Truck accidents are shocking events nobody plans for that completely disrupts their life. The pain and anguish you feel may be exacerbated by the complexity of the legal process and your anxiety about filing a personal injury claim. The truck accident lawyers at Fasig | Brooks understand what you are going through and are eager to help you come back stronger. We have recovered millions at our Jacksonville, FL law firm for individuals who have been in an accident with a big rig, and we are ready to help you, too.
Steps to Take After a Truck Accident in Jacksonville
When it comes to personal injury cases, there are certain things that you should do after motor vehicle accidents.
One of the most important steps to take after truck accidents is to call 911 to have police and first responders arrive at the scene to treat injured victims. If you are blocking traffic, you should move the car to the side to prevent another accident and even more injuries. Check on the other driver if you are able to, and check for any other individuals who may have been injured, such as passengers, pedestrians, or bicyclists.
Exchange Information With The Truck Driver
Exchange names, addresses, email addresses, work phone numbers, and auto insurance information with the commercial truck driver. Find out the name of the trucking company they drive for and get the commercial vehicle identification number. Most commercial vehicles have a number printed on the truck so that the truck company can track the driver with the vehicle. If there are any witnesses to your Jacksonville, FL accident, then get their contact information as well.
Photo and Video Evidence From The Scene of the Accident
Photos and videos provide indisputable evidence in truck accident cases. The most important thing is to consider your safety when taking photos, so try to take a photo from a safe distance that encompasses the entire scene. Include other factors that could have affected your accident such as construction zones, obstructed street signs, and speed limit signs.
Seek Medical Attention
Go to the nearest emergency room in Jacksonville, FL to have your injuries assessed even if you feel fine. Accidents involving semi-trucks can lead to serious injuries such as internal bleeding, broken bones, back injuries, head injuries, and severe cuts and bruises. If you are concerned about who will pay for your Jacksonville, FL medical care, then contact our truck accident law firm to find out what rights to compensation you have under the law.
Keep Interactions Short
Semi-truck accidents can make people angry, frustrated, and feel that it’s rational to lash out. Never admit to causing the accident or blame the other driver. Either of those statements could jeopardize your case before it has had a chance to be investigated. Saying the wrong thing can make it very difficult for you to receive damages later on, if not impossible because the insurance company uses your words against you. Just exchange the information that you need to with the other driver.
The responding police officer will ask you for a statement. Again, be careful what you say. You should not tell the officer any theories you have about how the accident happened or how fast you think the other driver was going. Just explain what you remember seeing and hearing before the accident and what you felt when you were in the car, such as multiple impacts.
Contact An Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer
Hiring a truck accident lawyer can protect you in your truck accident case and provide you with guidance on the legal process. Insurance companies require truck accidents to be reported immediately and may use that opportunity to try to trick you into saying something that makes you more liable for the crash and resultant truck accident injuries. A truck accident lawyer speaks to the insurance company on your behalf and investigates your case to determine the potentially liable parties. When you don’t hire an experienced truck accident attorney to protect your interest, then you risk not getting the financial compensation that you deserve. Our truck accident law firm will fight to defend your rights and be your advocate. Call 904-222-3333 to speak to one of the Jacksonville truck accident attorneys at Fasig | Brooks.
What Kind of Damages Are Available to Truck Accident Victims?
There are two types of damages that Jacksonville truck accident attorneys help their clients to receive: economic damages and non-economic damages. Your truck accident attorney will fight for you to get the maximum compensation that you deserve from your personal injury case.
Economic Damages From Truck Crashes
Economic damages are the financial losses that you have suffered as a result of the truck and car accident. You can recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, future lost earning potential, and other out-of-pocket expenses such as repairing or replacing the vehicle you were driving that was damaged in the trucking accident.
You can also recover compensation for non-pecuniary, subjective losses in a personal injury case. The most common type of non-economic damage is pain and suffering. If you have suffered injuries in a crash with a big rig, no doubt it has led to more than financial losses. You can recover compensation for your emotional distress, mental anguish, permanent disfigurement, loss of use of an organ, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Our Jacksonville personal injury attorneys can help you recover compensation if you have lost a loved one in a fatal accident. The surviving spouse, children, parents, or representative of the estate can recover losses from a wrongful death claim.
What Causes Most Truck Accidents?
