Dump Truck Accidents
Dump trucks come in several different sizes and varieties, but they all have one thing in common. They have the potential to inflict serious bodily injury and even death on motorists and passengers in smaller vehicles. Often used in construction, dump trucks may have the added hazard of carrying material, such as gravel or debris, that can fly out and hit a car, truck, or SUV, possibly causing the driver to have visibility issues or find it necessary to swerve to avoid hitting a large object. If you or a family member has been involved in a dump truck accident caused by a careless driver, the dedicated Pembroke Pines truck accident lawyers at Cohn & Smith are here to help.Pursuing Compensation for a Dump Truck Accident
Sometimes dump trucks have a sign on the back stating that the driver is not responsible for accidents. This statement will not be enforced by courts and is simply an attempt by the dump truck’s owner to discourage litigation. The fact is that dump truck drivers and owners may be held liable if they act negligently, just like everyone else. The basic concept of negligence law is that when a person, business, or governmental entity does not act in a reasonable and prudent manner, they can potentially be held liable for any harm caused by their actions. Negligence cases involve four main elements:
- The defendant must have owed a legal duty to the plaintiff;
- The defendant must have acted carelessly and breached the duty;
- The breach must have been a proximate cause of the accident; and
- The plaintiff must have suffered damages.
The plaintiff has the burden of proof in a negligence case. He or she must be able to convince the finder of fact by a preponderance of the evidence, which means that his or her version of the story is more likely than not to be accurate.
When a dump truck accident is caused by a driver’s negligence, it is usually possible to recover damages from either the driver or the owner of the truck, assuming that the accident happened within the course of the driver’s employment with the owner. Under the doctrine of respondeat superior, an employer may be held legally responsible for the negligent actions of an employee. In some instances, the employer may be liable in its own right as well. For example, if the owner’s failure to maintain the dump truck contributed to the accident, a direct negligence action might be brought against the owner.
In cases in which someone is hurt due to the negligence of a dump truck driver or owner, the injured person may be able to recover compensation for pain and suffering, reimbursement of medical expenses related to the injuries suffered in the crash, and payment of lost wages, among other damages. If a dump truck collision results in a tragic loss of life, the victim’s family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek funeral and burial expenses, loss of consortium, and lost net earnings to the estate. It is important to note that Florida has a much shorter statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits than for personal injury lawsuits. You should speak to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to ensure that procedural deadlines are met and that you are vigorously represented during the investigation of the accident.Consult a Truck Accident Lawyer in Pembroke Pines
People who have been struck by a careless commercial driver in South Florida have legal rights to assert. If you are in this difficult situation, the Pembroke Pines attorneys at Cohn & Smith are ready to assist you. Call us at 954-431-8100 or contact us online to set up a free consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney. We also represent victims and their families in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Davie, Weston, Sunrise, Tamarac, Coral Springs, Aventura, Pompano Beach, and cities throughout North Dade County.