Accidents involving large commercial vehicles are especially devastating. The size, weight, and momentum of 18-wheelers can quickly take their toll on smaller vehicles such as passenger cars and motorcycles. If you or a family member has been involved in a collision with a commercial vehicle, you understand this all too well. It is important for those who have been injured or lost a loved one in a collision to get advice from an attorney concerning the liability of the trucker and trucking company. This includes cases in which the negligent supervision of a driver or other employee may have been a factor in the crash. The Pembroke Pines truck accident attorneys at Cohn & Smith can advise victims about their rights and options.Holding a Trucking Company Accountable for Negligent Supervision
Truck accident lawsuits begin with an analysis of whether someone’s negligence caused or contributed to the collision. Negligence means that a person or entity failed to act in a manner that was reasonable and prudent under the circumstances. There are four main questions to consider in a negligence case:
- Did the defendant owe a duty of care to the victim?
- Did the defendant breach the duty?
- Did the accident arise from the breach?
- Did the plaintiff incur damages?
In truck accident cases, an obvious defendant is the driver of the commercial vehicle at the time of the collision. However, a full investigation may reveal other parties that may have been negligent, including the trucking company that employed the driver. This type of claim may involve what is called “negligent supervision,” which happens when an employer fails to live up to the standard of care that is imposed on it under the law with regard to its supervision of its employees. Holding negligent trucking companies responsible may be important because a trucking company usually has more insurance to pay a damages award than a driver does.
Negligent hiring is a closely related issue in many truck accident cases. Trucking companies must exercise due care in the hiring process, including verifying a trucker’s licensure and endorsements. Inquiries into the trucker’s background, including previous accidents and drug or alcohol use, are also common practices. Once a trucker has been hired, the company may have a responsibility to further train the driver, as well as keep track of his or her routes, loads, cargo, and working hours. Other employees of the trucking company may also perform tasks, such as maintenance or loading, for which the company is ultimately responsible through the doctrine of vicarious liability.
Because of the nature and magnitude of most truck accident cases, retaining an attorney early in the process can be critical. In addition to ensuring compliance with matters related to timeliness, such as filing deadlines, hiring counsel as soon as possible helps increase the thoroughness of the investigation. Otherwise, valuable evidence may be lost, possibly reducing the value of the case.Explore Your Options with a Pembroke Pines Attorney after a Motor Vehicle Collision
If you have been hurt in a big rig crash in which you believe negligent supervision may have played a part, you can contact the motor vehicle collision lawyers at Cohn & Smith. We are here to help Pembroke Pines residents and other accident victims seek the compensation that they deserve. Cohn & Smith represents people in cities throughout South Florida, including Pompano Beach, Hollywood, Davie, and Tamarac. Call us at 954-431-8100 or contact us online to set up a free consultation with an attorney.