18-wheelers are an important part of our economy, but they also pose significant hazards to other drivers on the road. If you have been injured in an accident with an 18-wheeler, a Boca Raton 18-wheeler accident lawyer can help you understand your options and find a way to put your life back together.
What Makes 18-Wheeler Accidents Unique
One of the most common mistakes that people make is to assume that their truck accident claim is the same as a typical passenger vehicle accident case. This is a dangerous assumption because it overlooks many of the unique factors involved in a truck accident case that can significantly affect the outcome of your claim. Some of these factors include the following:
- Driver training and experience. Operating an 18-wheeler safely requires specific skills that are gained only through extensive training and deep experience. Trucking companies do not always hire drivers who have adequate training and experience.
- 18-wheeler characteristics. Training and experience are necessary because 18-wheelers are so much larger and heavier than the average passenger vehicle. They require greater stopping distances and are more difficult to maneuver. Their size and weight make them more dangerous to other drivers on the road, and in the event of an accident, can cause very serious injuries. Understanding how the characteristics of an 18-wheeler affect your case is vital to recovering fair compensation.
- Greater maintenance needs. 18-wheelers require far more maintenance than other vehicles because of the amount of hours they spend in service. Failure to perform routine maintenance or make necessary repairs can result in mechanical issues that can lead to an accident. Trucking companies have a legal obligation to ensure that their trucks are properly maintained.
- State and federal trucking regulations. Truck drivers and trucking companies are expected to comply with a spectrum of state and federal trucking regulations that govern things such as drug and alcohol testing, hours of service limitations, and maintenance. Evidence of noncompliance can strengthen your claim considerably.
- Driver supervision. Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring that their employees are driving safely. Many trucking companies are beginning to use GPS-enabled devices to ensure that their drivers are obeying the speed limits and are otherwise complying with traffic laws. Unfortunately, some trucking companies encourage their drivers to drive unsafely in order to increase their profitability.
There may be more than one of these factors at play in your case. An experienced Boca Raton 18-wheeler accident lawyer will know what elements of your case warrant careful investigation in order to determine precisely how your accident occurred and who is at fault.
Who is Liable in an 18-Wheeler Accident?
Most truck accidents are the result of driver negligence. However, you may be able to hold the trucking company liable because employers are vicariously liable for the negligence of their employees. This is generally good news for truck accident victims because it means that there is a deeper pool of assets available to satisfy your claim. However, it also means that you will be pursuing a claim against a corporate entity that will be focused on paying as little on your claim as possible. In addition, the trucking company will most certainly be represented by counsel.
While the trucking company is often the entity that will ultimately be liable for your claim, there are other parties that may bear responsibility for the accident. For example:
- Another driver. Many truck accidents involve multiple vehicles. The accident may have been started by another driver’s negligence, but the truck driver was partially at fault because they were speeding or following too closely.
- A negligent mechanic. Some accidents are caused by mechanical failures due to negligent maintenance or repairs. If the trucking company uses an outside mechanic, you may need to pursue a claim against the mechanic.
- The manufacturer. Other accidents are caused by defective or dangerous parts such as faulty tires or malfunctioning brake systems. You may, therefore, need to pursue a product liability claim against the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer.
- The party who loaded the truck. Trucks that are not properly loaded can handle unpredictably. An unbalanced or unsecured load can lead to an accident. You may need to pursue a claim against the party responsible for loading the truck.
- The driver. The trucking company is liable so long as the driver was acting within the scope of their employment. If the driver caused the accident while off duty or while engaged in criminal activity, you may not be able to pursue a claim against the trucking company. You also cannot pursue a claim against the trucking company if the driver is an independent contractor, although victims should be aware that this is not always an absolute defense against liability.
As you can see, the question of liability is quite complex in truck accident cases. To ensure that you get fair compensation for your injuries and other losses, the best thing to do is work with a skilled Boca Raton 18-wheeler accident attorney.
18-Wheeler Accidents Can Result in Serious Injuries
Because of their size and weight, the forces exerted in an 18-wheeler accident can cause catastrophic injuries for other drivers. Some of the most serious injuries accident victims can experience include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries including concussions
- Compound fractures
- Facial injuries
- Paralysis and other spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Severe lacerations
- Crushing injuries
Truck accident victims often suffer multiple serious injuries, some of which can result in death. If you have suffered any of these injuries, you may be facing a long-term or even permanent disability. Your injuries can impact your ability to earn a living or take care of your family. Protect your rights and your future by reaching out to a Boca Raton 18-wheeler accident attorney.
Talk to a Boca Raton 18-Wheeler Accidents Attorney Today
At The Grife Law Firm, we provide legal representation that is truly hands-on – from arranging for a rental car to advocating for you in court; we fight for you until we get results. To schedule a free consultation with a Boca Raton 18-wheeler accident lawyer who can help today, contact us by calling 561-998-0770.
Turn To A Boca Raton Boca Raton 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer Attorney At The Grife Law Firm
No Fees Unless You WinIf you have been injured because of someone else’s careless actions on the water, you should contact a Boca Raton boat accident attorney at The Grife Law Firm to find out more about your legal options. We assist injured individuals throughout Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, including in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami. Call us at 855-998-0770 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation. We also are available to assist people who need a cruise ship accident attorney when they are injured on vacation.
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