Being hit by a truck in Florida can leave you asking: What should I do next? A collision with a truck can leave you grappling with physical injuries, emotional distress, and mounting medical bills. In such trying times, it’s crucial to know that you’re not alone and there are steps you can take to protect your rights.
The moments following a truck accident are critical, and knowing how to respond can make a significant difference in your recovery and pursuit of justice. However, if you have specific questions about your particular case, you can talk to a Florida truck accident lawyer for free.
What Should I Do Right After the Accident?
The immediate actions you take can significantly impact the outcome of your situation. Here’s what you should do right after a truck accident:
Ensure Safety First
Your safety and the safety of others should be your top priority. If you can do so safely, move your vehicle out of the way of traffic to prevent further accidents. Set up warning triangles or flares if you have them.
Call 911 and Get the Police Report
Assess yourself and others involved for injuries. If anyone is hurt, call 911 immediately. Even seemingly minor injuries should be examined by a medical professional. A police report is a crucial document for insurance claims and potential legal actions.
Exchange information with the other driver. That includes names, contact details, insurance information, and license plate numbers. If there are witnesses, obtain their contact information as well.
Document the Scene
If it’s safe to do so, capture images of vehicle damage, road conditions, skid marks, and any relevant road signs or traffic signals with your phone.
Consult With an Attorney
While it’s not an immediate action, seeking legal counsel can be beneficial, especially if the accident results in serious injuries or disputes regarding fault and liability. A personal injury attorney can guide you through the legal process.
Who Can I Sue for a Commercial Vehicle Accident?
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, you might wonder who can be held accountable for the damages you’ve suffered. Understanding who can be sued for a truck accident can help you get clarity.
- The at-fault driver. In many cases, the primary party to sue is the driver of the commercial vehicle. That could be due to negligence, reckless driving, or violations of traffic laws.
- Trucking company. If the driver was on the clock at the time of the accident, the company may be liable for the driver’s actions.
- Vehicle manufacturer. If a defect in the commercial vehicle’s design or manufacturing played a role in the accident, the vehicle manufacturer could be a liable party.
- Maintenance providers. Companies responsible for the maintenance and repair of commercial vehicles may also be liable if substandard maintenance contributed to the accident.
- Cargo loaders. If cargo loading was a factor, those responsible for loading the truck could be liable.
- Government entities. In cases where hazardous road conditions, poor signage, or inadequate road maintenance played a role in the accident, government entities, such as the Florida Department of Transportation, may be liable.
A skilled attorney can help assess the circumstances of your accident and determine who may be legally responsible.
How Much Is My Truck Accident Worth in Florida?
One of the most pressing concerns after a truck accident is understanding the potential value of your claim. Many factors come into play when determining how much your truck accident case is worth in Florida. While no two cases are the same, there are key elements to consider.
- Damages Incurred. These may include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering—the more extensive your damages, the higher your potential compensation.
- Insurance Policy Limits. The at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits can impact your compensation. If the responsible party has limited insurance coverage, it may limit your ability to recover full damages.
- Legal Representation. Hiring an experienced truck accident attorney can significantly affect the outcome of your case. A skilled attorney can negotiate effectively and ensure you’re not settling for less than you deserve.
However, determining the exact worth of your case can be complex. It’s crucial to consult with an attorney who can assess your case’s specifics, consider all potential factors, and help you pursue the maximum compensation you’re entitled to.
How Much Time do I Have for a Truck Accident Injury Claim?
Prior to the law change, the standard statute of limitations for most truck accident injury claims was four years. However, according to the 2023 Florida Statutes, you now have up to two years to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries and losses.
But also remember that, in some instances, truck accidents involve complex factors, such as multiple liable parties, defective equipment, or fatalities. These complexities can affect the timeline for filing a claim, underscoring the importance of consulting an attorney who can guide you through the process.
What if You Get Injured in a Truck Accident, and the Driver Has No Insurance Coverage?
Experiencing a truck accident in Florida can be distressing, and matters can become even more complicated when the at-fault driver lacks insurance coverage. In such situations, you might wonder how you can pursue compensation for your injuries and damages.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage. If you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, it can prove invaluable. UM coverage can help cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages you incur due to the accident.
- Seeking Legal Action. Even when the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, you can still pursue a personal injury claim against them. An attorney can help you explore your options and determine the most effective course of action.
- Potential Third Parties. In some situations, a third party may share liability for the accident. That could include the trucking company, the manufacturer of faulty equipment, or other entities that may have contributed to the accident.
Uninsured motorist coverage and legal action against responsible parties can offer solutions, and consulting an attorney is often the best way to understand your rights and options in such cases.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Experiencing a truck accident can leave you grappling with physical injuries, emotional distress, mounting medical bills, and complex legal matters. During these trying times, seeking the assistance of a dedicated personal injury lawyer may be a crucial step toward regaining control over your life.
Navigating the aftermath of a truck accident can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with injuries and the complexities of the legal system. A personal injury lawyer possesses the knowledge and experience to provide you with expert guidance. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at Fasig | Brooks today for a free consultation.