The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states that Florida and nine other states account for over half of the total fatal truck accidents throughout the United States. This is a nationwide problem with almost 450,000 accidents occurring every single year. In the vast majority of these accidents, it is the occupant of the motor vehicle that is affected more so than the truck driver.
In many cases, the victim will sustain severe injuries. If you have been involved in a critical truck accident, it is essential to understand the legal process to gain proper compensation. Due to the number of entities that are typically involved in a truck crash case, it is essential to choose the proper Egypt Lake-Leto truck accident lawyer to represent you throughout the proceedings. With over 50 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys of Winters & Yonker are the best choice. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
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What to Do After a Truck Accident?
The steps immediately following a truck accident will help to determine whether you can have your claim approved. Of course, one of the most important aspects following a truck accident is to ensure that you are free of any life-altering injuries. If you are involved in a crash with a truck and can safely leave your car with minor injuries, it is essential to follow the steps outlined below.
Call the Police
First and foremost, contact the proper authorities. They will need to document the accident as well as any details. A police statement is a critical piece of evidence that will be used to help in the establishment of fault when dealing with injuries. Once the police have been contacted, assess the situation and lend a hand to any victims who have been hurt. This can be done as you are waiting on first responders to arrive at the scene.
While at the accident scene, try to conflict as much information as possible. Things such as the truck’s insurance as well registration number are vital. In addition, from a safe location try to take as many pictures of the scene from all angles as possible, as this type of information will help throughout the claim process. Document the positions of the car, skidmarks as well as overall landmarks and obstacles, and other essential details.
Seek Medical Care
It is also important not to determine your own health. After an accident, it is always important to seek out medical care. Impact during an accident can lead to injuries that cannot be seen or felt until much later. Proper medical tests and can determine if there are internal injuries that need treatment.
Contact an Attorney
Once you have concluded that you are fine medically, contact a qualified Egypt Lake-Leto truck accident attorney. At Winters & Yonker, we are available 24/7.
What Are the Particular Laws Regarding Truck Accident Liability?
Truck drivers are always going to be subjected to more stringent laws as opposed to traditional motorists. These laws have been designed to reduce the probability of fatal accidents on the interstates and roadways. By law, it is essential that trucks carry at $50,000 in insurance, depending upon the size and weight of the truck. Transportation of hazardous materials requires at least $5 million in personal and property liability coverage.
In addition to steep insurance requirements, truck drivers are required to obey all traffic laws just as other motorists must as well. It is essential that they stay in their respective lanes on all major roadways.
How Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help Your Situation
If you have been involved in a truck accident, you will need time to regain your health and momentum before you’re ready to take on a large insurance company. This is why it is absolutely essential to get in touch with a reputable truck accident attorney in Egypt Lake-Leto to help start the claim and earn your compensation.
Investigating Your Case
Initially, your lawyers will begin the investigation phase, which is simply the collection of facts and data surrounding the accident. They will go through all evidence and reports from the accident scene and create a compelling argument that will help to support your overall case. When they believe they have sufficient evidence in your favor, they’ll begin the process of the claim.
Filing a Claim
The claim filing process is one that requires due diligence, as many are rejected on a yearly basis. Your lawyers will ensure that all necessary documents have been recovered before filing the initial claim.
Negotiating a Settlement
It is important to understand that not every case is going to require litigation. In this situation they will try to negotiate with the other parties to see if a resolution is possible. Typically, the insurance companies will start off with a very low offer, which a reputable lawyer will shoot down to ensure that you get the proper compensation. If these negotiations fail, the litigation process will begin.
Representing You in Court
When both parties cannot come to an agreement during negotiations, your lawyer will represent you in court against the trucking and insurance companies. Your lawyer will present facts of the accident to a jury and allow them the opportunity to award a suitable compensation amount for your injuries and troubles.
What Type of Compensation Is Available?
There are three main types of damages available to truck accident victims: punitive, non-economic, and economic.
Economic damages will cover all of the losses that have a specific monetary value to them. This will predominantly include rehabilitation fees, medical fees as well as damages to your vehicle.
Non-economic damages will cover losses that typically cannot be assigned a definitive monetary value. These types of losses can not be given an exact amount of money and an approximate value will be made. An example is compensation for pain and suffering.
Punitive damages are meant to punish the at-fault party and make an example of them. They are used in cases of gross negligence.
What Type of Deadline Is There for Filing a Claim?
The statute of limitations for personal injury in Florida is four years. In wrongful death cases, the limit is two years from the date of the death. In addition, it is best to begin proceedings as early as possible as the facts are still fresh in your mind as opposed to when they become vaguer.
Who May Be Held Liable?
Due to the fact the truck accident can involve several parties, they can become complicated incidents. In many cases, a commercial truck is not going to be owned by the specific business that is using it. More than likely they will be owned by a trucking company and in turn a freight management firm that is in charge of the offloading and loading process.
The liability can end up with any of these entities depending upon the cause of the accident and which company negligence can be attributed to. An example of this is if the freight company did not follow specific safety measures when they unloaded the truck and this is what led to an accident, they are the ones that hold final liability. Whereas if the fault fell upon the driver due to negligence with traffic rules, they are the ones that are responsible.
It basically comes down to the root cause of the accident and who will be held ultimately responsible. Once negligence is able to be established, the liability will and who did not uphold their responsibilities to the public.
Contact an Egypt Lake-Leto Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck accident law is comprehensive and difficult to understand, which is why it is so essential to have an attorney that is going to be there to guide you through the entire process. Trucking companies and insurance companies have some of the best law firms at their disposal and will try to negate your claim. If you try to face any of these law firms or insurance companies on your own, you will end up with the least compensation possible if any. Do not let this type of situation happen to you, contact Winters & Yonker today. We offer a free initial consultation, and you pay nothing unless we win your case.