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Can I Get Pain & Suffering Damages After A Tractor-Trailer Accident?


If a driver is so unlucky as to be involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer, and they manage to survive the impact, it is very likely that they will have sustained serious injuries. Filing suit against the tractor-trailer driver (and, in some cases, their employer) is the next step – but it can be confusing to determine what type of compensation you may be eligible for if a court finds in your favor. Pain and suffering damages are commonly sought in these types of crashes, but they are not always attainable. An attorney can help to clarify your options.

Tractor-Trailer Accident Injuries Are Serious

Injuries in tractor-trailer accidents are quite serious in most cases, and according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), around 5,200 fatal crashes involved this type of vehicle in 2021 (the most recent available data). Because of the relative weight of a tractor-trailer compared to that of a passenger automobile, the occupants of the automobile often get the short end of the proverbial stick in a crash, and this goes double if the tractor-trailer is loaded with cargo. Injuries run the gamut from mere cuts and bruises, to traumatic brain injuries and spinal fractures.

Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to auto insurance, which means that all drivers of vehicles registered in Florida must carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance and property damage liability (PDL) coverage. Thus, if a person is injured in an auto accident, they can file a claim with their insurer (or that of the person whose vehicle caused their accident) in order to recover compensation. That said, this is not the case with injuries that are “significant and permanent” – that is, more serious injuries, such as those one might sustain in a tractor-trailer accident. Injuries that meet that specific threshold allow the injured person to file suit in court.

Recovering Damages In Court

If your injuries are serious enough to allow you to file suit in Florida, you are generally able to seek damages for pain and suffering, though you may not ultimately be successful in getting them. Pain and suffering damages fall under the umbrella of “non-economic” damages – that is, the types of damages that are subjective or less able to be quantified. Very often, it takes an expert witness to properly assess the value of this type of damages, but this does not mean it cannot be done.

In order to recover any damages at all, of course, you must be able to establish that the defendant driver (or their employer, depending on the specifics of your situation) was negligent, and that their breach of the duty to exercise reasonable care was the direct cause of your injuries. This is not always easy, particularly if you try to navigate the legal process alone – but the right attorney on your side can help make the difference.

Contact A Tampa Tractor-Trailer Accident Attorney

Being in an accident with a tractor-trailer can be a terrifying experience for anyone, causing serious mental and physical pain and suffering. If you have been through this scenario and need help getting the compensation you deserve, a Tampa tractor-trailer accident attorney from the Rinaldo Law Group can help. Contact our office today for a free consultation.



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