Every year, thousands of people are injured or killed in large truck accidents in the United States. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, 45 people were killed and another 839 were injured (with as many as 1,374 non-confirmed but possible injuries occurring) in light and heavy truck collisions in Florida in 2018 alone.
If you or someone you love was involved in a crash with a semi-truck or tractor-trailer, you already know how devastating these accidents are. What you may not realize, however, is that you could be entitled to financial compensation for all of your economic and non-economic damages, including your current and future medical expenses, current and future lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Getting into an accident with a large truck can be a traumatizing experience. Not only are the damages often severe, but the legal process can also be complex and overwhelming. If you have been involved in a truck accident in Jacksonville, it is important to take immediate action to protect your rights as a driver who has been injured and is now owed fair compensation.
Most commercial drivers, including large truck operators, are highly skilled, trained professionals. However, just like anyone else, they are also prone to human error. Accidents often occur when truck drivers make honest mistakes or act carelessly, recklessly, or negligently.
But truck drivers are not always to blame for these accidents. Often, unsafe (and unlawful) trucking company practices contribute to or cause collisions. In other instances, poorly maintained vehicles or defective truck parts can play a critical role in a devastating crash.
At the Law Offices of Ron Sholes, P.A., we work with a team of six in-house investigators to accurately determine how an accident occurred. This is critical, as it allows our Jacksonville truck accident lawyers to identify the liable party and build the strongest possible claim on your behalf.
Truck accident cases are far more complex than standard car accident or motorcycle accident claims. One of the main reasons for this is the issue of liability.
In a typical motor vehicle accident claim, injured individuals can either turn to their personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and seek compensation for their medical expenses and lost wages through the state’s no-fault system, or they can go outside this system and sue the at-fault party directly for damages. To do the latter, the plaintiff (the person bringing the claim) will need to prove that their injuries meet Florida’s “serious injury” threshold and that the other party was at least partly to blame for the accident.
After a crash with a large semi-truck or 18-wheeler, most victims will suffer severe, catastrophic injuries, allowing them to go outside the no-fault system to recover compensation. In a truck accident case, however, liability is not always tied directly to fault. Like other employers, trucking companies can often be held liable for the conduct of their employees (i.e., truck drivers). When a truck driver causes an accident, therefore, the injured party may be able to bring a claim against the trucking company.
However, trucking companies are not always liable for their drivers’ actions. When truck drivers violate company policies, trucking companies may argue that they cannot be held responsible for such conduct. Additionally, some truck crashes are caused not by the actions of the driver or its employer but due to other outside factors. These might include defective parts created by a manufacturer, poor vehicle repairs carried out by a third-party repair shop, or even the negligence of another motorist on the road.
The law does not require you to hire a personal injury attorney to bring a truck accident claim. However, due to the many complexities inherent in these types of cases, we strongly recommend that you seek the guidance of a skilled legal team to significantly improve the likelihood of a successful outcome.
Throughout the process, we will remain consistently accessible to you. We even provide our clients with our attorneys’ personal cell phone numbers so that they can get in touch with them when they need them most. We answer calls to our firm 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and you will always reach a real, live person when you contact us.
Getting back on your feet after a devastating truck accident or the loss of a loved one can be an uphill battle—but you don’t have to do it on your own. We invite you to reach out to our Jacksonville office at your earliest convenience to learn how we can help you with your case. There are no out-of-pocket expenses and no attorneys’ fees unless/until we recover a settlement or verdict on your behalf.
When you are hiring a truck accident lawyer, you will want to consider several important factors before signing any paperwork. To begin, consider if the lawyer has experience specifically in handling truck accident cases. Look online for reviews, testimonials from previous clients, and any awards or recognition they have received. Ask about how they respond to emails and what sort of communication you can expect. Lastly, make sure that you know how your attorney’s fees are structured and what it could end up costing you to hire them. At The Law Offices of Ron Sholes, P.A., we are always happy to answer these questions and more with honesty and transparency.
A truck accident lawyer can assist in resolving disputes with the trucking company and its insurance company by conducting a thorough investigation of the accident, negotiating on behalf of their client to ensure fair compensation for injuries and damages, taking legal action if negotiations fail, utilizing their knowledge of trucking industry regulations, and handling complex legal issues that often arise in these cases. With an experienced attorney by your side, you can have peace of mind knowing that your rights are being protected and respected from the start of the case to its conclusion.
A truck accident lawyer plays a crucial role in the claims process by advocating for their client’s rights and best interests. They investigate the accident, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance adjusters, and take legal action if necessary. Additionally, they have knowledge of trucking industry regulations and experience handling complex legal issues that often arise in these cases. With a skilled attorney on your side, you can navigate the claims process with confidence while focusing on your recovery.