Every year, there are estimated to be 500,000 truck accidents in the United States. Truck accidents are usually caused by the following:
- Non-commercial driver error
- Poor vehicle maintenance, including improper cargo loading
- Equipment failure
- Truck driver error, including truck driver fatigue, unrealistic schedules
- Inclement weather
Truck Accident Liability Can Be Complicated
Under Florida law, you may seek compensation from any negligent party that caused an accident resulting in your injuries. In summary, you must show that this party breached its duty of care by creating unsafe conditions and that, as a result, other people were put in danger.
Trucking companies may have violated their duty of care by failing to provide proper training to truck drivers, permitting them to work longer hours than are permitted by federal and state law, or failing to perform background checks that would have revealed a history of reckless driving or substance abuse.
There are other possible defendants besides the trucking company. When a component of the truck malfunctions because of a manufacturing defect, the manufacturer might be liable. This is called product liability. Trucks that fail to function because of poor maintenance are the trucking company’s responsibility.
Trucking companies are responsible for inspecting and maintaining their trucks. Overloading or uneven loading of the truck might be the responsibility of the loading company. If there are dangerous but preventable road conditions, the city might be liable; this is called premises liability. It is not uncommon for injured plaintiffs to bring a lawsuit against more than one defendant.
Recovering Damages after a Truck Accident
Depending on how much the insurance company decides to pay, you might be able to pay all your accident-related medical bills. Don’t sign anything, however. Even if your medical bills amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars, the losses resulting from the accident are much more than medical expenses.
You might also be able to recover compensation for lost income if you filed a trucking accident lawsuit. Compensation can be sought for future lost income if you are still unable to work when your case settles or goes to trial. In the case of permanent disability, this money will enable you to train for a new profession, or even support your family without working.
These are just some of the economic damages. Additionally, plaintiffs can recover non-economic damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, or loss of companionship (when a close family member has died or suffered a serious injury in the accident).