Port St. Lucie Truck Accident Lawyer
When a large truck is involved in an accident, it can result in casualties and great damage. In Port St. Lucie, people are no strangers to truck wrecks particularly on busy streets such as Port St. Lucie Boulevard, I-95, and the Florida Turnpike. Each crash involves painful injuries, medical expenses, and lost earnings, yet injured individuals don’t always obtain the compensation they need. If you suffered injuries in a truck accident in Port St. Lucie, you’ll need the help of an experienced truck accident attorney.
According to TCPalm Treasure Coast residents have selected Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney as the most trusted Personal Injury Attorney. The DeBerard firm has 40 years of practice helping injured Floridians obtain maximum financial recovery after their crash. Through the decades, our team has recovered millions worth of settlements for our injured clients. We are diligent in fighting for your full reimbursement, be it for dollar losses like medical fees, missed wages, lost earnings capacity and property damage, or for non-monetary losses like your pain and emotional distress.
Consult with us free of charge, and you won’t be billed lawyer fees until we get compensation for you.
Steps to Take After a Truck Accident in Port St. Lucie, FL
It’s scary and confusing to get in a vehicle accident, and even more if it involves a tractor-trailer, 18-wheeler, or semi-truck that possibly weighs 80,000 pounds. But while the situation is overwhelming, it would greatly help if you remain calm and bear in mind these tips after a truck accident:
- Relocate to a safe area. As truck collisions typically occur on bustling highways, you’ll need to remove yourself off the road and away from oncoming vehicles. Also check on your passengers, if any, to help them move to safety.
- Phone the police. Request an officer to help you at the scene and to write a police report. If you or any of your passengers is hurt, even if it looks like a minor injury, you must also ask for a medic to ensure medical attention.
- Document the scene. While waiting for law enforcers, take pictures or videos of the accident scene, including your visible injuries and vehicle damage. Exchange insurance information and contact details with the other driver. Also, if there are potential witnesses at the site, politely ask them for their contact information.
- Consult a doctor. Some injuries might send you to the hospital right away, but there are also many injuries that don’t become obvious immediately after the accident. Don’t postpone seeing a doctor, as delaying medical care can hurt your injury claim. It’s best to visit a doctor within 24 hours of your accident and to come to any subsequent medical appointments.
- Call your insurer. Your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance company likely requires you to inform them if you’re involved in an accident. With a phone call or online contact, you can initiate your PIP insurance claim with them. However, many truck accidents result in substantial injuries, and PIP policy limits are insufficient to cover all of your expenses, so you’ll need your attorney to get creative.
- Contact an attorney. It’s prudent to have a lawyer’s counsel as soon as possible. Even if you sense that the insurer sympathizes with you, you may soon find that truck crash claims are much more complicated (we explain why below). An experienced injury attorney could help you pursue a solid PIP claim and a third-party injury claim against the responsible party. Don’t worry about hourly fees as Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney provides your consultation for free.
Florida Truck Injury Claims Are More Intricate – Here’s Why
A truck accident case is usually more challenging than a “regular” car crash case, not just because of the catastrophic injuries often involved, but because of certain laws and standards in commercial trucking. Note these factors that could impact your truck crash case.
Commercial trucks follow industry rules that require legal know-how
Apart from general driving rules, there are regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that trucking companies and truck drivers should obey. For instance, truckers are required to take certain amounts of rest per shift to avoid fatigue, and commercial transport companies are required to consistently inspect and maintain their trucks. These trucking-specific rules often factor into the investigation of a truck accident.
Trucking firms already have valuable evidence
When a commercial truck is involved in a crash, you can expect the trucking company to quickly start building their defense against potential liability claims. They’re at an advantage because they already possess records that could be vital in the case. These include driver drug test results, hours-of-service logs, fleet inspection and maintenance logs, history of accidents, and the crashed vehicle itself.
To file an effective truck accident claim, you should be having a competent lawyer who’s deeply familiar with trucking laws and evidence-gathering. This is why real-life experience is one of the most important things to prioritize when searching for a truck accident attorney.
Trucking companies have ways to avoid liability
In many cases, the cargo or delivery company may be held liable if they acted negligently and thus contributed to the collision. For example, they might have hired inexperienced drivers, failed to repair their truck, or violated hours-of-service rules. In cases like this, the injured claimant may pursue compensation from the negligent firm, as well as from other potential parties whose negligence caused the crash.
Unfortunately, well-resourced companies are able to shield themselves from liability, such as by asserting that the at-fault truck driver was not an employee of the company but an independent contractor. Major companies like Amazon and FedEx are known to have used this defense. Accident victims who need full financial recovery should enlist a fearless attorney who shall’ve stood up for maximum compensation.
Comparative negligence laws in Florida could reduce compensation
In Florida truck accident claims and personal injury cases, the comparative negligence principle takes into account all parties who whose negligence led to the accident. If the injured claimant is also found negligent, they shall be held partly at fault for their own injuries hence their compensation will be reduced based on their amount of fault. For example, if the injured was 10 percent at fault, 10 percent would be deducted from their award.
Defense lawyers and insurance companies can take advantage of this rule to lower the settlement in a truck injury claim. They will try to place some blame on the claimant, perhaps by contending that the claimant was tailgating or failed to observe the right of way. If you’re pursuing a third-party damages claim against a careless truck driver or company, take steps to protect your claim with the guidance an experienced injury lawyer.
Consult with Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney in St. Lucie County
With more than 40 years of experience, the DeBerard injury firm has become a known ally of injured Floridians, particularly in Port St. Lucie. Our team has achieved favorable settlements and awards on behalf of our clients. These include a $2 million settlement from a semi-trailer insurance company and a a truck accident claim which the trucking company settled for $1.25 million.
Speak with us about your truck collision injury. Your consultation is free, and you won’t have to pay us until we’ve won compensation for you. Call us today at 800-299-8878.
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