Truck accidents are among the most severe and serious automobile incidents that occur. A report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that in 2013, 8.2% of the total traffic fatalities involved commercial trucks. This amounts to 300,000 truck accidents.
If you are hurt in a truck accident, consulting with a personal injury lawyer is your best chance of getting the maximum compensation for damages from your claim.
Call 911 as soon as possible. Request dispatch to send the St. Petersburg Police and Paramedics to the scene of the accident. You should not move your vehicle or tamper with the scene until law enforcement has arrived.
Make sure you are examined by the St. Petersburg paramedics at the scene of the truck accident. Timely medical treatment from first responders will ensure that your injuries are attended to before they become worse or potentially life threatening. Paramedics will document your injuries at the scene which will be vital for preserving evidence of your injury claim.
These next steps are crucial to getting the most compensation for your case.
You should also follow your doctor’s recommendations. Many juries and insurance adjusters interpret the failure to seek medical attention or to follow the instructions of your doctor as evidence that your injuries are minor or healed. Furthermore, the primary ground for a personal injury attorney to prove your injuries is through medical testimony and medical records.
Immediately after the truck accident, you should gather all the evidence that you can acquire. Apart from license and registration information, try and collect additional information including the name of the trucking company, and the names of advertisements on the truck to identify who the truck was hauling cargo for.
Take photos of the scene of the accident from different perspectives and angles. Pictures of the crash before the vehicles are moved can be very important. It is worth noting that photos of skid marks or other important elements of the accident can be helpful. Pictures of the damages will help your truck accident lawyer establish the seriousness of the impact and the amount of compensation to demand.
Witness information can be a valuable asset in your personal injury case. You should gather the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident. Additionally, you should determine whether any nearby stores or buildings have video surveillance cameras that captured the accident.
In order to win a personal injury claim involving a truck accident in St. Petersburg, FL you need to provide evidence showing that the truck driver is liable for your injuries. The driver’s employer can be responsible for your injuries through the rule of vicarious liability. Under this legal concept, employers are held liable for accidents caused by their employees in the course of business.
One way of proving liability is by showing that the trucking company or driver breached the law. A breach of the law is automatic evidence of negligence and is referred to as “negligence per se.” For example, when the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the incidence, which is forbidden by law.
Another way of proving negligence is by showing that the company negligently employed a bad driver. For example, when a company hires a driver who has 5 DUI convictions without conducting a background check.
The types of damages you stand to gain from a personal injury lawsuit concerning a truck accident include:
Hiring a lawyer will be instrumental in negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance adjusters. After a truck accident, your version of the story should be interpreted clearly and accurately.
It is advisable not to give statements to the insurance adjusters without talking to a personal injury attorney in St. Petersburg.
Your attorney will go through your version of the accident to ensure your statements are clear and accurate and to prevent you from incriminating or contradicting yourself.
Jack Bernstein has over 36 years handling truck accident claims in St. Petersburg, FL. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident please call (727) 999-5555 to speak with Jack personally and go over your case at no charge. You can also fill out our contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss the details of your case.