Palm Coast Truck Accident Attorney

Contact Chiumento Selis Dwyer, P.L. today for a free consultation.

Accidents involving large commercial trucks (tractor-trailers, semis, box trucks, delivery vans, etc.) are often more serious than car accidents and can result in more severe personal injuries. Being in a truck accident on one of our Florida highways can leave you with a huge financial burden, particularly from medical bills and loss of work.

At Chiumento Selis Dwyer P.L., our attorneys have the experience and resources required to deal with the specifics of your truck accident injuries. In most cases, a trucking company owns the semi that was in an accident and has responsibility for the truck and the truck driver. Trucking firms move swiftly to protect their bottom lines after accidents. But we will work aggressively to get you the compensation you deserve.

If you have been injured in an accident that involved a large commercial truck in Palm Coast or elsewhere in Florida, you need an experienced personal injury attorney who understands how and why truck accident cases are different from car accidents. Contact the law firm of Chiumento Selis Dwyer, P.L.

How Our Florida Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help You

You may question the idea of hiring a lawyer to help you with an insurance claim after a truck accident. It may look like a simple matter, and the trucking company may have already made a settlement offer that looks good to you. But in most cases, you’ll do better with the assistance of an experienced Florida truck accident lawyer.

Multiple studies show that truck accident victims represented by attorneys recover more money in claims than those who deal with insurers on their own.

Beyond the money, accident victims benefit from the assistance their attorneys provide them, particularly as they continue to deal with serious injuries. Your truck accident attorney becomes your advocate, taking care of all contact with insurers and making sure all claim forms are completed properly and all filing deadlines are met.

Your attorney also develops a case for you to receive a proper insurance settlement. This includes compiling evidence of the responsible party’s liability, and fully documenting the extent of your losses and the compensation you are due or them. Then, we negotiate aggressively with insurers to compel them to pay an appropriate settlement to you.

If an appropriate settlement agreement cannot be reached, we will be prepared to fight for you in court.

Meanwhile, our representation allows you to focus on your recovery and your family’s needs as your legal claim progresses. You don’t even have to worry about the cost of pursuing a legal claim. We don’t charge fees upfront and, if you don’t win, we won’t charge anything for our services.

Why Hire a Florida Truck Accident Attorney?

  • We can investigate the accident to determine who is at fault and owes you compensation. In a truck accident, several parties might be held liable.
  • Commercial truck accidents are often complex, but our lawyers often consult investigators and accident reconstruction experts to explain the true cause of truck accidents.
  • We can consult medical and vocational experts to develop claims that compensate you for the full extent of your injuries and other losses, including money for how they will affect the rest of your life.
  • Our attorneys will work to identify every potential source of insurance applicable to your case and maximize the amount of compensation you recover.
  • We will stay in touch, keeping you up to date on the progress of your case, and keeping us updated about your medical recovery and other needs.
  • Our experienced truck accident lawyers will advise you about all settlement offers and other important issues in your case to ensure that you can make informed decisions.

Compensation Florida Truck Accident Victims May Recover

Because Florida is a no-fault insurance state, motorists injured in truck accidents initially rely on personal injury protection (PIP) coverage they hold to pay their medical costs.

If your losses are more than what PIP provides, Florida law allows you to seek compensation through insurance held by other parties at-fault for the accident if you have suffered:

  • Permanent and significant loss of an important bodily function
  • Permanent and significant scarring and disfigurement
  • Other permanent injuries
  • Death of a family member

This may include compensation for:

  • Medical expenses not covered by PIP
  • Mental anguish
  • Lost income
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Lost future earning capacity
  • Loss of familial relationship
  • Pain and suffering

In a commercial truck accident, the company that employs the truck driver or owns the truck may be held responsible for an accident. Other vendors, such as contractors who load and secure cargo on a truck, may be held liable for a crash if their negligence led to the accidents, such as one caused by a cargo shift.

Due to our thorough work investigating your accident and identifying applicable insurance coverage, your truck accident case may lead to multiple claims for compensation from multiple parties.

