.499.4878 or contact us online to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to find out more. We represent clients in areas including Miami, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale.