Car accidents can be fatal, and we try hard to avoid them when driving. However, things become worse when a truck is involved. Trucks are bigger, longer, and heavier than regular automobiles and their drivers find it hard to control them in the event of an anomaly on the road. Numerous people lose their lives when trucks get involved in an accident, with the survivors getting away with lifelong injuries.
If you are involved in such an accident, make sure that you contact an experienced Boca Raton Truck Accident Lawyer at Englander Peebles, and let us guide you through your legal options. Depending on the circumstances, you can qualify for compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, and property damage to help you recover from the accident. Call our personal injury lawyers today at (954) 231-1384 to get the representation you deserve.
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Florida Truck Accident Statistics in Florida
Florida has one of the highest truck-related fatality rates. Information from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles found that every year, at least 27 people die and 126 others suffered from injuries that left them incapacitated. An additional 372 people suffered from common injuries, with an additional 682 ones suffering minor ones.
From a recent sample conducted in the state, the average number of people who passed on in a five-year span from trucking accidents was 1,345. Hillsborough County had a total of 81 fatalities from this number, a record high compared to all the other ones.
In the last decade, the United States experienced an increase in trucking accidents by thirteen percent. Over 60 percent of these accidents involved two large vehicles. Out of the accidents, the most common causes were seen to be speeding, distraction, impairment, and driving under the influence of drugs and other substances.
What Should You Do After a Truck Accident?
Truck accidents can result in serious and catastrophic injuries. If you come out of one injured, seek medical attention as you might not know the extent of your injuries. However, you can come out of one unscathed or with minor injuries, and here, it is prudent to understand the steps you should take to make things easier for your compensation process. Note that the steps mentioned below are not cast on stone, and do some due diligence before proceeding. However, we will assume that you come out of one healthy, and here, you need to;
Contact the Police
Typically, you need to reach out to them through 911. If you are on a highway, you can call the local law enforcement agency and tell them a few details about the accidents. Let the dispatching officer know the number of vehicles involved in the crash to send the correct number of ambulances. Contact the police even if the accident is minor as they have to get their documentation of the crash and present it to the jury for them to establish fault.
We are assuming that you are fine since you have to be in your best condition to help others. Not everyone involved in an accident comes out unscathed, and you can do a few things to save lives. If some people are still stuck in the debris of the vehicles and would be better off being out there, try to help them. If someone is bleeding, try to slow it down as you wait for the ambulances to arrive on the scene.
Check around and see if there are any witnesses. You will need their statements down the road. A witness is anyone who observed the crash, and it could be a bystander or someone in a nearby car that was not affected.
Do not take witness statements as it is the job of the police and your lawyer to do this. Get their contact information since so many things happen at an accident scene, and they might leave before the police arrive. Once they leave, it will be hard to get an accurate account of the accident, a reason why you need to exchange your contact information with them.
Document the Scene
We live in an era of smartphones, and it can come in extremely handy here. You want to help your attorney build a strong case, and this evidence will help a lot. Documentation can come in the form of photos and video recordings of the scene. Ensure that you capture the essential aspects of the scene, such as skid marks, points where the vehicles crashed, and the condition of the crashed cars. Pictures could help a lot if the weather played a part in the accident. Besides, be sure to capture the other driver’s license plate registration, licenses, and insurance information.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you walked out of the accident unscathed, seek medical attention, and have a doctor evaluate you to ascertain this. It is common to suffer injuries that do not show any immediate symptoms, and only a comprehensive medical check can unearth them. One fatal injury that might not show immediate signs is internal bleeding. You can let a medical technician conduct a quick medical evaluation on-site and then follow up with a full one from your doctor.
Call a Truck Accident Lawyer
The process of claiming compensation after a truck accident is complicated, and you need to inform your lawyer about the crash as soon as possible. These cases involve more parties, and your lawyer needs enough time to go through the evidence and start preparing a claim.
Truck Insurance Requirements in Florida
All trucks in Florida must abide by the traffic rules and share the road safely with other motorists.
In terms of liability, the law specifies that all Truck drivers must carry at least $50,000 liability insurance. This figure is higher for larger trucks and depends on the type of truck in question. Some trucks are required to have liability insurance of up to $750,000. Trucks transporting hazardous materials are subject to stricter insurance requirements and should be labeled appropriately to alert other road users.
How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help My Claim?
