Truck accidents can have life-altering, life-threatening, and even deadly consequences. When a semi-truck or an 18-wheeler drifts lanes, swerves, or loses control entirely, it can destroy anything in its path. These large trucks are a threat to fellow truckers, other drivers, motorcyclists, and pedestrians alike. In these situations, consulting a truck accident lawyer in Jacksonville becomes a necessity to navigate through the legal complexities and seek legal compensation.
Were you recently injured due to the negligent or reckless acts of a semi-truck driver? It’s time to pursue justice and secure the compensation you deserve. Contact Steinger, Greene & Feiner today to speak with a Jacksonville truck accident lawyer about your case.
Why Choose Steinger, Greene & Feiner as Your Jacksonville Truck Accident Lawyer?
After more than 25 years in the business, we’ve seen our fair share of truck accident cases in Jacksonville and surrounding areas. When you’ve seen it all, you know how to handle cases the right way, ensuring maximum compensation is achieved on your client’s behalf. Keep reading to see why Jacksonville truck accident victims trust Steinger, Greene & Feiner to represent their cases time and time again.
Hear From Our Satisfied Clients
“I had the best experience with my attorney, Josh. He was always available to answer any questions I had. He is kind and thoughtful even if a question I had was silly. He always reassured me everything was going to be alright, and it was. I will be referring him and your Law Firm to anyone who needs an excellent Personal Injury Attorney.”
– Denise Morales
“Steinger, Greene & Feiner is the firm you will truly be happy with. They kept me informed of my case every step of the way & in a very timely manner. They made me feel confident and treated me with such kindness. I am a very happy & satisfied customer.”
– Jennifer Ellison
“From beginning to end my attorney Alison Davis was so attentive and on top of every detail of the process. It isn’t something that you can do on your own, and Steinger, Greene, and Feiner is a great option. I hope I don’t need to but would definitely use them again. Very happy with my settlement, and as they say “I love my attorney!”
– Ross Lappin
“This is one of the best attorneys I have ever used. They kept me informed on what they were doing and how they did it. To all who are looking for a good attorney, this is the one to use. You won’t regret it. They are the best. He will be my attorney from now on when I need him.”
– Rodney Shuemake
“I went to one attorney with my case and I didn’t hear anything from them via text, phone, or email—nothing. Within a couple of hours, I got a text letting me know the lawyers were working on my case and would be in touch with me. I love that because you need to know what’s going on with your case without you having to call them and see what’s going on.”
– Sheila Stokes
“They all really exceeded all my expectations! They handled my case in a very professional and timely manner. I never had to worry or handle anything! If it wasn’t for this team of professionals, I fear the insurance company would’ve beaten me out of the care and money I deserved. I highly recommend this law office. They’re dedicated to getting you the money and care you deserve after a life-changing experience like the car accident I was in. Thanks so much!!”
– April Scarffol
“I was hurt and scared at the beginning of my ordeal. Mostly confused and didn’t know where to turn for a lawyer to help me navigate my case. My attorneys have been an absolute pleasure! I couldn’t have asked for a less painless process. They worked so hard and took all the guesswork out of my case. What truly stood out above everything was how nice, sweet, polite, and understanding they both were. If I ever need representation in the future, I will definitely be reaching out to the SGF team. Thank you for everything! It has been a pleasure to get to work with you. I couldn’t be happier with how things turned out.”
– Dawn Cheek
See Our Track Record of Success
One of the best ways to determine whether your case will be successful is to see how many cases your law firm has won in the past. Steinger, Greene & Feiner has a track record of success with cases involving truck accidents. Here are just a couple of our successful truck accident cases.
- We won $800,000 for a client who was driving on the highway and was rear-ended by an 18-wheeler.
- We won $467,000 for a victim who was wrongfully killed in a semi-truck accident.
Understanding Truck Accidents in Jacksonville
According to the 2021 annual report of traffic crashes in Florida, trucks made up a significant number of the crashes that occurred. In fact, 124 crashes were incapacitating, while 28 of them were fatal when medium and heavy trucks were involved. Light truck crashes resulted in 63 incapacitations.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
1. Driver Fatigue
Spending hours on end on the road can cause driver fatigue, which limits a driver’s alertness and reaction times. Fatigued truck drivers are more likely to make mistakes like falling asleep at the wheel.
The larger the vehicle, the longer it takes to stop when braking is initiated. Given the size of semi-trucks and 18-wheelers, they don’t stop slowly. Traveling over the speed limit makes slowing down and stopping in traffic or hazardous road conditions more difficult to do.
3. Distracted Driving
When a truck driver takes their eyes off the road—even for a second—to text, eat, change the song, or input directions into the navigation system, they run the risk of causing an accident.
