Consumers in Southern Florida rely on commercial motor vehicles—often referred to as semi-trucks,18-wheelers, or tractor-trailers—to transport the products they use in their daily lives into the area, while also transporting the region’s own products to other areas of the country and the world. While bringing goods into the area and taking them out are important activities from the standpoints of access, convenience, and the area’s economy, 18-wheelers are massive vehicles that can result in serious injuries or death to other roadway users in the course of an auto accident.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a commercial vehicle, a Miami 18-wheeler accident lawyer can provide you with information about how to obtain compensation for the expenses and impacts of your injury through the personal injury claims process.
When Should I Call a Miami 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer?
Semi-truck accidents are often both catastrophic and chaotic. Because these accidents have such a high propensity of producing serious injuries or fatalities, or of involving numerous vehicles, victims of
semi-truck accidents often find themselves the immediate focus of the daily news cycle and can find themselves being contacted by the at-fault party’s insurance provider before the dust of the accident even settles.
You should speak with a Miami 18-wheeler accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. This allows your attorney to begin working on your case right away and to handle communication with the insurance adjuster in order to protect your right to seek compensation for your injuries. Insurance adjusters, while generally appearing to care very much about helping you, are actually employed by the at-fault party’s insurance company in order to find ways to reduce or even eliminate the amount of compensation they pay out for the liability of their insured. Because of this, they will resort to a number of tactics, such as offering a low settlement in exchange for a quick resolution or convincing the victim to authorize the release of their medical records in search of pre-existing conditions or other factors that would limit liability. An attorney who is involved from the very beginning of the case can limit the damage that these tactics can cause to the value of your claim.
What Steps Should I Take After a Miami 18-Wheeler Accident?
When involved in an 18-wheeler accident, your priority must be for your health and safety as well as that of other occupants of your car or other vehicles that were in the accident. Secondary to that, it is also important to obtain information that will later assist you in filing a truck accident claim.
Evidence and information taken from the scene of the accident are often valuable to proving a Miami 18-wheeler accident claim. However, many individuals who have been injured in the accident do not have the capacity to gather this information. If you were unconscious or otherwise unable to collect the information, rest assured that the police officer investigating the accident will likely have it.
If you are able, here are the steps you should take after a Miami 18-wheeler accident:
- Check yourself and other occupants for injuries.
- Call 911 to report the accident, requesting medical assistance for injuries.
- Exchange information with other drivers involved in the accident, including their name and contact information; driver’s license and license plate numbers; the make, model, year, and color of their
vehicle; the name of their insurance carrier; and their insurance policy number. If they were driving a commercial vehicle, also be sure to obtain the name and contact information of their employer.
- Collect other evidence as available, including the names and contact information of witnesses and the name and badge number of the officer investigating the accident.
- Seek a prompt medical evaluation and treatment for your injuries.
- Contact an attorney who can explain the truck accident claims process and provide assistance as you seek compensation for your injuries.
- Notify your insurance carrier of the accident. Individuals who are registered drivers in Florida are required to have a personal injury protection (PIP) insurance policy of at least $10,000 to provide coverage of medical expenses and wage loss after being injured in a traffic accident, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Many individuals obtain early compensation for their injuries through their PIP policy. However, even if you are not planning to file a claim against your insurance, the language of your insurance policy likely states that you are required to report all accidents involving your insured vehicle with the insurance company.
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What Are the Most Common Injuries Due to a Miami 18-Wheeler Accident?
Truck accidents are among the most serious types of motor vehicle accidents to occur on the roadway, largely due to the size of the vehicle. Common injuries occurring in truck-related crashes include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Deep lacerations
- Traumatic amputations
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal injuries
Who Is Responsible for My Miami 18-Wheeler Accident Injuries?
It depends on the details of the accident, but potential sources of liability can include:
- The at-fault driver
- The trucking company that the driver works for
- The shipper
- Other drivers
- The manufacturer of parts used on the truck or other vehicles involved