As a committed truck crash attorney, I can help if you are filing a case against a trucking company. Truck drivers are often employees of a larger entity, and that can mean dealing with big insurance companies, complex legal teams, and companies that have gone through hundreds of accident claims before.
Most truck accident victims have never before been involved in a crash with a semi or tractor trailer. Trucking companies may have thousands of drivers in their fleet and have definitely been on the receiving end of a truck crash lawsuit before. It’s not your fault you probably lack the experience necessary to handle the claim on your own, which is why a truck accident lawyer can be of great help.
Five Important Differences Between a Truck Accident and a Car Accident
Any truck injury lawyer will tell you: truck crash injury claims can be very different from a typical car accident case. When comparing the two, you’ll notice these five important differences:
- There are often multiple parties that may be held liable for the accident.
In a car accident it’s normally you versus a negligent driver or pedestrian. In accidents with a commercial truck you may be dealing with a negligent truck driver, trucking company, vehicle manufacturer, and/or mechanic.
- Injuries from truck accidents may be more likely to be serious or fatal.
A typical passenger vehicle weighs about 3,000 pounds, where the typical truck can weigh anywhere from 10,000 to over 80,000 pounds when cargo is included. Trucks traveling at high rates of speed with heavy loads can be harder to maneuver and stop. The size discrepancy between a passenger car and a truck is one reason why injuries that result from these crashes can be so severe and may result in long-term suffering, disability or death.
- Truck accidents may be caused by operational/mechanical hazards such as blind spots or cargo shifts, rather than driver hazards.The size of a truck presents many operational hazards such as larger blind spots and more difficulty maneuvering or breaking. The hauling of cargo can also present a hazard if it is unbalanced, loose, or shifts during transport. These are hazards that normal vehicles do not face on such a serious scale.
- Trucking companies may dispatch their legal team immediately to the scene to handle the situation.
Most trucking companies are ready at a moment’s notice to handle a crash. By sending out their crash investigation team at the moment an accident occurs, they can gather the evidence before you even have a chance to consider talking to a truck accident lawyer. They may have a truck crash attorney of their own out at the scene shortly after the accident.
- Truck driver records are important pieces of evidence that may be easily falsified or destroyed before a claim is filed.
Unique to truck accidents are driver records and “black box” data, which record important information at the time of the crash. Some of these records, such as the driver’s time on duty, can easily be manipulated. Even worse, after a period of time, the truck company can legally destroy these records, removing them from the potential evidence in your case.
If you’re concerned about how to handle these differences remember that you have the right to work with a truck injury lawyer. Just as the trucking companies will have their legal teams, you should level the playing field with a truck accident lawyer of your own.
The Costs of a Serious Truck Accident
While truck accident claims may differ, the scope of compensation you should seek is much the same and is also largely dependent on the seriousness of the accident.
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 32,885 fatal vehicle crashes in the U.S. in 2010. Of these crashes, 3,484 involved large trucks. Florida accounted for 179 of these accidents. Serious or fatal injuries can initially result in medical expenses and lost wages, but the long-term damages should also be addressed by your settlement.
The insurance companies and trucking company will not be eager to pay you the full price for the damage you have suffered. If they cannot avoid a settlement completely, they often try to undercut the value of your case as much as possible. Don’t be swayed by an initial settlement offer, even if it does cover all of your current expenses. One of the main mistakes truck injury lawyers see clients make is settling quickly for a low amount just to get help with their current bills.
Think about your current damages – it’s fairly easy to look at your medical bills and the lost income you’ve suffered due to being injured. What you may not realize at this time is that recovery from serious injuries can take several more months, years, or even result in permanent medical complications. This means future medical costs and more bills that may not be covered in an initial settlement offer.
As any truck crash attorney should, I will look for these situations and evaluate your future financial needs. If you are expected to be out of work for a long period or permanently, your settlement needs to account for this loss of income. There is also the possibility of non-economic damages, which is designed to help you and your family recover from the emotional impact a devastating truck accident can have. Insurance companies typically won’t account for these details in making a claim offer, but I will.
Talk to an Orlando Truck Accident Lawyer
Time is of the essence in a truck accident claim. The Florida statute of limitations gives you four years following the truck accident to bring about legal action. Aside from that, truck companies may be able to destroy important evidence if enough time has passed, sometimes within a few weeks!
You should contact a truck crash attorney as soon as possible following your truck accident to begin working on your case. I will begin gathering information, police reports, medical reports, and other necessary documentation. My firm will pursue all necessary measures to obtain compensation commensurate with the injuries you have sustained. It is the highest priority of your truck accident lawyer to work vigorously in seeking justice on your behalf, and that’s a responsibility I take very seriously.
Hire An Experienced Orlando Truck Accident Attorney
Contact my firm right now at 407-490-1271 if you have been injured due to negligence in an Orlando Truck Accident. I will be your advocate for justice when the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company has caused your family irreparable harm.