Multiple Parties You Can Sue for a Truck Accident in Miami

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Truck accidents in Miami today are on the rise, particularly due to the region's demanding commercial sector, and can often be caused by the negligence of the:

  • Driver
  • Truck owner
  • Cargo owner

Due to their massive size - they weigh 30 times more than a passenger vehicle - semi and commercial trucks can turn what might otherwise be an ordinary collision into a severe crash resulting in devastating injuries. Each ton of a vehicle's weight increases the fatality risk to other drivers in case of collision. An accident between a car and a large truck will more likely result in the injury or death of car occupants.

These are the many traffic participants who can suffer severe injuries as a result of truck crashes:

The biggest question in accident injury cases involving commercial semi-trucks is the question of liability for the accident. Liability in a collision involving a tractor-trailer is seldom as straightforward as in crashes involving two or more passenger vehicles.

Who Is Responsible for a Truck Accident?

Miami truck injury lawyers often help accident victims identify multiple parties who may be at fault for the accident. The parties who may be sued for damages in a truck accident claim include:

  • The truck driver: There are many situations where a truck driver could be at fault for an accident. Truck drivers may have made a reckless choice that led to a crash and may be at fault for the accident. Some of the scenarios include, but are not limited to:
    • Driving without proper rest, while drowsy or fatigued
    • Excessive speeding to meet unreasonable delivery schedules
    • Driving in dangerous conditions violating regulations
    • Driving under the influence of alcohol
    • Driving under the influence of illegal prescriptions or drugs
    • Becoming distracted while driving
    • Changing lanes or turning without checking blind spots
    • Other reckless actions or errors
  • The trucking company or the truck owner: Businesses have something called "vicarious liability," meaning they are responsible for an employee's accident during normal business operations. Although a carrier company is required to have permits to operate its trucks, most frequently, the carrier is not the owner of the truck. The many leasing options available in the trucking industry can make it difficult to determine who is liable when a trucker causes an accident and injury to another person:
    • If a trucking company or another business owns a truck that caused an accident, the business will often have to pay the damages.
    • Sometimes a driver may independently lease a truck from a truck company and then contract with the carrier to provide transportation services.
    • In other cases, the carrier company may own the truck but lease it to a driver with the option to purchase.
    • A trucking company can be liable for inadequate truck driver qualifications, experience, and training.
  • The owner or loader of the cargo: A percentage of the big truck accidents on highways can be attributed to overloaded or improperly loaded cargo. Because cargo makes a large truck heavier, whoever loads the cargo must ensure that the truck's weight meets federal regulations and is distributed evenly. Otherwise, a lane change, turn, or sudden stop could result in an accident. The truck's cargo records must be evaluated to find out who was responsible for securing the vehicle's contents, the shipment's owner, loader, or transporter, ensuring the contents are safe for road travel, or for:
    • Loading cargo over the legal weight limit
    • Unbalanced loading of cargo
    • Under-filling tanks carrying liquids
    • Improper securing of cargo

Other Parties Responsible for a Truck Accident

An unfortunate reality of car and big truck accidents on highways is that they can often increase the risk of a subsequent car accident due to drivers trying to maneuver around closed roads and traffic slowdowns. In order to decrease the chances of an accident, it is essential for drivers to be aware of what is going on and maintain an assured clear distance ahead. Here are other parties who may be liable for your big rig accident:

  • Third-party maintenance companies: It may be possible to hold an outside maintenance company liable for damages if it was negligent in its duties to:
    • Repair a commercial truck
    • Maintain a mandated inspection schedule
    • Perform routine maintenance tasks
  • Manufacturers or distributors of a defective truck or part: If a manufacturer produced a defective part, and that part contributed to the cause of the accident, the part-maker could be liable for damages. For example, a design mistake might contribute to an accident, or a broken connector rod could cause problems between the vehicle and the trailer. The vehicle's maintenance logs must be reviewed to determine if the owner's negligence caused the mechanical issues. Although inadequate maintenance causes many of a truck's mechanical problems, the following factors may indicate a defective part caused your accident:
  • Government agencies: If a truck driver is involved in an accident, it may be possible to file a claim against the liable government agency because:
    • A road was poorly designed
    • A road was poorly maintained
    • Workers left hazards in the roadway
  • Other drivers: Sometimes, the driver of the passenger car and the truck driver may not be at fault for a semi or commercial truck accident. This can happen if another vehicle on the road forced either the car or the truck to cause the crash. When another driver is responsible for the crash, they should be the ones to be sued for compensation. Drivers can easily cause an accident between a semi or commercial truck and another passenger car when they:
    • Merge unexpectedly
    • Ride in blind spots
    • Drive too aggressively

Victims of collisions may suffer many types of bodily injury like whiplash, traumatic brain injury, or back injuries. After an accident, call our law office, and we will help you file a claim to recover damages for expenses incurred as a result of the reckless or negligent behavior of others:

  • Medical bills
  • Medical treatment
  • Lost wages
  • Emotional distress
  • Mental anguish

If you have lost a loved one in a truck accident, it is essential to know that through a Florida wrongful death claim, you may be able to recover compensation for:

  • Funeral, burial, or cremation expenses
  • The loss of your loved one's earning capacity
  • The loss of your loved one's services
  • The loss of your loved one's companionship and society
  • The loss of prospective inheritance from your loved one
  • Mental anguish

Contact us for a free case review. We are here to listen to you and offer a reliable evaluation of your legal options.

Contact Sean M. Cleary, Miami Truck Accident Attorney

If you have lost a family member in a large truck accident, finding a Miami truck injury attorney you trust is helpful. A personal injury lawyer with experience can help you recover fair compensation for injuries and damages by:

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided on this site is not formal legal advice, also the site does not allow you to form an attorney-client relationship.