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What Compensation Can I Get After a Truck Accident in Florida?

a truck accident on a downhill curve

The cost of a semi-truck accident in Florida goes far beyond your medical bills and auto repairs. You might have to miss weeks or months of work because of your injuries, or you might have to change careers because of a disability. Furthermore,  a truck crash’s emotional and psychological toll can be immense, as you may have to adjust to a reduced quality of life after the collision.

If you did not cause the truck crash that injured you, you have the right to demand compensation for your injuries. The Pensacola truck accident lawyers at Cardoso Law, PLLC, have years of experience handling truck accidents and know how to maximize your claim’s worth. We created this guide to truck accident settlements in Florida so you can avoid leaving money on the table. To learn more, contact our Pensacola office today to schedule a free consultation.

How Is Compensation Determined in Florida?

People often ask us about the average truck accident settlement in Florida. However, there is no “average truck accident settlement” because every case differs. Your claim’s value depends on the specific losses you have experienced and the evidence you have to document those losses.

The other major factor that affects compensation in Florida truck accident claims is the state’s no-fault insurance laws. Typically, you file a claim with your insurance company after a truck accident and use your no-fault benefits to cover your losses and serious injuries. But if the losses from a truck crash exceed what no-fault insurance benefits cover, what do you do in that situation?

Fortunately, the law says you can step outside the no-fault system in certain circumstances. A truck accident lawyer can gather evidence to show why your injuries warrant additional compensation. If you meet the requirements to work around the no-fault system, you can pursue compensation for the total value of your injuries.

an 18-wheeler truck on a Florida highway

Economic Damages You Can Get from a Truck Accident Claim in Florida

In a truck accident claim, “damages” refers to the compensation you can claim for the losses you suffered. Your economic damages are the tangible monetary losses from a truck crash.

While every Florida truck accident case differs, economic damages typically include the following losses from a crash:

  • Medical Expenses: One of the most immediate concerns after a truck accident is the cost of medical bills. Truck accident compensation can include money for emergency room visits, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and any ongoing medical treatments you need to treat serious injuries.
  • Lost Wages: If your injuries from a truck crash keep you from working, you can seek compensation for your lost income. You can also seek compensation for any lost earning capacity if your injuries affect your ability to work in the future.
  • Property Damage: Many truck accidents cause significant damage to smaller vehicles and any personal property inside them. You can demand compensation for the cost to repair or replace any of your property that was damaged in the crash as part of a truck accident claim.
  • Out-of-Pocket Expenses: These expenses include transportation to medical appointments, hiring help for household tasks you cannot perform, and other related costs.

Non-Economic Damages Available in Pensacola, Florida, Truck Accident Claims

In contrast to economic damages, non-economic damages address the more subjective effects of a truck accident. These damages recognize the emotional and psychological impact of the accident, which doesn’t come with a specific price tag but is just as real and impactful.

Depending on the specifics of your truck accident case, you could recover the following truck accident compensation as part of a personal injury claim:

  • Pain and Suffering: This refers to the physical discomfort you’ve endured from the truck accident. It’s not just about the immediate pain but also the ongoing discomfort and its impact on your daily life.
  • Emotional Distress: Truck accidents can leave deep psychological scars. You might experience anxiety, depression, PTSD, or other emotional struggles due to the trauma of the accident.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If your injuries prevent you from engaging in hobbies, recreational activities, or other pleasures you once enjoyed, you can claim compensation for this loss.
  • Disfigurement and Scarring: If the accident has left you with scars or other permanent physical changes, you can demand compensation for the impact on your appearance and self-esteem.
  • Loss of Consortium: This applies if your injuries have affected your relationship with your spouse and includes money for loss of companionship, affection, and support.

What About Punitive Damages?

truck accident on a hignway

The money from a truck accident case is meant to compensate you for all the ways the crash has affected your life. However, some truck accident awards in Florida include punitive damages. Unlike economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages do not relate to any loss from the semi-truck accident. Instead, they are meant to punish the liable party for their negligence and deter others from taking similar actions.

Florida law says a judge or jury may only award punitive damages if the evidence shows that the defendant (usually the truck driver or trucking company) intentionally harmed you or was grossly negligent. According to the law, gross negligence means the defendant’s actions were so careless that they constitute a willful disregard or indifference to other people’s safety.

Important Steps to Take After a Truck Accident

Here’s what to do to protect your rights after a Pensacola truck accident:

  • Continue to pursue medical treatment and follow your doctor’s orders
  • Write down the details of the crash as soon as you can
  • Don’t post about the crash on social media
  • Hold on to any evidence you have from the crash scene (photos, videos, witness contact information, etc.)
  • Report the collision to your insurance company, but do not give any details until you speak to an attorney
  • Talk to a Florida truck accident attorney with experience handling truck accident cases

Statute of Limitations for Seeking Compensation

You have a limited window to file a personal injury claim after a truck accident, so we advise you to speak to a lawyer immediately. Florida law says you have two years from the date of an accident to file a lawsuit. If you miss the deadline, the court will dismiss your case. Talk to an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible to avoid issues with this filing deadline.

Contact the Pensacola Truck Accident Lawyers at Cardoso Law, PLLC, for Help

Contact the Pensacola Truck Accident Lawyers at Cardoso Law, PLLC, for Help

The Pensacola truck accident attorneys at Cardoso Law, PLLC, understand the terrible effects of these crashes and want to help you rebuild your life. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

Ryan Cardoso