Florida Panhandle Truck Accident Lawyer
Every year, large commercial trucks in the Florida Panhandle cause serious, catastrophic and fatal traffic accidents. Trucks may use the same roads as passenger cars, but they have two characteristics that make them more likely to be in an accident:
- They take longer to stop; at the same speed, trucks travel more than twice as far as a passenger car before drivers can bring them to a stop.
- They are considerably more difficult to maneuver; for the larger “big rigs” this means that right turns actually start with the driver pulling wide to the left to get a better turning angle.
Imagine what this “drift left to turn right” maneuver looks like to the vehicle behind the truck and you can easily understand how it tends to cause accidents. In 2018, trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds were involved in over 30,000 traffic accidents in Florida. Of these accidents, 44 were fatal and hundreds of others caused serious injuries. Many of those injuries involve collisions with fully loaded trucks, traveling at considerable speed.
If you or someone you care about is one of these victims, you need the aid of personal accident attorneys who are experienced in handling truck accident cases. At the law firm of Wettermark Keith, our attorneys have thirty years of cumulative experience and have helped victims recover hundreds of millions of dollars needed to compensate them for their serious injuries.
Why Hire Us?
- We efficiently and effectively represent clients in Florida, going up against insurance companies properly to recover fair compensation.
- We’ve obtained more than $800 million on behalf of our clients in successful civil claims. We’re never afraid of taking claims to trial, when necessary.
- We have more than 50 years of experience representing clients in Florida, Tennessee, and Alabama.
- We don’t charge for our services in Tallahassee, Panama City or Pensacola unless we obtain compensation for the client.
Why Truck Accidents Are Complicated
Navigating a truck accident claim will not look the same as a typical motor vehicle collision in Florida. A collision involving a truck involves all the questions that come up in every type of accident. These questions include:
- What was the speed of the vehicle involved?
- Were the drivers following the rules of the road as to staying in their own lane, signaling their intent to change lanes, keeping a safe distance between vehicles, etc.?
- Were any of the drivers drunk, under the influence of drugs, or just plain distracted?
When a truck is involved, though, there are any other questions that need to be answered before there’s any chance of victims being compensated for their injuries, including, but certainly not limited to:
- Who owns the truck and who was responsible for its operation at the time of the accident? These can be tricky issues in a commercial trucking situation.
- Is the truck subject to the federal truck safety regulations imposed on trucks that are used in interstate commerce?
- Were both driver and truck in compliance with all safety regulations imposed by all levels of government (local, state and federal)?
- What cargo was the truck carrying? If the cargo included hazardous material, additional regulations will apply and victims may suffer additional injuries.
How quickly and efficiently these questions get answered is tremendously important to victims too injured to work, walk, or simply live as they did before the accident. At Wettermark Keith, we have pursued these answers in many cases. We know where the answers are likely to be and, maybe even more importantly, how the people who caused your injuries are likely to dodge the questions.
What to Do After a Truck Accident in the Florida Panhandle
Fast action is important if you wish to successfully secure financial relief after a truck accident anywhere in Florida. Failing to take the proper steps right away to preserve evidence and protect your rights could make it more difficult to win your case. At Wettermark Keith, our truck accident lawyers are more than happy to discuss your case in detail as soon as you give us a call. We can walk you through all the steps you’ll need to take to recover.
- Go to the hospital. Never delay medical care. An insurance company will want to see that you went immediately to an emergency room for care for your injuries.
- Collect information. Document your crash by taking photos at the scene, getting the commercial truck number and requesting a copy of your police report.
- Call a lawyer. Discuss things with a lawyer before calling an insurance company. A lawyer can let you know if you have a first-party or third-party claim on your hands.
- Report the crash to an insurance company. Call your insurer or that of the at-fault party to file a claim. Go through the claims process as required, but do not admit fault.
- Negotiate a fair outcome. Use a lawyer to negotiate a fair compensatory award from the insurance company. If negotiations fail, your lawyer can take the defendant to trial.
It is of the utmost importance to preserve evidence such as the truck’s black box, electronic logging device, and the truck driver’s cellphone records. Once you call Wettermark Keith, we can put the wheels in motion to protect key evidence. Then, we can help you build a claim against the correct defendant, whether it’s the truck company, the city government, a third-party driver or a combination of people. We’ll do whatever it takes to help you obtain fair compensation.
The Value of Event Data Recordings
The data from Event Data Recorders (EDRs) can make the case a lot easier and quicker. These devices come in many models and configurations and differ a bit in the information they record when there’s an accident. Most of the devices will record some basic information that sheds light on the accident, such as speed and how the brakes were used.
The personal injury attorneys at Wettermark Keith have the experience to find and use the EDR information that can make the difference in your case. That means knowing the local vehicle experts who retrieve the information and understanding what the information means to your case.
Common Truck Accident Injuries and Compensation Available
One of our main goals at Wettermark Keith is to help victims with personal injuries move forward with their lives in the Florida Panhandle. We strive to accomplish this goal day in and day out by representing clients during complicated personal injury and automobile accident claims. Our years of experience in the field give us the ability to represent clients with all types of personal injuries, including those commonly present in truck accidents.
- Multiple bone fractures
- Crush injuries
- Traumatic amputations
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head and brain injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Wrongful death
If you or a loved one has a catastrophic injury, you may have grounds to go up against the trucking company or another defendant in pursuit of maximum recovery. If you have minor injuries, you may only have the right to bring a no-fault claim with your own insurer in Florida. Either way, you may be eligible to recover the costs of losses such as medical expenses, lost income, vehicle repairs, physical pain, and emotional suffering. At Wettermark Keith, we can review your case and list your options.
Serving Justice – One Case at a Time
Here at Wettermark Keith, no case is too big and no case is too small for our expert injury lawyers to pursue. Our top attorneys represent each and every client with the utmost respect, compassion, and employ the thorough legal expertise needed to make their case a success. We realize that this is likely a difficult situation for you and possibly your family and are here for you.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to the negligence of another person in a car accident, contact our top injury lawyers today. Together we can seek a financial compensation figure that meets your needs as a victim and can continue to provide for you, long after this ordeal is over.
No Recovery, No Fee Guarantee
When selecting clients to represent in court, our firm operates on a contingency fee basis. What this means to our clients is simple: if we don’t win your case, you won’t pay anything. We choose to operate this way for the sole benefit of our clients, we want to see you obtain a successful recovery so that you can continue to carry on with your life.
Contact us today if you have been the victim of a personal injury or lost a loved one to a wrongful death. Fill out the free case evaluation form on our website and we will get back to you promptly.