Tanker Truck Accidents
Motor vehicles designed to carry liquid loads or dry bulk cargo are often referred to as tanker trucks, tankers, or tank trucks. Although some carry relatively innocuous loads, such as milk or liquid sugar, many tanker trucks contain potentially hazardous liquids, such as industrial chemicals, gasoline, or other flammable materials. Combined with the already high risk of a serious accident due to the relative size and weight of a semi-truck or other commercial carrier, catastrophic results can occur. If you or a family member has been involved in a tanker truck accident, the Pembroke Pines truck accident lawyers at Cohn & Smith can offer the dedicated legal representation that you need as you seek to hold a trucker or trucking company responsible for your injuries.Seeking Damages after a Tanker Truck Accident
Truck accidents, including those involving tanker trucks, can happen for many reasons. Some of the more common contributing factors include driver fatigue, distracted driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, inadequate maintenance, improper loading or unbalanced cargo, driver inexperience or lack of training, speed limit violations, or disregarding traffic control devices or other rules of the road.
Regardless of the cause of a tanker truck accident, the law allows a victim to try to make out a case of negligence in order to recover a judgment from the responsible party. Negligence cases have four parts: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. In order to prevail, the plaintiff must prove each element by a preponderance of the evidence, a standard far less demanding than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” requirement in criminal court. If both the truck driver and the trucking company that employed him or her (or owned the tanker) are named in the lawsuit, the plaintiff must either prove negligence against both or must prove that the employer is liable for the actions of the employee through the doctrine of respondeat superior.
In some cases, a defendant may allege that the plaintiff was partially or wholly to blame for the accident. Under Florida’s pure comparative fault principle, this may limit the plaintiff’s damages to an amount proportionate to the defendant’s percentage of responsibility. For instance, if a jury finds that the plaintiff has damages of $100,000 but finds that he or she was 30 percent at fault, the plaintiff may be able to recover $70,000 from the defendant. In contrast to some states, Florida does not bar the right to compensation for victims who are found to equally share the responsibility for the accident with a defendant.
The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is four years in Florida, but cases involving a wrongful death must be filed within two years. In addition, a full and thorough investigation promptly after an accident is important to preserve the value of a case. As a result, you should not hesitate to seek legal representation as soon as possible after you have been injured.Consult an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer in the Pembroke Pines Area
To take the first steps in asserting your rights following a tanker truck accident, contact the Pembroke Pines attorneys at Cohn & Smith to learn more about your options. We can represent victims throughout South Florida, including in Fort Lauderdale, Davie, Hollywood, Sunrise, Coral Springs, Weston, Tamarac, Aventura, Pompano Beach, and communities throughout North Dade County. There is no fee for the initial consultation, and no legal fees are collected unless and until your case is concluded with a successful judgment or settlement. Call us at (954) 431-8100 or contact us online to set up an appointment with a motor vehicle collision attorney.