4. Impaired Driving
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in a standard motor vehicle is dangerous enough. Doing so while operating a large truck is a major hazard. These substances impair a driver’s judgment, coordination, and reaction times.
5. Inadequate Training
Semi-trucks and 18-wheelers aren’t like any other vehicle. They have specialized equipment and processes that require specialized training to navigate properly. If a truck driver doesn’t know how to operate the vehicle, they’re more likely to get in an accident.
6. Poor Weather Conditions
Whether it’s rain, fog, ice, or snow, inclement weather conditions don’t bode well for road safety. They can limit visibility and make surfaces slippery, putting every driver on the road at risk.
7. Mechanical Failures
Brakes can fail, tires can blow, and steering wheels can lock up unexpectedly, preventing truck drivers from being able to control their vehicles. A lack of maintenance can increase the occurrence of these problems.
8. Improper Cargo Loading
Semi-trucks and 18-wheelers have load capacities to prevent trucking companies from overloading their vehicles. An overloaded truck is more likely to veer off course or tip over due to the excess weight. Cargo can also become unsecured.
9. Aggressive Driving
Aggressive driving tactics like tailgating and swerving between lanes put both truck drivers and other drivers on the road at risk of getting in an accident.
10. Inadequate Following Distance
Since large trucks take longer than other vehicles to slow down and stop in emergency situations, it’s important for truck drivers to maintain a safe following distance. If a truck driver is following a car too closely and traffic comes to a halt, they’ll likely crash into the back of the car.
Determining Liability in Truck Accidents
- Multiple Parties: Truck accidents involve multiple parties, like the driver of the truck, the company that owns the truck, the company that owns the cargo, the company that manufactures the vehicle, and those who provide routine maintenance services. Each party could potentially share some degree of liability, making it challenging to pinpoint who is at fault.
- Regulatory Compliance: Trucking companies must follow certain state and federal laws regarding service hours, vehicle maintenance, and cargo loading. If a company violates these regulations, accidents are more likely to occur.
- Driver Logs: Truck drivers must maintain and submit detailed logs of how many hours they drive when they take breaks, and for how long. These logs can help a plaintiff prove driver fatigue or violations of hours-of-service rules. However, these logs can be falsified, making a thorough investigation necessary.
- Witness Testimony: Gathering eyewitness accounts in truck accidents can be challenging due to the often chaotic and high-speed nature of these collisions. Witness testimony can vary and may not always be reliable, making it necessary to corroborate statements with other evidence.
- Preservation of Evidence: Trucking companies may attempt to repair or remove evidence from the scene quickly, making it crucial to act promptly to preserve critical evidence, such as the condition of the vehicles, skid marks, or debris patterns.
- Expert Witnesses: Determining fault may require the involvement of experts such as accident reconstruction specialists, mechanical engineers, or medical professionals to analyze the accident’s causes, contributing factors, and resulting injuries.
- Modified Comparative Negligence: In many cases, fault may be shared between the truck driver and other parties, including the occupants of other vehicles involved. Assigning fault requires careful consideration.
- Insurance Issues: Insurance coverage in truck accidents can be extensive, with multiple insurance policies potentially applying to different aspects of the accident. Coordinating these policies and ensuring adequate compensation for victims can be a complex process.
Compensation You Can Expect to Receive
These are quantifiable, financial losses incurred as a direct result of an accident or injury. Economic damages may include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Property damage
- Other out-of-pocket costs
These are less tangible losses that do not have a specific dollar value but are nonetheless significant. Non-economic damages may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Psychological trauma
Punitive damages are a type of compensation that goes beyond compensating the victim for their losses and are instead intended to punish the at-fault party for their egregious conduct. These damages are relatively rare and are typically awarded when the defendant’s behavior is considered particularly reckless, wanton, malicious, or intentionally harmful.
If a truck driver or trucking company clearly acted particularly recklessly, the judge overseeing the case might award punitive damages. Examples of situations where punitive damages might be considered in truck accident cases include:
- Intoxication: If the truck driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident, and this behavior is found to be a significant factor in causing the accident, punitive damages may be sought.
- Willful Violations: If the trucking company knowingly and willfully violated safety regulations, such as exceeding hours-of-service limits, inadequately maintaining vehicles, or pressuring drivers to work in unsafe conditions, punitive damages might be pursued.
- Malicious Intent: In rare cases, if there is evidence that the truck driver or trucking company intentionally caused the accident or engaged in malicious conduct that resulted in harm, punitive damages could be considered.
It’s important to note that punitive damages are not automatic and are subject to the laws and legal standards of the jurisdiction where the case is heard. Courts will typically evaluate the facts and circumstances of the case to determine whether punitive damages are warranted.
