Melbourne Truck Accident Attorney
Semi-Truck & Commercial Vehicle Accidents in Brevard County
While any motor vehicle accident can have devastating or even deadly consequences, collisions with large semi-trucks, big-rigs, and other commercial tractor-trailers are especially catastrophic. Due to their immense size and weight, these vehicles often cause massive damage when they are involved in accidents with passenger cars, motorcycles, and SUVs. To make matters worse, filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit after a commercial vehicle accident is highly complex due to a variety of factors affecting liability, fault, and more.
At Nance Cacciatore, we have the resources needed to investigate serious truck accidents. Our staff includes two in-house investigators—who are also former police officers—trained in accident reconstruction and evidence preservation. Our location close to Interstate 95 means that our attorneys have handled many truck accident cases, and our investigators have excellent relationships with local Florida Highway Patrol officers.
As a result, we can get to the scene quickly and learn the details of an accident. We use the information they provide, as well as the results of consultations with medical specialists and other experts, to build strong cases for compensation for clients injured in truck accidents.
Who Can Be Sued in a Truck Accident Case?
One of the things that makes truck and other commercial vehicle accident claims so complex is the issue of liability. Because truck accidents so often result in severe injuries, most victims must step outside Florida’s no-fault system to recover compensation for their damages. This involves proving that their injuries meet the state’s “serious injury” threshold and that someone else is legally responsible for the victim’s damages.
Establishing liability typically means determining how the accident occurred. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Truck driver error or negligence, such as distracted driving, speeding, or driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs
- Failure to conduct proper truck/vehicle maintenance and/or repairs
- Overloaded or improperly loaded cargo
- Hours-of-service violations, leading to fatigued driving and drivers falling asleep at the wheel
- Negligent hiring, training, and/or supervision of truck drivers by the trucking company
- Defective trucks or truck parts, such as tires, braking systems, and engine components
- Third-party negligence, including negligent third-party motorists on the road
Unlike in other types of motor vehicle accidents, liability does not always (nor even often) lay with the individual who caused the accident. For example, even if a truck driver causes a crash, his or her employer (the trucking company) is likely liable under respondeat superior laws, which holds employers generally liable for the conduct of their employees while those employees are “on the clock.”
Often, the defendants in truck accident cases are not the truck drivers themselves (though this can sometimes be the case) but other liable entities, such as trucking companies, truck industry manufacturers, and others.
How to Protect Your Rights After a Truck Accident
Being involved in a serious truck accident is a frightening, overwhelming experience. But there are certain things you can—and should—do to protect your rights.
After an accident with a semi-truck or another commercial vehicle, be sure to do the following:
- Seek Medical Attention: For your own health and well-being, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible after the crash. By law, if you wish to file a personal injury protection (PIP) claim, you must seek medical attention from a qualified health care provider within 14 days of the accident.
- Report the Accident: You should report the accident to local law enforcement right away. If possible, call 911 and have police come to the scene of the accident. You can file an official accident report with the responding officer.
- Avoid Signing Anything: If the trucking company or a representative from their insurance provider reaches out to you, refrain from speaking to them and never sign anything without first talking to a lawyer. This includes any statements regarding a settlement or payment for your medical bills or other damages.
- Do Not Volunteer Information: While you should always avoid speaking to the trucking company and its representatives, you should be especially careful to refrain from volunteering any information about the accident, as this could be used against you later.
- Contact a Lawyer: The best way to protect your rights after an accident is to contact an experienced Melbourne truck accident attorney, like those at Nance Cacciatore. We can immediately begin investigating your accident and building your case.
We strongly encourage you to get in touch with our team today to learn how Nance Cacciatore can help you with your truck accident claim. We do not collect any attorney fees unless we secure a settlement or verdict on your behalf, and your initial consultation is always free and confidential.
Why You Should Hire a Lawyer After a Truck Accident
Truck accident cases are not like standard car accident claims. It is incredibly important that you contact an attorney who can help protect your rights and advocate for the maximum compensation you are owed.
At Nance Cacciatore, we can immediately begin investigating the accident by:
- Obtaining a criminal background check of the truck driver
- Analyzing the relationship between the driver, the operating company, the trailer, and the load to try to determine liability and responsibility
- Reviewing the hiring and training procedures of the trucking company
- Researching the maintenance history of the truck and the equipment
- Determining whether the driver followed regulations regarding rest periods and miles covered
In addition to our in-house investigators, we use well-known trucking experts to build these claims. Trucking accidents are complicated by problems identifying the truck or the owner when the driver leaves the scene. Our investigators and experts make every effort to find the truck and the driver, including interviewing nearby witnesses and researching possible truck routes whenever possible. We use all the evidence to build a strong case, always preparing as if it will proceed to trial.
How Nance Cacciatore Can Help
Our Melbourne truck accident attorneys have a record of success in trucking accident cases, despite difficulties such as those outlined above. We have handled claims arising from loads dumped on the highway, jackknifed trucks, gravel truck accidents, trucks traveling too fast for conditions, and multiple vehicle crashes. In all instances, the injuries sustained by our clients have been severe, including head and brain injury, spinal cord injury, and multiple fractures. In a number of cases, we have successfully obtained damages for a family grieving over the wrongful death of a loved one due to a trucking accident.
If you have been injured or a family member killed in a tractor-trailer accident, contact a trucking accident lawyer at Nance Cacciatore. We have the resources, experience, and commitment to help you fight for fair compensation after serious injury or death.
Contact our board-certified attorneys today at (321) 233-9885 and request a free initial consultation.