Fatal Truck Accidents
Losing a loved one in a traffic accident can have devastating consequences for those left behind. The emotional pain and the financial fallout can scar a family for many years to come. Having the assistance of a compassionate, experienced trial attorney as a family goes through the legal process of pursing compensation from the responsible party can go a long way in reducing the stress and upheaval that a family experiences after a loved one’s untimely death. The Pembroke Pines fatal truck accident attorneys at Cohn & Smith are here to help Pembroke Pines residents and others investigate the details of a family member’s accident, gather evidence to support their case, and pursue a negligence claim against the responsible party.Pursuing Compensation for the Negligence of a Big Rig Driver
Thousands of traffic fatalities happen in Florida and elsewhere across the nation each year. A significant number of these crashes are caused by the negligence of truck drivers who disobey traffic laws, engage in distracted driving, or drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
A family who has lost a loved one in a fatal accident has a legal right to pursue damages in a court of law. In order to be successful, the family must prove that the crash would not have occurred if the trucker had behaved in a reasonable and prudent manner under the circumstances. Exactly what this entails varies from case to case but generally requires proof of the four essential elements of negligence: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
The first step requires the family to show that the defendant trucker owed a legal duty to the accident victim. This can be established by several sources, such as statutes, traffic rules, trucking regulations, and even prior case law. After the duty of care has been established, the second step is showing that the defendant breached the duty that he or she owed to the victim. An example of this might be showing that the trucker failed to give a proper signal before changing lanes or did not inspect the truck for possible mechanical issues prior to embarking on a trip.
The family also must show that the victim’s death was directly caused by the defendant’s careless actions, or that it would not have happened if the proper standard of care had been met. In some cases, not only the trucker but also his or her employer may be named as a defendant. Generally speaking, employers are vicariously liable for their employees’ acts of negligence when those acts occurred as part of the employment relationship.
Once a case of negligence has been made against a truck driver or trucking company, the next issue at trial or in settlement negotiations is the amount of damages that will fully compensate the family for their loved one’s wrongful death. Many factors can go into this calculation, including the victim’s age, occupation, marital status, and number of survivors. State law determines the exact person or persons who are entitled to bring suit for an accident victim’s death in a motor vehicle collision.
Since Florida follows the doctrine of pure comparative fault, it is possible that the amount of damages to which a family would otherwise be entitled may be reduced in proportion to their loved one’s fault if the defendant is able to show that the loved one was partially to blame for the collision. However, recovery will not be fully barred unless the victim was entirely at fault.Explore Your Options with a Pembroke Pines Fatal Truck Accident Attorney after a Truck Collision
If your family needs legal representation in the Pembroke Pines area after a tragically fatal crash, the wrongful death lawyers at Cohn & Smith can help. Call us at 954-431-8100 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation. We also represent individuals in Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Aventura, and communities throughout North Dade County.