Hire a Jacksonville Truck Accident Lawyer – Learn Why, When, & How
Truck accidents are extremely stressful events, no matter when or how they happen.
Bodily injury, mental distress, and vehicle damage are just the beginning. After the accident, there are insurance companies to deal with, medical visits and bills, lost time at work, costly repairs, and mountains of paperwork.
Unfortunately, car and truck accidents happen every minute of every day in the U.S, according to the National Highway Traffic Administration.
Though they’re a common occurrence, that doesn’t make it any less distressing when you experience one.
If you or someone you know has been in a truck accident in Jacksonville, you may need a lawyer to help you navigate your options post-accident. Whether the accident was a result of negligence or driver error, you have options about how to proceed. You may even be entitled to damages if the other party was at fault.
Don’t worry. The process can be confusing, but we can answer your questions about legal proceedings after you’ve been in a Jacksonville truck accident.Florida & Duval County Truck Accident Statistics Worth Knowing
How many auto accidents happen in Florida each year? In Duval County?
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles:
- 340,472 total accidents occurred in Florida in 2020.
- 41% of crashes in 2020 resulted in injuries. Another 0.9% of crashes proved fatal for at least one person.
- 27% of all auto accidents in Florida were hit and run incidents. Of these, 23% resulted in injuries and 0.2% resulted in fatalities.
- 21,205 total crashes occurred in Duval County in 2020. Of these, 39% resulted in injuries and 0.8% resulted in death.
- 31% of all auto accidents in Duval County in 2020 were hit and run incidents. Of these, 18% resulted in injuries. 0.2% resulted in fatalities.
What about truck accidents, including large trucks? According to the latest available data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA):
- 499,000 large truck crashes occurred in the U.S. in 2018. 1% were fatal and 21% involved injury.
- 57% of all fatal large truck crashes happened in rural areas. 26% happened on Interstates.
- 88% of non-fatal large truck crashes happened on a weekday, Monday - Friday.
- For 74% of large trucks involved in fatal crashes, a person, animal, object, or another vehicle was impeding the truck’s lane or encroaching on it.
Unfortunately, errors in human behavior cause most accidents, whether they involve cars, trucks, large trucks, or large passenger vehicles.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the most common behavior reported for drivers involved in a fatal crash is speeding.
Here’s the full list of common driving behaviors that cause the majority of accidents:
- Driving too fast for conditions or exceeding the speed limit
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failing to stay in the proper lane
- Failing to yield to the right-of-way
- Distracted driving (talking on the phone, eating, looking away from the road, etc.)
- Driving carelessly
- Failing to obey traffic signs, signals, or officers
- Driving recklessly, erratically, or negligently
- Overcorrecting or oversteering
- Driving with obscured vision (blocked or partially blocked by buildings, trees, rain, snow, glare from headlights, etc.)
If you’ve just been in a truck accident near Jacksonville, you’re probably stressed, confused, and scared. Follow this 6-step checklist to handle the immediate situation the smart way.
1. Stay Calm and Check for Injuries
Above all, try to remain calm. Look around you and take in your surroundings. Are you hurt? Are any passengers hurt? Check-in with everyone in your vehicle, if applicable.
2. Call 911
Call 911 right away if anyone is hurt. If you’re not sure, call anyway. You’ll be put in touch with the police, who will come and assist at the scene.
3. Move to a Safe Place Off the Road
Check your location. Is your vehicle in a safe place? If possible, move your vehicle off the roadway, out of traffic. If it’s not possible to move your vehicle, make sure you and any passengers get to a safe place off the road, far away from oncoming traffic.
4. Exchange Contact & Insurance Information
Once everyone is off the roadway, exchange contact information and insurance details with the other parties involved. If any witnesses to the crash are on the scene, include them, too. Avoid discussing the crash or sharing opinions about what happened – this is important for liability reasons.
Gather the following information from all parties involved:
- Phone numbers
- License plate numbers
- Driver’s license numbers
- Insurance information
5. Wait for the Police or Medical Assistance
Wait for the police and/or medical assistance to arrive. When the police arrive, they will ask questions of you, any passengers in your car, and any other parties involved in the crash. Answer calmly and honestly. There’s no need to provide more details other than what is asked – avoid doing so until you can talk to a lawyer.
