Truck Accident Case: Here's What to Expect
After you or a loved one has been in a trucking accident, pursuing legal action can seem like a frightening decision with a lot of unknowns. At Coker Law, we are with you every step of the way. We'll ensure you understand each part of the process and never feel like you're going through it alone.
While every truck accident case is different, below is an overview of what you can expect.
1. Alert All Relevant Parties
The first thing we will do is send letters of representation and preservation to everyone involved in the accident. These letters put people on notice that we represent you and that a potential claim could be coming. They also instruct the recipients to preserve any information or evidence related to the case.
Letters will be sent to the truck driver, trucking company, insurance company, businesses in the area that may have security cameras outside, and so on.
2. Gather Information
Next, we go into information gathering mode. We will request information from the truck driver, trucking company, police officer at the scene, Florida Highway Patrol, fire rescue, HAZMAT, etc.
Examples of information we will seek out include:
- Driver's driving record
- Driver's drug screen history
- Truck's electronic logging device (ELD)
- Truck's maintenance history
- Freight Bill of Lading (BOL)
- Trucking company contracts with logistics company
- Trailer contents
We need as much information as possible in order to consider filing a lawsuit. The goal is to get to the bottom of what happened and what really caused the accident. We need to determine liability and sometimes it is not as simple as it may seem.
3. File Lawsuit
Once we review all the information available, we will have a better idea of who is at fault for the accident and can discuss filing a lawsuit. Unfortunately, involved parties do not provide incriminating information willingly. We usually need to file a lawsuit to get the discovery in order to understand the full story.
After a lawsuit is filed, we can issue subpoenas for all the information or evidence that was not previously provided. This information will show all the different levels of the shipping cycle and is key to determining both liability and damages.
5. Settlement or Trial
When companies offer a settlement, they are often short changing a case because they are only looking at the injuries incurred. But there are usually a lot more factors – company policies, hiring policies, company contracts, etc. – that ultimately contributed to the accident. When a company has a proven track record of negligent or malicious policies, there is a potential for punitive damages as well.
At Coker Law, we do not shy away from trial. We will never recommend you settle simply because it is the easier route. Our attorneys are experts in trying trucking cases and we will not stop until you get the compensation you deserve.
Types of Damages
When you or a loved one are injured in a truck accident case and someone else was at fault, there are three types of damages you may receive compensation for:
Economic damages involve compensation for verifiable monetary losses, including:
- Medical bills (past and future)
- Vehicle repair costs
- Ambulance cost
- Lost wages
Non-economic damages compensate you for the human element of the accident, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Physical limitations
- Loss of capacity to enjoy life
Punitive damages are – as the name suggests – punishment for wrongdoing. The law doesn't allow us to ask for punitive damages unless we prove to the judge there is a case for it.