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Jacksonville Truck and Semi-Truck Accident Attorneys

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The injuries sustained in a trucking accident are usually more extensive because of the scale, speed, and weight of the truck or semi-truck. Even small trucks and commercial vehicles pose a risk if not properly driven and maintained. In a match between a truck, semi-truck and car, a car will lose every time – and their occupants too often pay the ultimate price. For truck and semi-truck accident victims, the personal and economic burdens can be overwhelming. Many times, catastrophic injuries and even death can occur.

Because so many trucking accidents are severe, the government has created guidelines that trucking companies, their drivers and independent truck drivers must follow. They include:

  • Controlling the amount of sleep truckers are required to get.
  • Limiting the number of hours truckers can drive daily and weekly.
  • Specifying highway following distances between trucks.

Trucking Accidents in Florida

So how common are truck accidents in the State of Florida?  Actually, Florida is one of the worst states in the nation for truck and semi-truck accidents. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Florida joins just nine other states in accounting for half of all fatalities involved in a trucking accident in the U.S. One of the reasons is that Florida is considered a great location for trucking companies and drivers because of the amount of goods coming into the state’s ports from all over the world and the state’s agricultural exports. This means there are more trucks on Florida’s roadways making state and nationwide deliveries.

Unfortunately, nearly 110,000 men, women, and children are killed or injured each year on our highways in crashes with commercial trucks and semi-trucks. Approximately one out of every four semi-trucks, upon inspection, are so mechanically deficient, that it is illegal for them to be operating on the roadways, and they are declared out of service. 

Top Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents

There’s nothing more nerve-racking than driving near a commercial truck. Even if the person is driving responsibly, it doesn’t change the fact that a minor mistake can result in a serious accident.

Understanding the top causes of commercial truck accidents may help you avoid trouble. Consider the following:

  • Drowsy driving: If a trucker becomes drowsy while behind the wheel, there’s a greater chance of an accident. 
  • Distracted driving: This takes on many forms, including texting, talking on a cell phone, eating, drinking, smoking and even filing out itineraries. 
  • Driving while under the influence: Alcohol, drugs, and prescription medication can all influence a trucker’s ability to drive safely while following the rules of the road.
  • Reckless driving: This includes behavior such as excessive speeding, illegal lane changes, and illegal passing. 
  • Road Conditions: Not all commercial drivers have the same amount of experience and skills. Florida’s unpredictable weather can cause havoc on roadways especially during frequent rain storms presenting each truck driver with a dangerous road condition.
  • Visibility: For every type of manufactured truck on the roadways today, each has its unique limitation in being able to see in front, on the side and other vehicles in close proximity to theirs. Many times, this present an unsafe situation and is one of the most frequent cause of accidents and crashes.
  • Vehicle Maintenance: Many commercial trucks are owner by independent agents responsible for keeping their vehicles in proper condition. This does present a danger when trucks and/or semi-trucks are not properly maintained and can lead to vehicle mishaps. Poor or worn tire tread, unstable suspensions, improperly loaded or oversized loads can all contribute to an unsafe driving condition.

If you’ve spent any amount of time driving close to commercial trucks, there’s a good chance you’ve witnessed a trucker doing something that increases the risk of a crash. 

What to Do After a Car-Truck Accident

You hope that you’re never involved in a car-truck accident, but if you are it’s critical to know what to do. Here are the six basic steps to take:

  1. Move to safety: If possible, move your vehicle out of the flow of traffic, such as to the side of the highway. 
  2. Assess your injuries: Doing so allows you to take the appropriate action in regard to first aid. 
  3. Call for help: Don’t assume that police and an ambulance will arrive. Call 911 to ensure that this happens as quickly as possible.
  4. Receive medical treatment: Paramedics can treat you at the scene, while also quickly transporting you to a local hospital for testing and additional treatment. Even if you don’t think you’ve been injured, it’s good practice to be examined by a qualified medical professional.
  5. Remember, Doctor First, Lawyer Second
  6. Take action against the negligent party: This generally starts with filing an insurance claim, but could eventually lead to the courtroom. It’s best to consult with a truck accident attorney as soon as possible. 

Truck Accident Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

There’s no shortage of questions associated with truck-car accidents, but these are among the most common:

  • How much is your truck accident case worth?
  • How much does it cost to hire a personal injury attorney?
  • How long does it take to obtain compensation from the negligent party?
  • Are there any fees associated with a personal injury claim?
  • How is fault determined in a truck accident?
  • Who is liable in a truck accident? Is it the truck driver or the trucking company? Can it be both?
  • What’s the statute of limitations on a Florida truck accident lawsuit?
  • Does an insurance policy cover all of your damages? 

If you have been in an accident with a truck, it should be investigated as soon as possible. Trucking companies require their drivers to contact the company immediately who will begin a thorough investigation with their insurance company. Independent truckers want to protect their licensing and insurance coverage, so they will be very proactive to find some other cause other than their careless behavior. As with any vehicular accident remember, insurance companies have experienced investigators and attorneys on their side, protecting their interest not yours. You should have the same. 

If you have had a loved one injured or killed in a trucking accident, hiring a truck or semi-truck accident lawyer is a good way of letting insurance companies know just how serious you are about your trucking accident case. 

Trucking accidents are complex and require the attention of attorneys with extensive trucking accident experience. If a tragedy like this happens to you or your family, consider contacting Terrell Hogan

You can reach us online or via phone at (904) 632-2424. We’re available to answer your questions, provide guidance, and protect your legal rights. We’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that you receive compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and related damages.

Jacksonville Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Truck Accident

If you or a family member have been injured in any type of truck or a semi-truck collision, you need to hire a knowledgeable attorney who has extensive experience dealing with the trucking industry and their insurance carriers. At Terrell Hogan we have been representing truck accident victims since 1974. Our personal injury attorneys have handled countless cases involving truck, semi-truck, and commercial vehicles. We understand that there can be many complex parts to a truck accident and can involve multiple parties.

Commercial companies, especially trucking companies have more than just money to lose if one of their drivers is found negligent and responsible for an accident-causing injury or death. If the vehicle’s condition itself has contributed to the accident occurring, the negligent party may suffer an increased liability for not properly maintaining the truck in good working condition.

Licensing, operational shutdowns, state inspections and fines, insurance carrier cancellations and/or increased premiums are all byproducts of negligent behaviors on the part of commercial companies.

Independent truckers have many issues to contend with including commercial licensing, suspensions and vehicle impounding not to mention their livelihood as well.

Injured in a trucking accident? Give us a call and speak to a truck accident legal expert who can advise you on the best course of action to receive fair and just compensation for your injuries.


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