Bartow Dump Truck Accident US98 and Van Fleet Drive

Truck Accidents

A dump truck carrying sand turned over while turning right from SR60 (Van Fleet Drive) onto US98 in Bartow, Florida on April 26, 2017.  The truck was attempting to head northbound on US98.  This is the busiest intersection in Bartow and resulted in closure of several lanes of travel while the cleanup efforts were made.  The sand spilled over the concrete median and into the southbound turn lanes of US98 where there are three lanes going left.

Injury And Property Damage Claims

Obviously, the cause of the crash is the result of the driver going too fast around the turn.  Under section 316.560, Fla. Stat., the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) can make a claim against both the driver and the trucking company for the cost of the cleanup.  Whether they do that or not is another matter.  Most trucks on the road are operated by companies with a federal motor carrier license and at least $1 million in a single, combined (injury and property damage) liability insurance policy.

With regard to any personal injury sustained by the driver, he should be covered under an insurance policy for workers’ compensation.  In Florida, workers’ compensation pays for medical expenses and lost wages after a worker becomes injured regardless of fault.  This means that the fact that the accident was the driver’s fault for going too fast around the turn does not mean that the driver cannot collect benefits.  If the on-the-job injury to the driver is permanent, then the employer is required under Florida law to make payment for such permanent impairment.

Permanent Impairment Under Florida Law

Section 440.15, Fla. Stat. covers an employer’s duties to compensate for disability for permanent total disability, temporary total disability, and benefits for any degree of permanent impairment.  The typical settlement for a worker injured on the job with a permanent impairment is that the worker will agree to a lump sum settlement that compensates for all future damages, including a permanent inability to perform the job, in exchange for a release of all future benefits, including medical benefits.

Exclusiveness of Work Comp Remedy

Under Florida law, workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy for most injuries on the job, including car accidents.  With regard to car accidents in Florida, no-fault insurance is typically the primary source of medical benefits.  However, workers’ compensation may be required to re-pay Florida no-fault benefits after a car accident in Florida for a worker who was driving while on the job.  Likewise, an injured worker who receives a liability settlement for a car accident may be required to re-pay the workers’ compensation carrier from the settlement.

Get Help From An Attorney On Your Accident Case

If you have been injured in a truck accident in Bartow, Florida, you should contact a personal injury attorney about your case.  Mr. Russo is a personal injury attorney in Lakeland, FL and can help you determine what your legal claims are as well as where you should file them.  The solutions available to you under the law are not always obvious or make perfect sense because of the politics involved and money at stake.  If you have a question or concern, it is better to ask early rather than wait until there is a problem.

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