What Kind of Vehicles Are Considered ‘Commercial’ Trucks?
18-wheelers, construction vehicles, delivery trucks, tractor-trailers, and tanker trucks are all included. Any vehicle that requires a commercial driver’s license to operate is considered a commercial vehicle.
What Does a Truck Accident Lawyer Do?
A truck accident lawyer is a type of personal injury lawyer that specializes in truck accident cases. They represent those who have been injured by the negligence of another in a truck accident and help them seek compensation for their losses. A truck accident lawyer will handle communication with the insurance company and at-fault parties for you, investigate your accident, and gather critical evidence that can quickly be lost, misplaced, or purposely destroyed.
When Should You Hire a Lawyer for a Truck Accident?
Hire a lawyer if you were severely injured in a truck accident. You have the right to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party’s insurer. Although you’re not required to get a lawyer, it’s often highly recommended. A large commercial trucking company and their insurer hope to get you to settle before you have legal representation to try to pay you the smallest amount possible. An attorney will protect your rights and ensure you obtain fair compensation.
What Should I Do After a Truck Accident?
The steps you take after a truck accident can significantly impact your legal rights and claim for compensation.
- Get medical treatment. Many truck accident victims are immediately transported to the hospital. However, if your injuries seem minor, it is still necessary to be thoroughly evaluated by a medical professional. Medical records linking your injuries to the crash will be vital.
- Preserve any evidence. If you can, collect evidence from the crash, including photos and video of the scene, your injuries, items inside your vehicle, and the damage to your car and the truck. Ask for contact information from every party involved and witnesses.
- Notify insurance companies. Before you have a chance to contact the truck driver’s insurer or their company’s insurer, they may reach out to you. Either way, tell them the facts about the accident but do not give more information than you have to and do not give a recorded statement. If you accidentally offer up information that can be used against you, it can drastically hurt your claim.
- Speak to an attorney. Contact a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Do I Sue the Truck Driver or the Trucking Company?
That will depend on whether the truck driver is an independent contractor or an employee of the trucking company. The owner of the truck may also be at fault. Which parties are legally liable will depend on the specifics of your case, which an attorney can help you determine.
What Kind of Expenses and Damages Are Covered in a Truck Accident Claim?
Damages typically recoverable in a truck accident claim include medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. Punitive damages are sometimes available in cases involving gross negligence.
How Much is My Truck Accident Claim Worth?
Since each case has a unique set of circumstances, there is no exact formula. An attorney can estimate your case’s value after considering the severity of your injuries, your financial losses, the impact your injuries have on your life, length of recovery, the strength of evidence, and others.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
For Florida residents, you have four years from the date of the collision to file a truck accident claim. However, it’s best to file as soon as possible, so witnesses and evidence don’t disappear.