Misconceptions About Commercial Motor Vehicle Accidents
Florida defines a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) as a conveyance that (1) uses special fuel; (2) is not owned by a governmental entity; and (3) has at least 3 axles or weighs more than 26,001 pounds. If a passenger car is involved in an accident with a CMV, it is likely that the occupants’ injuries are severe, given the size and weight of most CMVs. That said, many plaintiffs are unsure as to whether it is worth it to file suit against the vehicle’s driver or owner, often due to misunderstanding or misconception.
Serious Injuries Merit Suit
One of the most common misconceptions about CMV accidents is that since Florida is a no-fault state for purposes of auto insurance, trying to file suit is pointless because injury claims must be filed through one’s personal injury protection (PIP) policy. In reality, Florida has what is known as an injury threshold built into its personal injury laws, which allows people who sustain “significant and permanent” injuries to file suit.
PIP insurance is meant to cover the bills for more minor injuries, with the minimum required amount being $10,000. However, this would not cover the bills for more serious harm – and given the relative size disparity between passenger cars and most CMVs, it is more likely that any injuries suffered will be significant. If your injury falls into that category, you can simply file suit against the allegedly negligent defendant instead of dealing with your insurer.
No Case Is A Lost Cause
If you have been injured in an accident involving a CMV, one other reason you may not be inclined to file suit is a feeling of being David against Goliath – after all, you are just one person, while the CMV’s owner may be a large company with deep pockets and multiple attorneys on retainer. However, it is important to know that attorneys do not turn down cases because they seem impossible; they turn them down because the costs appear to outweigh the benefits.
What this means is that while you may not believe that you have a case, an experienced attorney may be able to see benefits in filing suit, up to and including factors that may make your case more likely to succeed than you think. In general, it is always worth at least consulting an attorney about the likelihood of recovering compensation for what you have been through – you may have a stronger case than you believe.
Contact A Tampa CMV Accident Attorney
If you have been involved in an accident with a CMV, your injuries may make the idea of filing suit completely overwhelming. An experienced Tampa truck accident attorney from the Rinaldo Law Group can help to shoulder the legal load while you focus on physical and mental recovery. Contact our office today for a free consultation.