No one expects to be in any kind of auto accident, so finding yourself in a commercial trucking accident can be a particularly rattling surprise. Worse still, learning that you have lost a person you love in one of these terrible tragedies is an especially difficult and stunning shock.
In addition to this stress, piles of medical and other expenses can put even more of a strain on your life. As Fort Myers truck accident lawyers with more than 40 years of cumulative experience, we know how important your initial response to a car crash truly is.
The things you say and the actions you take may have a profound impact on the outcome of your case. Our attorneys are ready to fight for justice and the compensation that you deserve.
Steps You Should Take At the Scene of the Accident
We understand that after an accident, you may be shaken up and unsure of what to do. However, there are some important steps that you need to take so that you can build a strong case from the beginning.
You should take the following steps while still at the scene of the crash to help ensure that the claim you make is successful:
- Call 911. Even if no one appears to be injured—and even if the vehicle damage seems minimal—you must report the accident to the police.
- Don’t leave. Leaving the scene of an accident before law enforcement officers arrive can be prosecuted as a criminal offense.
- Be careful what you say. Even innocent statements can be used against you later. While we understand the impulse to be polite during a difficult situation, you should resist the urge to say things like, “that was my fault,” or “I’m sorry.” It is acceptable to ask others if they are okay (in fact, you should ask that question as long as it is safe for you to do so).
- Do not sign any waivers. If an insurance company or employer makes you an offer, it is probably an unfair one. Remember: The insurer’s primary goal is to pay you as little as possible. That is true even if it is your own insurance company! Don’t trust them until you’ve talked to us first.
Your Health Comes First After a Truck Accident
Large truck crashes—caused by the trucking company’s negligence, a drowsy driver, a mechanical failure, or otherwise—almost always cause injuries, many of them very serious in nature. You should always put your health first, along with the health of everyone else involved in the accident as well.
Even if you are not qualified to render medical aid, you can save a life by calling 911. Injuries from a truck accident do not always manifest themselves right away. It is impossible to know for sure whether you have been injured in the immediate aftermath of a commercial trucking accident.
Here are some things to remember after you get into an accident:
- If you have obvious, urgent injuries, call 911.
- If you are not sure that you are injured, you should either call 911 or contact your doctor and ask to be seen as soon as possible.
- A documented medical visit can help you protect your legal rights.
- Stay away from oncoming traffic while you wait for emergency responders.
- If possible, put a safe distance between yourself and any vehicles that pose a risk of fire or explosion.
Document the Situation After a Truck Accident
Another important step you should take after you get into a truck accident is to document your surroundings and any evidence that you believe will be helpful for your case. Gather the following as soon as possible:
- Pictures of the accident scene and each vehicle involved
- Up-close pictures of any specific vehicle damage
- The name of each driver and passenger involved
- The other drivers’ insurance information
- The year, make, model, and VIN for each vehicle involved.
- Names and contact information for each eyewitness and everyone involved
- The name of the responding police officer and a reference number for the police report, if available.
It is also a good idea to make typed or handwritten notes about exactly what happened. This can include anything and everything you can think of that could be a cause of your car versus truck wreck.
Note things like the road names, intersection markers, time of day, weather conditions, and your initial reactions. Be as detailed as possible. Remember, though, that you should not use your cell phone while you are operating any vehicle.
Soon After the Truck Accident
After you finish gathering helpful evidence, there are a few more things you have to do. You should proceed to take these additional steps as soon as possible:
- Call your insurer. Most insurance companies require their policyholders to call and report an auto accident soon after the event.
- Visit a mechanic. Get written estimates for any vehicle damage.
- Schedule follow-up doctor visits. Many injuries require ongoing care. This may include rehabilitation and/or therapy. Do not neglect your follow-up medical treatment. Show up for each appointment if at all possible.
- Contact an attorney as soon as possible. Auto accidents are complex legal events. Studies show that victims who experienced lawyers represent recover substantially more money on average than those who are not.
When you contact a Fort Myers trucking accident attorney we’ll help you decide what to do next. We offer a free case review where we can evaluate your case and give you an estimate of your settlement.
For a free legal consultation with a what you need to know after a truck accident lawyer serving Fort Myers, call (239) 334-3933
A Lawyer Can Help You Know How Long You Have to File a Claim
When you get into a commercial truck collision, time is valuable. Florida’s statute of limitations, Fla. Stat. § 95.11, gives victims of truck accidents four years from the day of the accident to file a claim. While it may seem like a long time, years can go by fast if you are paying medical bills and recovering from severe injuries.
While Florida’s statute of limitations gives you four years to file, each case is different, so you may have more or less time than you think to file. Without a lawyer, you could miss the time to file or assume that the time limit to file has already expired. Our attorneys can examine your claim and tell you the exact amount of time you have to file.
Fort Myers What You Need to Know After a Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me (239) 334-3933
Know the Damages You Are Eligible for After a Truck Accident
It’s also important to know what damages you qualify to receive after you get into a commercial truck crash. Our truck accident lawyers in Fort Myers can examine your injuries to determine what damages you can recover. Depending on your case’s details, you may be entitled to recover the following types of damages:
- Loss of wages
- Loss of guidance
- Current and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Physical therapy
After a truck accident, you may be in shock, which is when other parties involved in the accident, like insurance companies, may try to take advantage of you. If you aren’t aware of the damages you’re eligible for, you could lose out on a significant amount of the settlement you deserve.
If you lost a loved one in the accident, our lawyers can help you navigate the legal process to get compensation for your loss during this difficult time. It’s important to contact a lawyer promptly after your accident.
Free Case Evaluation With Our Fort Myers Truck Accident Lawyers
If you have been hurt in a commercial trucking accident in Southwest Florida—or if you’ve lost someone you love—you may be entitled to substantial financial compensation. We want to help you recover financially so that you can get back to living your life.
At Viles & Beckman, our Fort Myers trucking accident attorneys are dedicated to fighting for your compensation. To begin your free case review, give us a call or fill out the form on our contact us page.