Recently, a beloved school security guard was killed after colliding with a tractor-trailer while she was on her way to work. A local Florida news report explained that the woman was driving west on Northwest 79 when she attempted to make a left turn onto Northwest 22nd Avenue. A tractor-trailer, which had the right of way at the time, was traveling east on 79th.
It appears the tractor trailer saw the woman but was unable to stop the truck in time. As the truck driver was trying to avoid the accident, he lost control and slammed into a series of palm trees, ending only when he rammed into the woman’s car. Unfortunately, the woman was pronounced dead at the scene of the crime. An investigation by the state police is still ongoing at this time.
Florida Comparative Negligence in Trucking Accidents
In the above case, the article indicates that there is a possibility that the tractor-trailer driver was not at fault because he had the right of way. Although that may be the case, the woman’s family may still be able to bring a suit of negligence against the truck driver.
Florida follows the comparative negligence rule. This allows a plaintiff to recover compensation, no matter what amount of fault he or she was responsible for in the accident. However, their damage award is reduced by the fault apportioned to them. For example, if the woman was found to be 80% at fault, her family can still recover 20% of the damages that the judge or jury determines is appropriate.
Liable Parties in Trucking Accidents
It is possible that the family can bring a suit not only against the truck driver but against the trucking company. To bring a claim against the trucking company, a plaintiff would need to establish all the elements of negligence as they related to the trucking company. For example, the plaintiff would need to show that the trucking company owed them a standard duty of care, it breached that duty, and the breach was the actual and proximate cause of their injuries and resulting damages.
Although the trucking company was not the entity that physically caused the accident, it can still be held liable for negligence if it did not train the driver properly. In these types of claims, the family would need to show that the trucking company had a responsibility to ensure the safety of its trucks and the competence of its drivers.
Negligence can be shown if the trucking company did not properly train its drivers, did not ensure that the drivers had a safe work history, did not properly maintain the trucks, or engaged in other similar behavior. In these cases, the plaintiff may have a claim not only against the driver but against the company.
Have You or a Loved One Been Injured in a Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car or truck accident because of the negligence of another, you may consider bringing a personal injury lawsuit against that party. Many times when a truck is involved, the victim may want to bring a suit against the truck driver’s employer. In these cases, the assistance of an attorney is indispensable. The cases can often be complex because they involve several parties and different theories of liability. However, you may be able to collect from both parties for past medical bills, future medical expenses, and possibly even punitive damages depending on the circumstances of your case. Contact the Dean Law Firm today at 352-387-8700 to schedule a free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Canadian Motorcyclist Killed in Accident in Florida, Ocala Injury Lawyers Blog, published January 22, 2015.
Florida Police Patrol Car Gets into Accident with SUV, Ocala Injury Lawyers Blog, published December 13, 2014.