Following a truck accident, establishing that the negligence of another party led to your damages can be a critical step in your pursuit of compensation. Until you have proven the fault of another party, you will not be able to move forward with your insurance claim or truck accident lawsuit.
At The Schiller Kessler Group, we have a long history of helping accident victims recover the money they need after suffering damages in a truck accident. We can help you prove the negligence of the at-fault party and move your case forward. Contact us today by phone or through this site to schedule a free case review with a Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyer.
The Four Elements of Negligence
When attempting to prove negligence in a truck accident case, there are four elements that must be established. These elements are:
- The existence of a duty of care
- Breach of the duty of care
Duty of Care
The first thing you need to show is that the defendant owed you a duty of care. If you are filing a claim against the commercial truck driver, you can establish this duty of care by showing that they shared the roadway with you, as all drivers have a duty to drive safely to protect those around them.
If the defendant is the trucking company, they have a duty of care to be thorough in their hiring practices, fully train their drivers, and make sure their trucks are in good working order.
Breached Duty of Care
The next thing you need to establish is that the liable party breached their duty of care. If a truck driver was speeding, on their phone, or intoxicated, they breached their duty to use caution while behind the wheel. If a truck manufacturer installed faulty brakes in their vehicles, they breached their duty of care to put safe trucks on the road.
You also need to show that you suffered damages. This is most easily done by presenting your medical records, hospital bills, and repair costs for your vehicle.
However, it is critical that you seek medical attention as soon as possible after your accident. Delays will provide the defense with an opening to argue that your damages were the result of an unrelated incident. The gap in treatment time could be enough to cause the jury to question how your injuries occurred.
The last thing you need to do is tie everything together. You need to show that the damages you suffered were a direct result of the liable party breaching their duty of care. Demonstrating this on your own can be challenging.
Fortunately, an experienced personal injury lawyer can examine the evidence in your case and put all the pieces together to show causation.
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Potentially Negligent Parties in a Truck Accident Case
There are a variety of parties that could potentially be at fault after a truck accident. The most commonly negligent parties include:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The truck manufacturer
- The company that loaded the truck
- A company that performed maintenance on the truck
- A truck parts manufacturer
- A third-party driver, either directly or indirectly involved in the crash
All of these parties are responsible for doing their part to prevent an accident. If your attorney can prove that the negligence of another party led to your crash, they will file a lawsuit against them or submit a personal injury claim to their insurer to recover the compensation you need and deserve.
Trucking Safety Regulations
Truck drivers and trucking companies are held to a high standard of safety. Because of the added dangers these trucks pose over the average passenger vehicle, several trucking regulations must be followed.
Drivers of large commercial trucks must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). On top of that, depending on the materials being hauled, drivers may be required to secure certain endorsements on their licenses. Truck drivers are also required to follow strict hours of service regulations. A driver’s log and black box in the truck are used to ensure compliance.
Trucking companies must use care in their hiring processes to ensure they are putting safe drivers on the road. They must also provide adequate training and ensure all trucks they put on the road are in working order. Furthermore, trucks must not exceed weight limits, and all cargo must be properly loaded and secured.
Pay Attention to the Statute of Limitations When Filing a Truck Accident Lawsuit
When pursuing compensation from a negligent party after a truck accident, it is critical that you pay attention to all applicable deadlines. In Florida, the personal injury statute of limitations was changed in 2023, reducing the amount of time that accident victims have to file a lawsuit from four down to two years.
If you miss this filing deadline, you may be out of options for recovering damages from the negligent party. When you hire an experienced truck accident lawyer, they determine the exact deadline by which your lawsuit must be filed and ensure that all the necessary paperwork is submitted well in advance of the cutoff date.
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Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer Today
At SKG, we have a long history of holding negligent parties responsible for the damages they cause in truck accident cases. We have secured favorable results for our clients, both through settlement agreements and out-of-court settlements. Our team of experienced truck accident attorneys is ready and waiting to help you get the money you need and deserve.
Contact us today by phone or through our website to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team. We will review the details of your case and answer all your questions. There is no obligation to retain our services, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.