Florida registers tens of thousands of truck accidents every year, making it one of the top-ranking states as far as truck accidents are concerned. These accidents are usually fatal as most passenger vehicles don’t stand a chance whenever they get into a crash involving a truck. This is primarily due to the sheer size and weight of tractor-trailers or 18-wheelers.
Victims of truck accidents often find it difficult to file a claim as most of them suffer life-altering injuries. While these accidents can be financially and emotionally draining, working with a Ruskin truck accident lawyer can help victims focus on full recovery while their lawyer pursues compensation from the at-fault party.
At The Winters & Yonker Law Firm, we understand that truck accident victims go through much agony. Our team of personal injury lawyers helps such victims hold the at-fault party responsible for their injuries, giving them the chance to recover damages. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, you need to take immediate legal action. Call us today at (888) 373-7770 to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our lawyers to find out your legal options.
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What Should You Do After a Truck Accident?
Truck accident victims are usually overwhelmed after the accident and may not always know what to do. If you have been involved in a truck accident, it is important that you do the following:
- Immediately after the occurrence of the accident, call for help. This ensures that the police, medics, and even fire department are notified of the accident.
- If you are not hurt or feel okay after the accident, check on other parties and offer reasonable help.
- Write the names and contact information of the parties involved in the accident and any witnesses as well. It is also important that you get the insurance policy numbers, driver’s license numbers, and license plate numbers of all the drivers involved in the accident.
- Document the scene and speak with witnesses. Take pictures of the scene, detailing the damage on the vehicles involved and the injuries you suffered.
- Even if you feel okay, it is important that you seek medical attention to rule out any internal injuries.
- Reach out to a truck accident attorney from a reputable law firm like The Winters & Yonker Law Firm.
How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help?
Truck accident lawyers can help plaintiffs in various ways throughout their claim process in Ruskin, FL. Some of these ways include:
Probably the most important part of building a case against the defendant is gathering valuable information about the accident to serve as evidence against them. A truck accident will help investigate the conditions under which the accident occurred, including talking to witnesses, working with accident reconstruction experts, police, and doctors. This helps them piece up important information and documents to form a strong base for your claim.
Filing a Claim
By collecting valuable evidence against the plaintiff, an auto accident lawyer will help prepare your case and also assist with the filing of your claim. Your lawyer will ensure that all the relevant documents are present at the time of filing the claim so that the claim remains valid.
Truck accident lawyers also help plaintiffs negotiate for a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance carrier without going to court. They are experienced at working with insurance companies and know how to go about their lowball offers or tricks to deny or undervalue claims. This way, they give you the best chance of receiving maximum compensation.
Where out-of-court negotiations with an insurance company fail, a lawyer can help you take your case to court for a judge’s decision. Lawyers help put up a strong case against the defendant before the judge and convince the judge why you should be compensated for your injuries.
What Types of Compensation Can I Receive?
Like any other personal injury claim, economic, non-economic, and punitive damages may be awarded in a truck accident claim. Economic damages are awarded to compensate for actual monetary losses and mainly include:
- Medical costs, including hospital stays, surgery costs, and doctor visits.
- Present and future lost wages.
- Physical rehabilitation costs.
- In-home nursing costs.
- Property damage.
- Out-of-pocket expenses.
Non-economic damages are those that are awarded to compensate victims for losses whose dollar value can’t be calculated easily. These include:
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
In some cases, a judge might award punitive damages if they deem the actions of the at-fault driver to be gross carelessness or intentional wrongdoing. These damages are meant to punish the defendant and not to compensate the plaintiff for their losses.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Claim?
Florida Statutes Section 95.11 states that like any other personal injury claim, truck accident victims should file their claim within four years of the accident. Failure to file a claim within this provision, the victim loses their right to seek compensation.
How is Fault in a Truck Accident Determined?
To hold another party responsible for a truck accident in Florida, the plaintiff is expected to prove that they were negligent by proving the following elements of negligence:
- Duty of care. The plaintiff must show that the defendant was supposed to conform to a particular standard of conduct to protect others, including the plaintiff.
- Breach of that duty. The plaintiff should prove that the defendant failed to perform that duty.
- Causation. Prove that there was a reasonably close connection between the defendant’s breach of duty and the injury suffered by the plaintiff.
- Damage. The plaintiff should also prove that they suffered actual loss or damage due to the accident.
Who Can be Held Liable?
In truck accident cases, the plaintiff can file a claim against several potential defendants. These include:
The truck driver may be held liable for an accident if they were speeding, driving carelessly, or driving under the influence of drugs. They may also be held liable if they willfully drove for more hours than allowed and caused the accident due to fatigue.
If a trucking company failed to properly vet their drivers and ended up hiring an under-qualified truck, they may be held liable if such a driver causes an accident. Trucking companies can also be held liable for a truck accident if they are found to have subjected their driver to long driving hours without proper rest.
Company Who Loaded the Truck
Loading companies can also be held responsible for a truck accident if they overloaded a truck or loaded inappropriately and failed to balance out the truck.
Vehicle or Parts Manufacturers
Manufacturers of vehicles or parts who are found to have manufactured faulty parts or negligently missed important details during the manufacture or assembly of vehicles can also be held liable for a truck accident. Such parts and systems could include brakes, airbags, seat belts, among others.
Call Our Ruskin Truck Accident Lawyers To Learn How We Can Help
Truck accidents are often fatal, and victims who survive usually sustain life-long injuries. These accidents are also emotionally and financially draining, and victims may easily give up on filing a claim to seek compensation. However, working with an experienced truck accident attorney can help you prove negligence and hold the negligent party responsible for your injuries.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, don’t hesitate to seek legal assistance. At The Winters & Yonker Law Firm, our lawyers are relentless and offer vigorous legal representation to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Reach out to our Ruskin injury firm today at (888) 373-7770 to speak to one of our lawyers to establish the validity of your claim.