Trucking Accident Lawyers in Jacksonville, FL
Representing Victims of Truck Crashes in Florida
When an 40-ton tractor-trailer collides with a passenger vehicle, the results are nearly always catastrophic and – all too often – fatal because of the truck's substantially larger size and weight. The truck accident lawyers at Coker Law have successfully represented hundreds of individuals who have suffered life changing injuries, and families who have suffered the death of a loved one, due to trucking-related crashes.
Commercial Vehicle Crashes
People usually think of a large semi truck when it comes to a trucking accident, but that isn't always the case. What we call a “trucking accident” is technically a commercial vehicle crash. The commercial vehicle classification is what makes these cases legally complicated. Buses, box trucks, or even a large pickup truck pulling a trailer can be classified as commercial vehicles.
A commercial motor vehicle is any self-propelled or towed vehicle used on the public highways in commerce to transport passengers or cargo, if such vehicle:
- Has a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more;
- Is designed to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver; or
- Is used in the transportation of materials found to be hazardous for the purposes of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act
Common Causes of Trucking Crashes
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was established to prevent commercial motor vehicle accidents. The Administration manages Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDLs) and enforces many regulations for Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers. For example, CMV drivers are required to have a medical certificate that confirms they are healthy enough to drive. They must also comply with Hours of Service regulations which dictate maximum driving time and minimum rest requirements.
However, despite all the safety regulations currently in place, truck accidents still happen. The most common causes of trucking accidents include:
- Distracted and fatigued driving
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Driver inexperience
- Improper cargo loading
What To Do After a Truck Accident
Information and documentation is critical in commercial vehicle accidents. If you are involved in a commercial vehicle crash, and you are not seriously injured, the below steps will help ensure the truth can be proven in a court of law.
- Gather as much information as possible. Write down the USDOT number on the side of the tractor. Note if the trailer has a company name on the side, like Walmart or Target. Try to look in the cab to see if there are any cameras.
- Tell your story. You need to be your own advocate for the truth regarding what really happened. The insurance company will rely on the police report from the scene so it needs to accurately reflect your experience. Speak with the officer on site and make sure they know your side of the story.
- If needed, seek medical attention ASAP. If you are injured, do not wait to see a doctor. There are insurance benefits that could be lost if you do not seek treatment within 14 days. Additionally, insurance companies use delay in treatment to suggest that injuries are unrelated or “made up.”
If your trucking accident has already happened, that doesn't mean it's too late. There are legal means to obtain all the information above. Speak to an experienced truck accident lawyer to learn more about your options.
If you are already in the middle of a truck accident case and you're unhappy with your legal representation or the options being presented to you, you are within your rights to seek a second opinion.
Critical Trucking Crash Facts You Should Know
The dangers associated with trucking accidents are confirmed by statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute.
- Every 16 minutes, a person is killed or injured in a crash involving a large truck.
- A total of 3,986 people died in large truck crashes in 2016.
- 66% of the victims killed were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles.
- 97% of vehicle occupants killed in two-vehicle crashes involving a passenger vehicle and a large truck in 2016 were occupants of the passenger vehicles.
- 48% of large truck crash deaths in 2016 occurred from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- 73% of deaths in large truck crashes in 2016 were in crashes involving tractor-trailers and 21% were in crashes involving single-unit trucks.
Why You Need An Expert Truck Accident Lawyer
Starting with the investigation of these cases, truck crashes require specialized knowledge and an experienced legal team. Because the harm and losses are usually so great, you want truck accident lawyer that knows how to identify all the parties involved in the shipping cycle, as well as all available insurance policies.
Far too often, inexperienced attorneys handle trucking cases similarly to how they would a simple car wreck or a slip-and-fall case, potentially overlooking insurance policies that could provide millions of dollars in coverage for a crash victim.
Additionally, it is crucial to consider the extensive federal regulations and industry standards that apply to the trucking industry: hours of service, maintenance requirements and driver training. Even a case that initially appears to have questionable liability on the part of the trucking company or truck driver can be successfully prosecuted if the attorney is familiar with the industry standards and federal regulations.
We walk through an example scenario in this explainer graphic to help you see the many layers an experienced trucking crash attorney needs to dig through to find the responsible parities.
This level of investigation and litigation requires not only skilled lawyers with knowledge and experience, but also the financial strength to hire the best investigators, crash reconstruction engineers and other experts. These experts can assist in building your case for trial from the very beginning while the evidence is still available.
At Coker Law, we treat every case as if it will go to trial. This strengthens your case, shows the defense that you are taking your case seriously, and ultimately results in maximizing your recovery.
Visit Truck.Law.Com for Nationwide Representation
Due to our vast experience and strong handle on these types of cases, Coker Law has expanded our truck accident practice to serve clients nationwide. Learn more about our national truck accident services by visiting Truck.Law.Com.
About Our Truck Accident lawyers
Our truck accident lawyers understand the commercial trucking industry, its interstate regulations and the required safety equipment. They've also seen large insurance carriers try to get the injured person to accept a settlement that will in no way cover their injuries or losses. Coker Law has the resources, investigators and experience to take a trucking accident case to trial, which can better maximize the financial compensation for our clients.
At Coker Law, our experienced trucking team includes our own in-house investigator, who knows how to dig underneath the surface to uncover what happened and which individual or company is truly at fault. We work with a fast-response panel of experts in lighting and visibility, cargo securement, truck maintenance and trucking operations.
There are many organizations and agencies involved when it comes to a trucking crash. At Coker Law, we will thoroughly investigate if a claim should be pursued against the truck driver, trucking company, tractor-trailer owner, maintenance shop, loading warehouse, manufacturer of a defective component or any other individuals or organizations responsible for a road hazard that contributed to the crash.
We have also successfully pursued claims against negligent shippers, like Macy's, for hiring unsafe trucking companies to deliver its products. In our recent e-booklet, we explore the complex layers of causation behind truck accidents – and the culprits who often get overlooked.
What makes Coker Law different from other trucking attorneys?
- We dig deep. From intense investigation into the different parties involved to determine liability to getting a full picture of the driver's history and patterns, we won't stop until we uncover the full story.
- True trucking experts. We are one of only a few attorneys in the state of Florida to be Board-Certified in Truck Accident Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.
- We don't shy away from trial. Information is key to a trucking accident case. Unfortunately, it is often necessary to go to trial in order to get all the facts, and that is only the first step. Attorneys must also know how to present that information to a jury. Our firm has tried hundreds of cases to verdict and we will never settle simply because it's easier.
- Hands on. With Coker Law, you won't deal with or talk to a case manager. You will work directly with your attorney.
- Ethical. We are about quality, not quantity. We won't take on a case unless we believe in it enough to take it to trial.
Injured in a Truck Accident? Contact Coker Law.
If you are injured by a negligent truck or automobile driver, speak with an experienced trucking crash attorney. You may qualify to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other expenses related to your injuries. To speak with a trucking crash attorney or for more information, call (904) 299-0808 or contact us online today.
Trucking Crash Cases & Reports
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