Trucking Accident Lawyer

Vero Beach, FL



A semi-truck with a fully loaded trailer weighs close to 80,000 pounds. When the driver of a semi causes an accident, it is almost never a small one. From wrongful death to devastating injuries impacting health and finances, getting into a truck accident can wreak havoc on nearly every facet of life. With so much at stake, if you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident, it’s crucial that you hire an experienced truck accident attorney who can help lead you down the road to recovery.

At Gould Cooksey Fennell, we treat our clients like a neighbor, not a number, and when it comes to trucking accident cases, we know how to fight for our neighbors. Our truck accident lawyers combine a wealth of experience handling trucking cases with personal, passionate representation. With offices in Vero Beach, Florida, we have handled trucking accident cases throughout the State, including Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, Okeechobee, Brevard, Palm Beach and Orange Counties.

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Truck Accidents are Different Than Auto Accidents

While people will often lump the two together, car accidents and truck accidents can be very different. Because of the size and weight of commercial trucks, the potential for an accident resulting in serious injury or death is far greater than with accidents involving passenger vehicles. There are also far more regulations governing truckers than in the non-commercial setting. From the complex regulations for hours of service, insurance requirements and the strategies employed by trucking companies, it is important to know the legal rules of the road if you, or someone you love has been injured in a trucking accident.

Common Causes for Truck Accidents

While any form of negligence can lead to liability, the four most common factors encountered in a trucking case are:

  1. Human error – This includes things like falling asleep behind the wheel or other types of negligent driving.
  2. Equipment failure caused by the driver – This can entail anything from inadequate safety checks to failing to secure cargo.
  3. Equipment failure caused by the trucking company – This can occur if the trucking company fails to properly maintain its equipment.
  4. Negligent hiring, retention and training – This includes trucking companies which hire or fail to terminate drivers who have a poor driving history or are inadequately trained.


  • No Fee Until We Win
  • $150M+ in Recent Personal Injury Verdicts & Settlements
  • U.S. News & World Report Best Law Firms for 10 Consecutive Years

Our firm is here to take that burden off of our clients and handle their claim completely. We will help you get the compensation you deserve.

Notable TRUCKing ACCIDENT Settlements and Verdicts

An 83 year old woman was killed when her car was struck by a 18-wheeler on SR 60 in Vero Beach, FL. The decedent’s adult children agreed to proceed as her statutory survivors and obtained a wrongful death settlement of $400,000.

Plaintiff was driving his tractor trailer on a single lane highway when hit head on by the defendant negligently operating his semi-truck. As a direct result the plaintiff suffered bodily injury and continuing pain and suffering. Circuit court 19 awarded plaintiff damages in the amount of $2,899,898.60.

As a result of the defendant’s truck swerving out of a lane, Plaintiff’s car was hit causing significant injuries to the driver. The case was settled in the full amount of $1,010,000.00.

Plaintiff was working in a construction zone in Vero Beach, Florida when the driver of a tractor trailer pulling a multi-ton cement trailer ran over the Plaintiff’s foot causing permanent injuries, disability and inability to work.



Hiring an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney is Critical

The aftermath caused by a negligent truck driver can be enormous. Unpaid medical expenses, lost wages, diminished quality of life and even death are just some of the consequences victims of trucking accidents are forced to face. During such a stressful time, navigating the law on your own can quickly prove challenging and overwhelming.

Meanwhile, valuable evidence needed to support a successful claim can disappear if the trucking company and its insurance company are not properly notified that it must be preserved. In order to increase the chances of you winning your case, we believe hiring an attorney who knows the ins and outs of trucking accident law in Florida may be the most important decision you can make.

Help in Proving Truck Driver Negligence


At Gould Cooksey Fennell, we have been representing trucking accident victims for over 60 years. We understand how to make sure the crash scene evidence and black box data are preserved. We also know how to hold the trucking company and its insurance company accountable if they deny fault or responsibility for their driver.

Attorneys Attention to Detail

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for trucking companies to inadequately preserve and report data regarding accidents. The attorneys at Gould Cooksey are trained to identify these gaps and inconsistencies. In addition, our lawyers know the state and local laws as well as complicated federal regulations, arming you with the knowledge you need to win. Attorneys can review every detail about the accident to get a clear picture of what exactly happened. These details include:

  • Accident scene: The who, what, when, and how in regards to the scene of the accident. If we are hired early on, we are often able to have experts examine the truck as well as the accident scene and request preservation of any video or “black box” data relating to the crash.
  • Witnesses: It is important to identify and get statements from any witnesses before memories fade.
  • Police and accident reports: With appropriate written requests, we are able to obtain all formal accident reports to help build your case.
  • Truck driver credentials: You can count on us to review the background and credentials of the trucker who hit you as well as all logs on the driver’s hours of service to determine whether the driver exceeded the maximum number of hours allowed.

How We Can Help You After a Florida Truck Accident

The main purpose in hiring an attorney after a truck accident in Florida is providing legal representation and counsel to assist you in seeking compensation for any injuries or damages you may have sustained as a result of the accident. The road to recovery may include us assisting you with things like:


Accident Reconstruction

One of the first steps we take when we are hired to represent a trucking accident client is to dispatch highly qualified accident reconstruction experts to examine the vehicles and the accident scene. In most cases, we can also inspect and download data from the vehicle’s “black boxes.” These reconstructive efforts can prove to be invaluable in overcoming trucking company denials of liability for causing the accident.

