How To File A Claim After A Commercial Motor Vehicle Accident
Florida drivers share the highways with commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) every day – large trucks and buses being the most common, but there are many different types out on the road. Unfortunately, due to their size and normal rate of speed, accidents involving CMVs are often very serious. If you have been injured in a crash with a CMV, it can seem overwhelming to try and file suit against the driver or their employer, especially if your injuries are serious – but it is generally worth your while to try and do so.
Large Vehicles, Serious Injuries
The immediate aftermath of a vehicle accident is always difficult, but a CMV accident is more likely to cause serious injuries because of the sheer size of the vehicles involved. In order to be classified as a CMV, Florida law requires that a vehicle has at least 3 axles, weighs 26,001 pounds or more, or both. That said, Florida law also requires that every accident involving a CMV must have a police report filed, which means that certain valuable information will at least be available to you for use in your suit.
Florida has a no-fault auto insurance system, which means that accidents involving minor injuries are expected to be dealt with by making insurance claims with one’s personal injury protection (PIP) insurer – every Florida driver is required to carry a certain amount of PIP insurance for exactly this purpose. However, if your injuries are significant enough, you may file suit in court as with any other negligence action.
Was The Duty Of Care Breached?
If you are able to file suit against the driver of the CMV (or against their employer, or the other entity you suspect to have played a role in your accident), you will likely be doing so under a theory of negligence. In order to establish that a defendant has been negligent, you must be able to show that they breached their duty to exercise reasonable care toward the plaintiff, and that the breach of that duty was the direct cause of the harm the plaintiff suffered.
In general, every Floridian road user has a duty to exercise reasonable care toward other road users. Failure to do so, coupled with a lack of other intervening causes, can place a CMV driver (or owner) solidly on the proverbial hook. That said, keep in mind that even if you are held to be partially liable for your own injuries, you may still be able to recover. Florida observes what is known as modified comparative fault – if a plaintiff is found less than 50 percent at fault for their own injuries, they may still recover minus their percentage of fault.
Call A Tampa Commercial Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney
Being involved in an accident with a CMV can be a terrifying proposition, and if this has happened to you, your injuries are more likely to be serious. A knowledgeable and compassionate Tampa commercial motor vehicle accident attorney from the Rinaldo Law Group can offer dedicated representation to help you through this major life event. Call our office today at (813) 831-9999 for a free consultation.