A truck accident can be catastrophic mainly because of the weight and size of the truck. So, if you or your loved one is involved in an accident with a large truck like a Big Rig in Land O’ Lakes or any other place in Florida, contact a truck accident attorney as soon as possible. This is because the lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve as he or she has the skills and experience to negotiate your accident case and represent you in court in case your case goes to trial.
Florida laws require large trucks to have higher insurance policies than other vehicles because of the massive damage that a truck accident can cause. If you are looking for a good Land O’ Lakes truck accident lawyer, call the offices of Winters & Yonker at (888) 373-7770 to arrange a free consultation with one of our reputable and experienced personal injury attorneys.
Once you have contacted us, we will offer you a professional evaluation of your case and advice on what you need to do next. It is important to note that time is of the essence when it comes to truck accident cases. So, contact a truck accident attorney immediately after a truck accident.
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What to Do After Being Involved in a Truck Accident
Even though the aftermath of an accident can be a confusing time, it is important to act intelligently and protect your interests. Here are some of the things that you need to do after being involved in a truck accident.
Be Safe and Call 911
Stay call. Remain in your car if it is safe to do so and turn on the hazard lights. Even if you suffer minor injuries, ensure that the EMS fully examines your injuries and the injuries of your passengers.
You should consider your safety before considering the safety of others. Accidents involving trucks are usually serious. So, help others involved in the truck accident if possible.
Get the name, license plates, and insurance info from the driver of the commercial truck involved in the accident.
Document the Scene, Speak with Eyewitnesses
Documenting the scene of the accident as much as you can will help your attorney prove fault in the truck accident. So, use your smartphone to take photographs at the accident scene, your own injuries, damage to the vehicles involved in the accident, and other environmental elements relevant to your case. Also, get the names of eyewitnesses and their contacts. These things can help you when you file a claim for compensation.
Seek Medical Treatment Immediately
While truck accidents are catastrophic, some people may suffer minor injuries. Such people may make the mistake of waiting before seeking medical treatment. What they don’t know is that some symptoms of truck accident injuries appear after days or weeks. Some of the injuries, if left untreated, can become major injuries and lead to complications or even death.
That is why it is good to seek medical treatment as soon as possible after being involved in a truck accident as a doctor can determine whether or not you suffered any injuries. If you suffered any injuries, the doctor will prepare a treatment plan.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney
You should avoid talking to anyone about the accident or doing anything that can weaken your case. Avoid commenting on what took place, the person you believe is at fault, or the extent of the damages. Your report to police officers who arrive on the accident scene should only be the events as you remember. Any other questions, other than the events, should be answered by your truck accident attorney. If you do not have a truck accident attorney, contact one as soon as possible.
Laws Governing Truck Accident Liability
To get compensation, your lawyer will have to prove the party responsible for the truck accident. A judge determines liability after examining all the information on the incident from police reports, eye-witness reports, forensic experts, insurance claims adjusters, and the information gathered by your lawyer.
How Is Fault Determined in a Truck Accident in Florida?
There are four elements that should be established when determining liability in truck accident cases in Florida. These elements include:
Duty of Care
Truck drivers and the companies they work for are required to operate with reasonable care for the safety of other motorists on the roads and freeways.
Breach of Duty
To be liable, the truck driver or the company they work for must have breached the duty of care by operating or acting in a negligent manner.
The plaintiff must show that the negligent actions of the truck driver or company they work for caused the truck accident.
The plaintiff needs to prove the truck accident caused by the negligent actions of the truck driver or the company they work for resulted in injuries and damages.
Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident?
Your truck accident lawyer will try to find out who is at fault in the truck accident and the damages caused by the accident. Some of the people who could be listed in the lawsuit include:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- The company that loaded the truck
- Vehicle or parts manufacturers
What Are the Regulations for Truck Drivers and Companies?
Apart from the regular traffic laws, truck drivers and the companies they work for must adhere to some important regulations. This is because of the high-risk nature of commercial trucking. Here are some of the regulations that FMCSA requires truck drivers and trucking companies to follow:
- Maintain scheduled maintenance
- Maintain a logbook of hours on the road
- Document services and breaks
- Avoid taking alcohol and other controlled substances during truck-driving activities
- Load cargo and hazardous materials properly
- Drive for no more than 10 hours a day
Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Prove the Truck Driver’s Negligence?
A reputable Land O’ Lakes truck accident attorney has experience in assembling a bulletproof case that will help you get your compensation. This starts with an expert collection of evidence and a thorough investigation of the accident. Assembling a bulletproof case requires many tasks that will help establish a case that will do well in negotiations and in a court of law in case your case goes to trial.
As part of this investigation, your lawyer may also:
- Review the police reports and photographic evidence
- Employ experts to reconstruct the incident
- Conduct interviews with eyewitnesses
- Investigate the work history of the truck driver
- Identify faulty components of the truck involved in the accident
A thorough investigation will help a lawyer prove fault. Note that there may be many parties at-fault and liability has to be established for all of them.
Types of Compensation Available for Truck Accident Claims
Just like most of the personal injury cases, the compensation that you can get if you are involved in a truck accident can be classified into these three groups:
Economic damages are those damages that can be calculated financially. They include the past, present, and future medical expenses, and lost wages during the healing process, and loss of earning capacity.
These damages include those damages that don’t have a precise monetary value as they are abstract losses. They include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, mental anguish, and emotional distress. These damages require expert opinions and testimony to determine the exact amount the victim should be paid.
If the judge believes that the defendant’s actions were egregious, punitive damages may be applied to discourage such behavior.
How Much Is My Truck Accident Claim Worth?
A full examination of the details of every case can help determine the worth of a truck accident claim. The value of your case depends on the severity of the damage, and the greater the damages the higher the compensation. If you would like to know more about the value of your case, schedule a free consultation with a truck accident lawyer.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Truck Accident Claim in Florida?
The deadline for filing a truck accident claim (unless the accident resulted in wrongful death) in Florida is four years from the date the accident occurred. If you discover the injuries after the date of the accident, your time-limit will start the date you discovered the injury. The deadline for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of the death.
Contact a Land O’ Lakes Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Truck accidents can be catastrophic. A truck accident attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve. So, if you are involved in an accident with a truck in Land O’ Lakes or any other place in Florida, contact Winters & Yonker at (888) 373-7770 today. Our consultation is free, and you pay nothing unless we win your case.