Driving near trucks on the roadways can be a stress-inducing experience. Trucks are unpredictable, and the power and force behind such large vehicles can create deadly circumstances when an accident occurs. Home to the Port of Palm Beach, with the Florida Turnpike and I-95 passing through the area, there is no shortage of trucks traveling into, through, or out of West Palm Beach on any given day.
The trauma can affect your life forever after an accident with a semi-truck or a tractor-trailer. When it comes to truck accidents with passenger vehicles, there is little chance for a minor collision. The force alone of a truck hitting a vehicle can cause significant damage and risk the life of the vehicle occupants involved.
It is not easy to move forward after a truck accident. The recovery from your injuries can feel overwhelming and uncertain, coupled with the financial stress that injuries affecting your life can cause. However, as the victim of a truck accident, you may recover compensation for your losses and damages with the help from a West Palm Beach truck accident lawyer.
Negligence by truckers and their employers can result in severe dangers to you and the public. Accidents that occur because of the negligent failures of a truck driver or another party associated with the truck give you, the victim, the possibility to pursue money to compensate you and help you heal from your injuries.
- After a West Palm Beach Truck Accident, Call Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
- What Compensation Could Be Available to a Victim of a Truck Accident in West Palm Beach?
- The Risk of a Truck Accident on West Palm Beach Roadways
- West Palm Beach Statute of Limitations in Truck Accident Cases
- Why Do Most Truck Accidents Happen?
- The Serious Injuries That Can Occur in a West Palm Beach Truck Crash
- Different Trucks You May Encounter
- Fighting Insurance Companies for Compensation of Your Losses
- What Steps Should You Take Following a Truck Accident in West Palm Beach
- West Palm Beach Truck Accident Lawyer FAQ
- Contact Our West Palm Beach Truck Accident Attorneys at Dolman Law Group Today
After a West Palm Beach Truck Accident, Call Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
Truck accidents are not just motor vehicle accidents; there can be many questions involving safety, liability, fault, and damages when a collision occurs. As a victim, you could be at a disadvantage as you try to fight the big insurance companies and truck companies trying to avoid paying you little or any of your losses.
The reality is that you have just been in a serious truck accident and may be facing severe injuries and long-term recovery. Resolving a truck accident claim or case on your own exacerbates your situation by adding unnecessary stress and pressure on yourself to handle aspects of the case you may be unfamiliar with or too overwhelmed to want to address. Instead, you can contact us at Dolman Law Group for help.
Our team of West Palm Beach injury attorneys has decades of experience helping truck accident victims and others injured due to negligence fight to receive compensation. We do not back down from a challenge and are ready to take on any insurance company, trucking company, or another liable party in your case. We can evaluate your truck accident case and let you know what you can and should expect.
We want to make this easy for you and have various locations in South Florida near West Palm Beach, such as our Boca Raton offices and Fort Lauderdale. Additionally, we offer virtual or in-person consultations to meet your needs and accommodate your preferences. We understand you are going through a difficult time, and we want to help you protect your rights in your truck accident case.
What Compensation Could Be Available to a Victim of a Truck Accident in West Palm Beach?
Most people cannot relate to the widespread impact that a truck accident can have on a victim. What may at first appear to be medical bills and expenses will trickle and snowball into specialized care, help from family and friends, coupled with the likelihood you can't work and must find a way to meet your daily living expenses.
The damages from a truck accident go far beyond the injuries you sustain and your emergency room care. The law provides that a victim of a negligent truck accident can seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages. We can help you not only fight for the payment of your medical expenses but also the other damages you have incurred, those seen and unseen.
Compensation that a truck accident victim in West Palm Beach can recover:
- Payment for medical care for past, current, and future injury-related care
- Compensation for the loss of any wages, potential income growth, and future income and earnings lost
- Payment for losses related to pain and suffering such as emotional and mental trauma in addition to physical suffering
- Any loss to your quality of life because of the effects of your injuries
- Property loss such as vehicle damage or loss due to the truck collision
The Risk of a Truck Accident on West Palm Beach Roadways
Along the east coast, West Palm Beach is a gateway in and out of some of the most populated areas in South Florida. With major ports in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami, there is significant trucking traffic along major interstates and local roadways. Shipments are either beginning their long trek to their final destination or making their way to businesses and homes within the West Palm Beach area.
Accident reports throughout Florida estimate that in one year, there can be numerous accident injuries involving trucks and commercial vehicles and fatalities.
