Most motor vehicles have areas that a driver cannot see while driving under normal conditions. These are known as “blind spots” and, if not handled properly, can cause serious accidents. This is especially true with semi-trucks. Because of the weight, size, and limited maneuverability of big rigs, commercial drivers must use all means necessary to minimize the effects of blind spots around their vehicles. At Cohn & Smith, our Pembroke Pines truck accident attorneys protect the rights of individuals in South Florida cities who have been hurt because of the negligence of truckers and trucking companies.Seeking Compensation through a Negligence Claim
Truck accident cases usually arise under an area of the law known as “negligence.” In these claims, there are four basic steps that a person seeking to recover damages from a careless person or business must go through. First, there must be a showing that the person or business owed a duty to the victim. The law imposes a duty of due care on all drivers to refrain from needlessly risky behavior that is likely to endanger others. The second step consists of proving that the defendant breached the duty of care owed to the victim. Truckers, trucking companies, and insurance companies are often reluctant to admit fault, and they may even try to assign blame to a motorist.
The state of Florida follows the doctrine of pure comparative fault. This means that a judge or jury can apportion fault and, if it is found that someone other than the defendant was partially responsible for the accident, proportionately reduce the amount of damages that the defendant owes the claimant. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for insurers to attempt to assign blame to victims in truck crash cases. However, such an allegation does not automatically result in a reduction of damages, since the party seeking to assign comparative fault has to prove his or her allegations, just as the claimant does.
The third element that must be satisfied in establishing a negligence case is causation. This means that the victim must be able to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the damages that he or she suffered are directly linked to the breach of duty by the defendant. They also must be reasonably foreseeable, rather than the product of an intervening cause that could not have been anticipated.
The final element for a victim to show is damages, or actual harm resulting from the accident. This can include both non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, and economic damages, like lost income, medical expenses, and the cost of repairs to a vehicle. Usually, economic damages are easier to calculate than non-economic damages, but an experienced attorney can help present a compelling argument on these more subjective forms of harm.Explore Your Options with a Pembroke Pines Attorney
If you have been injured in a truck accident that you believe was caused by the negligence of a driver or trucking company in failing to recognize a blind spot, you should be aware that you have a limited amount of time to file a claim, or else your right to recover compensation will be forever barred. The statute of limitations in Florida is generally four years from the date of the accident, but the time limit is only two years in wrongful death cases. Contact the injury lawyers at Cohn & Smith for a free consultation if you have been hurt in the Pembroke Pines area. You can call us at (954) 431-8100 or use the contact form on this website for an appointment with an attorney. We have represented accident victims from communities such as Sunrise, Tamarac, and Pompano Beach in asserting their right to compensation.