The longer and heavier a vehicle, the more it time it takes that vehicle to come to a complete stop. For 18-wheelers weighing in at 80,000 pounds or more and extending 70 to 80 feet, maintaining an appropriate stopping distance may be a challenge, especially when combined with factors like adverse weather or mechanical issues. It is thus extremely important that truck drivers use the utmost care and attention when traveling on highways and other roads with smaller, more vulnerable cars and motorcycles. If you or a loved one has been hurt because of a trucker’s negligent driving, the experienced Pembroke Pines truck accident lawyers at Cohn & Smith are ready to discuss your legal rights with you, including the possibility of filing suit against the responsible party.Pursuing Compensation after a Collision Caused by Inadequate Stopping Distance
In order to assert a successful claim against a trucker or trucking company, the person seeking to recover compensation must be able to prove a case of negligence. To do this, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed him or her a legal duty, that the duty was breached, that the plaintiff suffered damages, and that the breach of duty directly caused the damages. An example of a breach of duty in the context of operating a truck is failing to leave a sufficient stopping distance between the truck and another vehicle in front of it. This is an important precaution to take to avoid collisions when the lead vehicle needs to slow down or stop, since a truck will take longer than an ordinary car to reduce speed.
Once a case of negligence has been made, the main issue becomes the amount of damages that the defendant should pay the plaintiff for what he or she has been through. In determining this amount, it is important to consider the plaintiff’s past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity, as well as pain and suffering and reduced quality of life. If the plaintiff is married, his or her spouse may be able to assert a claim for loss of consortium.
In cases involving a fatal accident, the family or estate of the victim may pursue wrongful death damages for funeral and burial costs, loss of consortium, lost net earnings to the estate, medical expenses, and more. In cases involving recklessness or wanton and willful conduct by the defendant, a plaintiff or a plaintiff’s family may also be able to seek punitive damages.
A claim against a negligent or reckless truck driver or trucking company must be filed within the statute of limitations set forth by the state of Florida. Otherwise, the suit will be dismissed unless it falls within one of the narrow exceptions to this rule. The statute of limitations is particularly short in wrongful death cases, but in any situation, exploring your legal options with an attorney is a step that you should take as soon as your physical condition allows.Enlist a Pembroke Pines Lawyer for Your Truck Accident Case
Being involved in a serious accident with a large truck may be devastating to the person involved, as well as to that person’s family. Retaining a hard-working and compassionate motor vehicle collision lawyer can make a world of difference. Call (954) 431-8100 or contact us online for a free appointment with a Pembroke Pines attorney at Cohn & Smith. Most cases are handled on a contingency fee arrangement. We can assist victims in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Davie, Weston, Sunrise, Tamarac, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, Aventura, and communities throughout North Dade County.