For example, Florida breaks down accidents by vehicle types involved and the likelihood of injuries caused:
- Accidents with large trucks report 25 fatalities in one year and over 1300 victims of injuries ranging from minor to catastrophic.
- Accidents involving lighter trucks can see eight deaths in a year and over 900 victims of varying injuries in severity.
- Cargo-type vans report eight fatalities and over 800 injuries to those involved in the collision.
West Palm Beach Statute of Limitations in Truck Accident Cases
After a truck accident, there is a looming time pressure that you must consider when deciding to hire a truck accident lawyer and move forward with your case. Victims of truck accident injuries are subject to a statute of limitations when seeking compensation for damages and losses related to the accident. You cannot wait and decide to file a lawsuit at any time.
In Florida, an aggrieved party such as a truck accident victim has only four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in court. This may seem like a long time, but the later you decide to take action in your case, the higher the chance you may face issues with the availability of evidence and other potential delays and complications.
Preparing, filing, and negotiating truck accident insurance claims takes time to do correctly. It is always best to contact a West Palm Beach truck accident attorney as soon as possible following an injury accident involving a truck.
Why Do Most Truck Accidents Happen?
You may not yet know the cause of the truck accident leading to your injuries. However, many truck accidents happen because of a truck driver's preventable and negligent actions. Drivers that operate these massive vehicles are working while on the roads. To them, their main goal each day is to get the job as quickly as possible, and sometimes, the actions they take to accomplish this endanger those traveling on the road around them.
To prove the negligence of a truck accident driver, an attorney in your case will look at the particular facts of the immediate events leading up to the collision. They will also identify any failures or actions that preceded the accident that may have contributed to the crash and, subsequently, your injuries.
In some cases, trucking companies, truck maintenance companies, shipping companies, or those loading the cargo onto the truck for transport may bear liability to you.
Common causes of truck accidents due to negligence include:
- Intoxicated truck drivers. Drugs, alcohol, or certain prescription medications while driving is illegal and can severely affect a truck driver's capability to safely operate the truck, leading to devastating accidents.
- Drivers working with little to no rest. Truck driver fatigue is rampant in the trucking industry and can cause drivers to fall asleep or have slow reaction times while on the roads.
- Truck driver distractions. Truck drivers spend a lot of time in their vehicles, which can leave them susceptible to distractions such as mobile phones, entertainment, eating, and navigational systems.
- Reckless truck operation. Drivers responsible for shipments are under time pressures and deadlines, which can motivate them to speed, break traffic laws and drive aggressively if they run behind.
- Failed truck maintenance or inspections. Each trucker and truck company is responsible for ensuring that a truck is always safe to operate. Routine inspections and maintenance are vital for keeping a truck in working order and free from dangers that can cause an accident.
- Defective truck, parts, or equipment. Trucks are enormous vehicles that comprise hundreds if not thousands of moving parts and mechanisms. Any defect inherent to the vehicle or its components can lead to a catastrophic failure resulting in an accident.
- Imbalanced or unsecured cargo. Loading cargo is not as simple as it may sound. Individuals or companies that load a shipment onto a truck must do so methodically and carefully. Weight distribution and shifting loads can cause a truck to lose control or overturn.
The Serious Injuries That Can Occur in a West Palm Beach Truck Crash
A truck accident is often a devastating sight. It can damage vehicles and cause fatal or catastrophic injuries to the occupants of other vehicles in the collision.
Common injuries that can result in a truck accident include:
- Brain injuries such as a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury)
- Head, neck, and back injuries, including Spinal Cord Injuries
- Internal injuries to organs
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Severe lacerations
Different Trucks You May Encounter
You may wonder what that means when referring to a truck accident. Trucks come in all sorts of sizes, capabilities, and functions. For example, any accident involving a commercial transport vehicle such as a truck, semi-trailer, or other specialized shipping vehicle qualifies as a truck.
It may be easier to think about what the truck looks like and what it does. Trucks often refer to vehicles that can take significantly heavy, large, or odd-shaped shipments from one destination to another.
Examples of trucks types that could cause a severe truck accident include:
- 18 wheelers
- Semi-tractor trailers
- Logging trucks
- Emergency vehicles
- Towing trucks
- Cement mixer trucks
- Trucks carrying shipping containers
- Trucks carrying loads on a flatbed
- Garbage trucks
- Dump trucks
- Tankers carrying gas, oil, or other hazardous substances
Fighting Insurance Companies for Compensation of Your Losses
Insurance companies know that the potential damages are likely to be significant whenever there is a truck accident claim. An insurer will do anything they can to deny liability or, if they accept liability, to lower the compensation available to you in a settlement offer.