Common Injuries in Florida Truck Accidents

Because semi trucks may weigh anywhere from 10,000 to 80,000 pounds, the force of impact when a truck collides with a passenger car, pedestrian, motorcycle, etc., can be horrendous. Studies show that while car drivers and passengers suffer serious or fatal injury in truck accidents, truck drivers often walk away.

If you or a loved one survived a truck accident, your injuries may include:

  • Head and traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Facial injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries (paralysis)
  • Burns
  • Back injuries
  • Soft-tissue injuries
  • Neck injuries (whiplash)
  • Amputations
  • Internal organ injuries
  • Disfigurement
  • Fractures

In addition, suffering a serious injury or witnessing a loved one’s injury or death can cause emotional trauma. Crash victims may suffer conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a catastrophic accident, or depression over their own or a loved one’s injuries or loss. Compensation for these injuries may be available, as well.

Causes of Truck Accidents in Palm Coast,Florida

Investigations of previous truck accidents in Florida and across the country show several common causes, including:

Speeding: Excessive speed is the most common cause of accidents caused by truck drivers, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Higher speeds make it harder to stop or slow down to avoid a crash, and make the impact of collisions worse. Truckers who drive but too fast for adverse conditions, such as in traffic congestion or inclement weather, also get into avoidable accidents.

Drowsy driving: It is well-understood that the long hours required to transport goods across the country can lead to fatigue and drowsy driving. The FMCSA has adopted strict hours-of-service (HOS) regulations mandating a limit to the number of hours behind the wheel and specifying rest and sleep breaks needed before driving again. Unfortunately, many truckers violate HOS regulations, sometimes under orders from employers more concerned about delivery deadlines.

Distracted driving: The FMCSA prohibits texting and the use of handheld cellphones while operating any commercial truck, but the problem persists among irresponsible truckers, and leads to accidents that should not happen.

Impaired driving (drugged driving): Drunk driving accidents are rare in the trucking industry because drivers are subjected to strict testing for blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). However, truckers in crashes have been found with stimulants in their blood, like amphetamines, cocaine and methamphetamine (meth). Other use of recreational drugs, primarily marijuana, has also been found among truckers bored by long-distance travel. Truckers also get into wrecks caused by impaired driving due to certain prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Cargo shifts: When cargo loaded to a commercial truck is not secured properly, it can shift or break free during a quick turn or a sudden stop. Such a cargo shift will change the truck’s center of gravity and may cause the driver to lose control and crash. Cargo shifts are often to blame in truck rollover accidents.

Cargo spills: When cargo spills from a truck, it can hit vehicles, people or other property, and/or cause oncoming vehicles to crash when they hit the debris. Hazardous material (HazMat) spills may seriously damage real property, especially waterways, in addition to causing personal injury.

Truck failure: The failure of brakes, tires, powertrains, wheels, coupling systems, lighting and other parts and components of a large commercial truck can cause the vehicle to wreck. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says post-crash inspections of trucks in one study found that almost 55 percent had at least one mechanical violation of FMCSA standards, and almost 30 percent had at least one condition serious enough that the vehicle should have been taken immediately out of service. Motor carriers (trucking firms) may skip or delay truck maintenance to save money and time.

Work zones: Highway construction or maintenance should be done in an area set aside with barriers and adequate space to keep workers separated from traffic. A work zone should also be set up to provide adequate warning and time for vehicles to slow down before entering. Many work zone truck accidents occur because truckers fail to slow down adequately. However, if a truck accident was caused by a faulty work zone, negligent contractors or the local government that hired them may be liable.

Road conditions: The condition of a Florida highway may contribute to a truck accident, such as if there are pot holes or a weakened and crumbling roadbed. Commercial development or overgrown plants at an intersection may obscure the view. These problems are caused by negligent design or maintenance. In such cases, the local government responsible for the roadway and contractors whose negligence allowed the hazardous conditions may be held liable for an accident.