6. Take Photos of What Happened
Take photos of the scene of the crash. Using your smartphone or mobile device is fine. In your photos, include as much detail as possible. Here are the shots you should focus on:
- The scene as a whole.
- Each vehicle and the damage sustained if any.
- All noticeable injuries from anyone involved.
Once you’ve completed the recommended steps at the scene of the accident, is there anything else you should do?
Yes. After the accident, once you’ve left the scene and have had time to collect yourself, there are a few things you can do to make sure your bases are covered.
1. Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
As soon as you can, call up your insurance company to let them know the accident occurred. Avoid providing written accounts or making statements at this time. Alert them that the crash happened, and inform them which law enforcement agency responded. If you have the crash investigation number, give them that, too.
2. Call a Jacksonville Truck Accident Lawyer
Next, you need to call a truck accident attorney in Jacksonville. We will take your case from here and handle everything. We will guide you through your insurance claim and deal with the insurance companies, answer your questions, and prevent you from making common mistakes in the process. We’ll let you know how much compensation you can expect and how long it will take to reach a fair settlement.
3. Check-in with Your Doctor
If you didn’t notice any injuries or problems at the scene of the accident, do another self-check-in. If any hurts or issues are popping up, they may be due to delayed injuries, which are very common after crashes. Either way, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor and let them know you were in an accident.
4. Keep Careful Records
As you deal with the fallout of an auto accident, make sure you keep a record of all important documents, statements, and receipts along the way. Save vehicle repair and medical bills, reports, insurance filings, and any other paperwork.
If you were injured in the accident, keep a record of your daily pain, treatment plan, and how you’re recovering.How Can a Jacksonville Truck Accident Lawyer Help?
No matter what, car and truck accidents are stressful situations. A truck accident attorney will help you navigate the insurance companies, paperwork, and more and help you determine what kind of settlement you may be entitled to receive.
In other words, the right lawyer will take a load off your shoulders and help you through this distressing, trying time. At Whittel & Melton, we are your advocates and will work on your behalf to make sure you’re taken care of, not taken advantage of, after an accident.
In many cases, motor vehicle accidents need to be investigated to determine how and why the crash happened and who is at fault. We work closely with experts to ensure a thorough investigation of your accident if questions arise.
Review Your Case for Free
At Whittel & Melton, we provide your initial consultation free of charge. After we assess your case to determine what the insurance company may owe you, we’ll advocate on your behalf and dispute the amount, if necessary.
We also work on a contingency fee basis – this means your legal fees are contingent on us securing financial compensation on your behalf. If you get a settlement award, we take a percentage of that amount for our fees. There are no up-front costs. If we don’t recover a financial award, compensation, or damages for you, you owe us nothing.
Reach out to us today for help after your accident and a free consultation.FAQs for Jacksonville Truck Accident Lawyers
Should I Get a Lawyer for a Fender Bender?
Yes. Even in fender benders with minor injuries or vehicle damage, if you’re not at fault, you’re not responsible for paying. A lawyer can answer your questions, guide you through your insurance claim, and make sure you get the correct compensation.
How Do I Choose an Attorney for an Accident?
The right attorney should have years of experience with car and truck accident claims, injuries, and cases. Whittel & Melton have decades behind us helping people in your situation across the state of Florida.
How Much Should I Settle for My Truck Accident?
The amount you settle for is largely dependent on your situation. Here are some factors to keep in mind:
- The seriousness of your injury
- Total damages (medical bills, vehicle damage, pain and emotional distress, wages lost, etc.)
- Available insurance coverage
- Negligence of the other party
At Whittel & Melton, we’re dedicated to helping our clients get the maximum compensation they deserve from car and truck accident settlements.
We have decades of experience in all forms of auto accidents and personal injury across the great state of Florida.
Depend on us for caring, trustworthy service at a time of distress and pain. We’re here to help you get through the piles of paperwork and insurance nightmares so you can move on with your life.
Finally, if we don’t win a settlement or award for you, you won’t owe us anything. That means you have nothing to lose by reaching out.
Reach out for help from a trusted attorney. Call Whittel & Melton at 866-608-5529 or contact us 24/7 online for your free consultation.