"Whether it's a whiplash, serious injury or wrongful death case, we pride ourselves on representing you with the personal service and aggressive representation that you expect and deserve!" -Attorney Ron Sholes
Jacksonville Truck Accident Attorney
Truck Accidents in Duval County
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.
Contact the Law Offices of Ron Sholes, P.A. at (855) 933-3881 to learn more during a free, confidential consultation with one of our Jacksonville truck accident attorneys.
On This Page:
- What to Do After a Truck Accident
- How Do Large Truck Accidents Happen?
- What Makes Truck Accident Cases So Complex?
- Why You Need an Attorney for Your Truck Accident Case
- Frequently Asked Questions
What to Do After a Truck Accident in Jacksonville
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.
Follow these steps after being in a truck accident in Jacksonville:
- Seek medical attention: Your health and safety should always be your top priority. If you or anyone else involved in the accident has sustained any injuries, call 911 immediately. Even if you feel fine, it is still important to get checked out by a medical professional as some injuries may not show symptoms right away.
- Contact law enforcement: Call the police and report the truck accident. An official police report will be created, which will help determine who was at fault for the accident. Be sure to provide accurate information about what happened and do not admit fault or apologize for anything.
- Document the scene: If possible, take photos of the scene of the accident including any damages to vehicles involved, skid marks on the road, traffic signs or signals nearby, and any other relevant details that could help support your case.
- Exchange information: Exchange contact information with all parties involved in the accident including drivers, passengers, and witnesses. This includes names, phone numbers, addresses, license plate numbers, insurance information, and information unique to the truck like a trailer ID number.
- Contact our firm: Truck accidents can be complicated legal matters that require advanced knowledge and skills. It is crucial that you seek guidance from an experienced attorney who can help protect your rights and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
How Do Large Truck Accidents Happen?
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.
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Distracted driving, including texting, looking at a GPS, or eating while driving
- Inexperienced truck drivers
- Speeding, including excessive speeds and driving too fast for weather conditions
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Fatigued driving/falling asleep at the wheel
- Hours-of-service violations (often resulting from unrealistic deadlines/quotas)
- Traffic law violations, including failure to yield, unlawful passing, etc.
- Overloaded or unevenly loaded cargo
- Negligent supervision or hiring
- Lack of sufficient training
- Improper or insufficient truck maintenance and/or repairs
- Defective vehicles/vehicle parts
- Defective roadway design and/or construction
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.
What Makes Truck Accident Cases So Complex?
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.
Why You Need an Attorney for Your Truck Accident Case
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.
At the Law Offices of Ron Sholes, P.A., our Jacksonville truck accident attorneys are prepared to help you with every detail of your case, including but not limited to:
- Helping you find and obtain proper medical care
- Investigating the accident to determine how it happened and who is liable
- Gathering and submitting all relevant evidence and witness statements
- Handling all communication with the insurance company
- Negotiating with the insurance company for a fair settlement
- Preparing litigation and taking your case to trial if necessary
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.
Get Started with a Free Consultation
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.
Contact us online or by phone at (855) 933-3881 today to request a complimentary consultation and case evaluation.
Jacksonville Truck Accident Attorney FAQ
What should I look for when choosing a truck accident lawyer?
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.
How does a truck accident lawyer handle disputes with the trucking company or its insurance company?
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.
What is the role of a truck accident lawyer in the claims process?
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.