10 Steps to Take If You Have Been in a Truck Accident in Palm Coast, Florida

Protect your rights after a truck accident:

1
Call 911. Take a deep breath and stay calm after an accident. Check yourself for injuries, and see to any passengers. If you think anyone’s injuries are serious, do not move them unless it is necessary to keep them from being further harmed. Call 911 and request emergency assistance.
2
Exchange information. Gather information to provide to the other drivers involved in the accident. Be polite and business-like with others involved in the accident. Be ready to provide your name, address, driver’s license number, license plate number, and auto insurance information. Get the same from others involved. Also get any company names on the truck, its trailer or any cargo that is visible. You may choose to wait for police to arrive and for them to handle the information exchange.
3
Cooperate with law enforcement. When law enforcement officers respond to a truck accident, follow their directions and answer their questions honestly. But only say what’s necessary to answer the questions you are asked. Do not admit fault or blame anyone else for the crash.
4
Document the accident. If you can, check to see whether anyone witnessed the crash. Get names and contact information from any witnesses, including your passengers (don’t rely on memory later). Take photos of the vehicles and their damage, your injuries, the road conditions and anything else that might explain what happened. Take photos from different angles and get as many as you can. Ask a friend or someone else on the scene to take photos for you if you can’t. From here on out, save everything connected to your accident and recovery, especially receipts and correspondence.
5
Seek medical care. Get medical treatment for your injuries. If you are not taken by ambulance to a hospital, go to an emergency room or urgent care center, or see your family doctor, as soon as possible. Some injuries do not show signs or symptoms immediately but could become serious, even life-threatening later. Tell the doctor about the truck accident and describe all of your symptoms, even the ones that may seem minor.
6
Contact your insurer. Contact your insurance company and the companies that cover other driver or drivers to report the accident as soon as you are able. Answer only the questions you are asked. Do not provide information that isn’t requested. Do not blame yourself for the accident or accept blame. Do not downplay your injuries or minimize what happened.
7
Be wary of insurers. Be careful when you talk to the insurance companies, even your own. Particularly after a bad truck accident, insurers representing the trucking company may contact you with questions. You should avoid giving any type of recorded or written account of the accident without the advice of a truck accident lawyer. Do not sign anything presented by a representative of an insurance company or the trucking company. You could sign away your right to money that you are entitled to.
8
Contact a lawyer as soon as you can. If you were hurt in the crash, you should contact an experienced Palm Coast truck accident attorney as soon as possible. The trucking company’s insurance company may offer you a settlement. But, even if the offer looks like a lot of money, it is almost certainly less than you deserve. A qualified personal injury lawyer experienced with truck accidents in Florida can advise you of your rights and legal options in a free initial consultation, including reviewing any settlement offer you have received.
9
Follow doctor’s orders. Make sure you go to all doctor’s appointments and medical treatments that your healthcare providers schedule you for. Failing to do so could cause your injuries to become more severe. It could also damage your ability to recover fair compensation in a personal injury lawsuit if it is interpreted as indication you were not injured as badly as you claim.
10
Document your recovery. Record how the accident has affected your daily life – including your pain and emotional struggles – each day. Write about it and take pictures or video. This is therapeutic and can help demonstrate the emotional impact that the accident had on you when it comes time to negotiate or litigate the pain and suffering compensation you deserve.

Call Our Florida Truck Accident Attorneys Today

If you have suffered injuries in a commercial truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and other losses.

Call Chiumento Selis Dwyer P.L., in Palm Beach, FL, or contact us using our online form to arrange for a free legal consultation with our experienced Florida personal injury lawyers.

If someone else’s negligence caused your injuries, whether the truck driver, the trucking company (motor carrier) or another third party, our law firm is dedicated to protecting your rights and aggressively pursuing the maximum compensation you are entitled to receive.

Contact us today for prompt and dedicated assistance.

We’re Proud to be Involved in the Community

Chiumento Selis Dwyer, P.L. has contributed to schools and other organizations that have made a difference in the community and take pride in portraying an active role in our community. Flagler County hosts an array of events and we are proud to be a part of many of them!

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