Lack of Truck Driver Training
Lawsuits involving commercial vehicles can be very complex, often involving several different parties and multiple theories of liability. One common allegation in such cases is that the truck driver whose actions contributed to the accident was not properly trained to do his or her job. If you or a family member has been the victim of a serious truck accident in the Pembroke Pines area, the dedicated Pembroke Pines truck driver negligence attorneys at Cohn & Smith can help you pursue maximum monetary compensation from those responsible.Holding Drivers and Trucking Companies Accountable for Negligence
A person who has been hurt in a crash involving a big rig usually must make out a case of negligence in order to assert the right to money damages from the driver and sometimes the owner of the truck. Negligence cases require four basic elements:
- There must be a showing that the defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty, which is usually a duty of reasonable care. This can be established by statute, regulation, or common law.
- The defendant must have breached the duty of due care by failing to do something he or she was required to do or doing something that he or she should not have done.
- There must have been a causal connection between the defendant’s breach of duty and the accident that resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries.
- The party seeking recovery must have sustained actual damages (such as lost wages, medical expenses, or pain and suffering) as a result of the defendant’s breach of the duty owed to the plaintiff.
One way to show a breach of duty is to show that the defendant failed to conform to the statutory or regulatory laws of the state where the wreck happened. Florida law requires a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in order to operate vehicles with a gross weight of over 26,000 pounds, vehicles designed to transport more than 15 persons, and vehicles of any size that are used to transport hazardous materials. Obtaining a CDL is just the first of several steps towards becoming a competent, safe trucker.Multiple Defendants, Multiple Claims
Inexperienced truckers who have not been properly trained are, quite literally, “an accident waiting to happen.” While a driver may feel comfortable behind the wheel in less populated, rural areas, he or she may panic when confronted with heavy traffic in urban areas or severe weather conditions. A trucker who has not been properly trained may also fail to properly secure a load or make the necessary inspections of the vehicle before embarking on a trip.
A person who is hurt in a wreck caused by a negligent trucker can pursue a lawsuit against the individual, but he or she may also have a claim against the company that employed the driver. Such a claim may involve both the doctrine of respondeat superior (in which the employer is financially liable for the actions of its employee, the truck driver) but also for the trucking company’s failure to comply with laws pertaining to driver training, rest periods, or the maximum number of hours per week on the road. The trucking company may also be found liable for failing to properly maintain the truck itself by, for instance, not making regular inspections of the brakes or instructing the driver on how to properly balance a load.
It is important to note that the Florida statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits, such as those against negligent truckers and trucking companies, is generally four years from the date of the accident. In wrongful death cases, however, the time period in which the deceased victim’s family may sue is shortened to just two years. Moreover, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after an accident to ensure that a proper investigation takes place while the evidence is fresh and witnesses’ memories are dependable.Consult a Pembroke Pines Truck Driver Negligence Attorney after a Truck Accident in Pembroke Pines
Since so much is at stake in collisions involving big rigs, insurance companies often fight especially hard to resist paying a fair amount to victims and their families. If you are looking for an experienced and aggressive law firm to assist you with your case in Pembroke Pines or the surrounding communities, call the injury lawyers at Cohn & Smith at (954) 431-8100 to schedule a free initial consultation. We assist individuals throughout South Florida, including in Sunrise, Tamarac, and Hollywood.