It goes without saying that getting hit by an 18-wheeler is a nerve-racking experience. In less than a second, your life can be turned upside down due to severe injuries, steep medical bills, and the loss of income. Our truck accident lawyers in Coral Gables have extensive experience in these cases and the resources to help you fight for the settlement or verdict you need to move on with life.
Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to compensation for healthcare costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Call us today at (305) 655-3425 for a free consultation.
Terms to Know When Filing a Truck Accident Claim
The terminology of personal injury law can seem complex and arcane. Insurance claims adjusters and legal professionals use specialized phrases for virtually every part of the process.
Our truck accident lawyers in Coral Gables make it their priority to guide clients through each step of the proceedings so they don’t feel like they’re studying for the bar exam. Knowing just a few key terms can make the process far less arduous.
Here are some of the common phrases you may hear throughout the proceedings:
- Duty of Care: This refers to the legal obligation to act with reasonable care given the circumstances. If you bring the claim against the liable party or their insurance company—as opposed to your own PIP coverage—you will likely have to prove how the duty of care was breached in order to establish liability.
- Negligence: This term refers to a party’s breach of the duty of care owed to another party. Even if the defendant did not cause harm intentionally, they may be found liable on the grounds of negligence.
- Maximum (or Maximal) Medical Improvement: Otherwise known as MMI, this phrase references the point in medical recovery when a person’s injuries have healed as much as can reasonably be expected. If a doctor determines that your injuries have either healed completely or that they won’t improve any further, it is said that you have reached maximum or maximal medical improvement.
- Expert Witness: Personal injury cases commonly involve input and deposition from various experts. An expert witness is someone with specialized knowledge and qualifications to provide deposition on a particular aspect of a case. Expert witnesses can include medical experts, vocational experts, financial experts, engineers, and accident reconstruction experts.
What Do I Need to Prove to Win My Case?
While truck accident claims can vary wildly from one case to the next, they all require the claimant to prove causation and damages. Also, if you intend to bring the claim against the liable party or their insurance carrier rather than your own PIP coverage, you must also prove liability.
These elements are the pillars of a successful claim, and without strong evidence to prove them, your case could fall apart during negotiations. Here are a few ways these elements could come into play during the proceedings:
- Liability: Liability refers to whether or not a party is legally responsible for something. If you bring a claim against your own personal injury protection coverage, you will not have to prove liability to collect compensation; however, if your case meets Florida’s serious injury threshold and you bring a third-party insurance claim or pursue compensation directly from the at-fault party, you must be able to prove liability in order to prevail. Our truck accident attorneys in Coral Gables can help you compile evidence of liability, which may include surveillance footage, black box data, electronic driver logs, and eyewitness deposition.
- Causation: You will have to prove how the tort led to your injuries. While this may seem obvious at first glance, there are many factors that could muddy the waters. For instance, if you have a preexisting condition, the defense may argue that your damages are tied to your pre-existing condition and were not caused by the accident.
- Damages: Damages are recovered by the claimant to compensate them for accident-related losses such as healthcare bills, lost income, and property damage. Non-economic damages may also be recoverable. Examples include pain and suffering and loss of life enjoyment. And if the liable party acted with intentional misconduct or gross negligence, it may also be possible to obtain punitive damages. Our truck accident lawyers can approximate a fair settlement amount that accounts for all the damages you may have incurred.
Contact Us Today for a Free Case Review with a Truck Accident Attorney in Coral Gables, FL
After a serious personal injury, there’s no substitute for the guidance of a skilled attorney. At Lubell Rosen, we will take the time to answer your questions and help you determine the most strategic way to proceed with your claim given the circumstances. You can reach us online via our Contact page or you can schedule a free consultation with a truck accident attorney by calling (305) 655-3425.