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A truck accident often causes injuries that are much more serious than those caused by an accident between two passenger cars because commercial trucks are much more significant. The severity of those injuries and the increased likelihood of death are why the insurance policies that cover commercial trucks can easily be worth $1 million, if not more.

If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a negligent truck driver or their negligent employer, contact the highly experienced Port St Lucie personal injury lawyers at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath. We have the skills, resources, and experience you need to receive complete compensation for your injuries and damages. 

Call (561) 655-1990 or use our online form to schedule your free consultation today.

What steps should you take after being in a truck accident?

Although being involved in a car crash can be distressing, the actions you take following a truck accident will be necessary for your physical health and the strength and validity of your case. In addition to remaining calm, try to keep the following in mind.

Get medical attention

Call 911 to get medical attention and ensure emergency services are en route. If anyone else has been injured, alert the dispatcher so they can send enough help and services.

Even if you think you’re okay, go to the hospital to get checked out because many injuries won’t show symptoms for hours or even days, especially with adrenaline coursing through your body. Any delays in medical care or treatment could cause your injuries to worsen.

Gather evidence

Use your phone to gather evidence, but only if you can do it safely. Get photos and videos of your vehicle, all other involved vehicles, and the road surface and conditions. The road could hold relevant evidence, including skid marks, which would indicate when the truck driver used their brakes and how fast they were traveling before the accident and at the time of impact. The more evidence you can gather, the stronger your case will be.

If you know there were witnesses to the accident, get their names, phone numbers, and email addresses and inform them that your attorney will contact them later to get their account of what happened and any evidence they might have.

Contact a lawyer

After you’ve received medical treatment, contact a Port St Lucie truck accident lawyer as soon as you can. Your lawyer will launch an immediate investigation to gather all the facts, including talking to witnesses, gathering footage from nearby surveillance cameras that may have captured the accident, and taking other steps to collect the evidence you need. Don’t think you can take on an insurance company on your own.

Make sure you file a timely claim.

We can’t stress enough the importance of hiring a Port St. Lucie truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. Although you generally have four years from the date of the accident to file a claim, any delays in filing your claim could give the insurance company a reason to try to deny your benefits by arguing that your injuries aren’t the direct result of the accident, especially if you waited to see a doctor.

port st lucie truck accident lawyer meeting

Insurance companies don’t like to pay when their drivers are to blame for an accident that resulted in someone’s injuries. They’re even likely to use underhanded tactics in an effort to avoid liability, and they won’t offer a fair settlement out of kindness, especially not if you’re self-represented.

The earlier you start working with Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fonrath, the sooner you’ll be on a path toward financial recovery.

What damages may you be able to recover?

In a personal injury claim, “damages” are awarded for the monetary losses a victim incurs due to an injury caused by someone else’s negligence. In Florida, there are three main categories of damages: economic, non-economic, and punitive.

Economic damages 

These are tangible, easily calculated damages that include medical bills, wages and benefits lost at work, property damage, and more.

Non-economic damages 

These are more subjective and require the skill of an experienced attorney to calculate correctly. Examples include pain and suffering as well as emotional and mental trauma.

Punitive damages  

Punitive damages are intended to punish a defendant rather than compensate the injured person, which makes them an example to others so they don’t commit the same type of gross negligence.

When juries award punitive damages, the compensation is typically much higher than for economic or non-economic damages, but they’re only granted in extreme circumstances.

One example is a truck driver choosing to get behind the wheel of an 80,000-pound machine while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

We’ll recover maximum compensation on your behalf.

When you’re ready to hire a personal injury attorney, you’ll want one with experience in cases similar to yours. The Port St. Lucie personal injury lawyers with Lytal, Reiter, Smith, lvey & Fronrath, have the expertise, resources, and skill it takes to help you recover compensation that’s consistent with your injuries.

We have a team of adjusters, lawyers, and other highly skilled professionals on our side who are ready to defeat the liable party’s insurance company. 

Black box data: The most crucial evidence in your case

As important as evidence gathered from the accident scene will be to your case, the black box data from the commercial truck will be just as vital. The black box is an event data recorder that’s somewhat similar to the black box on commercial airplanes.

port st lucie truck accident lawyer black box

The device can show the speed at which the truck was traveling both before the accident and at the moment of impact. It will also show when the gas pedal and brakes were applied or released, and it could indicate if some defect caused the accident.

What are the common causes of truck accidents?

The black box data, as well as the investigation, will help reveal what occurred at the time of the accident, but other factors can’t be pulled from that system. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include: 

  • The truck driver was speeding
  • The cargo was loaded recklessly, causing a sudden shift in balance that caused the driver to lose control.
  • The trucking company failed to maintain the vehicle properly
  • The truck had defective brakes or tires
  • The driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Of course, there are many other reasons why a truck accident can happen, and there might be multiple parties who are liable. Your attorney’s investigation will determine the cause of the accident and all potentially liable parties and will take action against them.

What are common truck accident injuries?

Truck accidents subject the body to powerful forces that it isn’t designed to withhold, which can lead to injuries including the following, any of which can lead to a lifetime of pain, misery, and debilitation: 

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Concussion
  • Broken bones
  • Organ damage
  • Amputation
  • Burns

port st lucie truck accident injury

What are the common tricks trucking insurance companies use?

If you haven’t yet hired a Port St. Lucie truck accident lawyer, the trucking company’s insurance carrier will dispatch an adjuster to speak with you. Their job is to protect the insurer’s profits.

The adjuster might seem sympathetic by asking how you’re doing, offering to help, and will act like they’re trying to get your side of the story, but don’t be fooled by that tactic. They’ll try tricking you into accepting blame for the accident or might try to twist your words and use them against you later.

They’ll also likely present an offer that’s substantially lower than what you’re entitled to, but without experience, you won’t know what compensation you’re entitled to. A seasoned lawyer will know how much your case is worth and will know how much to demand. In most cases, insurers will ultimately make more fair settlement offers when they realize the injury victim has legal representation.

Let our Port St. Lucie truck accident attorneys help.

A Port St. Lucie personal injury accident lawyer with Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath will protect you from the insurance company’s games by speaking for you on your behalf, and we’ll work tirelessly to help you recover all of your damages. If you want to learn more, schedule a free consultation by calling (561) 655-1990 or by using our online contact form.

Discover your legal options today.

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