The number of accidents between trucks and other vehicles each year is estimated to be about 450,000 with more than 90 percent of those leading to at least 1 fatality. Such accidents tend to be more dangerous compared to regular accidents because trucks are bulkier and longer than regular vehicles, which makes them difficult to handle and maneuver.
If you are ever involved in a truck accident, you should seek the counsel of an experienced Lake Magdalene truck accident lawyer at Winters & Yonker. Our personal injury attorneys are well conversant with the statutes applicable to truck accident cases. They will represent your interests diligently and make sure that you receive rightful compensation for your injuries as well as damages to your vehicle.
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What Steps Should You Take Following a Truck Accident?
The steps you take after being involved in a truck accident will go a long way towards determining how your case goes. That’s why you should know what to do so as not to miss out on important things that may help your case along the way.
Contacting the police is the first thing you should do. Police officers will record a statement that explains the accident. The police statement will be used in determining fault and backing your quest for a claim.
Help the Injured
Safety is of utmost importance following the accident and you should also try helping out the injured persons. You should only do that if you come out of the accident unscathed since your health is paramount. If there are any seriously injured people, make sure that medical personnel attends to them.
Exchange Contact Information and Take Photos
Don’t forget to exchange contact details with the people around the scene of the accident. Get the contact details of any witnesses present. When doing this, document the accident scene, too. We are currently in the digital era and you can quickly and effortlessly take multiple pictures of the accident scene and even record a video of it. Get statements from witnesses because they are best placed to explain what happened at the accident scene.
Seek Medical Care
Don’t walk away from the scene of the accident and go home because you may have sustained internal injuries. Make sure that you seek medical attention.
Contact an Attorney
Call your truck accident lawyer in Lake Magdalene and let them start handling the case.
What Are the Laws Regarding Liability in Truck Accidents?
The vast majority of large trucks are commercially owned, which means that the driver isn’t always responsible for the accident. The driver’s company is held liable in some cases. This is because of the personal injury theory that states that the employer is responsible for the wrongful acts that employees commit. Such actions, however, should have been committed unintentionally or within the scope of employment. In case the driver wasn’t within the scope of employment, say out of driving out of working hours, he/she will be held liable for the accident.
It is critical to know whether the driver was a contractor or an employee. That comes down to the language of the contract between the driver and his/her company as well as how much control the latter had. In Florida, the issue of the scope of employment is critical and courts have come up with several factors to help them determine this. They include employee intent, the time and nature of employee action, the kind of work that the employee was hired to do, the amount of freedom the employee was afforded, as well as the time consumed during that activity.
How is Fault Determined in a Truck Accident?
A judge determines fault using information collected from the parties involved, their legal representatives, the police officers that attended to the accident, and the insurance claim adjusters. That isn’t always straightforward because the truck could be leased to the holding company, and another company might have been contracted to handle the freight.
Multiple entities could be involved, and they may start shifting blame to each other in some cases. The driver will obviously fight for his/her livelihood because they might not have the necessary finances to see them through the case. Fault will, however, be determined based on the situation surrounding the accident and whether or not the truck driver acted negligently.
Is It Possible for an Attorney to Prove Negligence on the Truck Driver’s Part?
A diligent truck accident attorney in Lake Magdalene can successfully prove negligence on the part of the truck driver. That can be done using the facts laid on the table, which include recordings of the scene of the accident, witness statements, and police statements. This shows why it is important to follow the aforementioned steps after being involved in a truck accident. With the right evidence and set of facts, it isn’t particularly challenging to prove negligence in an accident.
What Types of Compensation Are You Entitled To?
You are entitled to different types of compensation once an attorney establishes negligence in your claim. They include:
These are easy to compute since they are assigned an actual value and include current medical bills, at-home nursing care, physical therapy, modifications to your home due to the accident, lost wages, and property damage.
These are much harder to compute because they involve intangible items that can’t be assigned a monetary value. They include potential lost income, future medical bills, as well as pain and suffering.
These are usually in addition to the economic and non-economic damages awarded in your claim. The court awards punitive damages to make an exemplary case of a trucking company or driver. Such damages often come into play if the accident victim didn’t survive the injuries resulting from the truck driver’s negligence.
How Much is My Truck Accident Claim Actually Worth?
Your claim is ideally worth the amount of money needed to reinstate you to the condition you were previously in prior to the accident. It is a sum of the medical expenses needed to restore your health, damages to your vehicle, disability claims, recurring medical fees, as well as punitive fees associated with fatalities. Your lawyer will help you determine a favorable amount going into the case.
Are There Deadlines for Filing a Claim?
The statute of limitations for personal injury is generally four years but may be extended if the victim was underage or mentally incapacitated at the time. Florida has a hard deadline of seven years from the date of the accident regardless of the claimant’s mental state. If you are filing a claim for wrongful death, the statute of limitations is two years.
Contact a Lake Magdalene Truck Accident Lawyer
If you are involved in a truck accident, you should get in touch with an attorney at Winters & Yonker and have them handle the matter while you recuperate. It will be a lot harder to prove your claim several years after the fact, and the sooner you are able to get it out of the way, the better it will be for you. Contact us today to set up a free consultation with a Lake Magdalene truck accident lawyer.