A big truck hit an underpass in St. Petersburg Florida causing approximately $300,000 in damages according to representatives from FDOT. This is a pricey accident and it will need to be determined as to what caused it. Preliminary reporting claimed a malfunction in the hydraulics causing the truck to lift and hit the underpass.
Commercial Motor Vehicles require additional liability insurance under Florida Statute 627.7415. Florida Statute 627.7415 State of Florida requirements are that motor vehicles must have current auto insurance coverage with a minimum requirement of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL).
Bodily Injury Insurance. Certain trucks and commercial vehicles in the State of Florida must carry bodily injury liability coverage, which is additional protection against claims from others for personal injuries an accident with a truck. This extra insurance may be necessary if the truck is of a certain gross weight; has three or more axels, owned or driven by a governmental entity, is used for interstate versus intrastate travel and carries a load that may be considered hazardous.
Accident victims can file a personal injury claim in Florida, but under Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Law, costs incurred due to an accident will be paid primarily from a claim against the injured person’s own insurance company to cover non-serious injuries. The Florida No-Fault Law requires drivers to carry PIP to pay the insured’s bills, regardless of fault, up to the limit of the $10,000.
Extensive personal injuries, property damage and wrongful death often result from accidents involving tractor trailers due to their increased size and weight over that of a passenger vehicle and could meet the serious injury threshold requirement, impacting monetary settlements between parties.
Determination of fault.
If a truck driver or their employer knew there was something wrong with the hydraulic system in the truck that resulted in the accident, negligence may be proven. An at-fault truck driver and/or their insurance company, or the owner of the truck, if it is not the driver, can be sued for assessed damages and future losses caused by the accident.
Pure comparative Negligence (51% Rule). Florida follows the “pure comparative negligence rule” meaning that if you were responsible for any part of the activities that led to your injury, the compensation you will receive will be adjusted in accordance with that percentage of fault assigned to you.
Statute of limitations.
Generally, the statute of limitations for a personal injury car accident claim in Florida is four (4) years, so the paperwork needs to be initiated before this time has passed. This means if a driver, passenger, or passerby is injured or sustains property damage at the hands of a negligent driver, the victim must file a lawsuit within the four (4) year period following the accident.
Contact an attorney.
A truck accident attorney at the Law Offices of Karikas & Kasaris will be able to review your case and assist with the burden of collecting and analyzing the data related to a truck accident to see if a legal action is required. In a case such as this, the company and the driver may share some responsibility unless it is found the hydraulics were to blame, then an additional party, the hydraulic manufacturer may be a party to the claim for damages as well. Call for a free consultation.
Karikas & Kasaris, P.A., Attorneys at Law
3643 1st Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33713
Phone: 727-323-4533, 866-325-3696