Boynton Beach Truck Accident Lawyer
Fully loaded large trucks weigh over 80,000 pounds and carry hundreds of gallons of highly-flammable diesel fuel. When these massive vehicles cause crashes, the resulting injuries, such as severe burns and critical head injuries, are often catastrophic. Today, there is a higher risk of a truck crash on Florida highways and byways than ever before. In many cases, the coronavirus pandemic has altered regulators’ priorities away from safety and towards swift order fulfillment.
The compassionate Boynton Beach truck accident lawyers at Smith & Ball Injury Law understand the intense pain and suffering these victims must endure. So, we work very hard to collect evidence which supports your claim for damages. Then, we put this evidence together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. All the while, we proactively communicate with you, so you are never in the dark.
First Party Liability in Truck Accident Claims
Most vehicle collision claims, including truck crashes, rest upon the ordinary negligence doctrine or the negligence per se rule.
Ordinary negligence is a lack of care. Since truckers are professional drivers, they have a higher duty of care than noncommercial motorists. So, it is easier to establish ordinary negligence in these situations.
Driving in the rain is a good example. Since rain limits visibility and makes roads slick, most noncommercial drivers have a duty to slow down and drive more carefully. Arguably, truck drivers have a duty to stop and wait for the rain to stop, or at least slack off, before they proceed.
Evidence in ordinary negligence claims usually includes the police accident report, witness statements, and medical bills. If these items are unavailable or inaccurate, other evidence, such as a large truck’s Event Data Recorder, is usually available. A vehicle’s EDR is much like a commercial jet’s black box flight data recorder.
In Florida, if drivers violate non-penal safety laws and cause crashes, they are presumptively liable for damages.
Drowsy truck driver claims are a good example. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has established a number of rules in this area, such as weekly driving caps and mandatory rest periods. If a tortfeasor (negligent driver) violated an Hours of Service rule, our Boynton Beach truck accident lawyers need only introduce limited evidence to obtain maximum compensation.
Third Party Liability
Truckers are legally responsible for most wrecks, and the transportation or shipping company involved is normally financially responsible for damages. The respondeat superior doctrine applies if:
- Employee: Employers are financially responsible for the negligence of their employees. In this context, “employees” include not only regular W-2 workers, but also independent contractors, owner-operators, and even many unpaid volunteers.
- Scope of Employment: Florida law also defines this respondeat superior prong very broadly. Any act which benefits the employer in any way is within the scope of employment. That could include something like driving an empty truck back to a warehouse.
Vicarious liability theories are especially important in catastrophic injury claims. Frequently, individual tortfeasors do not have enough insurance coverage to provide fair compensation. Third party liability gives these victims access to an additional source of recovery.
Reach Out to a Savvy Boynton Beach Truck Accident Attorney
Truck accidents are typically very complex claims. For a free consultation with an experienced Boynton Beach truck accident lawyer, contact Smith & Ball Injury Law. Home and hospital visits are available.