A truck accident in South Florida is not your typical accident. When a vehicle and a semi truck collide, the results can be devastating. Not only are the injuries sustained in these accidents often more traumatic, but truck drivers are held to a different set of regulations than drivers of passenger vehicles.
If you are involved in a truck accident in Florida, it’s important that you understand the steps to take so that your rights are protected. If you make a wrong move, you may damage any personal injury lawsuit that you choose to file. In order to preserve your rights, take these five steps following an accident with a truck:
The very first step you should take, assuming that you are well enough to do so, is to call the police. This is an important step even if you do not believe that you are injured and there is no significant property damage. In many cases, calling the police is actually required by Florida law when you have been in an accident.
When the police arrive, they will take an accident report. That report will contain the names and contact information of all parties involved. It will also provide details of the accident that the insurance companies will use when determining how much they will pay and to whom. If you end up in court, that document could go a long way in proving your case.
When you are in an accident with a large truck, you may be seriously injured. If this is the case, you may not have to seek medical treatment on your own. You will be transported to a local hospital by ambulance or helicopter.
If, on the other hand, the accident was relatively minor and you don’t feel as though you sustained injury, you should still get checked out. There are some injuries that won’t become apparent until the days or weeks following your accident. By seeking medical attention, you are preserving your rights to seek compensation for future medical bills that you may incur.
Your next step will be to contact your insurance company. This is a step you shouldn’t skip, even if the driver of the truck was at fault. Calling your insurance company and alerting them to the accident should have no bearing on your monthly premium, so don’t let that thought dissuade you.
When speaking to your insurance agent, state the facts but don’t go into elaborate details. If your insurance company needs to know anything about the accident, they can read the police report. And if they are persistent about getting answers from you, politely tell them that you’d like to speak with your attorney first.
Keep in mind that you are likely to be contacted by the other driver’s insurance company. If they question you, say as little as you can. Do not let a pushy insurance agent bully you into giving details of the accident. Just like you did with your own insurance company, provide the facts and nothing more.
When talking to the other insurance company, you should verify your personal and contact information and the facts of the accident. Don’t say anything more. You are not legally required to do so, and giving more detail could hurt your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.
It is never a good idea to rely on the insurance companies to offer you a fair settlement. In fact, the first settlement offer given to you will probably be lower than what you deserve. If you accept the offer, you have effectively put an end to any personal injury case you were considering filing.
Most attorneys offer free case evaluations, meaning you lose nothing by consulting with a legal professional. An accident attorney can help you determine if you have the elements necessary for a successful lawsuit or if you should accept a settlement offer. It’s always in your best interest to speak to an attorney before you decide what you are going to do.
When you are involved in an accident with a semi truck, the aftermath can be emotional, not to mention the physical issues you are forced to deal with. The way you behave immediately following an accident and the steps you take will have a great bearing on the outcome of any personal injury case you decide to file. Follow the steps above to ensure that your rights are protected.
If you have been involved in an accident with a semi truck in Miami, reach out to our office by phone or contact us online. We are happy to help you arrange a free case evaluation and provide any information you require. You can trust our personal injury attorneys who have decades of combined experience representing victims in court. Call our office today or browse our website for more information about our firm and the types of cases we have successfully handled. We are here for you and your family as you move forward with your life.