Jacksonville Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck accidents occur less frequently than other motor vehicle accidents, but the impact of a truck crash is much more severe and more likely to cause catastrophic injury or wrongful death to the occupants of the car that is hit. Truck accident victims often need both immediate and long-term care, and they are faced with a mountain of financial needs to meet medical expenses and make up for time missed from work. The Jacksonville truck accident lawyers at Douglas & Carter can help you get the medical care and the compensation you need to support yourself and your family while you face the most difficult challenges of dealing with the aftermath of a serious truck accident.
What Makes Large Truck Collisions So Dangerous?
A typical semi-trailer truck loaded with cargo weighs somewhere between 40,000 to 80,000 pounds, whit 80,000 being the maximum allowable weight, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. Compare that to the average weight of a passenger vehicle at 4,000 pounds, and the reason why collisions involving trucks are so dangerous becomes exceedingly obvious. The massive weight difference is almost akin to a pedestrian being struck by a car: the pedestrian suffers all of the injuries, while the driver is perfectly fine. Not only does the size difference result in serious injury for the passenger vehicle occupants, but the truck’s size probably played a role in how the collision actually occurred. When operating semi-trailer trucks:
- It is difficult to see to the sides or directly behind the truck, which results in side-swiping collisions;
- The heavy weight of the truck may cause the brakes to go out on a descent;
- An overloaded or improperly loaded truck may tip or cause an imbalance, resulting in the truck swerving into a vehicle;
- It can be difficult to maneuver the truck through heavy traffic;
- The driver may be unfamiliar or inexperienced with operating such a large vehicle;
- Stopping such a large mass takes more time than it would for a passenger vehicle to come to rest; and
- When making sharp corners, the truck may veer into the oncoming lane due to its length, or take extra time to get through an intersection.
Rollover Collisions Often Result in Catastrophic Injury or Death for the Passenger Vehicle Occupants
Being involved in any type of traffic collision, particularly with a large vehicle, can be terrifying. However, when the collision involves a truck that has rolled over, or your vehicle was caused to rollover after being hit by a truck, the terror is even more profound. Rollovers are caused when:
- A truck’s brakes go out on a descent and it cannot slow down for the curves;
- A truck is going too fast;
- A truck is overloaded;
- A truck’s tires blow out;
- A truck sideswipes a car; and
- A truck hits a car at an angel or head on.
A truck that rolls over may cause a massive pileup, strike another vehicle as it rolls, or even land on top of another vehicle. To be sure, 23 percent of truck rollovers involved another vehicle, according to a report in the U.S. National Library of Medicine. It takes a lot to go wrong for a truck to rollover, but all it takes for a truck to cause another vehicle to rollover is a relatively light glancing blow from the side. Such a collision, usually caused when the truck driver merges into a lane or changes lane without warning, can cause the driver of the passenger vehicle to lose control and veer off the road or into an adjacent vehicle. Any rollover collision typically involves catastrophic injuries, which can result in disability, disfigurement, or death.
Lake City and Jacksonville Truck Accident Facts and Statistics
- Cutting through Lake City, I-75 is one of the longest north-south interstate highways in the country, running from southern Florida to the northern tip of Michigan on the Canadian border.
- Interstate 95 runs through Jacksonville on its way from Florida to Maine. The nation’s main east coast highway, I-95 was recently named the third most dangerous road in the U.S.
- I-10 crosses through both Lake City and Jacksonville and connects America from coast to coast, from Santa Monica, California to Jacksonville, Florida. Average daily traffic on the I-10 corridor is 41,000 vehicles, with a maximum over 300,000. Truck traffic alone accounts for 8,000 tractor-trailers on average daily, up to 55,000 in a given day. Over 53% of the 700 miles of urban segments are heavily congested.
- The Port of Jacksonville is an international trade seaport responsible for billions of dollars in economic activity yearly. The port is the second largest importer and exporter of cars, trucks and other motor vehicles in the country.
- Duval County was home to 2,655 commercial motor vehicle crashes in 2016, including 11 deaths and 472 injuries. This figure represents the fourth highest truck crash rate in Florida, many times more than most other counties in the state.
Truck Drivers and Trucking Companies Routinely Violate Safety Rules
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulates how long truckers can be on duty and behind the wheel without taking a rest break or significant time off. The NHTSA also places duties on trucking companies to inspect and maintain their fleets in safe condition. Sadly, these regulations are far too often ignored. In fact, annual roadside inspections frequently result in about one of every 20 drivers and nearly a quarter of all trucks inspected being immediately pulled from service for violations of truck driver hours of service rules and for trucks being found with worn-out tires and brakes.
At Douglas & Carter, our Jacksonville truck accident lawyers know how to investigate the facts of a truck crash, including whether trucker and trucking company were in compliance with federal truck safety rules. Trucking companies and their insurers may fight hard to evade responsibility, but we fight even harder to get our clients the maximum compensation they deserve after being injured by the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company.
Help is Available after Serious Truck Accidents in Lake City and Jacksonville
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Florida truck accident, call Douglas & Carter for a free consultation on your potential claims with a team of experienced and successful Jacksonville truck accident lawyers.