The Benefits of Hiring a Board-Certified Truck Accident Lawyer

Florida-Based Lawyer Helps Clients Nationwide

Video Transcript:

Joseph Camerlengo:

You wouldn't go to a general practitioner for brain surgery, don't go to a car wreck lawyer for a truck wreck.

Rob Rosenthal:

So do you have any idea what it means if a lawyer is board certified as a truck accident attorney, and how can it help you? Well, that's what we're gonna find out today, because that's what we're going to ask the lawyer. Hi again, everybody. I'm Rob Rosenthal with askthelawyers.com, and my guest is attorney Joe Camerlengo, who is himself a board certified truck accident attorney, and we'll get him to explain that to us. He's based in Jacksonville, Florida. And I wanna remind, if you wanna ask Joe questions about your situation, it's easy to do, go to askthelawyers.com, click the Ask a Lawyer button, which is in the upper right hand corner of the screen and ask away right there, it doesn't cost anything to ask your questions. Joe, good to see again. Thank you for making some time for us.

Joseph Camerlengo:

Rob, thank you so much for having me. Great to be back.

Rob Rosenthal:

Let's start at the beginning. What does it mean to be a board-certified attorney in truck accident law? Tell me about that.

Joseph Camerlengo:

Well, board certification is extremely important, it means that a lawyer has achieved a level of experience and knowledge in handling real truck accident cases and is peer-reviewed such that they are able to pass the test and get admitted as a board-certified truck accident lawyer through the National Board of Trial Advocates, which is an approved board certification from the American Bar Association.

Rob Rosenthal:

Now, this is not the kind of thing you just make a couple of clicks on the internet and then you're suddenly your board certified. Tell us what that process is like. How long does that take?

Joseph Camerlengo:

Absolutely not. And I'm dual board certified in civil trial and in truck accident law, both of those certifications were very detailed, the application process, you have to list every case, every truck accident in case, all of the different things that you've handled, the number of depositions, the number of trials, all of those things go in to have an adequate point system in order to just to be qualified to take the test. Once you fill out the application process, then you have to be peer reviewed. You have to submit writing samples. And if all of that is a pass, then you actually have to sit for the test, and if you pass the test and the background check and the experience, and you have the experience, then you can be board-certified in truck action law.

Rob Rosenthal:

Approximately how many attorneys are board-certified in truck accident law, do you know?

Joseph Camerlengo:

I think it's right around 50 to 55 lawyers in the entire country, have the specialization and have gone through the rigors in order to call themselves board certified truck accident lawyers in the entire country. I was the first in Florida. Proud of that.

Rob Rosenthal:

Wow, that's awesome.

Joseph Camerlengo:

Actually, it was in the first nine, the original nine people certified.

Rob Rosenthal:

One of the original nine.

Joseph Camerlengo:

That's right.

Rob Rosenthal:

So what does this mean to someone who's injured, seriously injured, 'cause most truck accidents are serious injuries, what does this mean to them if they're looking for an attorney and they find one that's board certified. Tell me about that. What does that mean?

Joseph Camerlengo:

Well, here is the biggest thing I can tell you, there's tons of... Unfortunately, there's tons of lawyers out there advertising for tractor trailer crash cases, those TV advertising lawyers, I don't think any of them are board certified, you'd have to look, but here's the point, just because a car wreck lawyer has handled dozens or even a hundred truck crash cases, does not make them a truck lawyer. Handling a truck crash case, like a car wreck case, does not give you the knowledge to handle these cases. What truck accident... If you hire a board-certified truck accident lawyer in your catastrophic truck case, what you can count on is that lawyer, he or she will have the knowledge necessary to zealously represent you and bring everybody in the transportation cycle that put that truck driver and that truck on the road with that load to bear for your injury for your loved one's death, whatever it may be, that's what a trucking specialist does, we take the case where the car wreck lawyer would settle for the first layer of a million bucks and think he did or she did a good job for you. We take that case and go up the chain to the shipper or the broker, the shipping company, the logistics company, everybody involved, and we take that one million dollar case and make it a 10 or 15 or 20, whatever the case may be, we get all of the people that are responsible brought to the table.

Rob Rosenthal:

What's the biggest mistake you see that lawyers handle, who try to handle truck accident cases maybe aren't prepared for that. What's the biggest mistake you see them make? Is it just handling it like it's the same as a car crash?

