What Should I do Immediately After a Truck Accident?
Being involved in a trucking accident is no joke. This is often a very traumatic experience and the number one priority should be your safety - assess for any injuries you or your passengers may have sustained and be sure to get proper medical treatment as soon as possible.
Call 911 for emergency services and the police to assess the scene, gather eye-witness accounts, and document a crash report.
Evidence Needed to Collect Following the Trucking Accident
When it comes to details of your crash, there’s no such thing as too much information. Depending on your state of mind and health after a crash, you may or may not be able to stay on the scene and collect information yourself.
If you have to leave in an ambulance, ask a friend or family member to stay and take down details for you, if possible.
- The name of the trucking company
- The trucker’s full name and contact information
- The trucker’s insurance information
- The truck’s registration number and license plate number
- Names and contact info of any eyewitnesses to the accident
- Date, time, and location of the accident
- How and why the crash occurred, from your point of view
- Accident scene and damages to both vehicles
- Photos of injuries
- Photos of road conditions, skid marks, signs, etc
*Very Important* Blackbox Information
After a truck accident, attorneys and police officers can download black box data to help determine what caused or contributed to the crash.
How Can I Avoid Truck Accidents?
Avoiding truck accidents means taking proactive measures to avoid ever putting yourself in a threatening situation. While it’s not always possible to avoid colliding with a negligent truck driver, there are things you can do to decrease your odds of an accident in Florida.
- Allow plenty of room
- Don’t drive in the “No-Zone”
- Pass on outer edge of road
- Move over for stopped truckers
- Anticipate wide turns
- Be predictable
- Stay attentive on the road and surroundings (a no-brainer, but can’t emphasize enough)
Use this tips list in the deeper dive, to stay safe on Florida’s urban and rural roads, even when surrounded by big rigs.
How Do Insurance Companies Determine Fault and Liability in Truck Accidents?
As a victim in a large truck wreck, one of your main goals should be to recover your damages from the party that caused the accident.
This might be the:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Owner of truck or trailer
- Product manufacturer
- Third Party
There are certain ways insurance companies and judges determine fault and liability for accidents. Proving fault involves gathering evidence such as data from the truck’s black box.
What Steps Can I Take to Build My Case After a Truck Accident?
A truck accident lawyer knows how to navigate the complexities and time-sensitive details and can help you secure a proper compensation. However, there are things within your power as the accident victim, that can optimize your odds of a successful insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
- Saying less is more, don’t admit fault
- Gather as much evidence as possible
- Talk to possible witnesses
- Create & organize a Crash folder
- Work with an experienced Lawyer
How Long Do I Have to File a Truck Accident Claim?
Like other states, Florida has statutes of limitations for filing personal injury, wrongful death, and property damage claims. This means there are deadlines you must adhere to when filing, or else risk the courts refusing to hear your case.
There are different statutes of limitations in place depending on the type of claim you wish to file. Florida has longer time limits on personal injury claims than many other states.
To file a personal injury claim (this would be the category for a truck accident claim unless the accident resulted in wrongful death), you must do so within four years from the date of the accident.
The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in Florida is two years from the date of death. Claims on the basis of injury to personal property (not personal injuries) also have four years from the date of the accident.
What Tips Can I Use to Speak with an Insurance Adjuster After My Truck Accident?
The insurance claims adjuster is the person in charge of assessing your insurance claim and possibly offering you a settlement after a truck accident. Keep one thing in mind; the claims adjuster works for the insurer, not for you.
Your best interests are not the adjuster’s top priority; instead, he or she is striving to get you to settle for as little as possible. You can maintain the upper hand during conversations with an insurance adjuster by using these tips and advice from a truck wreck lawyer – and ultimately get the most out of your claim.
- Stick to the Facts and basic details
- Refuse to a record or write a statement
- Refuse to say yes to a quick settlement
- Talk to a lawyer beforehand, or better yet have your lawyer speak on your behalf
- Keep a record of the conversation
What Types of Compensation Are Available in Truck Accident Cases?
Truck accidents are some of the most severe and destructive traffic crashes on Florida’s roadways. You might have lost things like your physical health, your job, your car, or even a loved one in a bad wreck. These losses are all compensable damages in the eyes of the Florida courts, meaning you could be eligible to recover their value in a lawsuit. The compensation you receive depends on the types of damages the accident caused.
- Past and Future Medical Bills
- Lost Wages/Capacity to Earn
- Pain and Suffering
- Property Damage
- Court Costs/Attorney Fees (in some cases)
- Loss of Consortium