Who is Responsible for my Truck Accident Injury?
Your first thought to this question might be “the trucking company,” but that may not be entirely true. Truck accidents often involve multiple players, making them more complex to resolve than car-on-car crashes. It’s important to investigate the cause of the accident thoroughly before filing a lawsuit.
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that in 2016, 4,317 people were killed and 116,000 people were injured in crashes in 2015 involving large trucks. Among these fatalities, 17% were truck occupants, 72% were occupants of other vehicles and 11% were non-occupants.
Your first responsibility after a large truck accident in Orlando is to take care of yourself and heal from your injuries. An attorney can take on the responsibility determining responsibility and filing a claim.
Determining Liability in a Truck Accident
Recovering compensation after a serious truck wreck requires the injured party to identify the liable party. Liability lies with the party considered legally responsible for the accident.
In a truck accident case, several parties may share liability for your accident. They include:
- The driver of the truck
- The truck or trailer owner
- The person and/or company that leased the truck or trailer from the owner
- The vehicle’s manufacturer, who would be responsible for tires and other parts that could have contributed to the cause or severity of your accident
- The shipper and/or loader of the cargo on the truck (if improper loading was involved)
- The manufacturer of a particular part used in the truck/ trailer
There could also be a governmental agency or a construction company involved if your accident included road damage or defects that led to or contributed to the accident. Truck maintenance workers, including mechanics, may also be responsible if there was negligence with repairs or maintenance to the truck.
Understanding Negligence in an Accident Case
To recover damages after a personal injury accident, it’s vital to prove negligence. After you are hurt in a truck accident and determine who is liable for the injuries, your lawyer must show that the person or company responsible did not act “as a reasonable person” would have in a similar scenario and, as a result, their negligence caused you to suffer harm.
Proving negligence requires your attorney to demonstrate the following elements:
- The other party owed you a duty of care
- The other party breached the duty of care
- The breach of the duty of care lead to your accident, which caused your injuries
- You suffered actual injuries for which you may receive compensation
Insurance and Compensation
Once you’ve determined what party is responsible, your attorney can file your claim. However, just like a car accident, Florida’s comparative fault rule applies, meaning that you can be awarded a percentage of responsibility that may lower your settlement.
Your attorney may seek compensation on your behalf for the following damages:
- Medical expenses, including equipment and prescriptions
- Lost wages
- Future earning capacity
- Loss of spousal support
- Pain and suffering
- Job retraining
- Other accident-related medical expenses
A truck accident attorney can discuss this compensation with you and advise you on the best way to proceed with your claim.
Florida’s Statute of Limitations
You have four years from the date of your accident to file your claim. After that period expires, your claim will be thrown out because the time limit is expired. If you’re planning to file a claim, it’s important to start as early as possible to give your lawyer time to prepare your case and file.
Contact An Orlando Truck Accident Injury Lawyer
While a car-on-car crash may lead to major injuries, the likelihood of suffering intense damage after a crash with a semi truck is much higher. If you have been involved in a semi truck accident in Orlando, reach out to our experienced truck accident lawyers today for a free case consultation or use our online contact form.