West Palm Beach Truck Accident Lawyers
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Were you involved in a Florida truck accident?
First steps after a West Palm Beach truck accident
By Joshua Winegar | Winegar Law, P.A.
September 15th, 2023
Truck accidents can be very serious, and they can result in catastrophic injuries or even death. If you have been injured in a truck accident in Florida, it is important to know what to do next. Here are some important steps to take:
- Stay calm and assess your injuries. If you are able, move to a safe location away from traffic. If you are injured, call 911 for medical assistance.
- Exchange information with the truck driver and any witnesses. This includes their name, address, insurance information, and driver’s license number.
- Take pictures of the accident scene. This includes damage to your vehicle, the truck, and the surrounding area.
- File a police report. This is important to document the accident and to help you with your insurance claim.
- See a doctor. Even if you don’t think you are injured, it is important to see a doctor to get checked out. Some injuries, such as concussions, may not be immediately apparent.
- Get legal help. If you have been seriously injured, let your lawyer contact the insurance company on your behalf. You may be pressured to accept a low settlement or make statements that can be misunderstood and impact your case negatively.
If you have been injured in a truck accident in Florida, it is important to take these steps to protect your rights. By following these steps, you can increase your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.
When is a vehicle considered a "truck" in a lawsuit?
..and why is it important?
When a vehicle can be classified as a truck in a West Palm Beach lawsuit, it introduces a new set of liabilities to consider. For example, if a car collides with a truck / commercial vehicle, the car driver may be found at-fault if the truck was properly operated and was not violating any traffic laws. However, circumstances may change if the truck was overloaded, the driver was fatigued, or found in violation of company policy.
Determining when a vehicle is a truck in a truck accident lawsuit involves:
- Size, Weight, Purpose, Registration / Licensing: Trucks are typically larger and heavier than cars. but this may not always be the determining factor. For example, a van that is used to transport construction materials may be considered a truck, while a truck registered as personal transportation may not be.
Vehicles classified as trucks in a lawsuit could include:
- Garbage / dump trucks
- Tow trucks
- Tanker trucks
- Concrete mixers
- Construction transports
- Delivery trucks
- Logging haulers
- Flatbed trailers
- Post Office mail trucks
- UPS / FedEx trucks
Trucker Fatigue: A Serious Safety Hazard
Trucker fatigue is a serious safety hazard that can lead to accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Federal regulations are implemented by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to limit the number of hours that truckers can drive during the week, but these regulations are often ignored.
The consequences of trucker fatigue can be deadly. In 2023, there was approximately 4,200 fatal crashes involving large trucks in the United States. Of these crashes, 815 were attributed to driver fatigue.
Truck lobby groups argue that regulations are too restrictive and make it difficult for their members to make a living, while safety advocates argue the regulations are not strict enough.
Other factors that cause truck accidents in West Palm beach include:
- Using electronic devices while driving
- Not properly securing cargo
- Exceeding weight and/or size limits
- Losing control during adverse weather conditions
- Operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol
How West Palm Beach Truck accident attorneys at Winegar Law can help
- Investigating the accident: Our truck accident attorneys will investigate the accident to determine who was at fault. We will gather evidence, interview witnesses, and consult with experts to build a strong case.
- Negotiating with insurance companies: We will negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf to get you the maximum compensation possible. We have a proven track record of success in getting our clients fair settlements.
- Going to court: If necessary, we will take your case to court to fight for your rights. We have the experience and resources to win your case.
- Fighting for the compensation you deserve: We work tirelessly to recover for your injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Recovering damages after a West Palm Beach truck accident
If you have been injured in a truck accident in Florida, you may be entitled to recover damages for your losses. The types of damages that you can recover will depend on the specific circumstances of your case.
Some of the most common types of damages that are recoverable in Florida truck accidents include:
- Medical expenses: This includes the cost of all medical treatment that you have received or will need to receive in the future, including doctor’s visits, hospital stays, surgery, and prescription medications.
- Lost wages: This includes the money that you have lost or will lose as a result of being unable to work due to your injuries.
- Pain and suffering: This is a non-economic form of damages that compensates you for the physical and emotional pain and suffering that you have experienced as a result of the accident.
