Have you been involved in a truck accident and don’t know how to proceed? Truck accidents, unlike other motor vehicle accidents, have a higher fatality rate.
If you’re a survivor of a truck accident, chances are you sustained serious injuries and possible disability. You need to file a suit to get compensation for your injuries. If you lost a loved one due to a truck accident, you can also sue for damages and get compensation.
Proving fault in any kind of accident can be challenging. However, an experienced catastrophic injury lawyer can help evaluate your case and represent you to ensure you’re rightfully compensated.
Liability in a Fort Lauderdale Truck Accident
Truck accidents involve two parties; the truck driver and a pedestrian, cyclist or motorist. To successfully claim compensation after a truck accident, you must be able to prove who caused the accident.
The party responsible for causing the accident is held liable for any damages and injuries suffered by the victim(s). At-fault parties may include:
- Truck driver: For breaking traffic laws, causing the accident
- Truck owner: Failure to inspect or properly maintain the truck
- Manufacturer: Accident was caused by defects originating from the manufacturer, i.e mechanical failure
- Cargo loaders: Accident caused by improperly secured cargo
How to Prove Negligence in a Truck Accident
For one to be held liable in a truck accident, you must make a case for negligence. Obtaining evidence in a truck accident is much easier than in motorist accidents since truck companies are required by law to keep records of every truck. However, sometimes the records “go missing” after an accident.
Paper and electronic records are essential sources of information that can help prove what caused the accident. The records contain the following information:
- Daily truck logs
- Maintenance records
- Inspections, repairs, and tests
- Driver complaints
Information contained in the truck’s black box can also be essential evidence for your case. A professional truck accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale should be able to interpret the information to aid your case.
Truck Accident Damages and Compensation
After a truck accident, you may sustain serious physical injuries and emotional and psychological trauma. All damages sustained due to the accident are eligible for compensation in a truck accident suit.
The damages one can claim compensation for include:
- Medical bills: The amount you pay the hospital for medical care and medication for injuries sustained from the accident and subsequent health problems as a result of the accident
- Property damage: Applies of the truck collided with any personal property i.e car, motorcycle, bicycle, or a building
- Lost wages: Income lost while undergoing treatment for injuries caused by the accident i.e hospitalization and recuperation period
- Disability benefits: Permanent physical damage caused by the accident i.e loss of limbs, mobility, or any other physical impairment affecting your ability to live your life as you did before the accident
- Pain and suffering: Stress, trauma, and other psychological effects of the accident on the victim
- Punitive damages: Penalty imposed by a judge on the at-fault party usually as a result of gross negligence, to serve as punishment for lack of regard for the law and human life
- Wrongful death claim: Damages suffered by a truck accident victim’s family due to the victim’s loss of life
How Much is My Truck Accident Worth?
Truck accidents are generally worth more than normal car crashes due to the magnitude of the damages. Several factors come into play when determining the value of a truck accident, such as:
- Partial liability- If you’re partly to blame for the accident, you may not recover all damages
- The severity of your injuries and damages- The more severe your injuries and damages, the more you stand to claim
- Insurance coverage limit- Most truck accident compensation is made by insurance companies; i.e the truck company or the manufacturer’s insurance. Your payout will depend on the coverage limit
- Impact of the accident on your life thereafter- Permanent injuries or disability call for a higher settlement as the victim is bound to live out the effects of the accident for life
Insurance companies often try to downplay the severity of the victim’s injuries to get out of paying what is owed. Our experienced Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyers can help estimate the unquantifiable damage such as pain and suffering to get you a worthwhile settlement.
The Statute of Limitations for Truck Accident Claims in Florida
Truck accidents fall under negligence suits in the state of Florida. According to Florida legal statute 95.11 (3), the statute of limitations for filing a negligence claim is four years. A victim is not eligible for compensation for cases filed four years after the accident, with few exceptions.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
Truck accidents have a higher fatality rate than normal car crashes. Quick action after the accident can help save a life so here’s how to proceed:
Check For Injuries
Your first move after an accident is to assess your injuries. If you’re stable enough to move, find other victims who may be in distress and help them if you can.
Call the emergency line and report the accident. 911 operators will dispatch the police and paramedics to the accident scene. The police will take your statement at the scene while it’s still fresh in memory and paramedics will provide primary medical care.
Victims with severe injuries will be rushed to the hospital for medical care.
Gather Evidence From the Scene
Physical evidence from the scene will go a long way in helping corroborate your statement. Take photos from different angles and document all physical injuries.
Collect Contact Information from Involved Parties
Collect full names, phone numbers, and or home addresses and insurance card information of the involved parties. Having their contact information will help you trace them during follow-up.
Eye witness testimony is essential to help prove who was at fault in the accident and also corroborate your story. Ask them to make a statement and collect their contact information in case you need to follow up.
Hire a Legal Professional
Whether you have all the information required to build a case or not, legal representation is vital to building a strong case. Your lawyer will analyze the evidence you already have and find more. In addition, they know how to check for loopholes that you may not be aware of to help you make your case.
Contact an Experienced Fort Lauderdale Truck Accident Lawyer For Help in Your Case
If you’ve been a victim of a truck accident, whether you’re the driver or a third party, you need to get paid for your injuries and losses. Don’t let insurance companies take advantage of you with a meager settlement that may not cover all your damages.
At Eltringham Law Group , our experienced truck accident attorneys in Fort Lauderdale know how to handle the complexities of truck accidents. We will examine your case and negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Get in touch with us today for a free case evaluation.