Over 25 years of experience in personal injury law

Since 1992 Vince Bruner has devoted his practice solely to work as a Plaintiff's personal injury lawyer, dedicated to assisting people injured in accidents.

Lawyers for Truck Accidents In Fort Walton Beach Due To Mechanical Defects and Malfunctions

If a defective commercial truck or vehicle part caused your injuries in an accident, you might be able to seek compensation for the expenses you incurred and losses you suffered. The Fort Walton Beach truck accident lawyers of The Bruner Law Firm have the resources and experience to hold people liable for their actions and secure a favorable result in a personal injury case.

We will advocate for your rights and fight hard for the justice you deserve. You should not be forced to suffer the consequences of the truck driver’s or trucking company’s actions when they were at fault for the accident.

Large trucks, such as tractor-trailers, have different systems and parts that must function correctly so the driver can operate the vehicle safely. If there’s a defect or something on the truck or trailer malfunctions, the driver could lose control and crash. Trucking companies and other parties are responsible for performing inspections and maintenance on trucks to prevent accidents. However, poorly maintained vehicles and inadequate repairs can put other drivers in danger.

If you want to learn more about your legal options following a truck accident in Fort Walton Beach, call The Bruner Law Firm at (850) 243-2222 for your initial free consultation.

Types of Commercial Trucks

To understand the devastation accidents involving commercial trucks can cause, you need to know the different types of working trucks you might encounter on the road. Many are large, heavy, and sit high off the ground. When they collide with a smaller vehicle, the occupants of the passenger car are likely to suffer severe injuries and fatalities.

The most common types of commercial trucks are:

  • Box trucks
  • Delivery trucks and vans
  • Heavy haulers
  • Tractor-trailers
  • Tanker trucks
  • Garbage and dump trucks
  • Refrigerated trucks
  • 18-wheelers
  • Tow trucks
  • Big rigs

The injuries you can sustain in an accident with one of these trucks could range from minor to severe. There’s no way of knowing the extent of the damage to you or your property until after there’s an investigation. Some people feel fine in the immediate aftermath but end up with chronic pain days or weeks later. Others suffer injuries instantly and require physical therapy and other treatment to heal. The Bruner Law Firm is ready to take your call and discuss how we can help you with your case.

Truck Parts That Could Become Defective or Malfunction

Commercial truck drivers transport food, consumer products, and other items around the country daily. They need reliable vehicles that can take them hundreds of miles away from home and can be driven up to eleven hours at a time on the road. Without routine maintenance and repairs, defective parts could cause a severe issue that the driver can’t prevent.

Trucking companies and contractors must routinely inspect every truck in a vehicle fleet and immediately fix or replace defective parts. If they don’t, they could put the truck driver and other motorists at risk of injury. Sometimes, defects occur at the factory during the manufacturing process. When that happens, it’s the manufacturer that could be held liable for injuries sustained in an accident.

The most common parts that could malfunction or contain defects are:

  • Steering system
  • Trailer hitch
  • Brake system
  • Tires
  • Hydraulics
  • Engine
  • Suspension
  • Cargo securement devices
  • Lights
  • Mirrors

At The Bruner Law Firm, our legal team is familiar with state laws and federal regulations that trucking companies and truck drivers are supposed to follow. We can use this knowledge to effectively pursue the maximum compensation you deserve. We want to help you hold the party responsible for your injuries accountable for their actions so you can recover from the accident and move forward with your life.

Parties You Could Hold Liable After a Truck Accident

Product liability cases are often difficult to prove. You need to provide the insurance company with sufficient evidence to show that someone else was at fault for your injuries. The Bruner Law Firm has extensive experience with proving fault. When you hire us, we can launch a thorough investigation into what happened and find all the available crucial evidence that proves another party should be held responsible for your losses.

Truck drivers – Truck drivers are the most obvious parties that might be liable for an accident. They drove the truck, so it makes sense that they caused the crash. They must inspect their vehicle before and after each driving shift to ensure everything is in working order. If they find any issues, they should notify their employer immediately so they can address those issues.

