West Palm Beach Truck Accident Lawyer
Injuries and losses are often extensive in a large truck accident. West Palm Beach residents are no strangers to truck collisions particularly on busy highways such as West Palm Beach Boulevard, I-95, and the Florida Turnpike. Each crash involves serious injuries, medical bills, and lost income, yet injured individuals can’t always receive the reimbursement they need. If you’ve been injured in a truck crash in West Palm Beach, get the help of an experienced truck accident attorney.
Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney was vote the Best Personal Injury Attorney by TCPalm. The DeBerard firm has more than 30 years of practice helping injured Floridians receive their rightful financial recovery after their crash. Through the decades, our team has recovered millions worth of settlements for our injured clients. We are relentless in advocating for your full compensation, be it for economic losses like medical costs, lost wages and earnings capacity, and property damage, or for non-economic damages like your pain and suffering.
Consult with us free of charge, and you won’t have to pay us lawyer fees until we obtain compensation for you.
Steps to Take After a Truck Accident in West Palm Beach, FL
It’s scary and confusing to get in a highway accident, more so if it involves a cargo truck, semi-truck, dump truck, delivery truck, big rig, 18-wheeler, or tractor tractor that can weigh 80,000 pounds. But while this scenario is intense, it will greatly help if you remain calm and recall these things to do after a truck accident:
- Get to a safe area. As truck collisions often occur on busy highways, you’ll need to move off the road and away from oncoming vehicles. Also check on your companions, if any, and assist them relocate to safety.
- Call the police. Request an officer to aid you at the scene and to file a police report. If you or any of your passengers is hurt, even if it seems a minor injury, you must also ask for a paramedic to ensure medical attention.
- Start documenting. While waiting for law enforcers, take videos or photos of the crash site, including your apparent injuries and car damage. Exchange contact and insurance info with the other driver. Also, if you notice potential witnesses at the site, politely ask for their contact information.
- See a doctor. Some injuries might send you to the emergency room right away, but there are also many injuries that don’t manifest immediately after the accident. Don’t wait to see a doctor, as any delays in your medical care might harm your claim later on. It’s best to get examined within 24 hours of the incident and to come to any subsequent doctor’s appointments.
- Notify your insurer. Most Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance policies require you to notify them if you’re involved in an accident. With a phone call or online contact, you can initiate your compensation claim with them. In many truck injury cases, PIP policy limits are insufficient to cover expenses fully, so your attorney may need to get creative.
- Reach out to an attorney. It’s wise to get a lawyer’s guidance right from the get-go. Even if you believe that the insurer is kind to you, you may soon learn that truck injury claims are much more complex (we explain why below). A skilled injury attorney can help you pursue a solid PIP claim as well as a third-party liability claim against the responsible party. Take advantage of your free consultation with the highly experienced Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney.
A Truck Accident Injury Claim in Florida is More Complicated – Here’s Why
A truck injury claim can be much more challenging than a “regular” auto accident case, not just because of the likelihood of catastrophic injuries, but because of certain practices and laws in commercial trucking. Consider these factors that could impact your truck accident case.
Commercial trucks are subject to additional regulations that require legal familiarity
Apart from common traffic rules, there are regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that freight companies and truck drivers must obey. For instance, regulations mandate commercial drivers to take certain amounts of rest breaks to prevent fatigue on the road, and truck companies are mandated to routinely inspect and maintain their trucks. These trucking-specific rules often come into play when investigating the factors behind a truck wreck.
Trucking firms already have potential evidence
When a commercial truck is involved in an accident, the freight company will quickly start building their defense against probable liability claims. They have a head-start because they already possess documents that may be critical in the case. Examples are personnel files, personnel drug test results, driver hours-of-service logs, truck inspection and maintenance records, accident history records, and the truck itself.
To file an effective truck collision claim, you should have an experienced lawyer who knows what evidence to look for and where. This is why real-world experience is an important quality to prioritize when searching for a truck accident attorney.
Trucking companies have ways to avoid liability
In many cases, the trucking or delivery company may be held liable if their negligence contributed to the crash. For example, they might have hired inexperienced drivers, failed to tune up their truck, or breached hours-of-service rules. When this happens, the injured claimant may seek compensation from the negligent company, 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 trucker was not the company’s employee but an independent contractor. Big companies like FedEx and Amazon are known to have used this defense. Injured claimants who need full financial recovery should get the help of a fearless attorney who has the experience to get you maximum compensation.
The comparative negligence laws in Florida could reduce compensation
In a Florida personal injury case such as a truck injury claim, the comparative negligence rule takes into account all parties who acted negligently in the accident. If the person claiming damages is also deemed negligent, they will’ve been held partly accountable for their own injuries hence the compensation they’re entitled to shall’ve been reduced according to their percentage of fault. For example, if the claimant was 10 percent at fault, it means a 10 percent reduction of their award.
Insurers and defense lawyers can work this rule to lower the settlement in a vehicle injury claim. They could try to pin some blame on the claimant, for example, by contending that the claimant was following the truck too close or refused to observe the right of way. If you’re pursuing a third-party damages claim against a negligent truck driver or company, take steps to protect your claim with the help of an experienced injury lawyer.
Contact Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney in Palm Beach County
With 30+ years of experience, the law firm of Philip DeBerard has become a trusted ally of injured Floridians, specifically in the Treasure Coast. Our team has achieved favorable settlements and jury awards in service of our clients. Some of our recent winning cases are a $2 million settlement from a semi-trailer insurance company and a a truck injury claim where the trucking company settled at $1.25 million.
Speak with us about your truck accident injury. Your consultation with us is free, and we won’t charge you any lawyer fees until we’ve won compensation for you. Phone us today at 800-299-8878.
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