Joseph Camerlengo:

Well it's twofold, one is, in the very beginning, you're exactly right, the volume lawyers, the lawyers that primarily do car crash cases, they will send the same letter out: Hey, I represent John Doe or Susie Smith in this crash, not a truck crash case, please send us your insurance information. We get a truck wreck case of a board-certified truck lawyer gets a truck wreck case... We're sending a 15-page preservation letter, we're demanding they preserve everything, we want the cell phone image, we want the truck examined by our expert, want the EDR download under supervised parameters, we're setting all these protocols in place from the very first letter that insurance company that defense lawyer says, Alright, we're dealing with a real truck lawyer, and that makes a huge difference in how they deal with you, and then once you're in the case, the biggest problem I see is just what I said earlier, Rob, that you get a truck, you get a car wreck lawyer that has a catastrophic death or injury case that they send them a million dollar insurance coverage and say, Sorry, that's all we have, and they say to the client, Hey, sorry, all we can get you a million dollars, and they get in three to six months, they get a million bucks in, they're high-fiving 'cause they settle a big case quickly, not even knowing that there's more coverage.

Joseph Camerlengo:

And here's the best example I can give you. We have a case with a million dollar policy, family of six hit head on, I demanded the trailer coverage that was attached to the tractor, they didn't wanna give it to me when I ultimately got the trailer coverage, and they offered the million right away. We have a six-week-old baby killed, we have five other members of the family tragically injured to varying levels, they're offering a million dollars over and over again, I'm like, No, no, no, no, no, 228 million in coverage on the trailer, all with permissive use language, just because the truck driver was driving that trailer, that trailer owner and $228 million in coverage is now responsible for the actions that driver just like you loan me your car to your insurance would apply and so would mine... Those are the biggest mistakes. We see car wreck lawyers make that are handling these truck wrecks. One, they take the million and run and don't go up the chain, or two, they don't even ask for the trailer coverage, and they don't know... They don't know that they're committing malpractice, they're convinced that they're great truck lawyers, and they're just not. You wouldn't go to a general practitioner for brain surgery, don't go to a car wreck lawyer for a truck wreck. Don't go to a truck wreck lawyer for a malpractice or med mal case, go to a specialist, whatever that area of injury or loss that you have, find a specialist, somebody board-certified that can help you just like you do in medicine.

Rob Rosenthal:

It seems like just from hearing some of the things you're talking about already, Joe, that it requires a firm that has some resources to handle this sort of litigation, no?

Joseph Camerlengo:

Oh, there is no doubt. So in a typical car crash, you might spend $5000 or $10000 in the first six months or a year in that case. In a truck wreck case, we might be $50,000 in the first week. If we had to buy the truck, buy the cars, preserve them, hire the expert, fly them in, so you have to have a firm with the wherewithal, financially and the knowledge base and experience to handle that case. It's exactly right.

Rob Rosenthal:

Do you consult with other firms and attorneys and help them, do they bring you in to work on their cases, co-council, that sort of thing?

Joseph Camerlengo:

Absolutely, we handle cases all over the country, obviously, we're happy to take them or we're grateful to get them right off from happy clients that are satisfied with our services, that refer them right in, but we deal with... The vast majority of our cases come with lawyers that either just refer us the case or want us to come in and serve as lead trucking trial counsel, and we work with them in building up the damages case, we handle the majority of the liability work and help them with the damages, they handle the majority of the damage case and help us with the liability, and together we form a great team for the client.

Rob Rosenthal:

Lots of fascinating information Joe, thank you so much for making some time to answer our questions.

Joseph Camerlengo:

Great to be here, Rob. Anytime. Thank you very much.

Rob Rosenthal:

That's gonna do it for this episode of Ask the Lawyer. My guest has been attorney Joe Camerlengo, a board-certified a truck accident attorney based in Jacksonville, Florida. If you wanna ask Joe questions about your situation, it's easy to do. Go to askthelawyers.com, there's a button in the upper right hand part of the screen that says Ask a Lawyer, you click right there and you can ask away and it doesn't cost you anything to ask. Thanks for watching, I'm Rob Rosenthal with Ask the Lawyers.


The Truck Accident Law Firm

1200 Riverplace Blvd. 

Jacksonville, FL 32207


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