Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer
Getting into an accident with a large commercial truck can be scary and leave you wondering what to do. Due to the seriousness of these crashes, you should consider hiring a Florida truck accident attorney to help you get through this.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were approximately 148,000 people injured and 4,761 people were killed in large truck crashes during the latest reporting year. If you or a loved one are involved in one of these crashes, you need to know what to look for in a truck accident attorney in Orlando.
What to look for in a Florida Truck Accident Attorney
So many lawyers claim they are the best ones to handle your case. It can seem overwhelming when you are trying to find the right one. As you make your decision, keep these things in mind.
- You want an attorney with experience in truck accident cases
These cases can become complex, and your attorney needs to understand the specific laws in place both federally and statewide that govern truck accident liability. Understanding how truck companies operate, and that they come with teams of lawyers and insurance carriers is vital. Make sure your truck accident attorney has plenty of experience working on large truck crash cases.
- Your attorney needs to be willing and able to investigate major crashes
These cases often involve in-depth investigations. Not only does your attorney need to be willing to do this, but they have to have the resources to do so. This includes gathering the evidence necessary to win, including:
- Eyewitness testimony
- The truck driver’s personnel files, logbooks, blackbox, etc.
- The truck company’s safety records, vehicle maintenance logs, inspections, etc.
- All accident reports
Your attorney may also need to hire an accident reconstruction expert and other experts ready to testify on your behalf.
- Your attorney needs to understand the FMCSA rules and regulations
Commercial truck drivers and companies are tightly regulated by the FMCSA. Many of these cases are won or lost based on an attorney’s knowledge of the FMCSA rules and regulations. The FMCSA is a system that monitors and regulates safety standards for all carriers and commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce.
You are subject to FMCSA rules if you operate a vehicle over 10,001 lbs or transport between 9-15 passengers (driver included) for compensation directly or indirectly. In addition, you are subject to FMCSA regulations if you have a vehicle designed to transport 15 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation or you are transporting hazard materials. For more information on FMCSA regulations, click here.
- You need an attorney who will work diligently on your behalf
You need to find an attorney who will treat your case as if it is the only one they are working on. Your attorney should work diligently on your behalf so that you have the best possible chance of success.
The Truck Accident Process
Securing an attorney to help you is just the first step in a truck accident claim/lawsuit process. There are some important things that can happen on the way to recovering the compensation you need. In a nutshell, here is the general flow of these cases:
- Discovery phase in which all evidence is collected and investigated.
- Delivery of the injury demand letter to the truck company’s insurance carrier.
- Negotiation between your attorney and the truck company’s insurance and legal teams for a fair settlement.
- Evaluate going to trial if a fair settlement cannot be negotiated.
Please remember that you should not communicate with the insurance carriers or the truck company’s legal team directly. Your attorney will handle all communications on your behalf. You do not want to jeopardize your ability to collect the following:
- Compensation for your medical bills
- Lost wages and benefits if you cannot work
- General household expenses
- Possible physical therapy expenses
- Pain and suffering damages
- Possible punitive damages against the truck driver or company