A Tampa Lawyer's Guide to Truck Accident Claims
Commercial truck accidents can cause devastating injuries to victims, and people in smaller cars regularly suffer more severe injuries than truck drivers. As a victim, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses, which can be extensive.
However, the legal process for truck accident claims is often more complicated in comparison to other types of auto accident claims. As such, always seek legal help from a Tampa trucking accident lawyer immediately following your crash and injury diagnosis.
Truck Accident Claims Step by Step
Our team at Hancock Injury Attorneys handles every step of the claim process on your behalf, so you don’t have to worry about what to do or say to protect your rights. The following is a brief guide to how we navigate this process for you.
Step 1: Obtain an Injury Diagnosis
This is the one step you must take on your own to protect your rights to compensation. Immediately following your crash, seek a medical evaluation to have your injuries diagnosed and promptly treated. Never try to tough it out through pain, stiffness, or other possible injury symptoms. Getting an immediate diagnosis helps both your health and your truck accident claim.
Step 2: Claim Your PIP Benefits
Also, getting a prompt injury diagnosis means you get to claim your PIP benefits. As a registered Florida motorist, state law requires you to carry the minimum Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage policy of $10,000. Your PIP coverage is designed to help you pay your medical bills and any related costs not covered by your health insurance after an auto accident, regardless of fault. But, you may only claim PIP benefits if you seek initial medical treatment within 14 days of the accident.
Step 3: Preserve Evidence of the Accident
Truck accident claims involve complicated evidence, which often stems from the truck itself. Trucking companies might have:
- Evidence of improper maintenance of the truck
- Records showing drivers violated hours of service regulations
- Dashcam footage showing driver negligence
- Black box data showing a driver was speeding or did not brake in time to avoid the accident
- Results of chemical testing showing a driver was under the influence
When this evidence is in the hands of trucking companies, you must ensure the company does not destroy, lose, or otherwise conceal evidence of liability.
Our Tampa truck accident attorneys can send an evidence preservation demand letter to the trucking company as soon as possible. Once the company knows that you might take legal action, they must preserve evidence or face serious penalties.
Step 4: Identify Who Is At-Fault
We must determine who can be legally accountable for your injuries and losses from your truck crash. Liability can stem from negligence or vicarious liability of employers for the actions of truck drivers.
Liable parties might include:
- Truck drivers
- Trucking companies
- Cargo loaders
- Maintenance crews
- Truck manufacturers
- Government entities
Step 5: Pursue an Insurance Claim
Once we know who should be liable, our attorneys file the necessary insurance claims demanding full compensation for your losses. Always allow a legal professional to handle all insurance communications and negotiations. If you do not have proper representation, insurers will try to take advantage of you and convince you to accept much less than you deserve.
Step 6: File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If insurance companies fail to offer favorable settlements in light of your losses, we can initiate litigation in civil court.
Speak with a Tampa Truck Accident Attorney Today
Following a truck crash, you want our team from Hancock Injury Attorneys to navigate the legal process for you. We have experience handling truck accident claims, so please contact us for your free, no-obligation case evaluation.