Due to the weight and size of commercial trucks, truck accidents can seriously injure pedestrians, bikers, and people in passenger cars. Tractor trailers and other commercial trucks may weigh up to 80,000 pounds, in contrast to a passenger vehicle that weighs up to 5,000 pounds. Sometimes there are catastrophic injuries and deaths, yet the truck driver may walk away without a scratch. A significant number of truck accidents are caused by a truck driver's careless actions. If you are injured or a loved one is killed in a truck accident, you may be able to recover damages. The Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyers at the Gainza Law Group are ready to help you maximize your compensation award.Seeking Compensation After a Serious Truck Accident
Commercial trucks take longer to stop because of their mass than do passenger cars. They have huge blind spots and often roll over because they are top-heavy. Causes of truck accidents can include speeding, tailgating, drunk driving, drowsy driving, texting and driving, prescription drug use, illegal driving maneuvers, and unbalanced loads.
Truck drivers must have a commercial driver's license and follow federal and state regulations. Interstate truck drivers are required to abide by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. Trucking companies that operate in interstate commerce must also abide by the FMCSA regulations. FMCSA regulations include rules about hours of service, drug and alcohol use, background checks, and maintenance of trucks. For example, interstate truck drivers are only supposed to work a maximum of 11 hours in a day and must take a 30-minute break during that time. The most that a truck driver can work in a single week is 70 hours, after which a mandatory 34-hour rest period needs to be observed.
If you are injured or a loved one is killed in a crash, a truck accident attorney in the Fort Lauderdale area may be able to recover damages on your behalf. Your attorney will need to show that the truck driver owed you a duty of reasonable care, but the truck driver’s dangerous driving fell short of this duty and caused the accident. A violation of an FMCSA regulation is strong evidence of a breach of the duty to use reasonable care, and if the violation causes an accident, you will likely be able to establish negligence. For example, if a truck driver has violated the hours of service rules and driven for 20 hours at a stretch without a rest break, and then he T-bones your car, this is likely negligent.
Employers are required to control their employees' behavior while they are in the course of employment. A Fort Lauderdale truck accident attorney can hold a trucking company indirectly liable for an employee's negligence under the doctrine of respondeat superior. However, if a truck driver is not formally an employee (and cannot be shown to be an employee in fact) or is on a break at the time of the accident, this doctrine will not apply. A trucking company can also be held directly liable if its own negligence in hiring, supervising, or training a truck driver is the cause of an accident. For example, if an interstate trucking company knows that a truck driver is falsifying his log book and not obeying the hours of service rules, it may be possible to hold it liable under a theory of negligent supervision.
Sometimes it is possible to pursue other sources of compensation as well, such as the truck manufacturer (or the manufacturer of a component of the truck, such as the brakes), a third-party loader, or the owner of the road where the accident happened.Seek Guidance from a Truck Accident Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale
If you are in a car or on a motorcycle when you are struck by a truck in South Florida, you should consult the Gainza Law Group. We provide dedicated legal representation to victims in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties, as well as statewide. We have assisted injured people in cities such as Pompano Beach, Miami, Hialeah, West Palm Beach, Coral Springs, Hollywood, Lauderhill, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Sunrise, Miami Beach, Miami Gardens, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Cape Coral, Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tallahassee, Orlando, Jacksonville, and Daytona Beach. Call us at (954) 463-1210 or complete our online form for a free appointment.