Jacksonville Truck Accident Lawyer
Car collisions can be one of the most horrendous experiences of anyone’s life. The injuries, post traumatic stress, and financial damages can follow victims for the rest of their lives if the crash was severe. But however bad a collision with another passenger vehicle is, collisions with semi trucks can be even worse. Truck collisions are so traumatic because the outcome for the passengers of the smaller vehicle is often incredibly dire, due to the immense size of an 18 wheeler. In 2012 large trucks accounted for just three percent of all vehicles on U.S. roadways, yet they were involved in eight percent of all fatal collisions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This shows the dangers presented by such large vehicles attempting to share the same roads with passenger vehicles. Moreover, it is rarely the truck driver that sustains serious injury or death in a collision, as only one percent of all traffic fatalities within Florida in 2014 were those of truck drivers, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Often, drivers of trucks either cannot see vehicles approaching to overtake them from behind and to the sides, and change lanes into the approaching passenger vehicle, or the driver of the truck changes lanes or turns anyways, despite seeing the approaching vehicle. In both scenarios, the driver of the truck may be held liable for damages. While driving a truck through traffic is more difficult than navigating by passenger vehicle, truck drivers are held to the same standard that everyone else is: their duty of care obligates them to not put others at unreasonable risk. Trucks are harder to slow down, are prone to rollovers when taking turns at high speeds, their visibility to the rear and sides is poor, they are difficult to handle in tight spaces, and the truck drivers themselves may be fatigued or become distracted due to the long, solitary hours on the road. However, if the driver of the truck caused the collision, they, or more likely the trucking company, will be held accountable for paying your medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering, and lost wages, if you reach a settlement or win a lawsuit. For either of those two scenarios to unfold in your favor, it is imperative to have an experienced Jacksonville truck accident lawyer at your side with extensive knowledge and a proven history of success in handling truck collisions in Jacksonville.
Driver Error, Cargo Loading Issues, and Faulty Manufacturing and Design
In most scenarios that the truck caused the accident, the truck driver themselves are responsible due to poor driving. In that scenario, they will be held accountable if they are an independent contractor. Or, if they are employed by a trucking or shipping company, that company will be held liable if the driver caused the crash. However, if the incident was the result of poor loading of goods (items fell off onto the road, the trailer was too top heavy and rolled, or the truck was overloaded and the brakes failed) the company or party that loaded the truck may be at fault. And, if the accident was the result of poor manufacturing or design, such as faulty tires, the company that supplied those parts or designed the truck may be found liable. As you can see, filing a lawsuit or receiving a settlement in a truck accidents are rarely a simple matter, especially since the victims are often entitled to substantial sums of financial compensation and have to go up against huge, multi-billion dollar insurance companies to be awarded said compensation. If you have been injured in a truck accident, don’t hesitate to give one of our experienced Jacksonville truck accident lawyers a call today at the Jacksonville law offices of The Pendas Law Firm today at 1-888-573-6327.
What To Do In a Jacksonville Truck Accident
According to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, there are over 200,000 auto collisions annually in the state of Florida. Almost every American will be involved in at least one auto accident in their lifetime. Chances are, most of us will be involved in many more than just one. And, in most of those cases, there will be at least moderate damage to our vehicles and bodies. Substantial psychological harm can be brought on by a serious collision as well. However, for those unlucky enough to be hit by a truck, the trauma can be ten-fold. Truck accidents in Jacksonville and the surrounding areas have been on the rise as of late, due to various reasons including more traffic overall on the roads due to lower gas prices and a growing economy. In 2014, there were 34,438 commercial vehicle collisions in the state of Florida, according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. In 2015 that number increased to 38,180, showing a drastic increase in the number of collisions that involved large trucks. When large trucks are involved, injuries and other damages skyrocket for the occupants of passenger vehicles for the obvious reason of size differences.
Steps to Take Following a Jacksonville Truck Accident
As with any type of accident, whether you are a pedestrian, cyclist, a driver that has been hit by another car, or by a large truck, the steps to take following the collision are very similar. First, check and attend to any injuries you or your passengers have received. If the accident was severe, as many are that involve large trucks, you may not even be able to take care of this first step. Contact the authorities, secondly, and move your vehicle out of the lane of traffic if you are blocking it, if you are able to. Setting up a reflective triangle or road flares can help warn approaching traffic of the dangers ahead. Next, exchange contact information and insurance information with the driver of the truck, take photos of the crash scene, and gather witness testimony and contact information as well. Even if you do not feel too badly injured, it is an excellent idea to seek the medical attention of a doctor. In most truck accidents, it will be entirely necessary to receive immediate medical attention, which is why following many of the above listed steps may be impossible. When you are able to, contact your insurance provider about the collision, and find an experienced truck accident lawyer in Jacksonville, even if the collision occurred out of state.
How To Recover Compensation for Damages Suffered During Your Jacksonville Truck Accident
The most crucial aspect of any personal injury claim is establishing liability. We must be successful in showing the court who was responsible for causing the crash. In some cases, this process is more simple than others. However, even if the truck driver admits fault at the scene of the crash, they or their company may go back on that word at a later date when it comes time to issuing compensation. An experienced Jacksonville truck accident lawyer will prove vital in terms of receiving the full compensation, in a timely manner, that you deserve. The best truck accident lawyers today at 1-888-573-6327 with the Jacksonville law offices of The Pendas Law Firm.