West Palm Beach Truck Accident Lawyer
An industrial truck accident can easily leave you with permanent disabilities while being unsure of whom to seek compensation from. Get the answers and the help you need by working with a West Palm Beach truck accident lawyer.
If you’ve recently been through a wreck with a large commercial truck, you’re well aware of how traumatizing the experience can be. However, for as frightening as the crash was, the injuries you experienced are almost certainly worse. Because semi-trucks are so much larger than passenger cars and motorcycles, the people in these smaller vehicles almost always come out with devastating wounds.
If the trucker or someone else caused the collision, you shouldn’t have to pay for the bills incurred by your recovery. This probably means trying to squeeze a settlement out of an insurance company, which is no easy task in the best of circumstances. They’ll make you lowball offers and possibly even try to blame you for what happened—all in the name of saving their profit margins.
In a situation like this, you need a West Palm Beach truck accident lawyer from the Law Offices of Casey D. Shomo. We know the tactics the insurance companies like to use, and we can prevent them from taking advantage of you during the negotiation process.
Proving Who Caused Your Semi-Truck Collision
In order to have a strong personal injury claim, it will be necessary to fully demonstrate exactly who caused your crash and how. This will require collecting all available evidence from the crash site and beyond. Commercial vehicles almost always have more than one entity or individual involved in their operation, and any one of these could have been to blame—no matter how far removed from the accident they might seem.
For example, if distracted, drowsy, drunk, or reckless driving were involved, the truck driver will most likely be at least partially to blame. The trucking company could also be at fault for many of these same reasons, however. With drowsy driving and speeding, their unreasonable deadlines could encourage these behaviors. Likewise, a history of drunk driving offenses for the driver could make them guilty of negligent hiring.
On the other hand, dangerous roads sometimes play a part in causing 18-wheeler accidents, which could implicate a government entity. Similarly, defective truck parts or tires might make the manufacturer liable. Whoever was at fault for the wreck, your West Palm Beach truck accident lawyer will find the evidence to prove it.
Types of 18-Wheeler Accidents
The type of accident you were hurt in is actually an important piece of evidence, as it can tell us a great deal about what happened. In essence, it will form the starting point for the investigation:
- Lost Loads – These accidents are usually caused by the team responsible for loading the cargo not securing the load or the trailer doors properly. They could also be the fault of a manufacturer if an equipment failure caused the load to come loose.
- Jackknife – This type of wreck is often the fault of improper braking on the trucker’s part. Sometimes this can be blamed on a third driver the trucker was trying to avoid.
- Swinging Turn – The trucker is usually at fault here for failing to properly check blind spots and mirrors while making a particularly wide turn.
- Overload and Tire Blowout – When a truck is loaded past its weight capacity, it’s sometimes the fault of an unethical trucking company trying to save money by moving more freight in fewer trips.
- Underride – These rear-end collisions could be the fault of the trucker, but they’re more often caused by a third driver hitting the middle vehicle from behind and shoving it into the tractor-trailer. Your West Palm Beach truck accident lawyer will help you make the determination.
Big Rig Wrecks and Injuries
Proving negligence is one step in a personal injury claim. Deciding on what a fair settlement amount would be is another. The nature and extent of your injury will make up the foundation of this number, as this will determine what sort of medical care you’ll need, how long you’ll be affected, and how much you’ll suffer.
While some injuries are obviously more serious than others, any injury sustained in an industrial truck crash that results in permanent disability, disfigurement, scarring, or loss of bodily function could qualify you to seek compensation through a personal injury claim.
These are just a few of the injury types that your West Palm Beach truck accident lawyer will have experience handling claims for:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Injuries to the brain are among the most serious injuries a person can sustain. Your brain controls everything, and when it’s been damaged, your life will impacted. Your brain injury could cause changes in personality, mood, behavior, memory, cognition, balance, and coordination.
Depending on the extent of your traumatic brain injury, you may never be able to work again. You should be compensated for a serious brain injury.
Your spine is almost as important to your ability to function as your brain. If your spine was damaged in a truck crash in West Palm Beach, you could be suffering from partial or total paralysis. This will certainly affect mobility and, as a result, your ability to work.
In some cases, you may also need special accommodations, such as caregiving services and alterations to your home. Your life will be forever altered. Those who caused this severe life change should be held accountable.
Broken Bones and Fractures
Some broken bone injuries aren’t that serious and will heal in time, but some can lead to chronic pain and loss of mobility and may never heal properly. When you suffer a serious break, your life will be affected by your injury.
You may not be able to work the job you once held; you could be prevented from engaging in activities you once enjoyed; the pain could severely decrease your quality of life. Getting compensation can go a long way to helping you live with your injury.
