After the trauma of a truck accident, you may face months of medical treatment, rehabilitation, and recuperation. Unfortunately, you may even sustain permanent disability. Meanwhile, due to your injuries, you cannot work and support yourself and your family.
Lakeland, the most populous city in Polk County, has more than its fair share of truck accidents. State Road 60 is the route many commercial truckers take to ship freight from one coast of Florida to the other. The extreme congestion leaves many motorists vulnerable when sharing the highway with semis.
If the truck accident happened because of the driver’s or another party’s negligence or recklessness, you can hold those responsible for your injuries accountable by filing a personal injury lawsuit with a Lakeland truck accident attorney at Kogan & DiSalvo.
We vow to protect your rights and to fight for justice so that you may receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact us today, and let’s start your journey toward healing.
After a truck accident, you need time to focus on healing. You likely have a long road to recovery. Do not try to file a claim on your own. Instead, hire a Lakeland truck accident lawyer to represent you. We will negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf, and we know a reasonable settlement amount based on the circumstances of your claim.
Keep in mind that trucking companies have in-house attorneys or hire experienced lawyers to represent them. So having an attorney with expertise in this field representing your interests is crucial to receiving the fullest extent of the compensation you’re owed.
If a family member was killed in a truck accident, the personal representative of the estate may file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the late person’s surviving family members.
In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is usually two years from the date of the accident. In a wrongful death case, the statute of limitations is two years from the death date. However, because valuable evidence can disappear soon after a truck accident, it is critical to consult a Lakeland truck accident attorney as soon as possible.
Truck accident cases differ from ordinary motor vehicle cases in more than just the scale of injury and death. Many truck accident claims do not involve just two drivers. Various entities are involved in the operation of a commercial semi-truck.
Not only are big rigs subject to tough federal and state standards, but they require more routine maintenance than automobiles. The bottom line is that trucking companies must adhere to regulations that do not affect ordinary drivers.
Some common causes of truck accidents include:
Some truck accidents occur because the cargo was improperly loaded or secured, and the accidents are not caused by collisions with the truck per se but from impact with loose cargo strewn across the highway.
When a big rig collides with a smaller vehicle, the occupants of the latter often suffer severe injuries. Common truck accident injuries include:
Many truck accident victims are too badly injured to do anything after the accident except hope that someone will call 911. Of course, that is if they are conscious and aware of their surroundings.
Unfortunately, many victims don’t survive in such collisions. If you are fortunate enough that you are physically and mentally able to take action after a crash, call 911 immediately.
Try to assess your injuries and those of others involved in the accident. Get yourself to safety and off the road. If possible, exchange names, addresses, contact and insurance information with any drivers involved in the crash. Take photos or videos of the accident scene. If there are eyewitnesses, get their names and contact information.
If you are seriously injured, it is likely an ambulance will take you to the nearest emergency room. If you think you escaped unscathed or with only minor injuries, it is still imperative to seek immediate medical attention. Many injuries, even serious ones, are not apparent right away after a crash.
The adrenaline coursing through your body can mask a lot of pain. If you do not go to the emergency room or visit an urgent care physician promptly, more than your health is jeopardized. You are also harming your claim. Insurance companies will argue that the injury was not that serious or even that something else caused it.
As you try to cope with the aftermath of your injury, it is likely that you will hear from the at-fault party’s insurance company offering a settlement. Never accept a settlement offer, even if it sounds good, before obtaining legal counsel. Insurance companies want to settle claims quickly and cheaply. That lowball offer is probably not going to cover your long-term medical and personal needs, but once you accept an offer, there is no going back.
While much of our lives now revolve around social media, avoid posting any information about your accident online. Insurance companies scour social media accounts looking for ways to discredit accident victims. Even responding to a friend or relative’s question about your condition with a “doing ok,” can harm your case. Keep family and friends updated via phone, not social media.
A Lakeland truck accident lawyer investigates the case thoroughly. Any potential defendants in the accident are identified. Besides the truck driver, possible defendants in a truck accident case include the trucking company, the cargo company, and other motorists.
If a vehicle malfunction contributed to the crash, the manufacturer or a repair facility may prove liable. Poor road maintenance or broken traffic signals may make the city, county, or state a defendant, depending on which government authority has jurisdiction over the roadway.
Winning a truck accident case requires evidence. Trucking companies are subject to strict federal and state regulations regarding hours of service, rest breaks, truck maintenance, and drug and alcohol testing. Your attorney works to obtain evidence such as surveillance videos, eyewitness interviews, and police and medical reports.
Federal law mandates that truck drivers use electronic logging devices to track hours, mileage, and driving behaviors. Your lawyer can obtain data from these devices to show the speed at which the truck was traveling at the time of the accident, the driver’s hours of service at that particular time, whether the driver performed unsafe maneuvers prior to the collision, and much more.
We can also check whether the trucking company sent an inexperienced driver out on the road or whether its drivers were trained properly. Did the driver have a history of traffic violations? When it comes to freight, we will investigate whether the load was within the legal weight limit and secured correctly. No stone is left unturned.
In some cases, we may hire an accident reconstruction specialist to inspect the truck involved and analyze or recreate the accident scene.
Damages, or compensation, in a truck accident may include:
Compensation depends on various factors, especially the severity of your injuries. Our medical experts will testify as to the extent of your injuries, the specific damage incurred, your prognosis, and your maximum medical improvement. That is the point at which you have recovered from the injury as much as possible, with no further improvement expected.
Florida law operates under a modified comparative negligence standard. That means that even if you were partly at fault for the truck accident, under Florida law you can still receive compensation as long as a judge or jury determines you were less than 50% responsible.
Damages are reduced according to the percentage of fault. For instance, if you were found 20% at fault and the damage award is $100,000, your award is reduced by 20% to $80,000.
If you were injured in a truck accident due to another party’s negligence or recklessness, contact a Lakeland personal injury lawyer at Kogan & DiSalvo today and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. While most truck accident cases are settled, we will take your case to trial when necessary. Because we work on a contingency basis, you pay no fee unless you receive compensation.