Significant harm can happen when a driver is dodging falling debris from a tractor-trailer. If you have been the victim of a negligent trucker, trucking company, or other party that has failed to properly secure a load on a big rig, you know just how dangerous it can be when objects fly off a vehicle traveling at speeds as high as 75 miles per hour. The Pembroke Pines truck accident attorneys at Cohn & Smith are here to assist people in South Florida cities as they pursue damages from those responsible for their harm. We investigate each case to determine not only the cause of the accident but all possible defendants that may be liable.
Claims Based on Falling Debris
In some commercial trucking lawsuits, the company that employed a negligent trucker can potentially be held vicariously liable for the driver’s actions under the principles of respondeat superior. The trucking company may also be held accountable for its own negligence if it failed to comply with federal or state trucking regulations or if its actions contributed to the accident. In some instances, another person or business that failed to correctly secure cargo on the truck may also be named as a defendant.
Motor vehicle collision cases and most other personal injury lawsuits are founded upon the principles of negligence law. In negligence cases, there is a four-step process to asserting a successful claim. First, the party bringing the lawsuit must show that the defendant or defendants owed him or her a legal duty of care. While there are certain general duties that motorists owe one another, in trucking cases the duty element is sometimes satisfied via a federal or state trucking regulation pertaining to the manner in which cargo is to be secured.
The second step of a negligence case is showing that the defendant actually breached the duty owed to the plaintiff with some careless conduct. The third step requires proof that the defendant’s breach of the duty owed to the plaintiff was the proximate cause of the accident. Finally, there must be a showing of actual damages, which can be economic and non-economic.
When a trucker or trucking company fails to properly secure a load, many dangers can occur. In addition to the obvious situation in which an object strikes a vehicle and causes a driver to lose control, falling debris can also:
- Make a roadway slippery;
- Cause multiple vehicles to swerve around the falling object; or
- Force drivers to brake suddenly.
In some cases, there may be allegations that the plaintiff or a third party was partially at fault for the accident. If the case goes to a trial in front of a jury, it is up to the jury to determine the percentage of fault attributable to each party. If the plaintiff is found to be partially at fault, his or her award of damages may be reduced in proportion to the fault assigned to him or her under Florida’s pure comparative fault doctrine.Consult a Pembroke Pines Lawyer for Your Injury Claim
If you have been hurt by falling debris from a semi-truck, or if you have lost a loved one due to a trucker’s or trucking company’s negligence, you should speak to an attorney who can help you investigate your case and assert a claim against the responsible person or business. The Florida statute of limitations restricts the time that an accident claimant has to file a lawsuit, and a delay in seeking legal advice can mean no recovery. If you have been hurt in Pembroke Pines or the surrounding area, call the injury attorneys at Cohn & Smith today at (954) 431-8100 or contact us online. There is no charge for the initial consultation, and most cases are accepted on a contingency fee basis. We also serve accident victims in cities such as Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Coral Springs, and Pompano Beach.