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Get Your Settlement with Our Gainesville Truck Accident Lawyer

Two Truck Involve on a Road AccidentYou deserve more than financial recovery after a truck accident in Alachua County. You want compassion. You want support. And what’s more, you deserve hope. That’s where the compassionate Gainesville truck accident lawyers at Meldon Law extend a helping hand.

Since 1971, our Gainesville personal injury lawyers have helped people like you secure financial justice. Whether through an insurance claim or court award, the compensation we secure could help account for your losses, including anticipated healthcare costs. You don’t have to fight this battle alone.

You can learn more about how we advocate for injured claimants today by dialing (352) 373-8000. We offer free case reviews.

How Much Your Gainesville Truck Accident Claim May Be Worth

Two lawyers having a meeting and reviewing client case

In general, truck accident claims tend to settle for more than the average car accident claim because the sheer size and weight of these vehicles can lead to fatalities and catastrophic injuries. How much your truck accident claim in Gainesville will be worth will depend on your damages.

The facts of your claim are unique, and no two claims are the same or will have the same outcome. Your Gainesville truck accident attorney can review the evidence in your case and then give you an estimate of the potential settlement or court award.

Meldon Team

We are here for you 24/7

(Consultations are Free)

Call Us Now

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim After a Truck Accident in Gainesville

Due to the severity of truck accidents, the victims often succumb to their injuries. When this happens, certain survivors can file a wrongful death claim to recoup losses, such as funeral and burial expenses and the loss of the deceased’s guidance, companionship, and care.

In Florida, the surviving spouse, biological or adopted children and grandchildren, parents, and other family members who were financially dependent on the deceased at the time of the accident may benefit from a wrongful death claim.

However, only the personal representative of the estate can file a wrongful death claim in Florida. If a representative has not been named, one will be appointed by the court.

Why Partner With the Truck Accident Lawyers at Meldon Law?

When you partner with our firm, you don’t just get a lawyer; you arm yourself with our entire staff’s knowledge and experience. Our team includes investigators, litigators, and paralegals who share your goal of recovering full compensation. We fight tooth and nail to secure a fair outcome that encapsulates your:

  • Healthcare expenses
  • Pain and sufferingMale Lawyer and His Client Having Meeting
  • Emotional trauma
  • Disfigurement
  • Scarring
  • Loss of consortium
  • Lost income, tips, bonuses, and other revenue streams
  • Property damage costs
  • Out-of-pocket expenses

Our personal injury firm proudly works on a contingency-fee basis. Rather than pay upfront attorney’s fees, we invest in your case, paying for all consulting and administrative fees. Then, if we secure compensation, a portion of your settlement accounts for our help. Our truck accident attorneys in Gainesville never ask you to pay a dime out of pocket.

We’ve Achieved Five- and Six-Figure Outcomes for Truck Accident Victims

We’re no strangers to recovering compensation for injured claimants. Check out some of our success stories:

  • Our client suffered serious injuries after they were struck by a semi while riding their bicycle. We secured $3 million for their losses.
  • A semi-truck driver’s vehicle had failed inspection, but they still drove it. Then, the vehicle caused a collision with a school bus that was dropping off students. We secured more than $400,000 for our clients’ losses.
  • Our client was rear-ended by a semi-truck, requiring surgery to correct a soft-tissue injury. We won $135,000.

Keep in mind that these case results are specific to these clients and may not reflect your own. Still, we hope they empower you to move forward and partner with our Gainesville accident team. We can handle a wide range of cases, including semi-trailer accidents.

We are here for you 24/7

(Consultations are Free)

Call Us Now

Our Previous Clients Rave About Our Commitment to Success

We opened this firm nearly 50 years ago for one reason: to serve injured people. When asked about their experience partnering with us, our clients’ testimonials speak for themselves:

  • “I was injured in a car accident and I called Meldon Law to help. They were so very nice and helpful throughout the whole process. In the end they got a very nice settlement for me and they couldn’t have made the process any easier either. Thank You Meldon Law! I highly recommend them!”
  • “Angels sent, they go above and beyond to make their clients happy…even assisting with another case that has nothing to do with them. Caroline you are amazing and very responsive keeping you in the loop of everything l. And the amazing Mandy you rock at what you do. You definitely have my business and will be sending you more.”
  • “My team with Meldon Law was awesome and were really helpful during a difficult time in my life. They showed how much they cared and took their time to explain the process to me. I’m happy I chose them to help me with my case.”

