Who’s Liable for Your Truck Accident?
Motor vehicle accidents involving trucks, including tractor-trailers, tankers, flatbeds, and other specialized vehicles can have devastating consequences and bring about serious and lifelong personal injuries and damages. In many cases, trucking accidents can be very complex, and it can be very difficult to determine exactly who was at fault for the accident. Unlike wrecks only involving privately owned vehicles, there are often several parties that could potentially be held accountable for a crash, including the truck driver’s employer, the vehicle manufacturer, the company responsible for loading and securing the cargo, or the truck driver himself or herself.
Insurance companies will sometimes try to limit their 1 – or deny liability altogether – by alleging that the injured plaintiff was fully or party responsible for the accident and/or for the injuries that he or she sustained. You definitely want an experienced truck accident attorney in your corner when an insurance company is disputing liability in your case. A lawyer will fully investigate your case and ensure that your legal rights are protected. Furthermore, if you are unable to come to an acceptable settlement with the insurance company handling your case, you lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf in the appropriate court.
Disputed Liability in Texas vs. Other States
When there is a dispute as to liability (i.e. who caused an accident) different jurisdictions have different rules. Several states employ the antiquated law of contributory negligence in these situations. Under that theory, a plaintiff may not recover for any injuries or damages sustained, even if he or she was but one percent (1%) at fault for the accident. In these jurisdictions, it’s an all-or–nothing deal.
However, in Florida and many other jurisdictions, legislatures have enacted statutes that provide for some form of recovery in the event of negligence on the part of the plaintiff. 2 establishes a “pure comparative negligence” system, which means that a partially negligent plaintiff can still recover, but their recovery will be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if a plaintiff is found to by 50 percent at fault and awarded $100,000, the award will be reduced by half, leaving the plaintiff with $50,000.
Determining Liability Can Require Significant Investigation
While there some cases in which liability clearly falls on the shoulders of a particular party (consider, for example, a drunk truck driver slamming into the back of a car traveling in the right lane of the highway), liability is not always clear. In these cases, it may be necessary to conduct an in-depth investigation in order to determine who was at fault for an accident. This investigation could take the form of reviewing internal documents, consulting with accident reconstruction experts, or conducting a forensic analysis of the vehicles involved. Because this type of investigation can require a significant investment of time and money, it is important for victims of accidents to retain an attorney to ensure that their rights are fully protected.
Contact a Clearwater Truck Accident Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
If you have been injured in a Florida truck accident where liability is being disputed, you should have legal representation throughout your case. The experienced of the Dolman Law Group can advocate for you, negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, and help to maximize the value the amount of compensation you ultimately recover.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765