Potential Defendants in Florida Truck Accident
The truck driver is the most likely defendant in a truck accident personal injury or wrongful death claim. After all, the trucker’s negligent or reckless driving may have directly caused the crash. The driver may have been speeding, tailgating or driving while distracted, fatigued or impaired by drugs or alcohol. Additionally, the driver may have failed to properly inspect the truck and its cargo.
However, unlike many other vehicle accident cases, many others beside the driver may be liable in a truck accident case. This is why truck accident cases require careful investigation by an experienced legal team.
At Frank M. Eidson, P.A., we thoroughly investigate truck accidents in Orlando, Winter Park and throughout Florida. Our goal is to make sure all responsible parties are held accountable and that our client is fully compensated. To learn how we can help you, contact us today and schedule a free consultation.
Florida is a comparative fault state. Compensation in a personal injury lawsuit is apportioned according to the responsibility each party bears for the accident. This makes it crucial to identify every party’s role in an accident.
As we begin work on your case, we will assess whether claims should be brought against one or more of the following parties in addition to the truck driver.
A trucking company, or carrier, can be held legally accountable for the negligence of the drivers it puts on the road. The carrier may also be directly responsible. For instance, the company may have hired drivers with numerous traffic violations on their records or failed to properly train and supervise its drivers, cargo handlers, mechanics and technicians. It is not uncommon in truck accident cases to find that trucking company managers pushed a driver to violate federal hour-of-service regulations in order to meet a delivery deadline.
Cargo Shipper / Loader
Commercial trucking companies often transport cargo on contract for third parties. In some cases, cargo is sealed and loaded onto the truck by a contractor. These service vendors are responsible for ensuring the work they do is safe and in compliance with federal and state regulations. If a cargo shift or other problems with cargo causes a truck accident, the activities of third-party cargo loaders and/or shippers should come under close scrutiny.
The larger a carrier’s operations are, the more likely it is for the company to out-source work to third parties. This may include hiring and training, truck maintenance and dispatching. Some companies work through brokers that connect cargo shipments with available trucks. Third-party vendors can be held liable if their negligence contributed to a truck accident.
Truck / Parts Manufacturer
An investigation may show that a wreck was caused by the failure of the truck or one of it component parts or systems, like tires, brakes, steering or coupling systems (called “kingpins”). This is usually a maintenance issue. Sometimes, the failed part or system was defective from the start. In these cases, a claim can be filed to seek compensation from the manufacturer and/or distributor of a defective product.
If a roadway hazard contributed to a truck accident, the local, state or federal government agency responsible for the road may be held liable. For example, if lack of maintenance allowed the shoulder of the road to wear away or become soft, it could cause a truck that momentarily slips off the edge of the road to roll over. Other potential roadway hazards include large potholes or broken pavement, vegetation that blocks views, depressions that allow excessive pooling of water and bridges with improperly marked low clearance. The government agency or contractor working could be held liable.
Contact an Orlando Truck Accident Attorney
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a semi-truck accident, you will need the assistance of an experienced truck accident attorney to investigate and determine who should be held liable for the losses you have sustained.
At Frank M. Eidson, P.A., we aggressively seek compensation for truck accident victims and their families in Orlando, Winter Park and across Florida. We will work hard to identify every potentially liable party in your crash in order to maximize the compensation available to you.
To get started, contact us today. We will provide a free confidential consultation, and you will not pay for our legal services unless we secure a recovery for you.