While personal injury lawyers are qualified to handle an array of case types, it’s important to find an attorney who’s best suited for your case.
With over 15 years of practicing law in his pocket, Kenneth Hancock, Partner and Owner at Hancock Law, has experience handling all types of personal injury cases, including traffic accidents, slip-and-fall cases, and wrongful death suits. The most common types of accidents that the team at Hancock Law represents are by far traffic accidents. However, not all motor vehicle accidents are created equally.
Here, we’ll run through a few different scenarios of potential types of car accidents that Hancock Law is experienced in handling, the intricacies of each and the need-to-know basics.
In every car accident, there are potentially two types of insurance coverages that are implicated. These do not include health insurance.
It’s a Wednesday morning. John and Sheryl are each commuting to work in Port Charlotte in their own vehicles, alone. However, John spills his coffee and while reaching for spare napkins in the glove box, fails to see traffic slow and rear-ends Sheryl.
This is the simplest variation of a private driver-to-private driver accident. In this situation, both John and Sheryl are insured, and John is clearly at fault. In general, Kenneth and Hancock Law represent those impacted or who were injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident, not those at fault. So in this scenario, Hancock Law would represent Sheryl in a claim to recover from the BI coverage John has under his auto insurance policy.
In general, Kenneth and Hancock Law represent those impacted or who were injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident, not those at fault.
Jane is driving home to Punta Gorda from the big game with her two kids, when all of a sudden, Adam –who was texting and driving– blasts through a stop sign, hitting Jane’s car. Both kids end up with broken arms, and Jane with a concussion.
While also a private driver-to-private driver accident, this situation introduces new factors that must be considered when trying to recover from Adam’s BI coverage..
Anytime there are more than two injured victims in a car accident, things can get complicated. With rare exception, BI coverage comes in per-person/per-collision limits. Per-person limits are available for each person, up to two people. If more than two people are injured, the at-fault driver’s per-collision limits are triggered. Per-collision limits are allocated among all injured parties.
Going back to our example, in this situation Adam has a $25,000.00 per person/$50,000.00 per collision BI policy. If only Jane and one child were injured, then the per-person limits would be available to each of them: $25,000.00 for Jane and $25,000.00 for her child. In our example, however, Adam injured three people with his careless driving: Jane and her two children. This means that Jane and both children now split the $50,000.00 amongst themselves. Whether it’s three victims or 30, the per-collision limit is the total amount of coverage that will be paid by Adam’s auto insurer.
In car accident scenarios with multiple injured parties, matters can be complicated because coverage may be limited in relation to one party over another. If one party’s injuries are more severe than the others, more of the recovery ought to go to that party. In cases where the interests of all injured parties are not aligned, this can create a conflict of interest. It is very important to find an ethical attorney who can spot these issues at the outset of the case. There are above-the-board ways to handle conflict scenarios like these with an attorney who is a true counselor/advisor. At Hancock Law, we help pursue maximum remuneration for injured parties…all injured parties.
The sooner you get your personal injury lawyer involved, the higher chance you have of receiving additional remuneration.
It’s 11pm and Eric is driving back to his rural home after visiting his son in the city. As he’s on the highway, a semi truck begins to drift into his lane and eventually causes an accident.
In this scenario, we’re dealing with a commercial driver-to-private driver accident. There are two big differences with these accidents versus private driver-to-private driver accidents:
Additionally, the obligations that a Class A CDL (commercial driver’s license) driver owes to others on the road are greater than your standard driver. Thus, the Department of Transportation has numerous regulations in place to manage these types of drivers, from load size to how many hours they are permitted to be on the road. The businesses that own these trucks often also have dashboard cameras and other equipment on the vehicle that track/log important factors such as speed, frequency of braking and communications with their drivers.
While this all makes these types of cases potentially more costly to litigate, the abundance of traceable information from these vehicles, from radio recordings to dashboard cameras, also provides more information for Hancock Law to leverage when representing you in your commercial driver-to-private driver accident.
“I would stress the importance of calling a personal injury attorney as soon as possible,” Kenneth says.
When it comes to accidents where the commercial vehicle is at fault, within 24 hours the trucking company’s insurance carrier typically has a field operative or accident reconstructionist on site laying out cones, taking measurements, taking photos, interviewing witnesses and meticulously documenting the scene of the accident. The importance of jumping on that same type of detailed investigation via a personal injury lawyer cannot be stressed enough.
Involving your lawyer as early as possible will help ensure every detail is accounted for and that procedures, such as letters to the commercial carrier, inspections of the commercial vehicle, etc that are not common practice in private driver-to-private driver accidents are followed. Getting a quick jump on the accident investigation will help build your case and get you the settlement you deserve.
As the injured party, it’s easy to oversee details as you are overwhelmed by the moment: getting your car repaired, buying a new car, meeting with your doctors, taking time off from work, paying for your medical treatment…the list of things to worry about is long.
Most clients don’t realize how complex commercial insurance claims are and how quickly they get filed, which is why you need an expert to quickly advocate for you, so you and your case don’t get lost in the shuffle.
While Kenneth recommends always getting a personal injury attorney involved — especially when you’re not at fault — regardless of accident type, it’s arguably even more vital for commercial cases. While you’re recovering from your injuries following a car accident, let Hancock Law advocate for you.
Whether you’re hit by “John”, “Adam” or a semi-truck, motor vehicle collisions are truly scary life events. Some people get emergency room treatment immediately following the accident, then assume their injuries will go away, so they do nothing. Some have never been through it before and are overstimulated by all the necessary decisions to the point of “paralysis by analysis.” Others are seriously injured and worried about their future, with fear keeping them from seeking a recovery.
The insurance companies count on these situations because the outcome of each is the same: you miss out on the advice of counsel and they pay nothing or significantly less than they would if the victim had the help of a personal injury attorney. Please, do not give the insurance companies what they want. If you’ve been in a motor vehicle accident in Charlotte County, DeSoto County or elsewhere in South Florida, call us immediately to request an in-person sit down with Kenneth Hancock. Bring your questions and bring your worries. We’ll work it out together.