You can sue the trucking company or a truck driver after a truck wreck, as liability varies on a case-by-case basis. The cause of your accident and other case-related factors will determine the negligent party financially responsible for your damages.
It is not always apparent who is liable for a truck accident. Even if you do know the cause of your accident, you must then secure the financial compensation you deserve for your accident-related expenses. You can expect any liable party to fight against paying you fairly, so you may hire a Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyer from our team to represent you.
When Are Truck Drivers Liable for a Wreck?
Truck drivers are responsible for preventing accidents. Because they know their commercial vehicle can cause devastating destruction (including life-changing injuries to victims in passenger cars), truck drivers must abide by laws, drive defensively, and do everything they can to keep others safe.
Commercial truck drivers can be liable for their accidents:
When They Are Impaired
Although the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires trucking companies and their employees to follow drug and alcohol testing rules, it is ultimately a truck driver’s responsibility not to drive while impaired. Impairment can include:
- Emotional impairment (such as anger or sadness) that affects the driver’s ability to remain alert or act rationally
- Intoxication by alcohol
- Impairment by illicit or prescription drugs
- Consuming too much caffeine
Impaired truck drivers may be prone to speed, veer from their lane, tailgate, and engage in other behaviors that heighten the risk of an accident.
When They Disobey Traffic Signals
Truck drivers must understand and obey all traffic signals, including:
- Stop signs
- Yield signs
- Lane divisions (including those that indicate when it is unsafe to pass)
- Traffic lights
If a truck driver disregarded a traffic signal and caused your accident as a result, they may be financially responsible for your damages.
When They Engage in Dangerous Driving Acts
Every motorist must exercise constant discipline to avoid dangerous driving, including:
- Changing lanes when doing so is unsafe
- Passing when it is illegal or dangerous to do so
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Drifting out of one’s lane
- Engaging in distracted driving
The stakes are higher when truck drivers engage in these high-risk behaviors. When a truck hits another motor vehicle or pedestrian, there is a higher-than-average risk of serious injury. Therefore, truck drivers must take added care to always engage in safe driving.
When They Drive Beyond the Hours-of-Service Limits
Truck drivers must only drive for specific periods of time, taking mandated breaks to avoid fatigued driving. A driver may be inclined to violate their service limits because:
- They want to earn a certain amount of money during their workday.
- They are close to their destination and believe it won’t hurt if they finish the route.
- They want to use their work vehicle for personal reasons.
There is no valid excuse to violate hours-of-service limits, as these limits are meant to prevent fatigued driving and resulting accidents.
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When Are Trucking Companies Liable for a Wreck?
Trucking companies are often liable for accidents involving their employees. Even if it appears that the driver is at fault, we may discover negligence by the trucking company, including:
Hiring Unfit Drivers
Trucking companies must only hire drivers who:
- Have a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL)
- Have a clean driving record
- Exhibit the physical and cognitive ability to operate a truck safely
- Are not struggling with drug or alcohol misuse
Trucking companies must vet potential employees thoroughly, as failure to do so increases the risk that accidents will occur.
Failing to Maintain and Replace Its Fleet as Necessary
A fleet of trucks can accumulate wear and tear quickly, and trucking companies must service and replace vehicles regularly. When a truck driver reports a mechanical issue, the trucking company must take immediate steps to get the driver off the road and conduct necessary repairs.
When a vehicle becomes too dangerous for safe operation, the trucking company must replace it.
Permitting Drivers to Engage in Dangerous Behaviors
Trucking companies must take active measures to discourage dangerous driver behavior, and these measures may include:
- Conducting regular drug and alcohol testing
- Monitoring drivers’ on-the-job behaviors
- Terminating drivers with a pattern of unsafe behaviors
- Abiding by industry regulations without exception
Trucking companies must foster a culture of safety and compliance.
Allow a Truck Accident Lawyers to Establish Liability and Fight for Your Money
The trucking industry is complicated, as are trucks themselves. Determining the cause of your accident (and there may be several) is pivotal to your case but is not an easy task. You can rely on our legal team to establish liability for your accident and also:
- Secure all relevant evidence from the accident
- Document your damages
- Identify the value of a fair settlement
- Secure a fair settlement or proceed to trial
We will manage every detail of your case, which will afford you the time necessary to heal.
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Damages Your Truck Accident Attorney Will Seek Compensation For
Your accident-related damages will be our foremost concern, as we will seek compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Impaired quality of life
- Vehicle repairs
- Any other economic or non-economic damages resulting from your truck accident
You may want to hire a Florida wrongful death lawyer if you have lost a loved one to a fatal truck accident. If so, we will seek compensation for the funeral and burial expenses, the loss of consortium, and other harm you’ve suffered from the heartbreaking loss of a loved one.
For a free legal consultation call (855) 529-0269
Call Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers Today for a Free Consultation
When you hire your Florida truck accident attorney from our firm, you work directly with our partners. We have obtained financial recoveries for countless truck accident victims since 2003 and are ready to help you today.
Call Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers today for your free consultation.
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