Yes. Florida law allows most truck accident victims to sue the truck driver’s company for their injuries after a crash. If a negligent truck driver caused your Fort Lauderdale truck crash, the trucker’s employer is legally liable for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. If you cannot recover the compensation you need by filing an insurance claim and your lawyer cannot negotiate a fair settlement, a lawsuit might be your best option for getting the payout you deserve.
At Coffey Trial Law, we represent truck accident victims, helping them obtain the compensation they need to cover the damages they suffered in their accidents. We can help you collect evidence, file a claim, and stand up to the truck driver and trucking company responsible for your injuries. Call our office today at 954-541-3194 to schedule a free case evaluation with a truck accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale.
Does Florida law hold a trucking company responsible for its driver’s actions?
Yes, Florida law does hold trucking companies responsible for their driver’s actions.
These laws, referred to as respondeat superior or vicarious liability, say that trucking companies are liable for any injuries that occur if their employees behave negligently while acting within the scope of their job. This includes almost any action the driver could take while behind the wheel. It even includes drivers who drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Note: In some cases, a trucking company will not be liable for its employee’s actions. This is likely only true if the employee was “on a frolic” (i.e., took a substantial detour from the scope of his/her employment). For example, if an off-duty driver drove his truck to a bar, got drunk, and caused an accident, he would likely be the sole liable party. Even though he was driving a company truck, he was acting outside the scope of his employment.
How does vicarious liability help me after a Fort Lauderdale truck crash?
Trucking crashes often result in severe, life-changing injuries for the driver and passengers in the smaller vehicle. Treating these injuries, paying out for lost wages, and covering ongoing care costs can easy reach a million dollars and beyond in a major truck accident.
Most truck drivers lack the insurance policy or personal wealth necessary to cover such a large settlement. They are simply financially incapable of paying out the compensation you need to cover all your accident-related losses. If they were your only option for recovery, you would not be able to pay your medical bills or support your family.
Trucking companies, on the other hand, are often multi-billion dollar corporations. They have insurance policies that can pay out to cover all your losses as well as pain and suffering and other noneconomic damages. We might also be able to identify other liable parties in your accident, and claim additional compensation based on their role in the crash.
What if the trucking company is directly negligent for the crash?
In some cases, the trucking company is directly responsible for causing your accident because of its own negligence. One of the most common reasons the trucking company is directly negligent is due to negligent hiring.
Imagine a driver who lacked the proper training or had numerous previous driving citations on her record caused your accident. The trucking company was aware of the problems with the driver, yet continued to send her out on the road without providing any additional training.
While we can hold the trucking company liable for negligent hiring, it is typically much easier to prove the truck driver acted negligently on the road and caused your crash than it is to prove negligence occurred within the operations of the trucking company.
The level of liability on the trucking company is the same either way, so we will most likely file a claim based on vicarious liability. When we meet to discuss your case, we can help you evaluate both options and determine which will be the easiest to prove.
Do I need a Fort Lauderdale truck accident attorney to sue a trucking company?
After receiving the emergency medical treatment you need, the most important thing to do after a Fort Lauderdale truck accident is to contact a knowledgeable truck accident attorney. Trucking accident cases can be notoriously complex, especially if there are questions about fault and who exactly is negligent.
Many also involve numerous corporations, all trying to pass the blame to someone else. The truck, trailer, and cargo may all belong to different companies. In some cases, the driver might work for another. Depending on the facts of the case, any or all these companies could be liable for your injuries. You do not want to take on a team or corporate lawyers on your own, much less more than one. We can help you figure out who is responsible for your damages, and recover the compensation you deserve.
Time is of the essence, because the trucking company holds much of the evidence in any truck accident case. They have the driver’s rest logs, the data from the truck’s computer and sometimes even video from a dash cam, or other recorder. While getting evidence from a defendant is difficult in any case, trucking companies can legally destroy evidence after a certain period of time. We need to take quick action and send a spoliation letter to protect and preserve this evidence.
How can I reach a Fort Lauderdale trucking crash attorney?
The Fort Lauderdale trucking crash lawyers at Coffey Trial Law understand the complexities of truck accident cases, and know what it takes to win them. We can help you take on the trucking company to recover the compensation you deserve. We will file your insurance claim, attempt to negotiate your settlement, and sue the truck driver’s company if necessary to collect the money you need.
Call our Fort Lauderdale office today at 954-541-3194 to schedule a free case evaluation.