Trucking companies – Trucking companies have just as much responsibility as truck drivers to ensure that their vehicles perform safely. They must perform inspections, maintenance, and repairs on the vehicle fleet to check for defects or damage. They must perform background checks on their drivers, including criminal records, employment history, and prior involvement in accidents. They should also provide ongoing training and supervise their employees to ensure no one is violating federal regulations.

Manufacturers – Manufacturers design and assemble parts for commercial trucks. They should ensure every part meets quality and safety standards before selling them. If they allow a defective product to leave the factory, the vehicle might not function correctly, which could cause an accident.

Three main types of defects could put the truck driver and other drivers at risk of harm:

  • Design defects – The final design of the part has an inherent flaw making it dangerous for the consumer.
  • Manufacturing defects – Someone made a mistake during the manufacturing process, creating a hazard.
  • Failure to warn – The manufacturer failed to provide proper warning labels for its parts, informing the user of the risks they could face when the device was used.

Third-party companies – Sometimes, trucking companies will contract a third party to complete the necessary maintenance and repairs on the trucks. The trucking companies must ensure that their trucks are maintained by these people on a specific inspection schedule and that the maintenance group promptly fixes any damage they find.

Compensation You Could Pursue from the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Company

Whether you file an insurance claim with the trucking company’s insurance company or another party’s insurer, you could seek compensation for the losses you suffered in the accident. Injuries sustained in truck accidents often result in medical expenses, physical pain, and other issues. You shouldn’t be responsible for the costs you incurred to treat your injuries when another party caused the crash.

If the truck driver was at fault, you could file a claim with the trucking company’s liability insurance company. All trucking companies are required to purchase liability insurance for their drivers. The minimum limits of liability range from $300,000 to $5 million.

When you file a liability claim, you can seek a settlement that covers your past and future losses, such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Inconvenience
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Lost future earnings
  • Rental vehicle
  • Emotional distress
  • Physical impairment or disfigurement
  • Diminished quality of life

Unfortunately, Florida is a no-fault state. That means you must turn to your auto insurance company before you can file a liability claim. Personal injury protection (PIP) is a requirement for all drivers. The minimum limit is $10,000. You can use this coverage to pay for all reasonable and necessary medical treatment, lost wages, and other expenses up to the limit in your policy.

Once you use your coverage up to your PIP limit, you might be able to file a claim with the trucking company’s insurance carrier as long as your injury meets at least one factor under the serious injury threshold test. Your injury must fit into one of the following categories:

  • Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
  • Permanent and significant loss of a vital body function
  • Permanent injury, except disfigurement or scarring
  • Death

Your lawyer from The Bruner Law Firm will review your case and determine whether you can file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Insurance policies are confusing if you’re unfamiliar with the language. We will request copies of all relevant policies to determine how much compensation we can pursue on your behalf.

Deadline for Filing a Lawsuit

If you want to sue the truck driver, trucking company, or another party for their role in causing the mechanical defect or malfunction in the truck that led to your injuries, you have to follow a specific timeframe. The statute of limitations in Florida for injuries sustained in truck accidents is four years. That means you have four years from the crash date to file your lawsuit. After the deadline passes, you won’t have the opportunity to recover compensation from the at-fault party in court.

Contact The Bruner Law Firm

Don’t wait to start working on getting compensation for your claim. The Bruner Law Firm has been representing accident victims since 1988. We have the experience, resources, and knowledge to reach a favorable result in any personal injury case we take. When you hire us, we will work hard to achieve your legal goals and meet your needs.

Our legal team will not give up without a fight. Our goal is to recover the maximum possible compensation so you can heal your injuries and get back to your normal routine.

We work on contingency. That means we don’t charge upfront fees or costs. You won’t have to pay our legal fees unless we secure a settlement or favorable jury verdict. If we lose your case, you won’t owe us anything.

If you were in a truck accident because of a mechanical defect or malfunction and sustained injuries, contact The Bruner Law Firm immediately. We will be happy to meet with you for a free consultation to discuss the options you have for holding the at-fault party liable. Call us at (850) 243-2222 right now.

Written by Vincent Michael Last Updated : June 29, 2023

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