You do not need to and should not take an insurance company's first offer of settlement for a truck accident claim. You have rights under the law, and a West Palm Beach truck accident attorney can help you fight for the maximum compensation of your losses in your case, even if that means taking the insurer and party at fault to court.
What Steps Should You Take Following a Truck Accident in West Palm Beach
After a truck accident, what you do or do not do can ultimately affect your case.
To protect yourself and your claim:
- Stay involved and dedicated to the recovery of your injuries. Go to all follow-up care appointments.
- Create a journal or audio/video recordings to keep track of developments in your case and information you might forget later.
- Call a lawyer when you can. The sooner you can get help in the case, the sooner you can focus on your recovery and rest at ease knowing your attorney is there to represent your interests.
West Palm Beach Truck Accident Lawyer FAQ
As you are recovering from your truck accident injuries and considering what action you can take to seek compensation, you may have questions about the particulars of truck accidents, insurance claims, and cases. What legal options may be available to you, and who may be responsible for the damages you sustained during and after the collision? At Dolman Law Group, we can help you answer your questions about your case and the compensation that may be available to you.
Can the Design of a Truck Increase the Likelihood of an Accident?
Trucks' sizes and weight are massive compared to most average passenger vehicles. Even in comparison to larger pickup trucks and SUVs used by consumers on the road, there is a considerable imbalance of force and momentum when up against a large commercial truck.
This disparity in size and weight is one of the most dangerous aspects of a truck accident. A truck colliding with a passenger vehicle is likely to cause widespread destruction. Sadly, the passengers and drivers in the path of the impact are at risk of losing their lives, and those that survive are likely to face severe injuries that may cause lifelong disabilities.
Additionally, other truck designs, such as the elevated platform off the road and the long and tall vehicle body style, create other hazards that can cause devastating damage to vehicles in an accident. The high undercarriage of a truck creates enough space where an average passenger vehicle can get trapped and cause severe damage to the car, likely to cause death.
Furthermore, the length and height of a truck contribute to its susceptibility to rollover due to balance issues. Any swerve, sudden maneuver by a driver, or shift in the cargo can cause the truck's back end to tip onto its side, endangering the vehicles near it as it collapses onto the road.
The dangers a truck creates on the road are difficult to counteract simply because that is the truck's design. A truck must get large and heavy goods transported across West Palm Beach, the state, and the country. So long as trucks travel and share the roads alongside passenger vehicles, these dangers remain.
How Does Liability Work in Truck Accident Cases?
Truck accidents can bring many parties into a case that you may not initially have considered had anything to do with the accident. While the focus is often on the behaviors of the truck drivers immediately preceding the truck crash, the reality is that the facts of your case may reveal negligent behavior from other parties as well.
When you hire an attorney to represent you, they will investigate all aspects of the case, including the potential liability of other parties. It is not uncommon for another party to share responsibility for the damages to you when it is a truck accident.
Other parties that could be liable to a truck accident victim include:
- The trucking company
- The owner of the truck, if it is a contracted vehicle
- Truck maintenance companies hired for inspections, routine maintenance, and repairs
- Shipping companies
- Manufacturers of trucks or parts if defective
- The drivers of other vehicles involved in the accident
Will an Insurance Company Offer You a Settlement?
The insurance claims process for a truck accident involves various steps. First, the insurer will analyze their evidence and investigate the accident to determine whether their insured (the truck driver or trucking company) caused the accident and, consequently, your injuries.
To get to the point of a settlement offer, you as the plaintiff must clear the first hurdle: whether the insurance company accepts liability. If the insurer, based on the evidence, accepts liability, they will then make you an offer.
Insurance companies will likely make a quick settlement offer to victims when they know they are liable. Many victims believe this is a good sign of their case moving along and may even consider taking it. This, however, is often a huge mistake. Insurance companies make quick settlement offers for far less than the damages you have sustained and the compensation you may be eligible for under the law.
The insurance representatives can make the offers quickly in the hopes a victim is none the wiser, will accept and, in turn, close out the claim and any future remedy to compensation.
A truck accident victim must hire a lawyer at the outset of a truck accident claim or case. Once the insurance company knows you have a lawyer representing you, they cannot play these games successfully. Your attorney can advise you on the value of your damages and when a settlement offer is worth considering or is a low-ball attempt by the insurer.
At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we have experience handling all the tactics by insurers and are not afraid to go up against them. If they cannot make a reasonable settlement offer for a legitimate truck accident case, we will not hesitate to take them to court.