Finding All Available Insurance

At first glance, it may seem as though the ability to hold a negligent truck driver responsible for the harm he or she caused is straightforward. You may even be contacted by an insurance adjuster who will say that their company is accepting responsibility for the accident. However, that does not mean that they will treat you fairly or that there is not more insurance coverage available. At Gould Cooksey Fennell, we understand the complex corporate structures that are sometimes put in place to avoid responsibility and we know exactly how to find every available dollar of insurance coverage held by the truck driver, the trucking company, the dispatch company, and under your own insurance policy.

Communication With The Insurance Companies

One of the most stressful things many clients describe following a trucking accident is their communication with insurance adjusters. While the conversations may seem friendly, it is hard to know whether those adjusters are giving accurate information or whether the information they are requesting is valid. In most instances, the adjuster on the other end of the line has handled hundreds or thousands of truck accident claims, and it is not their job to look out for your interests. At Gould Cooksey Fennell, we take on all communications with the insurance company adjusters, so that our clients can focus on their physical and emotional recovery without worrying about whether they are being taken advantage of by an insurance company adjuster.


Most Common Types of Trucks Involved in Crashes

Although we commonly think of trucking accidents involving semi-trucks, the legal issues involving truck accidents often apply to a wide range of commercial vehicles. These include:

  • 18 – wheelers
  • Tractor-trailers
  • Garbage trucks
  • Dump trucks
  • Construction equipment
  • Flatbed trailers
  • Delivery vehicles
  • Postal trucks, FedEx and UPS trucks
  • U-haul trucks
  • Delivery Vans

What Causes Most Truck Accidents?


Many truck accidents occur when a truck driver makes the kind of mistake that many other careless drivers make such as driving while distracted by a smartphone, making improper lane changes or failing to check for blind spots.  Local delivery drivers may miss an address and back up without checking for traffic or fail to engage parking brakes.  On the highway, truck accidents are commonly the result of a driver traveling too fast for conditions, exceeding the speed limit, fatigue or cargo being loaded improperly.

In the State of Florida and the Treasure Coast, there are certain conditions, roads and highways that are more prone to trucking accidents. For example, highways like I-95, A1A and State Road 60 typically have high speed limits and heavy truck traffic. Other common locations for trucking accidents include:

  • Construction zones – These areas can be particularly hazardous for truckers, as narrow lanes, uneven pavement, and other factors can increase the risk of an accident.
  • Urban areas – The high volume of traffic and the presence of other vehicles, pedestrians, and bicycles in urban areas can increase the likelihood of a trucking accident.
  • Intersections – Accidents involving trucks are more likely to occur at intersections, where there is a higher risk of a collision with another vehicle.

Serious Injury Caused in a Truck Accident

Injuries from trucking accidents are rarely minor due to the mass and velocity of the impact. Some of the most common results include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Catastrophic orthopedic injuries or broken bones
  • Amputations
  • Herniated Discs in the neck or back
  • Burns
  • Death

Trucking Accident FAQs

In any given year, there are more than 10,000,000 commercial trucks on American roads and highways according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Due to Florida’s size, population and geography, we have a higher than average number of trucks on our roads and a higher than average trucking fatality rate.

Yes. Truck driver’s are limited by law on the number of hours they can drive in a given time period, and are required to keep track of those hours. Unfortunately, many trucking accidents occur because tired truckers fall asleep at the wheel after exceeding the maximum hours of service allowed by law. Even if they have taken steps to hide these violations by altering or manipulating the logs, our lawyers know how to prove that violations have occurred through the truck’s GPS data and the truck driver’s cell phone.

There are laws referred to as “statutes of limitations” which will bar a claim forever if not timely filed.  Those laws can vary depending upon the type of case and location.  That is why it is important to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible following an accident so that an accurate deadline can be determined.

While most viable cases are ultimately settled, the amount of the settlement can vary widely depending on the extent of the injuries involved and the strength of the liability proof. The insurance companies know whether the lawyer representing the victim has the ability and resources to prevail at trial. Unfortunately, some lawyers who advertise for trucking cases, have rarely if ever been to trial. We believe we are able to obtain full recoveries through settlement, in part, because the insurance companies know that the lawyers at Gould Cooksey Fennell have a willingness to go to trial if a fair offer is not made and an ability to win at trial if that is what is required.

The insurance requirements for trucking companies differs greatly from those impacting passenger vehicles. In most cases, there will be significant available insurance for a trucking accident case in Florida. However, that does not mean that the driver, his employer or the dispatch company will voluntarily reveal all of the coverage. We know how to find all of the insurance coverage and we know how to make sure it is available for our clients.

Request a TRUCKing ACCIDENT Consultation

Let our experienced team fight for you. We do not collect a fee unless we make a recovery in your case. It is free to have one of our attorneys meet with you to review your personal injury case.
We represent clients throughout the Treasure and Space Coast and across the state including Indian River, St. Lucie, Brevard, Okeechobee and Martin, Palm Beach and Orange Counties, and the cities of Vero Beach, Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, Stuart, Sebastian, Fellsmere, Palm Bay, Melbourne, Orlando and West Palm Beach.

Schedule a free case evaluation and consultation to review your case and evaluate how we can best serve you.

Types of Motor Vehicle Accident Cases We Handle

In addition to general truck accident claims, Gould Cooksey Fennell handles personal injury cases related to the following practice areas:

Our Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Attorneys




Recent Personal Injury Verdicts & Settlements



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* Our attorneys and staff value your privacy and will not share your personal information with any third-party entities.