Steps a Lawyer Takes to Recover Tampa Truck Accident Damages
Following a truck accident, you could be entitled to compensation if you were injured or your car was damaged. A legal advocate is vital to the pursuit of damages in truck accident cases. If you want to know more about the steps a lawyer takes to recover Tampa truck accident damages, speak with one of the competent truck accident attorneys at Slater | Grant. A seasoned attorney could devote the time and resources necessary to recover damages for you.
Damage Caps in Tractor-Trailer Accident Cases
A damages cap is a law the State Legislature enacts that limits the amount of damages a jury or a judge can award a victim in a personal injury case, such as a trucking accident case. In Florida, there are no caps on economic or non-economic damages that a victim in a trucking accident case can be awarded. The only cap that would be applicable in a trucking accident case would be if the plaintiff is successful in proving he or she is entitled to punitive damages against the truck driver or the trucking company, in which case the caps that the Florida Legislature has established would come in to play.
As discussed, the general limitation is that punitive damages are capped at three times the amount of economic and non-economic damages or $500,000, whichever is greater, although there are exceptions to these limitations, such as if the truck driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident.
Collecting Information About the Truck Accident
An attorney has an important role in helping victims in trucking accident cases recover damages. One of the first steps a lawyer takes to recover Tampa truck accident damages, is investigating the victim’s claim and situation. In doing so, the attorney will talk to the victim to find out what happened in the accident from his or her perspective. The attorney will talk to witnesses who saw or heard something about the accident. This could be other drivers, pedestrians, police officers, or others who either saw the accident or came to the scene soon afterward. The attorney will obtain and review insurance policies that apply to the negligent truck driver or trucking company.
The steps a lawyer takes to recover Tampa truck accident damages include reviewing records and gathering records, such as medical records of the victim, the police report, statements by witnesses, and other records that help the attorney investigate the claim and the victim’s situation with respect to the accident involved.
Negotiations Following an Accident
The next thing the attorney does to help the victim is negotiate with the negligent truck driver, trucking company, or their insurance carriers. The attorney will first prepare a demand or a demand package, which is a letter the attorney drafts that explains what happened in the accident, why the truck driver or trucking company was negligent and at fault, and how the victim has been injured and suffered as a result. Then, the attorney will send that to the trucking company or insurance company associated with that trucking company and engage in communications with those people in order to try to negotiate a settlement for the victim prior to having to file any lawsuit or engaging in litigation.
Filing a Claim and Engaging Litigation
If efforts to negotiate are unsuccessful, the attorney could prepare and file a lawsuit and then engage in litigation with the trucking company and its attorneys. One of the steps a lawyer takes to recover Tampa truck accident damages include hiring experts, both on the medical side to help establish the severity of the injuries suffered and the prospects for future medical care, as well as experts in the area of economics to establish any lost wage claim and future lost wage or employment compensation claim. Finally, sometimes there are experts required to testify about the accident scene, called accident reconstructionists, who can provide testimony that helps establish that the trucking company was negligent and that its driver is what caused the accident to occur.
The attorney will take discovery, take depositions, and prepare the case for trial. The lawyer could try the case if necessary and attempt to get a jury to make a finding that the trucking company was negligent and that the victim suffered substantial damages, which will then result in a judgment against the trucking company that can be recovered from the company or its insurance company. Along the way, the attorney attempts to settle the case for the betterment of the victim so that the victim does not need to go through the entire litigation process and trial, unless necessary. If an individual needs help filing a claim, they should speak with one of the capable truck accident attorneys at Slater | Grant that could help.
Mr. Slater is a founding member of Slater | Grant. His practice focuses on representing clients in injury and death claims, professional liability claims, and business disputes. He is also experienced in handling a wide variety of other disputes and litigation, such as those involving insurance, construction defects, consumer fraud, and whistleblower claims.