These are just three of the comments our clients have left behind. At the conclusion of your case, we hope you’ll feel the same way about our Gainesville truck accident lawyers.

What You Can Expect When Partnering With Our Gainesville Truck Accident Lawyers

Below is a rough outline of what you can expect when you entrust us with your case. Keep in mind that your case may not necessarily follow the trajectory described, as not all cases are the same.

We Offer Free Consultations

Meldon Law offers free case reviews to truck accident claimants in Gainesville. During this no-strings-attached conversation, you can learn about our services and get a “feel” for our team. If you decide to work with us, we can start building your case immediately. We find that prompt action offers great peace of mind to our clients.

We Investigate Your Truck Accident

Before filing your claim, your Gainesville truck accident lawyer will want a comprehensive understanding of how your truck accident happened. This requires our investigators to uncover certain details about the crash, which involves:

  • Interviewing witnesses, such as bystanders and law enforcement officials
  • Visiting the accident scene, if possible
  • Reviewing the truck’s black box data
  • Transcribing your testimony
  • Securing traffic camera footage (if available)
  • Consulting with accident reconstruction specialists

Our investigation aims to answer some of our biggest questions, including who caused the accident.

We Establish Fault and Liability

Fault and liability can get complicated in truck accident cases because these situations generally involve multiple parties. For instance, a trucker may have caused your accident, making them the at-fault party. Yet, through vicarious liability laws, their employer could be liable for your losses.

While this may seem complicated, it’s just business as usual for the team at Meldon Law. We routinely sort through issues involving fault and liability, aiming to hold every responsible party accountable for your losses.

We File Your Claim

Once we learn the liable party, we can submit your claim. This requires us to:

  • Understand the value of your past, present, and future expenses
  • Review the liable insurance policy
  • Establish how the accident happened
  • Manage communications with the claims adjuster
  • Protect you from any bad-faith insurance practices

After learning about your claim, the insurer may offer a settlement. This may prompt us to enter into negotiations if it doesn’t fully account for your hardships. Our Gainesville truck accident firm includes trained negotiators who understand what it takes to reach agreements on behalf of our clients. You can reach out to us anytime and contact us at (352) 373-8000.

We May File a Truck Accident Lawsuit

Over the years, our truck accident lawyers have learned many valuable things about the personal injury claims process. For instance, most of our cases never make it to court. That’s because we’re able to secure compensation before litigation becomes necessary. Still, if your case requires a lawsuit, don’t worry; we handle everything from point A to point Z.

To advance your lawsuit, we can:

  • Take depositions
  • Exchange evidence with the defendant’s lawyers
  • Follow courtroom procedure
  • Cross-examine witnesses
  • Object to any unfair proceedings
  • Guide your case to a fair resolution

The only thing we need from you during this process is patience. You may want to accept the insurance company’s offer to avoid the hassle of going to court. Yet, we don’t want you to leave any money on the table when your case ends. We want you to recover every dime you deserve.

Meldon Team

We are here for you 24/7

(Consultations are Free)

Call Us Now

A Gainesville Truck Accident Lawyer Explains Tractor-Trailer Jackknife Accidents

A jackknife accident occurs when the large trailer of a truck swings away from the cabin of the truck. The trailer may come to a stop perpendicular to the cabin, or the two may end up right beside each other. As the trailer swings to the side, it is extremely dangerous for any cars in the area. 

Jackknife accidents also pose a risk to any oncoming drivers that are approaching the trailer, which is usually blocking the road. It is for these reasons that tractor-trailer jackknife accidents typically involve multiple vehicles.