The main work of a truck accident lawyer is to guide you through the entire process and ensure that you are compensated for the injuries and damages you suffer. Note that truck accidents involve many parties and huge compensation amounts that no one would be willing to pay with a smile on their face. This way, expect fierce opposition when filing for compensation after a truck accident. Your chances of facing off with these experienced lawyers are slim without an experienced truck accident lawyer in Boca Raton, FL, to guide you.
First, they will have to investigate the accident independently. The information you provided from the accident scene comes in handy here, but the lawyers will interrogate the witnesses and get an account of the accident. They work with expert investigators who will engage the police and other stakeholders to ensure that the facts surrounding the accident are brought to light.
Once they have the right information, they will compile it into a claim and file it. Note that facts should support the claim, and you need a strong suit if you are to get the compensation you need. A copy of the claim will be presented to the defendants and all the entities involved in the crash to initiate the next step.
Here, the defendant will contact your lawyer and try to settle the matter without going to court. Note that the defendant’s team is highly experienced and will know if your claim is strong or not. Mostly, the settlement amount they will offer you will be less than what you wanted, but it might be wise to take it and avoid lengthy litigations. Your lawyer will weigh the pros and cons before advising you on what to do. They will also haggle with the defense and see if they can offer a fair amount to withdraw the case.
If your lawyer cannot settle on a fair amount with the defense, they will pursue litigation. They will parade witnesses and cross-examine them like any other lawsuit in an attempt to implore the jury to come to a favorable ruling.
What Type of Compensation Can I Receive?
The total amount of compensation awarded after a truck accident is the sum of three different ones.
Economic damages are objective and help to recover losses that have a monetary value. They cover medical costs, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs, among others.
Non-economic damages are more subjective and help to recover losses that have no fixed financial value. They cover pain, suffering, emotional distress, reduced quality of life, and loss of consortium, among others.
Punitive damages are not awarded to compensate for any damages. They are included in cases where the truck driver acted too negligently, and there is a need to punish and deter them from acting like that in the future.
How Much is My Truck Accident Claim Worth?
There is no fixed answer to this as the amount depends on a couple of factors. They include insurance policies, health bills, damages suffered, and whether the matter can be resolved in a settlement or not. Insurance policies have maximum limits according to the policy, and the firms will only pay what the limit is and nothing more.
If you lost a part of the body, then the law has a specific amount used to calculate the compensation amount. Other things that come into play include recurring medical expenses, death, and damages to the vehicle.
The amount of a truck accident claim is a sum of many things, and an experienced truck accident lawyer with Englander Peebles will do the math for you and give an accurate figure.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Claim in Florida?
The statute of limitations in Florida states that you should file all claims within four years of the accident. However, there are exceptions to this case, for instance, in a situation where you did not discover the injuries until later on. Here, the four-year clock starts ticking when you notice the damages.
How is Fault in a Truck Accident Determined?
The process of determining fault in a truck accident is not much different from that of a car accident, but for the number of entities that can be held liable. You need to prove that one of the entities involved broke the law and caused the accident. If the accident resulted from negligence by the trucking company, loading company, or any other, the law would still hold them liable for the injuries.
Can a Lawyer Prove the Truck Driver was Negligent?
A lawyer’s work is to investigate the accident and determine who they think is liable. In some instances, the other entities might be innocent if the driver caused the accident. They could have disregarded traffic lights or driven under the influence of drugs, thus causing the accident. If a lawyer gets this information, they will file the claim and seek compensation from the driver’s insurance.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Truck Accident in Florida?
The number of entities involved before a truck hits the road is huge. This way, all these entities have a part to play in the safety of the truck and can be held liable for the injuries suffered in an accident.
- The truck driver is the first suspect since they are in charge of steering the truck. They owe a duty of care towards other motorists and should adhere to all the traffic laws.
- The trucking company owns the truck and is expected to maintain it and ensure that it is in the right condition to move safely.
- The company that loads the truck should ensure the load is safely attached and not harm any road users.
Contact the Boca Raton Truck Accident Lawyers at Englander Peebles
Truck accidents are complicated since many entities have their interests and would not want to be held liable after an accident. This way, ensure that you enlist the services of an experienced Boca Raton truck accident lawyer to help you get the compensation needed to recover from your losses. Contact our Boca Raton injury firm today at (954) 231-1384 for a free case assessment.