Florida Truck Accident Lawyer: Commercial Carrier
Accidents happen left and right, but the gravity of the situation and the extent of the injuries are often affected by different variables. For instance, if the accident involves a commercial carrier like a humongous truck, chances are the accident is also ‘bigger’ compared to what happens if two cars collide. This is usually due to the sheer size and weight of the truck involved.
While trucking accidents are less commonplace than car crashes, they still happen throughout Florida (Click here to see all the communities we serve). Often, accidents involving trucks are more catastrophic because if a truck loses control on the road and hits vehicles that are much smaller, those vehicles are immediately at a disadvantage and the damage that occurs are usually worse. Whether you’re directly or indirectly (perhaps from flying debris on the road) involved in a crash involving any commercial carrier, you will need a lawyer to help you sort through the complicated legal battle that follows.
Who’s at Fault?
In any personal injury case, one of the most important questions would be to pinpoint who is at fault. Who should you sue?
Lawyers who are familiar with accidents involving commercial carriers know that this may not be as straightforward as some people think. It’s easy to blame someone, like the truck driver for instance, but if that driver is not covered by enough insurance then it may make more sense to claim it from the commercial carrier itself. The negligence of the driver may be the cause of the accident, but since that driver was representing the trucking company while doing his job, then the carrier should also take responsibility.
There are times when it’s clear that it’s also the negligence of the trucking company that caused the accident. This will be true in cases when the company has failed to put proper safety measures in place, or when the driver hasn’t been screened properly.
You should also not discount the fact that these are larger scale defendants you will be dealing with, and in there will be cases when your involvement is not direct (meaning the truck didn’t hit you full on but you may have been still affected by the crash). It is not uncommon for commercial carriers to deny fault or liability, so it’s best if you have a lawyer to help you every step of the way.
Unlike a car crash wherein the liability if more straightforward and you can usually just blame the other driver, because this is a commercial carrier, finding fault in the other party is not as easy as that. To highlight the complexity of finding who’s at fault, below is a list of the possible parties that can be held liable when the accident involves something like a commercial carrier:
- Truck driver
- Truck company employing the truck driver – may or may not own the truck itself
- Truck owner
- Truck manufacturer
- Company leasing the truck
- Trailer owner – if the accident involves a trailer
- Company leasing the trailer
- Leasing company owner
- Trailer manufacturer
The Challenge with Commercial Carriers
Making sure that someone holds responsibility for what happened is part of your lawyer’s job. After a major accident especially involving a truck, the people involved with the accident are often still emotionally (and physically) traumatized. Having a good lawyer by your side will ensure that there’s someone fighting your legal battles for you, and that you really do get the compensation you deserve. Whether you’re in Fort Lauderdale or another city in Florida, we’re here to assist you in your case.
Having a lawyer will also help you navigate the complicated legal landscape of dealing with commercial carriers. It’s not like a typical car crash and you will have to take note of a few more factors. For one, trucks or commercial carriers are typically used to transport goods from one state to another. The accident may have happened in Florida, but there’s a good chance that the trucking company is from another state. This out-of-state status of the defendant complicates the situation and you will really need your lawyer to track the defendant, interface with the right insurance company, and file the lawsuit in the appropriate court.
Even when the truck company involved is located inside the state, the fact that it’s a commercial carrier complicates the legal repercussions and this is where your lawyer can definitely come in to give you a hand.
Your lawyer is there to help you deal with the legal drama, and the priority is actually proving the extent of your injuries. In order to claim compensation for damages, you must be able to prove the full extent of the damages caused by the trucking accident and that’s a venue your lawyer can assist you with.
The damages that you can claim after a truck accident are similar to what you can claim after a car crash. However, the extent is usually bigger. These claims include past, current, and future medical expenses, loss of income or the ability to earn, pain and anguish, wrongful death (in the worst case scenario), and other such losses that can be directly traced to the accident.
There are many damages that you can claim, but the hard part is actually proving that the truck company is at fault. When it comes to investigating the accident and proving this fault, your lawyer can definitely help you. Below are the tasks that lawyers can typically help with:
- Obtaining and reviewing available camera footage
- Going through police reports of the accident in question
- Interviewing eye-witnesses
- Analyzing medical records
- Interviewing medical staff
- Working with experts to reconstruct or recreate the scene of the accident for better understanding
With personal injury cases resulting from accidents with a commercial carrier, things can be settled either outside court or in it. Lawyers are good negotiators, and often the right settlement is reached outside of court. However, if a jury trial is necessary to ensure that you get the rightful compensation for the full extent of your damages, your lawyers will certainly not hesitate to fight for your case in court as well. Contact the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato today to find out how our lawyers can help you.
Other articles you may be interested in:
Who Can Be Held Liable for Semi-Truck Accidents?
How do I tell if the truck driver or his or her employer was liable for my injuries?
Updated: November 2, 2016