If you or someone close to you has been hurt in a big rig crash, you should know and understand your legal right to seek compensation in a court of law. In many cases, a person injured in a wreck can potentially recover damages from not only the driver whose negligence led to the accident but also the trucking company that employed him or her, such as when it engaged in negligent hiring. The truck accident attorneys at Cohn & Smith are here to help victims in the Pembroke Pines area and beyond who are going through this difficult time. We are experienced in negotiating and litigating these types of cases, and we will be glad to put our many years of experience to work for you.Holding a Negligent Company Liable for Damages
Truck accident cases are generally founded on the principles of negligence law. Such cases have four basic components: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. In order to prevail in a negligence lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove each of the elements of negligence by a preponderance of the evidence. Fortunately, this is a much less stringent standard than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” requirement in the criminal justice system.
The plaintiff can show the truck driver’s duty of care in a number of ways, including references to the rules of the road, state laws, and federal trucking regulations. If the trucker’s employer is also named as a defendant, the plaintiff may allege that the company is liable through the doctrine of respondeat superior, which is a theory of indirect liability based on the employment relationship. Additionally, the plaintiff may be able to prove negligence against the employer through a theory of direct liability, such as negligent hiring.
With regard to hiring a driver, negligence occurs when a trucking company does something that a reasonably prudent company would not have done or when it fails to do something that a reasonably prudent company would have done. For example, a company may have chosen to look the other way despite being aware that a trucker had been involved in several accidents in the past. Alternatively, the trucking company may have neglected to require a trucker to submit to a physical exam or drug test because the company was in desperate need of a driver.
The negligent hiring of truck drivers often causes an avoidable tragedy. Tractor-trailers are dangerous simply because of their size and weight as compared to passenger vehicles. Combine this with a trucker with a bad safety record or a tendency to use alcohol or drugs, and the combination can quickly turn deadly.
Depending on the situation, some potential forms of damages in truck accident cases include past and future medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, vehicle repairs, and loss of consortium. If the plaintiff was partially responsible for the accident, his or her damages may be reduced proportionally under Florida’s pure comparative fault doctrine. In cases in which the defendant’s conduct was particularly reprehensible, the jury may award punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages.Contact a Pembroke Pines Attorney for Your Motor Vehicle Collision Claim
If you have been struck by a careless driver, you may have rights to assert. Injured individuals in Pembroke Pines and the surrounding region can consult the motor vehicle collision lawyers at Cohn & Smith. Call us at 954-431-8100 or contact us online to set up a free consultation. We also represent accident victims in Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Davie, Coral Springs, Sunrise, and other cities.