Who’s To Blame? Deciphering Liability and Pursuing Legal Action in Complex Florida Truck Collision Cases
Whatever you call them – semis, big rigs, or anything else – colliding with one of these massive beasts of the road is sure to cause damage to your vehicle and yourself. Even unloaded, a commercial truck can weigh 35,000 pounds, which is difficult to stop quickly. Unfortunately, Florida is no stranger to big vehicle collisions; sometimes, determining who’s at fault can be complex.
Reach out to an Ocala truck accident lawyer today if you’ve been injured from a collision with a commercial vehicle. While you’re getting treatment for your injuries, they’ll be investigating the accident and working to ensure you receive the best possible settlement.
How To Seek Justice in a Florida Truck Accident Case
Determining who was at fault in a Florida truck accident may be more challenging than it seems. Even those incidents where fault seems obvious will still need to be proven. Collisions with big rigs often result in the passenger car’s victim being rushed to the hospital, leaving the truck driver to recall the accident details to the responding police officer. This could slant the report to the trucker’s advantage.
This highlights the necessity of having a truck accident lawyer on your side working to ensure the responsible parties are held accountable for their negligence. Your legal team will be responsible for securing your rights to receive compensation. Here’s a look at what your truck accident injury attorney will do for you.
Determining and Proving Liability
As the victim of a personal injury, your legal team will have the burden of proving that the driver of the commercial truck acted negligently and was the cause of the accident. No matter how obvious who was the cause of the accident, the plaintiff will still need to prove who was at fault by providing irrefutable evidence.
This may not be as simple as proving that the driver was 100% at fault. There could be cases where multiple entities are to blame. For example, if the driver’s company provided a truck that wasn’t safe to operate, the driver’s employer could also be named a negligent party in the case.
Despite what an accident report states, many truck accidents turn into a “he said/she said” situation. If there were eyewitnesses to the accident, your lawyer could have them deposed during the lawsuit’s discovery phase. Their sworn testimony can prove negligence and provide valuable insight should your legal team hire an accident reconstruction expert.
Analyzing Black Box Data
Although not required by law, most commercial trucks have a data recorder device, like a black box used on airplanes. While these are mostly used by commercial truck driving companies to monitor drivers’ safety and hours on the road, they can provide valuable information to the victims of an accident. Useful data recorded by these devices can include:
- Vehicle speed
- GPS coordinates
- Airbag deployment
- Cases of quick acceleration or deceleration
- How many hours the truck has been in continuous operation
Some commercial truck data recorder devices will record information in a continuous loop, meaning that once its memory is full, it will begin to overwrite data. Your personal injury lawyer must request this data from the defendant sooner rather than later to ensure the device’s data isn’t overwritten.
Investigating Driver’s History
Your legal team may also investigate the truck driver’s history as a professional hauler. This could include discovering a driver with a history of causing accidents or one with a long past of driving infractions. This information can prove valuable if a history of careless or reckless driving can be proven.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
The most important part of working with a legal team after a complex commercial truck collision is formally filing a personal injury lawsuit. This will get the legal wheels in motion and cause the defendant’s attorney and insurance company representatives to open dialog. Fortunately, most personal injury lawsuits are settled without the need for a judge and jury. However, without guidance from your lawyer, you could easily be leaving money on the table.
Florida has recently lowered its personal injury lawsuit statute of limitations from four to two years, so it’s important to begin working with an attorney sooner rather than later. Gathering evidence to prove liability could take some time, so starting the legal process as soon as possible is imperative.
Florida Truck Collision Cases: The Bottom Line
Commercial truck accident cases can quickly turn into a confusing mess. Determining and proving liability is sometimes difficult, especially when multiple entities could be responsible for the collision. Victims of a big truck accident need to focus all of their time and energy on recovering from their injuries and regaining their former quality of life. Proving a case of negligence against a driver and their employer could easily be way out of the victim’s realms of experience.
However, with the help and guidance of an experienced truck accident personal injury lawyer, every detail of a complex lawsuit will be attended to. Imagine the stress of attempting to receive compensation for your damages while working towards your recovery goals. Let a legal expert tackle the task while you spend time recuperating.