Due to the sheer size and mass of commercial trucks, they account for some of the most serious traffic accidents. Accidents involving trucks, in most cases, result in catastrophic injuries, fatalities, and serious property damage to the non-commercial drivers and passengers involved in such accidents.
While it is easy to assume that the truck driver bears all liability, determining exactly who is liable for the accident is one of the most difficult aspects of truck accident claims as there are usually many parties involved. From the truck driver, trucking company, cargo company, to the vehicle or parts manufacturer, there is a long chain of liability when it comes to truck accidents. Unsurprisingly, none of these parties will be willing to admit liability for the crash, which is why it is crucial for victims of trucking accidents to seek the assistance of an experienced Ocoee truck accident lawyer.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured as a result of a truck accident, you need all the financial support you can get. Our skilled team of auto accident attorneys at Winters and Yonkers has the necessary experience and resources to effectively handle truck accident claims. We will fight aggressively to ensure that you receive the full and maximum compensation you deserve to help you get your life back to normal.
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What Should You Do After a Truck Accident?
What you do immediately after your accident will have a significant influence on the outcome of your case and wellbeing. So, it is important to ensure that you follow the steps below after being involved in a truck accident.
One of the important things you should do after being involved in any kind of accident is to contact the police. Not only is it legally required, but you will also need the official police report to prove your claim later on.
As you wait for the law enforcement and emergency services to arrive, take a look around to determine whether everyone else involved in the accident is alright or in need of emergency help.
Next, you need to exchange your names, contact details, and insurance information with the truck driver and any other drivers involved. You should also seek to find out the name and contact details of the truck driver’s employer.
Document the Scene, Speak with Witnesses
If you are in a position to do so, use your camera or smartphone to take photos and videos of the scene. Capture images of your injuries, damages inflicted on the vehicles, the presence or absence of skid marks, and so on. Also, talk to any witnesses available at the scene – you can use your smartphone’s video recorder to collect their witnesses.
Seek Medical Attention
Seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident. This is regardless of if you are feeling hurt or not. The initial shock of your accident may mask your injuries and some types of internal injuries take time to manifest. Having your injuries documented by a licensed physician will be crucial in proving your claim.
Contact an Attorney
Your attorney is your best partner when dealing with a truck accident claim. As earlier mentioned, a Florida truck accident is much more complex than a standard car accident. There are many laws and parties involved when it comes to trucking accident cases. To ensure the best chances of success, it is important to have an experienced Ocoee truck accident attorney on your side.
How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help?
There are many things that truck accident lawyers do to help accident victims with their cases. The following are some of the roles of a truck accident lawyer:
When handling a truck accident case, one of the first things we do is investigate the accident ourselves. We will collect and examine your medical records, police reports, and other documents relating to your crash. We will also seek to obtain access to important evidence, such as the truck’s black box data to prove negligence.
Filing a Claim
The process of filing a truck accident claim typically involves plenty of paperwork. It is always important to ensure that it is filed correctly and before the deadline. Failure to do this, and you risk losing your chances of securing compensation. Your attorney will handle the paperwork for you and ensure that everything is in order and filed within the set timeline.
Most accident claims usually end in a settlement. Your Winters and Yonker attorney will handle all the negotiations with the insurance company and demand the maximum amount of compensation owed to you. Truck accident lawyers have excellent negotiation skills and are aware of the techniques used by insurance companies and trucking companies.
If the insurance company refuses to cooperate or doesn’t provide a favorable settlement offer, we will take your case to trial. Our team is highly experienced in fighting cases in court and you can be assured of effective and aggressive legal representation.
What Types of Compensation Can I Receive?
Truck accident claims potentially allow you to recover the following types of damages:
These types of damages are meant to compensate the victim for financial losses resulting from injuries and property damage suffered due to the accident. These can include past and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, etc.
These damages are meant to compensate the victim for intangible losses that are subjective in nature. These can include loss of companionship, loss of enjoyment of life, pain, and suffering, etc.
These types of damages are not always awarded in truck accident claims. Punitive damages are meant to punish the liable party for extreme negligence and intentional acts. It serves as a way to discourage similar behavior.
The state law in Florida limits the amount awarded as punitive damages to three times the amount awarded as compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is greater.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Claim?
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including truck accident claims, is four years from the date of the accident. If the truck accident resulted in death, the plaintiff has to file a claim within two years from the date of death.
How is Fault in a Truck Accident Determined?
Determining fault in a truck accident is often a challenging task due to the many parties involved. To determine fault, your attorney will seek to find out whether any rule was broken by the at-fault parties. Multiple entities may bear liability for your truck accident. To achieve this, your attorney must prove all the elements of negligence among the involved:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty of care
Who Can be Held Liable?
After a truck accident the following parties can be held liable:
In most cases, truck accidents are usually the result of the truck driver’s negligence. A truck driver can cause an accident due to factors such as high-speed driving, drunk driving, distractions, poor vehicle maintenance, etc.
Trucking companies are required to follow several regulations put in place by the FMCSA in regards to their trucks and drivers. For instance, trucking companies have to do extensive background checks on drivers they hire and they have to properly train them. In addition, they have to ensure that their drivers adhere to FMCSA hours of service limits. They are also responsible for ensuring the proper maintenance of the trucks they put on the road.
The violation of any of these rules can lead to the trucking company being held liable for the truck accident.
Company Who Loaded the Truck
In some cases, you will find that a separate company was contracted to load the truck’s cargo. Cargo that isn’t properly secured can fall off a truck leading to an accident and cargo that is improperly loaded can shift causing the truck to lose control. In such cases, the cargo company can be held liable.
Vehicle or Parts Manufacturers
A truck accident can also be caused by a faulty vehicle part or a mechanical failure such as brake failure. Truck manufacturers or vehicle part manufacturers are required to ensure that their products are safe. A truck or parts manufacturing company can be held liable for accidents caused by improperly designed trucks or parts.
Contact a Skilled Ocoee Truck Accident Lawyer
In case you or a loved one has recently sustained severe injuries in a truck accident, you might be entitled to receiving a certain level of compensation. However, truck accident claims are some of the most complex personal injury cases. You need to seek the assistance of a skilled Ocoee personal injury lawyer at Winters and Yonker who has a proven track record dealing with truck accident cases.