A Truck Accident Lawyer in Gainesville Can Determine the Cause of Your Crash

Many different factors can contribute to a tractor-trailer jackknife accident. Usually, they are caused by truck driver negligence, environmental factors, or physical factors. The most common causes of jackknife accidents are as follows:

  • Wet roads and other poor road conditions
  • Forceful and high-speed winds
  • Low visibility
  • Failure to maintain the truck
  • Tire blowouts
  • Fatigued driving
  • Impaired driving
  • Improperly secured or overloaded cargo
  • Defective brakes
  • Speeding
  • Aggressive driving
  • Sudden braking

It is not always easy to determine what caused a jackknife accident. For example, it may first appear that driver negligence was to blame, but it is later found that the brakes in the truck were defective. A Gainesville tractor-trailer accidents attorney will conduct an investigation to determine which party was at fault.

A Gainesville Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You File Your Claim

A jackknife accident will place a heavy and unexpected strain on your finances, at a time when you are trying to recover from some of the most serious injuries. You can file a claim for damages to recover these costs and other losses, but filing a claim is not always easy. 

When filing a truck accident claim, in particular, you may have to go up against the trucking company, their insurance company, and the team of attorneys they use to defend against claims of liability. All of this is extremely difficult, particularly for accident victims that are not familiar with the law or the personal injury process. This is where our Gainesville truck accident lawyer can help.

An experienced attorney will have the experience, knowledge, and resources to build your case against the negligent parties and obtain the full compensation you deserve. After examining the facts of your case, an attorney will file a claim for your medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and any other loss you sustained as a result of the crash.

A Gainesville Truck Accident Attorney Explains Crashes Caused by Improperly Loaded Trailers

When a commercial truck is improperly loaded, it can cause a number of different types of accidents. The most common of these include:

  • Jackknife accidents: It is very difficult for truck drivers to stop a trailer that is improperly loaded because of the sheer weight of it. As the cab comes to a stop, the trailer keeps moving, and the only direction it can go is to the side, perpendicular to the cab. This is very dangerous for nearby vehicles and oncoming traffic.
  • Rollover accidents: Improperly loaded trailers are extremely heavy, and they shift often, making a rollover accident very likely.
  • Downhill overruns: The momentum of an improperly loaded trailer becomes even greater when a truck is traveling downhill. This can cause a truck to run over, or into, a vehicle that is in front of them and also traveling downhill.
  • Tire blowout accidents: The heavy weight of an improperly loaded truck is too much for truck tires to carry, resulting in a tire blowout accident.
  • Lost loads: When a truck is not loaded properly, the trailer can become loose or fall off, resulting in a lost load. The trailer that comes loose is at great risk of hitting a nearby vehicle.

The above are just a few of the most dangerous types of crashes caused by improperly loaded trailers. If you have been hurt, it is important to work with an experienced Gainesville truck accident attorney who can determine if an overloaded trailer was the cause.

Gainesville Truck Accident Lawyers Will Identify the Liable Party

A number of different parties may be found liable for an accident caused by an overloaded or improperly loaded trailer. The most common of these include:

  • The truck driver: If the driver loaded their own cargo and did not comply with state or federal laws, they can be found liable for an accident.
  • The trucking company: Trucking companies sometimes overload trailers, or encourage their drivers to overload trailers, so they can deliver more goods in less time. When this is the case, they can be held liable for any accident that occurs as a result.
  • Loading companies: Truck drivers do not always load their own cargo. When a third party company was responsible for this task and they failed to do it properly, they can be held liable.

Identifying the liable party after any truck accident is never easy. An attorney will determine who was at fault for your crash, and help you file a claim against them for damages.

To learn more about liability in your claim, call (352) 373-8000 or contact us online to schedule your free case review.

A Gainesville Truck Accident Lawyer Explains the Hours of Service Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the federal body that regulates the trucking industry and issues standards and laws to ensure trucks are safe as they head out on the roads. One of the main FMCSA regulations is the hours of service rule, which stipulates how many hours truck drivers can stay on the road at one time.

Under the FMCSA regulations, truckers can only be behind the wheel for a maximum of 11 hours in any one 24-hour period. Truck drivers are also only allowed to be on duty for 14 hours within a 24-hour period, whether they are driving or not. After being on duty for eight hours, truck drivers must also take a 30 minute break.

The FMCSA regulations also say that a workweek for a truck driver can total seven or eight days, with the trucker working for a total of 60 to 70 hours during that time. If a truck driver works more than 70 hours, or their workweek totals eight days, they must enter a restart period. The restart period must include 34 consecutive hours of rest, and it restarts the trucker in a new workweek.

