Truck Accident Attorney in Winter Haven
If you’re in a car collision, you have to deal with the other driver and their insurance company. But truck accidents are very different than car accidents. You might need to deal with the trucking company and their big insurance companies. Furthermore, you are likely to have more serious injuries.
A truck accident attorney in Winter Haven can help you take legal action against the party responsible for your accident. Here at Abercrombie, P.A, our office can handle the complexities of truck accidents. We have the experience and resources you need to work towards a good outcome.
The Differences Between Truck and Car Accidents
A car accident can come with serious consequences. However, truck accidents tend to be even more grave. Here are some of the basic differences between truck and car accidents:
1. Fault is Often More Complex
In car accidents, there is usually one person at-fault — a driver. However, truck accidents tend to be more complex. Although the truck driver could be responsible for the accident, the trucking company or maintenance provider could be to blame.
Because of this, assigning fault in truck accidents can be difficult. You need to take a close look at the situation and determine who was to blame. Did the trucking company push the driver too hard to meet a deadline? Did the maintenance company do its job? It’s important to find the party who caused the incident and file a claim against them.
2. The Accident is More Likely to be Serious
When a car collision occurs, the injuries can range from minor to severe. But truck accidents tend to have even greater consequences than car accidents. In fact, fatalities are more common in trucking accidents than in collisions involving cars.
This is due to the size of trucks. Although a car only weighs a few thousand pounds, trucks often weigh over 10,000 pounds. When you factor in the weight of cargo, the weight difference becomes even greater. Collisions at low or high speeds can result in permanent injuries that plague victims for their lifetimes.
3. Trucking Companies are Ready for Action
If you’re in a car crash, you and the other driver are probably unprepared. It’s unlikely that the other party will have a lawyer ready to handle the situation.
However, truck accidents are different. Trucking companies usually have legal teams ready to take on the case. As soon as an accident occurs, they might send out a team to investigate the scene. This makes them more prepared to handle a personal injury claim against the driver or trucking company.
4. Truck Accidents Involve More Evidence
If a plane crashes, the black box tells a story of what happened prior to the crash. Truck accidents are similar in that there is data available. That data can be evidence of the driver’s negligent behavior.
For example, the data could show that a driver was on duty when they were required by law to rest. The data then could be evidence that the driver was driving while drowsy. However, it is possible for trucking companies to manipulate data. You might need a personal injury attorney in Winter Haven to help you separate fact from fiction.
Getting Compensation for a Truck Accident
If you’re a victim of a truck accident, you can file a personal injury claim against a negligent driver, trucking company, or third-party. However, the value of that claim varies greatly on the circumstances of the accident.
While the value of the claim varies, the basic damages are similar. Typically, victims can seek damages for medical costs, lost wages, and long-term damages. You could receive money for your pain and suffering. It’s important not to overlook the cost of long-term expenses. If you’re unable to work for years, then you deserve money to cover your future earnings.
Receiving compensation can be a challenge. Sadly, insurance companies and trucking companies don’t usually have your best interest at heart. They will probably hesitate to pay you for all of your damages. In some cases, they may try to avoid paying you anything at all. If they make a settlement offer, it might only be for short-term damages and is unlikely to include pain and suffering.
That’s when a truck accident attorney in Winter Haven can help. With advice from a legal professional, you can learn what a fair settlement offer might be. You can also learn about your options for taking legal action against them.
Determining Who is Liable
One often overlooked challenge regarding truck accident claims is the liability. Although you might be quick to blame the driver, there are many other possibilities. If someone acted in a negligent way and that negligence contributed to your accident, then they could be responsible for paying damages.
Before initiating your claim, you need to know who is liable. Often, one of the following parties is responsible:
1. The Truck Driver
Truck drivers are held to higher standards than regular drivers. However, they don’t always uphold those standards. Drunk drivers, exhausted drivers, and reckless drivers are on the roads. In Polk County, there were 157 alcohol confirmed fatalities in 2017. Truck and car drivers alike can be dangerous.
When a truck driver acts in a negligent or reckless manner, they are liable for the accident. They have a duty to drive in a way that keeps other drivers safe, and failing that duty makes them responsible for your damages.
2. The Trucking Company
Some trucking companies push their drivers to the limits. Other companies have negligent hiring practices and don’t hire workers with the right qualifications. If the trucking company has policies that put their drivers or other drivers at risk of an accident, they are liable. Poor maintenance is a common example of one such policy.
Finding out if the trucking company is liable takes some research. For example, you may need to look at past hiring practices of the company, maintenance records, and other details. You need strong evidence of negligent behavior.
3. Other Parties
There are several other parties you may be able to blame for the accident. For one, you might be able to blame a parts manufacturer. If they produced a part that malfunctioned and caused an accident, then the responsibility is on their shoulders.
It’s also possible that the government is liable. If they failed to provide proper signage or didn’t keep up with road maintenance, then their negligence caused the accident. You can file a lawsuit against the government, but the process differs from that of a typical lawsuit.
Common Truck Accident-Related Injuries
There are incidents when truck accidents don’t cause much damage, like the time a semi turned over and spilled thousands of pounds of paint on a Winter Haven road. But, usually, the accidents are more serious.
The type of injury varies depending on the circumstances of the accident. For instance, a large semi-truck is likely to cause significant damage. The speed of the impact also matters. Here are some common injuries that occur during a collision with a truck:
1. Traumatic Brain Injury
Both open-head and closed-head injuries can cause traumatic brain injuries. It can cause bleeding in the brain, a coma, or a subdural hematoma. As a result of the injury, your personality could change permanently and you may experience a loss of cognitive ability.
2. Head Injury
This type of injury is most common in a head-on truck collision. However, it can also happen in other types of accidents. A head injury usually involves a concussion but can manifest in other ways. In the most severe cases, head injury can cause brain damage. Head injuries can also be broken facial bones, which are painful and require significant recovery time.
3. Spinal Cord Injury
In a truck accident, spinal cord injury is a real possibility. When this occurs, partial or total paralysis can happen.
The severity of the damage depends on the location of the injury. In the worst case scenario, you could lose function of all four limbs. However, even milder cases of spinal cord injury may require permanent rehabilitation and care.
4. Back or Neck Injury
Whether you experience a back or a neck injury, you could be in for a lifetime of pain. Even a seemingly minor back or neck injury could have a permanent effect on your life. You might be unable to perform daily tasks and be in chronic pain.
5. Broken Bones
Although broken bones might not affect you in ten years, they impact your present life. The injury is extremely painful and requires expensive medical treatments. Additionally, a broken bone could force you to miss months of work.
Work with a Truck Accident Attorney in Winter Haven
All personal injury lawsuits have a statute of limitations. If you file after the deadline, you probably won’t see justice. The court is likely to throw out your case and leave you to deal with the expenses of the accident.
For that reason, you should work with an attorney as quickly as possible. They can collect evidence for your claim and guide you through the process. If the negligent party is open to negotiations, your lawyer may be able to get you a fair settlement. Otherwise, they can represent you in court.
Here at Abercrombie, P.A, you can get the assistance you need to work towards compensation. Our firm will treat your case with the attention and time it deserves.