- Property damage: This includes the cost of repairing or replacing any property that was damaged in the accident, such as your car or your belongings.
- Loss of consortium: This is a type of damages that is available to spouses who have been injured in a truck accident. It compensates them for the loss of the companionship, love, and support of their spouse.
You may also be able to recover other damages. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant for their reckless or intentional conduct. Emotional distress damages are awarded to compensate you for the emotional pain and suffering that you have experienced, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
The amount of damages that you can recover depends on the specific circumstances of your case:
- The severity of your injuries
- Amount of lost wages
- The percentage of fault attributed to each party
Additional tips for recovering damages in a West Palm Beach truck accident:
- Get medical attention immediately. Document your injuries and to start the process of getting treatment.
- File a police report. Make an official account of the incident as soon as possible.
- Gather evidence. Take pictures of the accident scene, getting the names and contact information of witnesses, and preserving any medical records or other documentation related to your injuries.
- Hire an attorney. An experienced West Palm Beach truck accident lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options, and help you navigate complex legal procedures.
7 Mistakes to avoid when dealing with a truck accident - West Palm Beach
- Admitting fault. Even if you think you are at fault, it is important to avoid admitting fault to the other driver or to the insurance company. Anything you say can be used against you later.
- Signing anything from the insurance company. The insurance company may ask for a release or settlement agreement before you've had a chance to fully understand your legal rights. Do not sign anything without first talking to an attorney.
- Not getting medical attention. Even if you do not think you are injured, it is important to get medical attention after a truck accident. Some injuries, such as concussions, may not be immediately apparent.
- Not taking pictures of the accident scene. Taking pictures of the accident scene can help you document the accident and to prove your case later.
- Not getting the names and contact information of witnesses. Witnesses can provide valuable information about the accident, such as what happened and who was at fault.
- Not hiring an attorney. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options, and they can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
- Waiting too long to file a claim. Time limits exist for filing an accident claim in Florida, also known as the statute of limitations.
West Palm Beach Truck Crash Statistics
Based on accidents reported as involving commercial motor vehicle operators with serious injuries or fatalities.
Statistics show Palm Beach County on average accounts for about 5% of trucking accidents in Florida.
The city of West Palm Beach is involved in 10% or less of truck accidents in Palm Beach county.
2023 (Year to Date - through June 29th 2023)
- Florida: 673
- Palm Beach County: 26
- West Palm Beach: 3
- Florida: 1,350
- Palm Beach County: 61
- West Palm Beach: 6
- Palm Beach County: 63
- West Palm Beach: 5
- Florida: 1,282
- Palm Beach County: 70
- West Palm Beach: 10
When is it time to hire a truck accident attorney in West Palm Beach?
We understand that the initial situation can be overwhelming, and consulting with a car accident attorney may not be your first thought. However, it's vital to take action promptly because evidence can disappear, memories can fade, and the statute of limitations may run out.
If you are experiencing any of the following due to a Florida car accident, don't hesitate to reach out to us:
- Facing financial stress and income loss
- Suffering injuries from a preventable accident
- Dealing with unclear or challenging fault determination
- Meeting resistance or opposition
- Engaging in negotiations with insurance companies
How to choose the right West Palm Beach truck accident attorney
When it comes to your truck accident claim in West Palm Beach, here are some key factors to consider
Expertise: Seek a lawyer with a deep understanding of the complexities involved. Ensure they have a proven track record of success.
Reputation and Track Record: Consider reading reviews from past clients to assess their reliability and credibility.
Effective Communication: Confirm that the lawyer is responsive and sympathetic. You should feel comfortable discussing your truck accident case with them and have the freedom to ask questions.
Access to Resources: A well-established law firm with a team of experts, like Winegar Law, can provide additional support and specialized knowledge for truck accident cases.
Transparent Fee Structure: Have a clear discussion about the lawyer's fee structure upfront to avoid unexpected financial surprises.
Winegar Law operates on a contingency fee basis which means:
THERE IS NO FEE UNLESS WE WIN!
Taking the First Step: Your Initial Consultation
What happens during the call?
- Share your car accident details and injuries.
- We assess your case's potential.
- Explain your legal rights and options.
- Ask questions and clarify concerns.
Give us a call or use our online form to get started today!