While these regulations are all intended to keep fatigued truck drivers off the road, they are not always followed. In one year alone, authorities pulled approximately 3,000 trucks off the road for the hours of service rule violation.

Gainesville Truck Accident Lawyers Know the Dangers of Fatigued Truck Drivers

Truck drivers may use many methods to awaken and refresh when they are tired, but few of these work. 

Remedies such as short rests and caffeine are only temporary, but truckers remain on the road anyway. Fatigued truck drivers will suffer from impaired judgment and delayed reaction times. They may overcorrect if they drift out of their lane or worse, they may fall asleep behind the wheel. 

All of these factors place anyone on the road near a fatigued driver at great risk of suffering from serious injury or wrongful death. In these cases, the driver themselves may be responsible, the trucking company that set an unrealistic schedule, or both.

FMCSA Maintenance Regulations and Gainesville Truck Accident Claims

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the federal agency that oversees and regulates the trucking industry. Among the agency’s many regulations on trucks, there are several regarding the proper inspection and maintenance of all interstate commercial trucks.

One of FMCSA’s regulations stipulates that truck drivers should perform a full inspection of their vehicle before and after any trip. It is through these daily inspections that most mechanical and maintenance issues should be detected. The FMCSA also requires truck drivers and owners to maintain comprehensive records on all inspections, maintenance, and repairs. After a crash, it is important to work with an attorney that can obtain these records before they are destroyed or altered.

Truck owners and commercial trucking companies must store these records for at least one year while they are using the vehicle. They must also keep the records for at least six months if the truck is transferred or sold to another party. A failure to preserve these records can also result in a party being found liable for an accident.

How Maintenance Issues Can Lead to Truck Accident Claims in Gainesville

Any time a commercial truck is not properly maintained, it can result in a serious accident. However, there are some maintenance issues that are more common than others, and that are more likely to cause an accident. These are as follows:

  • Failed or faulty brakes
  • Trailer hitch failures
  • Steering column issues
  • Tire blowouts
  • Unsecured cargo
  • Broken headlights

The above issues are often a result of truck drivers or owners ignoring a problem that would have been relatively easy to fix. If a trucking company or owner hired a third party to inspect and maintain a truck, and that person or entity did not properly perform the job, they can also be found liable for a truck accident that results.

Your Gainesville truck accident attorneys will conduct an investigation into the cause of the accident that caused your injuries and damages. Then, we will build a strong claim for your compensation.

Underride Accidents and Gainesville Truck Accident Claims

When a passenger vehicle is involved in a crash with a semi-trailer and slides underneath the much larger truck, it is known as an underride accident. On average, passenger vehicles sit approximately 40 inches above the ground. The lowest point on a semi-trailer, on the other hand, is approximately 45 inches off the ground. 

During a collision, the trailer can enter the interior of a passenger vehicle, crushing the roof of the passenger vehicle or completely ripping it off. Either scenario is extremely dangerous for the passengers inside the smaller vehicle.

We Handle All Types of Underride Accidents

All car accidents happen within a matter of seconds, but survivors of underride accidents often describe the trailer as simply appearing out of nowhere. There are two types of underride accidents which can occur, and those include side underride crashes and rear underride collisions.

Side underride collisions occur when a smaller passenger vehicle becomes trapped under a semi-trailer through the side of the truck. These crashes typically occur when truckers reverse out of a driveway or parking lot onto a road with a lot of traffic, when truckers try to make U-turns, or when a truck driver is trying to cross or turn onto a highway or street.

Rear underride accidents occur when a vehicle becomes trapped under the rear of a semi-trailer. These collisions typically occur because trucks and trailers are not properly marked when they are slowing down, or slowly reentering the roadway, or when emergency flashers and reflective triangles are not used after a truck breaks down.

The Law on Underride Guards

Underride accidents are so common, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration enacted legislation in 1953 that required all newly manufactured trucks to have underride guards installed. The standards were updated in 1998 to make the legal height for underride guards even lower. However, these protections do not go far enough to keep others safe. 

