With numerous heavily traveled highways running through Florida, motorists often find themselves in the vicinity of large trucks. They come in many varieties, such as van trailers, tankers, and flatbeds, all of which can be dangerous to people around them if they are not carefully operated. Flatbeds, which can be either rigid or articulated and have no sides or roof, can be particularly hazardous because they are difficult to load and to operate. When truckers or trucking companies take shortcuts in order to save time and make more money, it is often innocent motorists, passengers, and pedestrians who pay the price. If you have been hurt in a flatbed accident, the Pembroke Pines truck accident lawyers at Cohn & Smith can aggressively seek to hold the responsible party financially accountable for your injuries.Bringing a Negligence Claim after a Flatbed Accident
Flatbed accidents usually fall into two basic categories: collisions involving the tractor-trailer itself and crashes caused by the cargo being hauled on the flatbed trailer. Vehicle-to-vehicle collisions may happen because of shifting cargo, instability caused by improper loading, or simply lack of training. Cargo-related crashes are often due to loading issues, such as a failure to secure a load, but they can also happen because a trucker does not operate the vehicle in a manner consistent with hauling a large and sometimes awkward load. Jackknife accidents and even truck rollovers can happen due to cargo shifting or poor driving.
Just as with other motor vehicle accidents, truck drivers can be held liable if a person who is hurt in a crash can prove that the driver was negligent. “Negligence” is a legal term that basically means that a defendant did not behave in the manner that a reasonably prudent person would have behaved under the same or similar circumstances. Negligence can happen because a trucker does something that is careless or because he or she does not do something that a reasonable person would have done. Regardless of whether a negligence lawsuit is based on an action or on an omission, there are four steps that must be proven, each by a preponderance of the evidence, in order for the plaintiff to be successful.
First, the plaintiff must show that there was a duty of care, and then he or she must show that there was a breach of that duty. The third requirement consists of showing a link of causation between the defendant’s breach of duty and the plaintiff’s injuries, and the final step requires identifying quantifiable damages that the plaintiff incurred. The term “damages” can refer to both economic and non-economic costs and losses, such as medical expenses, lost income, and repairs to a vehicle, as well as pain and suffering, disability, and disfigurement.
In many cases, both the truck driver and the trucking company for whom he or she worked may be held liable for damages resulting from a flatbed accident. This is because the doctrine of respondeat superior generally holds an employer liable for the tortious acts of an employee. (In some cases, the trucking company may be negligent in its own right as well.)Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer in Pembroke Pines
You should take action as soon as possible after a flatbed accident. The Florida statute of limitations restricts the time within which you can bring a claim, and the practicalities of investigating a collision make it important to avoid any delay. To talk to a knowledgeable Pembroke Pines attorney, call Cohn & Smith at 954-431-8100 today or contact us online. We offer a free, confidential case evaluation so that you can explore your options before deciding on a course of action. Our motor vehicle collision attorneys represent victims in many areas of South Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, Davie, Weston, Aventura, Coral Springs, Hollywood, Sunrise, Tamarac, Pompano Beach, and communities throughout North Dade County.