The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reveals that injuries from commercial truck accidents have almost doubled since 2009. In Florida, the number seems to be rising as well.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a Florida truck accident, you might be entitled to receive financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit or an insurance claim. There are some steps you can take immediately after a truck accident to help build a strong case to receive payment.
● Call the police:
Any time there is an accident, calling law enforcement should be one of the first steps. Police can document the accident scene and create an accident report, which can be used as vital evidence in your case.
● Exchange information:
According to the state of Florida, anyone involved in a truck accident must exchange names, addresses, and more. If you fail to stop or provide this information, you could face jail time.
● Seek medical treatment:
Because of the size and weight of trucks, accidents can quickly result in serious injuries that need medical attention. In fact, the Florida Uniform Traffic Control Law means that anyone involved must provide reasonable assistance to anyone who is injured or asks for help. Penalties for not providing reasonable assistance can be severe and may include time in jail.
● Report the accident:
Let your insurance company know that an accident has occurred. If the driver of the truck was responsible, you could file a claim with their insurance provider or your own insurance. If you file with your insurance, they may seek reimbursement from the other insurance provider later. Once you report the accident, the insurance companies will conduct their investigations.
● Document everything:
Collect any eyewitness contact information so that your personal injury attorney can contact them later. Preferably, take down their name, phone number, address, email address, and a statement if they are willing. Also, take pictures of the accident, including the road, position of the truck, skid marks, road conditions, debris, traffic, and weather conditions. All of this information can be used to build a strong case. If you see a doctor, keep a record of your medical bills and treatments, and note how your injuries have impacted your daily life.
● Never accept an insurance offer:
Insurance companies will work hard to reduce the amount of money they have to pay out—it’s part of their business model. Therefore, if they send you an attractive offer right away, it may be tempting to accept it. However, you still don’t know the extent of your injuries. You may be suffering whiplash or internal organ damage, which may not be apparent right away. Plus, your car may be a total loss, and you’ll need to buy a new one. Instead, speak with your personal injury attorney right away. Once you accept an insurance offer, you waive your right to sue the driver at a later date. Your attorney can deal with the insurance company on your behalf.
If you have been in a truck accident, contact Panama City personal injury attorneys right away so that they can fight to get you the financial compensation you are entitled to.