Gainesville Truck Accident Attorneys
A typical fully-loaded tractor-trailer weighs around 40 tons! As the average automobile weighs less than two tons, car crashes with large trucks have drastically different circumstances and legal situations. If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident with a large truck, you have probably already discovered this difference 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 an attorney. Not only are you probably more severely injured, but you will be facing multiple and complicated insurance issues, powerful insurance companies, and the potential for many parties that can be held responsible for the accident, such as:
- The driver and owner of the truck
- The employer
- The supervisor
- The loader of the truck
- The mechanic
- The inspector
In addition, Federal and State laws regulating interstate trucking are complex. This can be especially problematic when you have several different insurers claiming that the other policy is responsible for paying damages. These insurance companies are also notoriously efficient when it comes to 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 will need experienced and determined legal counsel and help. Personal injury attorneys in Gainesville and Ocala, Lake City, Inverness, and all of North Central Florida, you need Meldon Law and the Gainesville truck accident attorneys to take on your case.
Many truck accident victims also suffer post-traumatic stress disorder, and traumatic brain injuries, which can drastically affect not only the victim but also the lives of the victim’s loved ones.
Why Choose Meldon Law for Your Legal Representation in a Truck Accident in Gainesville Case?
Since founding his practice in 1971, attorney Jeffrey Meldon:
- Has gained an encyclopedic knowledge of subjects that are crucial to a successful case. These include accident reconstruction, biomechanics, economics, vocational rehabilitation, engineering, and medicine.
- Has become known throughout Florida by both trial attorneys and insurance company attorneys as a tough negotiator with exceptional trial skills. Having him as your attorney puts insurance companies on notice that their standard delays and lowball settlement offers will not work here.
- Has hired only the best associates with many years of practical courtroom experience to work at his practice.
- Has kept his practice up-to-date with the latest in legal research, accident reconstruction, and technology.
- Has made it a point to confer with the best and most distinguished experts in medicine, vocational rehabilitation and accident reconstruction to help him prove his cases.
- Has every case thoroughly researched and investigated. There will be no “courtroom surprises” when Jeffrey Meldon is your attorney.
Meldon Law is an established regional law firm that is dedicated to giving every single one of our clients the resources, expertise, and time and that they deserve.
To that end, 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 being handled by first year associates with barely any practical legal experience or even paralegals. That does not happen here. Every case that is accepted by Meldon Law is given our full attention and the benefit of our years of experience.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a truck accident in Gainesville, Ocala, Lake City, Inverness, or anywhere in North Central Florida, contact Jeffrey Meldon at 800-373-8000 for a free case assessment today.
Gainesville Truck Accident FAQ
Truck accidents in Gainesville and throughout Florida are unfortunately common. In recent years, heavy truck crashes have escalated, especially on deadly I-75. 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 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 Gainesville 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. In fact, passenger vehicle occupants accounted for 72 percent of all trucking accident fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 4,000 people lose their lives in truck accidents every year. Even worse, the number of fatal trucking accidents continues to increase.
What are some of the causes of Gainesville truck accidents?
There are many causes of truck accidents.
However, some of the most common causes include:
- Truck driver fatigue
- Driving under the influence
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Improper loading
- Distracted driving
- Improperly trained on inexperienced drivers
- Truck defect of malfunction
Who is to blame after a Gainesville 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 an attorney after a truck accident in Gainesville?
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 bad as you claim.
To combat this, you need a Gainesville law firm on your side that can 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 an attorney. Your truck accident attorney 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, most truck accident attorneys offer free initial consultations so you can evaluate your choices and make the legal decision that is best for you.
How do I file a Gainesville truck accident lawsuit?
In Gainesville and throughout the state of Florida, you must first file any injury claims with your own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance policy. You can do this without the need to establish fault or prove liability. However, it only covers the first $10,000 in expenses. 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 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 an attorney, your attorney will begin gathering the evidence needed to build your case. This is 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 important to choose a law firm with experienced litigators. In the event your case does go to trial, you can rest assured knowing you have a team of attorneys on your side with experience and success winning courtroom battles.
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 an electronic control module and an event data recorder.
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
- The 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 will need 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 an attorney, they will send the transportation company a spoliation letter advising them of your claim and preventing them from destroying the data on the black box.
For the answers to other important trucking accident questions, call a truck accident law firm near you today. You deserve answers and help after a serious trucking accident!
Remember: If You Can’t Come To Us – We Will Come To You.
Since 1971, we have been proudly representing truck accident victims from: Gainesville, Ocala, Lake City, Inverness, Palatka, Crystal River, Daytona Beach, Interlachen, Spring Hill, Dunnellon, Bunnell, Live Oak, Starke, Jasper, Cross City, Perry, Trenton, Leesburg, Lake Butler, Tavares, Chiefland, Bronson, Brooksville, The Villages and the counties of Alachua, Marion, Columbia, Citrus, Volusia, Sumter, Levy, Lake, Bradford, Flagler, Hamilton, Dixie, Gilchrist, Union, Hernando, Suwannee, Union and Putnam.