These are especially common in trucking accidents when flammable and hazardous cargo was present. Burn injuries could lead to scarring and disfigurement that will change your entire life. Not only will you be psychologically impacted by disfigurement, but you could also lose mobility due to damage to nerves and muscle tissue.
Burn injuries can also be excruciatingly painful, and you should be compensated for the pain and suffering of your experience.
Internal Bleeding and Organ Damage
Internal injuries are particularly serious because our bodies need our organs to function properly. If you’ve lost an organ or one has been severely damaged, your body may never be the same again. Living with such serious injuries is more than difficult.
Compensation from a personal injury claim may be the only way you’ll be able to provide for yourself after an accident of this magnitude.
What Goes into a Fair Commercial Truck Crash Settlement
A fair and comprehensive settlement will account for all of the financial expenses and non-economic damages caused by your West Palm Beach semi-truck accident. Some of these will be obvious, while others will be much less so.
For example, one mistake made by crash victims is settling without considering what their future needs will be. A West Palm Beach truck accident lawyer from our firm can ensure that both your current and future needs are accounted for.
These are just a few of the items that you might be able to include in your demand for compensation:
- Medical expenses for surgeries, treatments, and checkups
- Medication copays and mobility equipment
- Emotional and physical therapy
- Vehicle repair and property damage
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Damage done to your marriage and personal relationships
- Lost enjoyment of life
Insurance Companies and Your West Palm Beach Semi-Truck Crash
To receive the fair settlement you’re owed for your injuries, you will need to prove to an insurance company that you could get this amount if you took your case to court. Insurance negotiations are difficult, especially when you don’t know what you’re doing. And you can bet the insurance adjusters handle claims like yours on a daily basis.
They know what they’re doing, and they will try to take advantage of you if they can. Proving your case means providing the insurance company with evidence that demonstrates the value of your case.
Our firm is experienced in proving semi-truck wreck claim and gathering all the evidence needed to show the insurance company the true value of a case.
If you attempt to settle your case with an insurance company on your own, you’ll likely undervalue your case. You may fail to take into consideration all the ways your injuries have affected your life, all of which can be factored into your request for damages.
What are some of the tactics insurance companies use to minimize their losses? They will be almost certain to try at least a few of the following tactics on you:
- Record your statement to use against you at a later time
- Challenge your injuries or deny them altogether
- Claim that your injuries were caused by some other factor not related to the 18-wheeler accident
- Try to push blame onto you or get you to accept partial blame, knowing that any fault found with you will lower the value of your case
- Offer you a fast and low settlement in the hopes you’ll take the first offer before understanding the true value of your claim
- Possibly engage in “bad faith” insurance practices
Keep in mind that insurance companies aren’t on your side. They aren’t really out to get you, but they are out to boost their profits, and your claim is standing in their way. They understand that the fewer claims they pay out on, the higher their profits will be.
There are ways insurers can keep you from obtaining the settlement you deserve, so having a West Palm Beach trucking crash lawyer on your team can be crucial to your future.
Your attorney will negotiate for the very best settlement possible for your case, and we will help you through the entire process. If insurers refuse to pay you fairly, we are more than happy to take your case to court to fight for what you’re owed.
West Palm Beach Truck Accident FAQ
The aftermath of a commercial truck accident can be a stressful and overwhelming time for anyone. You probably have many concerns that need to be addressed, so in this section we’ve provided answers to a few frequently asked questions. For information more specific to your case, please call us so you can speak with a West Palm Beach truck accident lawyer.
What can I do if a family member died in an 18-wheeler crash?
Depending on your relationship with the deceased, you might be able to seek compensation through a wrongful death claim. To be eligible in Florida, you must be the deceased’s sibling, spouse, or child, or a blood relative or adopted sibling who was financially dependent on the victim.
What does it mean for a commercial truck to be ‘overloaded’?
Commercial trucks have weight restrictions. When too much cargo is loaded, it puts the semi at risk for a tire blowout or other equipment failure, which could have disastrous consequences on the road.
Should I accept the settlement offered by the trucker’s insurance company?
Not without having an experienced personal injury attorney review it first. More than likely, the offer is less than what you truly deserve. Accepting it could leave you in need of additional funds to cover crash-related expenses later.
Consult with a West Palm Beach Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer
Never allow an insurance company to tell you what your personal injury claim is worth—not even your own. The Law Offices of Casey D. Shomo can ensure that you get treated fairly by the insurance company and give you the best chance for obtaining a fair and full settlement.
The Law Offices of Casey D. Shomo now serves Palm Beach County, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, Royal Palm Beach, Stuart, and Wellington.
Schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation with a West Palm Beach truck accident lawyer by completing the form on this page or by calling 561-659-6366.