Naples is a Florida city on the Gulf of Mexico, known for its white “sugar” sand beaches and world-class golf courses. However, Naples also has heavy traffic, which often results in fatal truck accidents. If your loved one was the victim of such an accident, you do not have to shoulder all the expenses.
A Naples truck accident lawyer from GED Lawyers stays updated on the statutes relevant to your dispute. You could consider speaking to our lawyer first, as we can better evaluate your case and guide you through the settlement process.
How a Naples Trucker Can Be Liable for an Accident
Proving a Naples trucker’s fault in a trucking accident works like any injury case. You typically must prove they either:
- Acted negligently (such as driving while texting or going over the speed limit)
- Caused the accident on purpose (such as when influenced by road rage)
However, you should also consider another party could be at fault. For example, the truck could have had a design defect the manufacturer did not disclose. This would make the manufacturer liable. Another instance would be if a different motorist behaved carelessly and caused the truck to crash.
In any case, our Naples truck accident lawyer can help you gather evidence of the trucker or other party’s fault in the collision, such as camera footage, accident reports, and eyewitness statements.
Considering Motor Carrier Regulations
Besides regular traffic violations, our Naples truck accident attorney also reviews the federal and state motor carrier laws that may apply to your case. It can serve to prove the truck owner or driver’s fault further. Some of these rules include the following:
Service Hours and Mandatory Breaks
Drivers must not work beyond their designated hours of service. They should use their mandatory break periods to avoid overworking and exhaustion.
Cargo Securement Standards and Weight Limits
Trucks must have special permits when traveling overweight in Naples and the rest of Florida. Truckers must also secure their cargo according to safety standards to prevent the cargo from falling off the trucks, destabilizing them, or spreading hazardous materials on the road.
Routine Maintenance Requirements
Truck owners should also regularly inspect and service their trucks to ensure their roadworthiness, reducing the risk of accidents caused by malfunctions.
Alcohol and Drug Prohibitions and Testing
Drivers must also abstain from consuming drugs or alcohol before or while on the job. If employers suspect them of intoxication, they must conduct testing before letting them operate trucks. They must also conduct tests randomly throughout the year.
Travel Lane Restrictions
Commercial trucks are generally not allowed in inner travel lanes so that regular automobiles can use them.
For a free legal consultation with a truck accidents lawyer serving Naples, call (561) 995-1966
Ways to Recover Truck Accident Damages in Naples
Due to Florida’s no-fault auto insurance laws, your primary option for recovering from your injury-related expenses after your truck collision depends on what injuries you suffered. However, you can file property damage actions regardless of your medical condition.
The Naples truck accident attorney can assist with compiling documents validating the damages accrued in the collision, such as medical records, photographs of the car’s damage, and your bills and receipts.
Successful truck accident settlements let you recover damages such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Auto repairs
- Funeral expenses
- Disabilities and disfigurements
- Loss of consortium
- Chronic physical pain
- Psychological trauma and anguish
Using PIP Insurance First
If your injuries are not severe enough to meet the state’s tort thresholds, you can only file a claim with your Personal Injury Protection or PIP insurance provider. PIP is one of the mandatory coverages for Florida motorists, along with property damage liability or PDL coverage.
PIP helps shoulder your injury-related costs regardless of who is more liable in the Naples trucking accident.
When Liability Claims and Lawsuits Are Available
If your injury does meet tort thresholds, then you can file a liability claim or an accident lawsuit with the liable truck owner or driver. The truck accident lawyer can help you comply with filing requirements and present the case to the insurance provider or the court.
Naples truckers must have their trucks covered by liability insurance as per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Florida Statutes § 627.7415. If the driver causes the accident outside of work hours, their personal auto insurance must cover your damages instead. However, as injury liability coverage is not mandatory for regular Florida motorists, the truck driver might not have it in their policy.
If this occurs, you may instead file a lawsuit, in which the court, not a claims adjuster, will decide your recovery. While litigation typically takes longer to settle due to the various procedures involved, an at-fault party’s insurance policy limits have no bearing over how much the court can award to you. That means the trucker could pay you with their assets if their coverage is insufficient.
Naples Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me (561) 995-1966
Other Laws to Consider in a Collier County Truck Accident Case
One of the filing requirements the truck accident lawyer can assist you with is the statute of limitations. Generally speaking, you must file your case within four years, as is the standard for negligence-based or property damage actions. Failure to comply results in an automatic case dismissal, barring you from recovering any damages.
Building the case early on after the accident can help avoid rushing at the last minute and missing the deadline. The truck accident lawyer’s assistance with the case can help speed up the process.
Comparative Fault in Truck Accident Settlements
Florida’s comparative fault rules apply to Naples truck accident cases, so you might recover a smaller amount than estimated. This can happen if the court or claims adjuster finds you partly liable for your damages. For instance, if you are 25 percent liable for speeding, the truck driver or owner owes you 75 percent of the case settlement.
You can also review the case with your Naples truck accident lawyer before filing, as they can check for weaknesses the other side could use to place more blame on you for the trucking collision.
Our Lawyers Are Ready to Work for You
Truck accident cases often involve many laws, which can overwhelm the average person. Consult with us before taking action. GED Lawyers has years of experience handling injury cases, including trucking collisions. As such, our attorneys can assess your situation first to see if you have a valid case on your hands and then work with you from there.
You can get your free case review by calling us or sending information regarding your accident. We cater to calls 24/7 and can accommodate Spanish speakers.