While the postal service can live by the “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night” motto, it’s not entirely realistic. From time to time, weather can impact travel conditions no matter where you are. Sure, in Florida, it isn’t likely that a foot of snow will suddenly wreak havoc on the roads, but a sudden downpour can make the roads slippery.
We all rely on our transportation to get us to our destination safely, but guess what? Accidents are an unfortunate reality for many people. Whether you’re driving home and find yourself hit from behind, or driving is your career, it can still be scary and overwhelming after an accident.
Don’t find yourself unprepared if this should happen to you. There are a lot of resources out there to help you feel in control of the situation should an accident occur. If you have been in a transportation-related accident, there are some essential steps you should take to ensure you’ve done all you can.
First Things First
Those initial moments after an accident can be intense. It’s likely that your adrenaline is pumping. If a search engine has brought you to this page and you’ve just been in an accident, take a deep breath. Be sure to call the authorities and take care of yourself first. Even if you are sure that you are unharmed, you should be seen by a healthcare professional as soon as possible.
You may still have unseen injuries even if there is no immediate indication that you are hurt. Car and truck accidents are serious things. There are a lot of forces at play, especially when large 18-wheelers are involved. The jarring stops, rollovers, and even just a seatbelt tightening can harm you.
If you are obviously injured, remain in place until help arrives. The only reason you should ever move an injured individual is if their location puts them at further risk. For instance, if a semi-truck has collided with you and has caught fire, the risk of the fire and explosion outweighs the risk of moving someone.
Be sure to document your accident and damage to your vehicles and truck if possible. Have bystanders take photos and send them to you via email or text. This helps because you’ll have more evidence of the accident and the contact information of others who witnessed what happened.
It is vital to preserve the details of the scene until the authorities have well-documented the accident and interviewed all major parties. Before leaving the scene of the accident, be sure you have contact information for all parties involved and hopefully their insurance information as well. Having the police report number can also be incredibly useful information going forward.
While there are many things to consider in the days following a transportation-related accident, whether or not to file a lawsuit or claim against someone may be one of the biggest. There are a lot of factors to consider, including whether you were at fault and if the accident occurred during your working hours.
As you decide what to do the first step would be contacting a lawyer to get their opinion. Finding a law firm doesn’t need to be challenging, there are many attorneys who can help you decide whether a claim is a right decision for you.
The sooner after your accident you speak to an attorney the faster they can begin working for you. The first step would be to set up a consultation. The Lopez Law Group offers free case review so you needn’t be worried about finances straight away. There are enough financial issues post transportation accidents without having to worry about how to afford a lawyer.
Many consultations are currently being held over the phone or via web conference, so if you are not physically able to visit a law office don’t let that stop you from setting up a consultation as soon as possible. When you call, you likely won’t talk to a lawyer immediately, a legal assistant or paralegal will assist you in setting up an appointment to speak to an attorney.
During your consultation, a legal professional will likely run a conflict check to make sure that they can take you on as a client. Be sure to answer every question honestly. Don’t give them the answers you think they want. A lawyer isn’t there to judge you, they just need to know all the details and can only help you if you’re honest with them.
Remember as well that hiring a lawyer is a personal decision. If your personality doesn’t mesh well with one lawyer you can consult with another prior to signing an engagement agreement and entering into a business relationship. Finding a lawyer does not need to be complicated but you should not feel uncomfortable or insulted by your attorney.
Getting Started With the Legal Process
There can be a lot that is confusing about the legal process but that doesn’t mean there is cause don’t worry. One thing to remember is that if you are filing a legal claim, do not speak to insurance companies. Let your attorney speak to them on your behalf. Be sure not to sign anything for your insurance company releasing them from further action if you’re seeking a claim.
If you were working or driving for your employer at the time of your traffic accident there may be a claim for worker’s compensation to be made but that is something you should discuss with your attorney. There are a lot of factors that go into traffic worker’s comp claims and the legal ramifications should not be taken lightly.
Your attorney will help compile all the needed documentation and help your claim get filed with the court. Sometimes claims matters can be settled quickly, while other times the process can take quite a while. Ask your lawyer during the consultation process for an estimated timeline since all cases are unique and will have their own requirements.
Accidents that involved trucks are on the rise, as the average age of commercial truck drivers rises and the demand for shipping remains high. When an accident involved a commercial truck, there are a lot of factors at play. It is always best to involve a lawyer as soon as possible should an accident with a truck occur.
Because not all truck drivers are employed by the companies for who they are delivering for, since independent contractors are common occurrences in the trucking industry, it can be difficult to know who to raise a claim against. Barring this in mind can be difficult in the days following your accident, which will potentially be an emotionally distraught time.
Establishing liability can be quite tricky and may require a lawyer with previous experience with litigation in trucking accidents. Depending on the state you reside it may not be necessary to determine who is at fault, or liable for the accident. Finding the responsible party can be time-consuming and worthy of a lawyer.
Because Florida is a “no-fault state” meaning each driver is responsible for his or her own accident expenses, claims against trucking companies become complicated. You will want to be sure you hire someone with experience dealing with Florida’s laws and transportation accidents.
The Lopez Law Group understands that your pain and suffering can be a great burden and that a lawsuit may be the only practical solution to ensure you are well compensated for your accident with a truck. Navigating the law can be overwhelming on your own, don’t stress out. Keep calm and hire a lawyer.
Your lawyer will help you to determine what is a worthy amount to ask for and it may help you to hire an attorney who has specific experience with litigation against trucking companies and their drivers. If you are going to become ensnared in a lawsuit, hire someone with a reputation for excellence and a history of good outcomes against the trucking industry.
No matter what the nature of your claim may be in a vehicular accident, the outcome has the potential to vary wildly. Not all cases will end with a favorable outcome, but likely when you take early action and begin the process you can expect a just outcome.
Expect during your claim process the opportunity for mediation or settlement which may help you avoid going to trial. If an accident is emotionally exhausting or traumatic, it may behoove you to hope for settlement to not have to relive your accident in front of a judge.
Your lawyer can help you determine what you believe is the best outcome and attempt to make that happen on your behalf. Depending on your specific situation, you may have to negotiate terms that might not feel ideal, but can still help you move on from the accident. Your attorney can guide you through the process in order to make the right choice for your situation.
A Final Thought
If you’re looking for experienced lawyers who are willing to fight for you and your Florida transportation accident, then the Lopez Law Group is a great option. With a team that can help you navigate the claim process in a way that is understandable to the masses, the Lopez Law Group is here for you.
If you find yourself in a vehicular accident and you need legal help, contact the Lopez Law Group right away to get the claim process started with an auto accident lawyer. The sooner you set up your free case review with our fabulous Florida team, the sooner you can happily move on from the accident and get back to life as normal.