What Happens If the Insurance Company Won't Offer Enough for My Truck Accident?
If an insurance company makes you a settlement offer after a truck accident, but that offer is seemingly insufficient and does not account for the brunt of your losses, you may have other options. While a settlement is appealing and appropriate in some truck accident cases, it is not always possible to settle when an insurer disputes the facts of the case, liability, or refuses to acknowledge the extent of your injuries and monetary losses.
When this happens, your attorney may advise you that filing a lawsuit against that insurance company is possible and, in some cases, necessary to fight for the compensation entitled to you under the law. For example, suppose an insurance company cannot agree with you regarding compensation in your case. In that case, once you file suit, a court will intervene and, after a trial is complete, will enter a verdict in the matter.
What Are the Potential Impacts of a Truck Accident on a Victim?
The potentially grave injuries that can happen after a truck accident are the primary concern of most victims and their families. Surviving a truck accident is traumatic but not as hard as your recovery. Healing from your injuries can make you worry. The impacts of those injuries can also create incredibly challenging circumstances for you during this time and in the future.
Loss of work hours and interruptions in your ability to work and take care of your family and day-to-day responsibilities can have emotional and mental impacts and cause financial struggles. When lost income and burdensome unexpected expenses begin to accumulate, it can become overwhelming and feel hopeless.
Fortunately, the law allows you to seek compensation for these and many other impacts from a truck accident as part of an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. You have the right to seek money for your economic and non-economic damages. Your personal impacts, such as the pain and suffering you endure and the reduced quality of life either because of your injuries or the lasting effects, are all recoverable in a claim or lawsuit after a truck accident.
Can a Family of a Loved One That Loses Their Life in a Truck Accident Seek Compensation?
The sad reality is that while there are many victims of truck accidents that survive their injuries, there are some that do not make it. For example, a truck collision's devastating force can cause instant loss of life.
Additionally, some victims may survive the truck accident but might later fall victim to their severe injuries or complications that arise. In these cases, certain surviving family members under the law can seek compensation on behalf of their lost loved one.
What Does Wrongful Death Compensation for a Truck Accident Entail and Who Qualifies for It?
Wrongful death compensation is available in certain instances when a loved one dies in an accident due to the negligence of another party. If the victim lived, they could sue or file an insurance claim for the damages and suffering they endured due to the negligent truck accident.
However, when a victim dies, their family can suffer an enormous and unexpected loss leading to significant damages and impacts because of the loved one. In Florida, it is most often the spouse or children of a loved one that can file a wrongful death claim through a personal representative of the estate after their loved one's death. If the deceased left no spouse or children, their parents or other legal dependents might collect damages.
The damages in a wrongful death case can include the following:
- Medical expenses. When a loved one requires emergency medical care after an accident, those costs can break a family, especially when they underwent surgeries or hospitalization before they died. A wrongful death case can recover those losses.
- Funeral expenses. The estate of a wrongful death truck accident victim can pursue compensation for the costs related to the victim's funeral and/or burial.
- Pain and suffering of the victim. If your loved one survived for any amount of time after the collision, you might seek damages for the victim's pain and suffering.
- Pain and suffering of the family member. The enormous grief and sense of loss that the sudden death of a loved one can cause to their close family are indescribable. While a wrongful death case cannot undo that damage, the parties responsible can compensate the victim's family for the at-fault party's actions and negligence.
- Loss of family support. The emotional and mental distress of losing a loved one is just one aspect of the loss to the family. Loss of guidance, mentorship, day-to-day responsibilities, and contribution to the family can leave a family facing financial instability and uncertainty. A wrongful death case allows the victim's family to seek recovery for those losses.
Can You Resolve a West Palm Beach Truck Accident Without a Lawyer?
Never deal with a truck accident case on your own. Without an attorney, the insurance company will put you at a disadvantage, and you may miss out on a substantial amount of compensation.
Contact a West Palm Beach truck accident attorney at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers for a free case consultation. Our truck accident attorneys can go over your case, explain what you can expect, and help advise you as to your legal options.
Contact Our West Palm Beach Truck Accident Attorneys at Dolman Law Group Today
Our team of West Palm Beach truck crash attorneys and staff at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, take great pride in advocating for victims of accidents such as those involving a truck. We know how difficult it is to get the compensation you deserve and want to fight against the insurance company and other parties liable to you on your behalf. Contact us now at 833-552-7274 (833-55-CRASH) for your free case evaluation. We can set up an appointment in person or virtually to accommodate you.
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