In 2021 alone, the National Safety Council (NHS) recorded 5,700 heavy commercial trucks involved in fatal collisions. In 2020, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 351 of the 4,846 vehicles involved in fatal crashes were commercial trucks.
When a negligent trucker hurts you or a loved one, you may be able to file an injury accident claim with the help of a truck accident attorney to recover damages that can compensate you for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
It’s important to note that your claim will be subject to certain Florida statutes. By becoming aware of these statutes, you can better anticipate how they will play a role in your case.
3 Florida Truck Accident Laws to Know
Numerous Florida statutes can impact any motor vehicle accident injury claim, including your truck accident injury claim. Three of the most significant laws include:
1. Florida Statute 627.7407
Florida Statute 627.7407 discusses Florida’s no-fault insurance requirements. The majority of states are considered to be at-fault states. This means that, in these states, the driver who is responsible for causing an accident pays the damages claims of those who were hurt in the accident.
However, Florida is a no-fault state. Insurance in Florida works differently than in an at-fault state, and Florida Statute 627.7407 explains how. This law requires you to have a personal injury protection (PIP) policy in place whenever you drive.
If you are involved in a crash, this policy pays you compensation up to the policy’s limits. It does not matter who caused the crash; this PIP policy pays you benefits even if you were primarily responsible for the accident.
There is another part to Florida’s no-fault insurance statute. In order to bring a truck accident claim against the driver for damages not covered by your PIP policy, you would need to show that you suffered serious bodily harm.
While there is a higher likelihood of being severely injured in a truck crash than in a car wreck, you must still be prepared to show you sustained severe injuries if your claim is to proceed.
2. Florida Statute 768.81
Florida law also discusses what happens if you happen to be partly at fault in a truck accident. The state’s modified comparative negligence statute, Florida Statute 768.81, states that you are entitled to recover compensation as long as you are not more than 50% at fault in causing the accident.
This means that any amount of fault attributable to you will reduce your overall recovery. For instance, if you are 25% at fault and incur $100,000 in damages, you would recover $75,000.
If you happen to be 51% or more at fault, then you are not entitled to any recovery through a truck accident lawsuit. You would still be entitled to receive whatever benefits your PIP policy provides, though.
3. Florida Statute 95.11
Like every other state, Florida imposes time limitations on legal action. These limitations, called statutes of limitations, act to encourage injured or aggrieved parties to bring lawsuits quickly and not to sit on their legal rights.
If you do not file a lawsuit within the applicable time limitation noted in Florida Statute 95.11, then your case could be dismissed without any consideration of the facts of your case.
Florida recently amended the statute of limitations applicable in truck accident cases. Under the new law, a truck accident claim must be filed within two years of the crash date.
As with other statutes of limitations, if you or your truck accident attorney do not have your claim filed before this two-year period expires, then you may be prevented from ever getting compensation from the negligent trucker for your injuries.
There are certain exceptions to the statute of limitations. If you have gone over the two-year statute of limitations, it is highly advisable that you speak with a qualified truck accident lawyer about your options and whether an exception applies to you.
Trust Schrier Law Group With Your Case
If you or a loved one has been hurt on Florida’s roads by a negligent trucker, you can turn to an experienced truck accident attorney at Schrier Law Group to find out your next steps.
With over 36 years of experience assisting truck injury victims, we know how Florida’s laws affect your case and are prepared to fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.