Legal Representation for Victims of Big Rig Collisions in West Palm Beach
Truck accidents can be devastating. Weight and size makes commercial vehicles harder to maneuver or stop than passenger cars. When they do crash into a smaller vehicle or pedestrian, tractor-trailers and big rigs have a huge capacity to cause serious harm or even death. If you are hurt or a loved one is killed in a truck accident near West Palm Beach, you may want to enlist an experienced attorney at Anidjar & Levine. We are familiar with the complex federal and state trucking regulations and can help you try to prove liability in these cases.
Seeking Damages after a South Florida Truck Accident
Florida adopted several federal regulations when it created its trucking regulations, and these regulations include hours of service restrictions, drug testing, inspection and maintenance, record-keeping weight restrictions, braking system requirements, and loading and securing rules. All trucks and their drivers must have liability insurance.
In most truck accident cases, you would need to establish negligence by a preponderance of the evidence. This means you will have to prove the defendant’s duty, a breach of that duty, causation, and actual damages. If the truck driver was on the job when the accident happened, you may be able to recover from his or her employer as well under a theory of vicarious liability. This is an indirect theory of liability that holds employers responsible for the actions of employees when their employees are negligent in the course and scope of their job duties. Vicarious liability can prove very useful if a driver turns out not to have enough insurance to cover catastrophic injuries or wrongful death damages.
In some cases, an employer’s negligence is the proximate or legal cause of the accident. All trucking companies are required to conduct background checks on employees and make sure their employees are adequately trained to handle trucks in wide turns and other potentially dangerous situations. An employer that fails to conduct a background check or ensure adequate training may be held directly liable under theories of negligent hire, negligent training, or negligent supervision.
Suppose, for example, a trucking company fails to conduct a background check and hires someone who has been twice convicted of drunk driving. Although the driver’s supervisor smells alcohol on his breath when he returns the truck, he does not inquire or conduct alcohol or drug testing. Later, the driver is drunk behind the wheel and rear-ends a passenger car, causing a chain reaction that harms multiple people. In that case, the trucking company could potentially be held liable for negligent hire and negligent supervision. The entity usually has more comprehensive insurance coverage than a driver. Since medical care is so expensive, it may be important for a plaintiff to bring into the lawsuit as defendants both the driver and the trucking company.
The damages in truck accident cases tend to be large because the injuries are often catastrophic and permanent. It is not uncommon for victims of these accidents to be paralyzed for life, afflicted by brain damage, or subjected to amputation or crushing injuries. Among the damages that may be available to catastrophically injured accident victims are lifelong care and household services, as well as pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages and earning capacity, and the costs of future treatment.
Discuss Your Injury Claim with a West Palm Beach Attorney
West Palm Beach is the county seat of Palm Beach County. Some tourism and recreational opportunities include the Lion Country Safari, the National Croquet Center, and the South Florida Science Museum. Residents of West Palm Beach who have been involved in a collision can contact the injury lawyers at Anidjar & Levine. We may be able to help you pursue a broad range of compensatory damages. We also represent clients throughout Palm Beach County, including in Wellington, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, and Boca Raton. Call us at 800-747-3733 or fill out our online form to set up a free consultation.