Truck accidents can be some of the most dangerous crashes. Given a tractor-trailer's weight and size, the injuries that result from them can be severe and require life-long recovery. At Blakeley Law Firm, we pursue appropriate compensation on behalf of victims of motor vehicle collisions in the Hollywood area and elsewhere in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties while our clients can focus on healing. Attorney Jarrett Blakeley is familiar with the complex federal and state laws that are involved in trucking accidents, and he makes sure his clients understand their rights and legal options.Regulations Govern the Trucking Industry
Whereas accidents involving only cars typically only concern state laws, collisions involving a truck may implicate state as well as federal rules and regulations. The Florida Highway Patrol Office of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement oversees state trucking regulations, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also regulates interstate drivers and others in the trucking industry. Both agencies set rules and regulations to make sure the roadways are as safe as possible. These regulations include medical requirements regarding drivers' health, limitations on how many hours drivers may spend on the road, and mandatory drug and alcohol testing for issuance of commercial licenses. Regulations are also put in place regarding a truck's equipment and weight limits, as well as routine inspection schedules.Seeking Compensation Through a Negligence Claim
Given all the elements involved in a truck crash, multiple defendants may be held responsible. A driver, his or her employer, the vehicle's owner, or other entities could be liable for a victim's injuries. Regardless of how many parties are involved, a person hurt in a truck accident usually needs to establish that the defendants were negligent in order to recover damages. To prove negligence, the victim must show:
- The defendant owed him or her a duty of care;
- That duty of care was violated;
- The breach directly resulted in the accident; and
- Actual costs and losses arose from the injuries.
All drivers have an obligation to behave as an ordinary person would behave behind the wheel in similar circumstances. For instance, a trucker who fails to take a break after driving long hours and falls asleep at the wheel, causing an accident, could potentially be shown to have acted unreasonably. Additionally, the trucking company sometimes can be found vicariously liable if the driver was acting within the scope of his or her employment when the accident occurred. Damages available to victims in a truck accident often include past and future medical costs, lost income, loss of earning capacity, property damage, and pain and suffering.
When an accident occurs involving a tractor-trailer, many parties are quick to investigate its cause and determine fault. In these situations, a party may take measures to avoid liability. 'Spoliation' of evidence is when vital evidence in a case is changed, destroyed, or lost as one party tries to thwart another's claim. In Florida, if spoliation occurs, courts may issue sanctions against the responsible parties. Due to the complex nature of trucking accidents, with multiple parties as well as state and federal laws, it is important to consult a knowledgeable attorney who can make sure your rights are properly represented.Legal Guidance for Injured Residents of Fort Lauderdale
If you have been hurt or lost a loved one near Fort Lauderdale in a devastating truck accident, injury attorney Jarrett Blakeley at the Blakeley Law Firm can help you determine your next legal step. Our firm represents victims in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties, helping them assert their right to compensation from any parties responsible. Contact us online to set up a free consultation to explore your options.