Who is Liable in a Trucking Accident in Florida?
As with any vehicle accident, the repercussions of being involved in a wreck can impact a victim's life for the remainder of his or her life. Understanding the common reasons for trucking accidents and understanding your rights and responsibilities in the event that you have a legal claim is important for protecting yourself. Unfortunately, the number of truck accidents is on the rise in the United States.
Deadly Trucking Accidents
Research from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration illustrates that nearly 5,000 individuals die on an annual basis due to accidents with large trucks. Although large trucks, like 18-wheelers, only make up 3% of motor vehicle accidents that cause injuries, the harm associated with a trucking accident in florida is often much more severe than a typical traffic accident. This is primarily due to the heavy weight and large size of most trucks. The implications of an accident can be compounded when the truck is driving in an extremely fast speed or when the driver is not paying attention behind the wheel.
Various federal and state regulations and laws govern the trucking industry. The primary purpose of these regulations is to minimize the number of individuals hurt and killed every single year on America's roadways as a result of truck driver and truck driving company liability.
One of the most complicated aspects of dealing with a trucking accident claim is determining who is liable immediately after the accident. In a typical vehicle accident that is caused by one other driver it can be relatively simple to determine liability. However, trucking accidents often have a complicated web of individuals who may be held responsible in court. This is why it is a major mistake to attempt to handle your legal claim on your own. A knowledgeable Florida truck accident lawyer who has assisted in these types of cases before can more fully evaluate all potential individuals who may have liability in your unique case. Some of the individuals who may be responsible for a victim's injuries include:
- the truck or trailer owner
- the truck driver
- the company or person leasing the trailer or truck from the owner
- the loader or shipper of the truck's cargo
- the vehicle manufacturer
Leasing, hauling and trucking companies will often argue amongst themselves over whose insurance company should be used to compensate the victim. Having an experienced and aggressive personal injury lawyer working in florida on your behalf is the best way to have someone advocating for your rights. As you can these claims can be complex and frustrating if you don’t know what to expect An experienced lawyer, however, can really make a difference not just for the outcome of your claim but also for how you feel as you through this process. The last thing you need is more stress; make sure your lawyer understands your needs.
Bear in mind that the insurance companies representing the truck driver and the truck driving company probably have extensive experience attempting to minimize the injuries of the victim and fight for their own bottom line. Likewise, you should have someone just as committed to your case outcome. This should come in the form of an experienced truck accident lawyer in Florida.
In the past a trucking company might have attempted to avoid liability by putting distance between themselves and the driver. The truck company might argue that since it doesn't own the equipment it cannot be responsible for the maintenance, inspection, repair and operations associated with the equipment; however, federal regulations and laws have stopped these arguments. Any company that owns a trucking permit in the United States is responsible for all accidents associated with the truck that has it's name or placard displayed on the vehicle. This makes it easier to illustrate negligence and liability.
Your trucking accident lawyer may carry out multiple aspects of your trucking accident claim to assist you with a positive outcome, including:
- Reconstructing the scene of the accident
- Evaluating medical records
- Connecting with expert witnesses
- Helping to prepare your claim for court
Regardless of how your trucking accident came to happen you need advice from an expert.
About Author – Paul K. Schrier
Paul K. Schrier is an experienced personal injury attorney in Miami, FL and also the mangaging attorney for all of the Statewide lawyers of The Law Offices of Paul K. Schrier, PLLC. He has been a successful trial attorney for 30 years and has dedicated his career to provide legal assistance to his clients.