Auto accidents can be life-altering events, especially when they involve trucks. No passenger vehicle on the highway is a physical match for any commercial vehicle that could weigh in excess of 80,000 lbs. In addition, when trucks go out of control and are pulling trailers, massive damage can be done when a container jackknives and impacts multiple vehicles from unusual directions. This means that many drivers are injured through no fault of their own, and many times those injuries are very serious or even fatal.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 85% of all fatal accidents in 2014 involved a commercial vehicle in some respect. One of the biggest problems when a truck accident occurs is not having a victim who is in a physical and mental state to actually inspect the damage and take necessary measures immediately following a crash. Many times injured passengers are incapacitated and can’t do anything, so the most important person at the scene immediately after the accident is at least one who is still in relatively good physical condition with ability to think. Even for witnesses, it is always good to know what procedures to follow immediately following a truck accident.
Truck accidents can be the most erratic of situations, but it is very important to make a quick inventory of the vehicles and check for seriously injured victims or passengers who may be in peril. Many times there is little that can be done, but helping someone out of a compromised or dangerously damaged smoking vehicle may be possible. Many times there are multiple passengers who can also still assist in helping when necessary. People’s lives are regularly at stake when a truck crash occurs, which is of ultimate immediate importance.
Truck accidents in Tampa, FL almost always involve a need for an emergency vehicle, including medical treatment professionals or the Tampa Fire Department. It is always important to call Tampa law enforcement as soon as possible after a truck accident. Following crashes where injuries are relatively minor and vehicles can be moved, it is okay to move them.
However, pictures of the crash before the vehicles are moved can be very important, and can also include taking pictures of the license plate of any vehicles attempting to flee who could be at fault for the crash.
After contacting officials, a camera is one of the most useful tools available when a truck accident happens. There is no such thing as too many pictures of a big-rig crash. Truck accidents are always unique in some aspects and having photographs of the scene immediately following a crash can be very important to helping victims when the accident is being reconstructed by both law enforcement officials and truck accident attorneys.
Always remember those photographs are your personal property. Be selective before allowing usage, including speaking to an attorney about their value. Photographs can have an impact on personal fault, according to Florida comparative negligence laws, so be careful with any pictures that do not help your case.
Many people who are still mobile following a truck crash may not think they are badly injured, but this could be a bad assessment. The adrenaline and pure shock of a truck accident can mask the severity of an injury. Go to an emergency treatment facility as soon as possible because internal injuries are often not apparent and can worsen quickly, even resulting in death. Emergency medical professionals will normally tend first to the most seriously hurt, but all truck accident attorneys will advise that this is a vital component of documenting your injury claim because the bills for treatment can establish that your injuries were immediately apparent. It can also be supported by the official accident report that includes all involved drivers and passengers. A physician can make a diagnosis and prognosis of any medical problem found that is the result of the truck crash, which will be a material factor in your truck injury claim.
Evidence evaporates quickly in all vehicle accidents, and truck accident evidence could be gone faster those most other types of crashes. Tampa law enforcement will perform an official accident investigation, but your legal counsel will also want to investigate as well. This includes photographing and possibly inspecting the vehicles involved in the crash for evidence that could help to prove the truck was at fault. We sometimes hire our own reconstruction experts to prove the truck was speeding or had faulty equipment. Accidents caused by defective auto equipment can impact every claim. All accident claims will be assessed according to individual fault of all involved drivers, even when a truck is involved, and claimants could have restricted availability for damage recovery when trucking companies and insurance companies are negotiating claim settlements. Trucks in Florida must have higher limits of insurance by law depending upon the weight.
It is important to never attempt handling a truck accident case by yourself because they are always complicated and the potential for additional financial recovery is often available that the novice injured victim does not realize. Do not give a written or recorded statement to the insurance company without consulting an attorney first.
At Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys in Tampa we are dedicated to providing comprehensive legal representation for our clients involved in a truck accident and will work diligently to maximize your settlement by pursuing all avenues of financial recovery, including putting pressure on the insurance company where punitive damages can be obtained.
Wrongful death cases or loss of consortium claims could arise from truck accidents, and we understand how to use these case factors to negotiate the best possible outcome for our clients.