Truck Accident Lawyer in Gainesville
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Truck accidents often leave victims physically, financially, and emotional devastated. While you may be eligible to recover compensation, it is easier said than done. A truck accident lawyer in Gainesville can help you. The team at the Parrish Law Firm can help you with the following:
- Dealing with immediate needs such as obtaining follow-up care and keeping bill collectors at bay
- Addressing the “dos and don’ts” of speaking with insurance company representatives
- Analyzing the proximate cause of the accident, recreating the scene if needed
- Collecting federally- and state-mandated data from commercial carriers
- Researching and consulting with medical experts concerning physical injuries
- Researching and consulting with economic experts concerning financial losses
- Helping surviving family members pursue wrongful death claims
- Offering insight into insurance company practices and the civil litigation process
For more about what the Parrish Law Firm can do for you and your case, call 571-229-1800 and schedule your free consultation today.
What Compensation Can I Recover for My Injuries?
If a negligent truck driver or trucking company caused your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for accident-related damages, such as:
- Medical bills
- Medically-related travel and transportation
- Facility-based care
- Home health care services
- Medical equipment
- Accessibility accommodations to home or vehicle
- Emotional distress
- “Pain and suffering” and inconvenience
- Lost wages
- Lost profits (if self-employed)
- Financial impact of accident on future earnings (both active and passive)
- Funeral and burial expenses
The Parrish Law Firm has helped victims recover compensation for traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and wrongful death. Jim Parrish can help you determine what you can expect to recover given your injuries and other related losses.
Who Pays for My Injuries?
In most cases, the trucking company will be responsible for your injuries. This is true even if the truck driver was 100 percent at-fault for the accident. You hold the trucking company liable because of a law known as respondeat superior, or vicarious liability. This doctrine holds that employers are liable for their employees’ actions so long as the employee acted within the scope of his employment.
A trucking company can also be directly negligent if it requires a driver to break laws (e.g., operating a truck past legally mandated hours) or for negligent hiring or retention.
If defective brakes or tires caused the accident, then the brake manufacturer could be liable. If routine or proper maintenance would have revealed a defect, then the trucking company or maintenance company could be liable.
How Can I Prove Fault in a Truck Accident Case?
To recover the compensation you need, we must prove the truck driver or trucking company was negligent. This involves establishing the following four elements:
Duty of care: The at-fault party had a duty to do something. For example, the truck driver has a duty to behave responsibly behind the wheel. The trucking company has a duty to hire competent drivers.
Breach of duty: The at-fault party breached that duty, e.g., the driver operated his truck while fatigued, the trucking company allowed its drivers to operate past legally mandated hours.
Causation: The breach led to your accident and injuries, e.g., the truck driver fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into your car. You sustained a traumatic brain injury.
Damages: You suffered damages in the accident, e.g., medical bills, lost wages.
Establishing these four elements requires careful investigation of trucking company data that government agencies require a company to maintain.
For example, truck drivers are only allowed to remain on the road for a certain number of hours per week. Drivers must log these hours in a logbook or on the truck’s event data recorder (EDR) or electronic control module (ECM). These devices act as “black boxes” and provide key data for fact-finders who know how to use them.
However, gaining access to them and other evidence is not as straightforward as it should be. Most of the evidence we require (e.g., hours of service logs, personnel files, accident reports, drug and alcohol test results, data from the EDR, the truck itself) is in the hands of the trucking company. And the trucking company can destroy this evidence after a certain period. We will send a spoliation letter immediately to preserve what we need.
We might also require opinions from expert witnesses. We may speak with accident reconstructionists to recreate the scene of an accident and render an opinion as to how it occurred. Safety experts sometimes testify about the standards which certain truck components must meet, and whether negligent design or manufacture caused the accident.
Rarely is it ever straightforward when it comes to proving liability. Having a legal team on your side that anticipates the arguments the other party (or parties) will make is crucial.
Jim Parrish used to defend insurance companies. This means he anticipates these arguments and knows how to defend against them.
Schedule Your FREE Consultation Today
An insurance company that knows you are handling your case alone may try to take advantage of you. Given the seriousness of a truck accident case, you owe it to yourself and your family to have an attorney thoroughly review your claim prior to speaking or negotiating with an insurance adjuster.
There are caveats involved even in speaking with your own insurance company, as your statements become part of a permanent case file. Though it is best to begin working with an attorney as soon as possible following a truck accident, it is not necessarily ever too late to do so.
The Parrish Law Firm has an award-winning history of supporting, guiding, and advocating for clients who found themselves in situations similar to yours. The goal of the Parrish Law Firm is to use our advocacy skills to provide as much relief to suffering victims as possible.
There is no cost to get the answers you need. To schedule a consultation, call 571-229-1800.