Protecting Florida’s Large Truck Accident Victims
Did you know that the typical fully-loaded tractor-trailer weighs around 40 tons? If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident involving a large truck, you have probably already discovered that there is a big difference between a car crash and a crash with a big rig or 18 wheeler.
Unlike many car crashes, if you have been injured by a large truck, you most likely will require the help of a lawyer. Not only are you probably more severely injured, but you will face multiple and complicated insurance issues, powerful insurance companies, and the potential for many parties that can be held responsible for the accident, such as:
- Driver and owner of the truck
- Truck loader
In addition, Federal and State laws regulating interstate trucking are complex. This can be especially problematic when several different insurers claim that the other policy is responsible for paying damages. These insurance companies are also notoriously efficient when making a proper investigation as difficult as possible.
These are the circumstances facing any truck accident injury victim. Those who have been through a truck accident need experienced and determined legal counsel and help. Meldon Law’s personal injury lawyers serve all of Florida’s injured.
Many truck accident victims also suffer post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries, which can drastically affect the victim and their loved ones’ lives.
Why Choose Meldon Law?
Since founding his practice in 1971, attorney Jeffrey Meldon:
- Has gained a comprehensive knowledge of crucial subjects to a successful case, including accident reconstruction, biomechanics, economics, vocational rehabilitation, engineering, and medicine.
- Has become known throughout Florida by trial lawyers and insurance company lawyers as a tough negotiator with exceptional trial skills. As your lawyer, he puts insurance companies on notice that their standard delays and lowball settlement offers will not work.
- Has hired only the best associates with many years of practical courtroom experience, who stay up-to-date with the latest legal research, accident reconstruction, and technology.
- Has built relationships with the best and most distinguished experts in medicine, vocational rehabilitation, and accident reconstruction.
- Thoroughly researches and investigates every single case. There will be no “courtroom surprises” when a Meldon Law attorney is your lawyer.
Meldon Law is an established regional law firm dedicated to giving every one of our clients the resources, expertise, and time they deserve.
We don’t accept every single case that walks through our door. Larger firms that spend millions on advertising are often no more than “settlement factories,” with crucial negotiations handled by first-year associates with hardly any practical legal experience or who don’t have paralegals to assist them. That does not happen here. Every case accepted by Meldon Law is given our full attention and the benefit of our many years of experience.
Large Truck Accident FAQ
Truck accidents throughout Florida are unfortunately common. When you suffer an injury in a truck accident, it is important to understand the issues you may face. Truck accident survivors often feel frustrated to learn how long the road is to recovery.
Recovering compensation can be equally challenging, even when the accident is not your fault, because trucking companies often have large legal teams and insurance companies on their side. After a crash, they arrive at the accident scene, sometimes within hours, to assess the damage and begin reducing their liabilities. For this reason, you need an experienced truck accident attorney from Meldon Law on your side from the very start.
After a truck accident, you will undoubtedly have many questions. You will want answers to those questions, so you can learn more about the legal process and how truck accident lawsuits work.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about truck accidents.
How serious are large truck accidents?
Large commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. In comparison, the average passenger vehicle weighs just 3,000 pounds. Due to the size and weight differences between these two vehicles, you can see why truck accidents continue to cause serious injuries, especially to the occupants in the passenger vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 5,000 people lost their lives in truck accidents in 2019.
What are some of the causes of large truck accidents?
Some of the most common large truck causes include:
- Truck driver fatigue
- Driving under the influence
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Improper loading
- Distracted driving
- Drivers improperly trained on inexperienced car drivers
- Truck defect of malfunction
Who is to blame after a large truck accident?
Like many motor vehicle accidents, drivers are often to blame for their mistakes and decisions on the road. However, with truck accidents, many other parties may share the blame for the accident. Unfortunately, identifying these other parties is not easy. Your attorney will need to perform an extensive investigation into your accident to locate all responsible and negligent parties.
Some of those include:
- Truck driver
- Other drivers
- Trucking company
- Truck manufacturers
- Truck maintenance company
- Shipping or loading company
- Trucking part manufacturers
- Government entity responsible for maintaining roadways
Do I need a lawyer after a large truck accident?
After a truck accident in Gainesville, insurers and trucking company agents immediately spring into action. Their main goal is to reduce their liabilities and pay you as little as possible. To do this, they quickly gather evidence and begin to spin it in their favor. Perhaps they will say that you drove above the speed limit or that your injuries are not as severe as you claim.
To combat this, you need a Florida law firm on your side whose legal team will fight for your rights during this time. You have a right to compensation for the damages you suffered. However, insurers do not want to pay you what you deserve, and they will often try to offer you a low settlement in the hopes that you will sign. Never sign anything without first speaking to your Meldon Law lawyer. Your truck accident lawyer can protect you and ensure that you get the money you need to put your life back together after a serious truck accident.
After a truck accident, you owe it to yourself to review your legal options. Fortunately, Meldon Law offers free initial consultations so you can evaluate your choices and make the legal decision that is best for you.
How do I file a large truck accident lawsuit in Florida?
You must first file any injury claims with your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance policy in the state of Florida. You can do this without the need to establish fault or prove liability. However, it only covers the first $10,000 in expenses. Large truck accident victims often require significantly more compensation, so they must file a truck accident lawsuit to recover the rest.
The first step in filing a truck accident lawsuit is to hire a truck accident attorney from Meldon Law to represent you. Your attorney will meet with you in a free initial consultation and get to know you and your case. They will help you learn more about the legal options available to you, so you can determine how you would like to proceed. Once you retain your Meldon Law lawyer, your attorney will begin gathering the evidence needed to build your case – a crucial step and one that should start as soon as possible.
In addition to investigating your truck accident, your attorney may need to:
- Collaborate with your medical team
- Evaluate your injuries carefully
- Hire accident reconstruction experts
- Gather medical receipts and lost wages
- File the necessary forms within the appropriate time limits
- Negotiate with insurance companies
- Litigate your case in court if necessary
While most truck accident cases settle out of court, it is essential to choose a law firm with experienced litigators. If your case does go to trial, you can rest assured knowing you have a team of lawyers on your side with experience and success in winning courtroom battles. With Meldon Law, you have that assurance.
What is the black box?
Most large commercial trucks built and manufactured after the 1990s will have a black box integrated into their engine. This black box has many names, including the electronic control module, event data recorder, and electronic logging device.
Its function is to record data, such as:
- Time drove
- Time spent driving over 65 mph
- Average engine RPM
- Seat belt usage
- Airbag performance
- Hard braking and sudden stops
- GPS coordinates
- Use of cruise control
- Truck’s idling time
When an accident occurs, this data is useful for establishing liability and showing what caused the crash. Unfortunately, collecting this data is not always easy. Your attorney needs to obtain this evidence and preserve it. Yet, trucking companies may record over this data in about 30 days, so your attorney must act quickly. The moment you hire a Meldon Law attorney, we send the transportation company a spoliation letter advising them of your claim to prevent them from destroying the data on the black box.
If you have any other questions about large truck accidents in Florida or have been in one, don’t wait. Contact Meldon Law today to get us started fighting for your rights!