Punitive damages not only increase the victim’s compensation but also help prevent truck drivers and companies from acting similarly in the future. With that said, punitive damages are only awarded in the most extreme cases of reckless behavior.
The Importance of Acting Quickly
Acting quickly in the aftermath of a truck accident is of prime importance for a few key reasons.
- Evidence preservation: Preserving evidence is highly time-sensitive. Skid marks, debris patterns, and the condition of vehicles can change rapidly following an accident. By promptly documenting and preserving this evidence, you enhance your ability to establish the facts surrounding the accident, which is crucial for determining liability and securing fair compensation.
- Eyewitness testimony: Eyewitness accounts are vital pieces of evidence in truck accident cases. However, memories can fade or become less reliable over time. Contacting and obtaining statements from witnesses while the events are still fresh in their minds can provide invaluable testimony that supports your case and helps establish a clear picture of what happened.
- Medical treatment: Seeking immediate medical attention is essential, not only for your health but also for your legal case. If you delay medical treatment, insurance companies may use this information as evidence that the accident isn’t what caused your injuries. Otherwise, you would have sought medical attention sooner. Prompt medical care creates a clear medical record linking your injuries to the accident, strengthening your claim for compensation.
- Meeting deadlines: Adhering to legal deadlines, like the statute of limitations, is crucial. Acting quickly ensures you don’t miss the opportunity to file a claim within the specified time frame.
How Steinger, Greene & Feiner Can Help You
Our Jacksonville truck accident lawyers provide the following services to truck accident clients.
Initial Case Evaluation
Whether you prefer to talk in person or over the phone, we’ll sit down with you to discuss the details of your case. We’ll make sure you understand your rights and legal options. This initial evaluation is free of charge.
Investigate Your Case
We want to get to the bottom of what happened and understand how your injuries were caused. Our team will gather evidence and consult experts to determine fault and calculate your losses.
Negotiate a Fair Settlement
We handle all communications with insurance providers to ensure a fair settlement is reached. While insurance companies may try to lowball you or employ other bad-faith tactics, our team will make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Represent You in Court
If a settlement isn’t reached, we’ll take your case to court. We’ll present a strong case to give you the best chance of achieving justice and securing maximum financial compensation.
1. What should I do immediately after a truck accident?
First, get to safety and check yourself for injuries. If you need emergency medical assistance, call 9-1-1. If you can wait to receive medical assistance, visit an urgent care facility or your primary care doctor after leaving the crash scene. Move your car to the shoulder or into a nearby parking lot if it’s safe to do so.
Next, call the police. Depending on the severity of the crash, officers might arrive at the scene to provide emergency assistance, gather witness statements, and fill out a police report. If officers don’t arrive at the scene, you will need to gather witness statements yourself and file an accident report through the local DMV.
Finally, notify your insurance company about the accident so you can file a claim against the at-fault party. You also want to stay in compliance with your insurance provider if they require policyholders to report an accident.
2. How is a truck accident different from a car accident?
Truck accidents are typically more severe and complex than car accidents. Trucks are significantly heavier than standard vehicles. When they collide with a stationary object or another vehicle, the impact alone can cause severe injuries. Additionally, the legal and insurance aspects of truck accidents are complex due to the trucking industry-specific regulations and the involvement of multiple parties, like trucking companies, cargo owners, and maintenance providers. As a result, determining liability is more difficult than it is with car accidents.
3. Can I claim compensation if I was partially at fault?
Florida practices modified comparative negligence, which allows a plaintiff to seek compensation even if they’re up to 50% at fault for the accident. Their compensation is simply reduced by the percentage of fault they contributed. For example, if the damages awarded in a truck accident case are $250,000 and the plaintiff contributed 20% of the fault, they would receive $200,000. If a plaintiff is 51% or more at fault, they cannot seek compensation from the defendant.
4. How soon should I contact a Jacksonville truck accident lawyer after the accident?
Contact a Jacksonville truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. The sooner you secure legal representation, the sooner you can secure compensation and put your accident behind you for good.
3. How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a truck accident in Jacksonville?
The statute of limitations in Florida for truck accident cases is four years if the accident occurred on or before 03/23/3023 and two years if it occurred after this date. If the truck accident caused the wrongful death of a loved one, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim against the at-fault party.
Secure Your Financial Future with Jacksonville’s Trusted Truck Accident Lawyer
When you need a truck accident lawyer you can trust to handle your case in Jacksonville, give Steinger, Greene & Feiner a call. We’ll schedule a free case evaluation with you to discuss your case, outline your legal options, and make a game plan. You don’t even have to pay us legal fees until we win your case. Don’t settle for less than you deserve. Contact our team today to secure maximum compensation for your injuries.