Trucking is one of the most important industries in America and is responsible for moving 70 percent of all freight in the United States. However, not all states are created equal when it comes to the trucking industry, with some controlling the market more than others. While Texas, California, and Pennsylvania are leading the way, Florida isn’t far behind. With about 77,500 truck drivers—or nine out of every 1,000 jobs—Florida is the fourth biggest trucking state in the country. Not only does the state’s large population and big metropolises play a role, but 14 seaports surround the Florida peninsula giving manufacturers plenty of options when it comes to exporting products ranging from oranges to horses.
However, with so many of these vehicles traversing Florida highways and interstates on a daily basis, there’s an added danger to other cars on the road. After all, crashes with vehicles of such weight, mass, and force can be far more devastating and complicated than standard passenger cars. Because truck accident cases are often complex, they require a knowledgeable and skilled Orlando truck accident lawyer to help you file a lawsuit. The opinions of expert witnesses, effective use of discovery, and an immediate and thorough investigation of the accident scene are all vital to your injury claim. At Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, P.A., we can help.
Why Contact the Truck Accident Lawyers at Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis?
Semi-trucks are approximately 20 times larger than the average vehicle and can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, putting the average car at a distinct disadvantage if involved in an accident. If you or a family member have been in an accident with a commercial truck, tractor-trailer, or an 18-wheeler, it’s essential to contact an experienced Orlando truck accident lawyer as soon as possible to help you file a lawsuit and retain the compensation you deserve for any lost wages, medical expenses, vehicular damage, and psychological trauma linked with the crash.
The injuries sustained in commercial truck accidents are frequently severe and catastrophic and can sometimes last a lifetime. Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, P.A. has been representing trucking accident victims and their families throughout Central Florida for over 50 years. We fight to obtain fair compensation for all our client’s damages, including medical bills, future medical treatment, loss of wages, loss of future earnings, pain and suffering, and more. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.
Steps to Take after an Orlando Truck Accident
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident in Orlando, it’s crucial that you understand what to do following the crash. While there’s no concrete playbook of procedures that apply to every situation, there are a few more general guidelines that you may want to consider. These include the following:
Remain at the Scene and Calling the Police Immediately
Just after the crash, you may be confused and frazzled. However, it’s important to quickly regain your senses and call 911. Let the dispatcher know that you’ve been in an accident and inform them of any injuries you sustained or any other information that seems pertinent to the accident. The dispatcher will then route your call to the local law enforcement agency and emergency responders. Once the police arrive, they’ll not only be able to help divert traffic and clear the wreckage, but they’ll be able to write a police report, which is one of the most important elements in an ensuing personal injury investigation and insurance lawsuit.
Seek Medical Attention from Emergency Responders
Even if you don’t think you’re hurt, get a medical evaluation for yourself and your passengers. It’s possible that you may have suffered injuries that don’t show immediate symptoms. If you don’t receive treatment at the crash scene or aren’t immediately transported to the hospital, visit your doctor as soon as possible after the accident to determine if you need any care. An official medical report can help uncover and document any immediate or late-onset injuries associated with the accident, which will be instrumental during the subsequent lawsuit.
Collect Information and Gather Evidence
It’s important to exchange information with the other parties while at the crash scene because once they leave, it can be hard to track them down. Likewise, try to take pictures of the collision scene while you’re still on-site, which can help your lawyer put the pieces together during the investigation. In addition to documenting damage to your vehicle, remember to also take pictures of any other vehicles involved in the accident, road signs, skid marks, visible bodily injuries, or anything else that might be useful. Likewise, it may also help to take notes as the events of the crash are easy to forget in the weeks and months that follow.
Track Down Witnesses
Witnesses may be called upon to testify in your case. It’s vital, with this in mind, that you always check for witnesses at the scene of the accident. This may involve collecting a witness statement yourself or asking for their contact information if additional details about the accident are needed. Note that you can also check the accident report to see if the responding officer interviewed any witnesses.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer
Perhaps most importantly, it’s crucial that you get in touch with an experienced group of attorneys like those at Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, P.A. We may be able to help you execute these steps, including determining fault, calculating damages, and filing a claim. After we meet with you one-on-one, we’ll proceed with an investigation that looks at the facts of your case and the circumstances that led up to the crash. Our ultimate goal is to get you the compensation you deserve for any medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and psychological trauma associated with the accident.
The Most Common Types of Truck Accidents in Orlando
Truck accidents can occur for a wide variety of reasons, including careless truck drivers, improper vehicle maintenance, and the failure of passenger cars to maneuver around bigger vehicles. Here are a few of the most common types of accidents you may encounter:
- Jackknife: Semi-trucks and tractor-trailers have two parts: the cab and the trailer. A hitch, which sits below the forward area of a trailer and connects with the cab, is a movable joint that pivots whenever a truck makes a turn. A jackknife accident occurs when a truck folds in on itself at the point of separation.