Unfortunately, only rear underride guards are mandatory and while some trucking companies voluntarily install these on the sides of trucks, that does not hold true for all of them. A truck accident attorney in Florida can advise on the laws that govern the trucking industry, and how they apply to your case.

Understanding the Statute of Limitations for Florida Truck Accident Lawsuits

Florida limits how long you have to file a lawsuit after a truck accident. Florida Statutes § 95.11 notes that you generally have two years from the accident’s date to sue. While some exceptions may apply, it’s crucial that you act within this deadline. Otherwise, the court system may refuse to hear your case, leaving you with few options for seeking damages.

Our Gainesville truck accident lawyers understand that it’s nerve-wracking to even consider legal help. Yet, the longer you wait, the more complex matters could become. We encourage you to connect with Meldon Law as soon as possible after your accident. That way, we can preserve time-sensitive evidence and file your case on time.

Questions and Answers About Truck Accidents in Gainesville, FL

Law firm staff discussing about client case

After a truck accident, you will undoubtedly have many questions. Luckily, we have many answers. Take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions we get from truck accident victims:

How Often Do Truck Accidents Happen in Gainesville?

Traffic accidents are common in Gainesville, likely due to a combination of factors. Recent information from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles notes that in a single year, Alachua County saw 5,124 collisions, resulting in 3,287 injuries and 51 fatalities.

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
  • Failure to check blind spots
  • Speeding
  • Improperly trained or inexperienced drivers
  • Truck defect or malfunction
  • Semi-trailer underride

Our Gainesville truck accident lawyers can review the accident report, eyewitness testimony, and other information to learn who caused your collision.

Meldon Team

We are here for you 24/7

(Consultations are Free)

Call Us Now

Who Is to Blame After a Gainesville Truck Accident?

Like many motor vehicle accidents, drivers are often blamed for their mistakes and decisions on the road. However, with truck accidents, other parties may share responsibility for the accident. Unfortunately, identifying these other parties is not easy. As noted, your attorney will need to investigate your accident to determine all responsible and negligent parties.

Some of those may include:

  • The truck driver
  • Other drivers
  • The involved trucking company
  • The truck’s manufacturers
  • The truck maintenance company
  • The shipping or loading company
  • The truck’s part manufacturers
  • Government entities responsible for maintaining roadways

Why Would I Want a Lawyer After a Truck Accident?

After a truck accident, insurers and trucking company representatives immediately spring into action. Their main goal is to reduce their liabilities and pay you as little as possible. They may quickly gather evidence and 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 want a truck accident attorney in Gainesville who can fight for your rights during this time. You have a right to compensation for the damages you suffered. However, the insurer may not want to pay what you deserve, perhaps even resorting to manipulative practices to get you to accept a low offer.

After a truck accident, you owe it to yourself to review your legal options. Fortunately, our team offers free initial consultations so you can evaluate your choices and make the legal decision that is best for you. We can also handle cases where you might need a tractor-trailer accident attorney, offering you a wide range of services if you seek justice for yourself.

How Black Box Data Can Support a Gainesville Truck Accident Claim

Most large commercial trucks built and manufactured after the 1990s will have a black box integrated into their engines. This black box has many names, including an electronic control module and an event data recorder.

Its function is to record data, such as:

  • Speed
  • The time driven in a single period
  • 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 and preserve this evidence.

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 explaining your claim and preventing it from destroying the data on the black box.

Injuries You Can Seek Damages for in a Gainesville Truck Accident Claim

We advocate for people who have suffered serious injuries in Gainesville. Some of these conditions include:

The above list represents many – but not all – of the types of claims our Gainesville truck accident lawyers represent. If you don’t see your specific type of injury here, we still want to hear from you.

Connect With Our Gainesville Truck Accident Lawyers Today

You don’t have to feel uncertain about your legal options or future any longer. Instead, you can consult the team at Meldon Law and discuss your case with one of our professionals. During this conversation, we can answer your questions, explain your options, and put your mind at ease.

There’s no cost to speak with us, and there’s no obligation to partner with us, either. To learn more about how our Gainesville truck accident lawyers can recoup the compensation you need, dial (352) 373-8000 or fill out our online contact form to learn more.

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