Personal Injury Liability in a Florida Truck Accident: Everything You Need to Know
Who is liable for your personal injury in the event of a West Palm Beach truck accident? Considering that trucks weigh up to 80,000 pounds, colliding with one of those monstrous vehicles can result in catastrophic injuries to the occupants of passenger vehicles.
Liability in Truck Accidents
A truck-versus-car accident is drastically different than a vehicle crash involving two passenger cars. Likewise, the process of determining liability after a truck crash differs from that after a collision involving two cars.
Reasons why determining personal injury liability in a truck crash is such a complicated process are:
- There may be multiple at-fault parties
- The insurance claim process is more demanding and challenging when trucks are involved
- There are more liability components involved
Potentially Liable Parties in Crashes Involving Trucks
When it comes to collisions with passenger vehicles, more often than not, liability revolves around the driver who was involved in your crash. However, the list of potentially liable parties in a truck collision can reach at least seven parties:
- The truck driver
- The owner of the vehicle
- The company that leased the truck
- The loader of the vehicle’s cargo
- The company that maintained the truck (e.g., mechanical failure led to the crash)
- The manufacturer of the truck
- The manufacturer of the vehicle’s parts
Liability Components in Florida Truck Collisions
Many factors come into play when establishing fault and proving liability in a truck accident in West Palm Beach or elsewhere in Florida. Due to the size of commercial trucks and their interstate travel mileage, the insurance policy of an average 18-wheeler or semi-truck can be worth up to a million dollars.
This reason alone prompts many trucking companies to deny full liability by arguing that the other party involved shared fault and contributed to the collision. The specific facts of your crash are crucial to establishing liability. Those facts include:
- The name of the parties involved
- Whether a driver error contributed to the collision
- Weather conditions
- The vehicles’ speed
- The physical and emotional state of the trucker
- The extent of the damage to both vehicles
- Whether anyone witnessed the wreck
- Other conditions that may have contributed to the crash
How a West Palm Beach Attorney Can Help
Following a truck crash, it is vital to take photographs, collect contact information, talk to witnesses, and seek medical attention to preserve evidence and build a strong legal case.
When paying for medical bills or other expenses resulting from the truck wreck, keep a record of all costs. The stronger your legal case is, the more the trucking company will be willing to offer. However, do not be quick to accept the offer if you do not have an estimate of how much your personal injury case is worth.
More often than not, trucking companies offer victims a lump sum of money to avoid litigation, which would make them pay the full, much larger amount. Let our West Palm Beach-based personal injury lawyers at Pike & Lustig, LLP, investigate your case to:
- identify any violations of federal regulations;
- find evidence of inadequate maintenance;
- collect evidence proving that the driver violated traffic laws;
- preserve all available evidence; and
- determine liability in your case.