- Wide turn collisions: When a driver first steers or “swings” left to make a right turn, it’s known as a wide turn. If the driver isn’t aware of rear traffic or the right-side surroundings, it can trap vehicles and injure passengers or pedestrians.
- Truck rollovers: When a truck driver travels around a curve, swerves into another lane, or enters or exits a highway ramp too fast, centrifugal force can cause the truck to roll over. Truck rollover accidents are sometimes preventable and are most often caused by speeding, driver distraction or inattention, overly aggressive or reckless steering, overturning, and unsafe loading of the tractor-trailer.
- T-bone accidents: “T-bone” is a nickname for a broadside collision, which occurs when the front of one vehicle collides into the side of another, forming the shape of a T. T-bones are common at intersections but can happen throughout other areas of road, including highways.
- Tire blowout: While the tires of any vehicle can blow out, large commercial trucks are especially vulnerable to tire failure. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see the remains of tire blowouts—shreds of back rubber on the shoulder or in the middle of the lane—across major roadways throughout the United States.
- Underride accidents: If a truck stops too quickly, smaller vehicles behind it can get lodged under the trailer. These types of truck crashes are among the most fatal accidents on the road.
- Rear-end crashes: Rear-end collisions are relatively common among all types of vehicles, including trucks. Often, these accidents result in fender benders. Yet, when a heavy truck is involved, the crash can sometimes result in catastrophic injuries and even death.
Truck accidents can be the result of a variety of factors, including bad weather, road conditions, untrained or inexperienced drivers, overloaded cargo, poor maintenance, and negligent driving. If you’ve been in an accident involving a truck, it’s crucial that you hire an experienced attorney who can help you secure the compensation you need to pay for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, psychological trauma, and any other damages associated with the crash.
Five Important Questions to Ask Your Prospective Commercial Truck Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you suffered. However, pursuing compensation by yourself is a lot to ask, particularly when you’re in pain and trying to recover from your injuries. Fortunately, you may be able to hire a truck accident attorney to manage the aspects of your claim and take actions that are in your best interest. When going about choosing a lawyer, it’s essential to ask the following questions:
1. Where Are You Licensed to Practice Law?
It’s vital to hire an attorney who’s licensed in the state you live in or the state where the accident occurred. To practice law, your attorney must be licensed by the state’s bar association.
2. What Are Your Legal Fees?
It’s important to hire an attorney that works with your budget and expectations. Attorneys can charge a flat fee, an hourly rate, or a contingency fee they don’t collect unless they win your case.
3. What’s Your Experience in Handling Truck Accident Cases?
Commercial truck or semi-truck accident cases are complex and involve multiple parties. Trucking companies have unlimited legal resources at their disposal and will use almost any means necessary to diminish driver liability. The sooner you hire an experienced commercial truck accident attorney in Orlando to defend your rights, the stronger your truck accident case will be.
4. What Investigative Work Will Your Team Be Doing on My Case?
An experienced Orlando truck accident attorney will likely work to obtain the following:
- Evidence from the accident scene such as skid marks, debris, and any obstructions
- Statements from witnesses and emergency personnel
- The trucking company’s documents, which can include the driver’s qualification documents or credentials, vehicle inspection and maintenance forms, hours of service logbooks, truck driver deadlines, and more
- Evidence that looks at circumstances such as the state of the road at the time of the crash, the weather conditions, whether driver fatigue was a factor in causing the accident, or whether the truck was improperly loaded or overweight
5. What Documents Should I Bring to My Initial Consultation?
It’s important that you bring any medical records, witness contact information, pictures of damage, and any accident reports given to you at the scene of the crash. At this point, an experienced lawyer, like those at Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, can help you determine the next steps.
Contact the Experienced Orlando Truck Accident Lawyers at Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident in or around the Orlando area, it’s crucial that you get in touch with a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Fortunately, the skilled and professional attorneys at Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, P.A. have over 100 years of combined experience holding negligent parties responsible for the damage they’ve caused and are dedicated to helping victims in your shoes. We’re committed to serving our clients and standing up to powerful insurance companies and deep-pocketed adversaries.
The best-in-class truck accident lawyers at Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis have experience assisting those who’ve been involved in truck crashes and may be able to help you retain the compensation you deserve. Our legal professionals are compassionate agents with a depth of experience fighting for the rights of those who need it. For help protecting your interests, call us for a free consultation at (407) 843-7060 or complete our online contact form today.