There are different factors that contribute to truck accidents including the following:
Truck drivers and trucking companies are mandated to follow Hours of Service rules. Drivers in Jacksonville, FL may not drive over 12 hours in a day after 10 consecutive hours off duty. Truck drivers may not drive after 70 hours on duty in seven consecutive days or 80 hours on duty within eight consecutive days. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, 34 consecutive hours off duty constitutes the end of a 7/8 day. Trucking companies are notorious for pushing their drivers to work longer hours to make deliveries. A Jacksonville truck accident lawyer can get down to the bottom of what happened and hold the trucking company responsible for its negligence.
Negligent Hiring By the Trucking Company
A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required for driving and renting commercial trucks. In addition to having this license, truck drivers must also pass a DOT Background Check, including a drug and alcohol screening and a thorough employment screening. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that trucking companies obtain at least three years’ worth of work and driving information on potential drivers before offering them employment. If our truck accident attorneys find that the trucking company was negligent in conducting these background checks, then we will pursue the maximum settlement for your damages.
Any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the road, such as texting or eating behind the wheel, compromises the safety of the driver and other road users. Using a cell phone while driving a big rig can increase the chances of causing a crash. Some commercial vehicle drivers become overly confident in their driving ability after clocking hundreds or thousands of miles. Just because it’s common for people to glance at their radio or air conditioning settings doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily safe. That’s a lot of distance to travel without seeing where you are going. When driving at high speeds on the highway, even looking down at a cell phone for a few seconds can be like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
Truck drivers are required to drive while sober to prevent truck crashes. Both truck drivers and trucking companies can be held responsible for accidents involving drugs or alcohol. Alcohol impairs a driver’s cognition and motor skills, making them less likely to respond to changes on the road accurately. Drivers who are under the influence may overcompensate for changes on the road, such as when a car changes lanes, and cause a rollover accident by turning the wheel too much.
Cargo That Isn’t Properly Secured
Trucking companies are responsible for meeting federal laws regarding cargo securement. Cargo that is transported on a commercial vehicle must remain secured on or in the vehicle. When cargo is not properly secured it can lead to dangerous leaks or spills, fall off the vehicle, become dislodged from the vehicle, or shift to the extent that the stability and maneuverability of the heavy truck are adversely affected.
These are some of the most common questions that our truck accident lawyers receive. For answers to your specific questions, call Fasig | Brooks now to schedule your free, personalized consultation at 904-222-3333.
Who is liable for a truck accident?
The truck accident attorneys at Fasig | Brooks will conduct an investigation to find out who is liable for your truck accident. The potentially liable parties are:
- The trucking company
- The truck driver
- The manufacturer of the commercial vehicle
- The cargo loaders
What are some common injuries after Jacksonville, FL truck crashes?
Some of the most common injuries after a truck crash are:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Fractured ribs and other broken bones
- Back injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Catastrophic injuries, such as paralysis, skull fractures, and spinal cord injuries
What should I bring to my initial consultation with my Jacksonville truck accident attorney?
We advise you to bring supportive documents to this initial meeting, including:
- The police report
- Your photos and videos from the scene of the accident
- Contact information for the truck driver and witnesses
- Your medical records
- Your bills, invoices, statements, and other financial documents
We also recommend that you keep a daily journal that tracks your symptoms, recovery process, and emotional process.
How long after my accident should I contact your truck accident law firm?
The statute of limitations in Florida for personal injury claims is four years from the date of the accident. If you do not submit your claim within this time limit, you could lose your right to compensation. However, you should receive medical attention within two weeks of your accident and reach out to one of our personal injury lawyers within a month of the accident. The longer you delay getting medical attention, the worse it is for your health. Also, the longer you delay, the more likely the insurance company will argue that your injuries were not severe enough to warrant immediate help and attention.
Your Trusted Jacksonville Truck Accident Attorneys
When you file a personal injury claim after a truck accident, you will face strong opposition from the insurance company, so you need a tenacious advocate who helps you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries. The trucking companies want to preserve their reputation, and their insurers want to save themselves money. Truck accidents usually lead to significant medical expenses to treat the injuries as well as other costly damages.
The experienced attorneys at Fasig | Brooks have successfully won large settlements for our Jacksonville, FL clients for many years. We start by offering you a free consultation with one of our attorneys, who then advises you of your rights under Florida law and what other cases similar to yours our law firm has handled. Then we explain the legal process in your particular case, what to expect, what we need from you, and what resources we can dedicate to helping you get what you deserve.
Our goal is to help you come back stronger. We are passionate about helping victims of truck accidents so that they can move forward from the accident and continue to enjoy their lives. Our former clients describe us as compassionate, quick to respond to inquiries, knowledgeable and welcoming. Call 904-222-3333 today to schedule your free case evaluation at our Jacksonville, FL office.