Unqualified Truck Drivers
November 16, 2021
When large trucking companies hire and retain drivers to operate their vehicles on Florida roadways, they must ensure their drivers are reasonably well qualified and experienced. Trucking companies are responsible for hiring drivers who already have the necessary training and experience they need to operate large vehicles properly.
Companies must also provide their drivers with all of the ongoing training and experience they require to be competent truck drivers. When trucking companies fail to hire qualified and experienced drivers to operate their vehicles, and a truck accident occurs, they can be held responsible for any injuries and damages that result under certain circumstances.
If you have suffered an injury in a truck accident that a negligent driver or trucking company caused, you must have experienced legal counsel on your side advocating for you every step of the way. A knowledgeable truck accident lawyer will be able to review the facts and circumstances of your accident with you. We can then develop a plan of action for moving forward with your case whether that be pursuing monetary compensation from your own insurance company or pursuing compensation from the truck driver or trucking company’s insurer.
Injuries Sustained in Serious Plantation Truck Accidents
Large trucks, big rigs, tractor-trailers, and 18-wheelers frequently travel on roadways in the Plantation area. When one of these large trucks collides with a smaller passenger vehicle, especially at highway speed, it is usually the driver and any occupants inside the passenger vehicle who have to bear the brunt of the injuries sustained.
This is because a large truck moving at a high rate of speed can cause the accident victim’s body to move around violently inside the vehicle and even strike something inside the vehicle, such as the window, door, steering wheel, or headrest.
As a result, the affected driver and passengers can suffer serious injuries in a truck accident.
These injuries can include:
- Soft tissue contusions
- Broken bones
- Traumatic head and brain injuries
- Internal damage
Motor vehicle drivers and passengers who suffer injuries in truck accidents often have to undergo various forms of medical care and treatment. First of all, the truck accident victim might need to follow up with a family doctor, hospital clinic, or urgent care center to receive emergency medical treatment. During this initial medical visit, the healthcare provider can assess the accident victim’s medical condition, take the necessary imaging studies (including MRIs and X-rays), and make recommendations for follow-up treatment. For example, if the accident victim suffered a broken bone in the collision, he or she might need to follow up with an orthopedic doctor or other specialists.
In addition to this initial medical treatment, the accident victim may have to attend physical therapy sessions or have a medical procedure, such as surgery, performed. All of this treatment can cost a significant amount of money, and truck accident victims could pursue compensation for medical expenses as part of any personal injury claim or lawsuit that he or she files.
If you have suffered one or more of these injuries in a truck accident that a negligent driver or trucking company caused, you should speak with a knowledgeable Plantation truck accident attorney as soon as you possibly can. Your lawyer can help negotiate a favorable settlement offer and pursue the compensation that you need for your injuries for you to recover fully.
Causes of Plantation Truck Accidents
Many truck collisions that occur in and around Plantation, Florida, result from truck driver negligence and inexperience. In some cases, drivers are not properly trained and do not have the necessary experience to operate their vehicles safely and carefully. Trucking companies must hire competent drivers who have the necessary skills, training, and experience to operate large trucks safely.
Truck driver negligence can occur in many different ways. In some instances, the truck driver might fail to obey a road rule by failing to yield the right-of-way, speeding, or aggressively weaving in and out of traffic. The truck driver might also tailgate a vehicle in front of him or her, resulting in a rear-end impact.
At other times, the truck driver might be distracted by music playing in the vehicle or paying attention to a cellular phone or other electronic devices present in the vehicle. When a truck driver turns attention away from the road, even for a second or two, that could be a sufficient time for a collision to occur with another (smaller) vehicle.
Finally, in some instances, truck accidents happen where drivers are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In Florida, as in most other states, truck drivers and other commercial motor vehicle operators are held to a higher standard of care than non-commercial drivers when it comes to alcohol and drug intoxication. In addition to hiring qualified, competent and experienced drivers, trucking companies must hire drivers who have good driving records. For example, any driver they hire should not have a record of prior moving violations or drunk driving infractions.
If you suffered an injury in a truck accident that a negligent driver or trucking company caused, an experienced Plantation truck accident attorney might be able to assist you with pursuing the compensation that you deserve. In some cases, especially where you suffered a serious or permanent injury, your attorney might be able to file a claim directly against the truck driver or trucking company’s insurer.
Common Truck Accidents in and Around Plantation
Several truck accidents can occur in and around Plantation, Florida, resulting from unqualified truck drivers. In some accidents, inexperienced or unqualified truck drivers operate their vehicles too fast for the weather or traffic conditions, causing their vehicle to collide with the rear of another vehicle. At other times, truck drivers will follow other vehicles too closely and can’t stop in time to avoid a collision. These types of accidents are called rear-end collisions.
Other truck accidents occur when a driver fails to yield the right-of-way to another vehicle when it is appropriate to do so. These collisions typically occur at traffic intersections where stop signs and/or traffic lights control traffic flow. When the front of a truck collides with a side of another vehicle, these accidents are called T-bone accidents.
In addition, some truck accidents happen when a large truck or tractor-trailer overturns in the middle of the roadway, causing a large pile-up. Truck rollover accidents happen when a truck driver is operating his or her vehicle too quickly or when the truck’s brakes give out, preventing it from being able to stop in time to avoid an accident.
Sideswipe collisions occur when the front or side of a truck collides with the side of another vehicle. These types of accidents often occur on interstate highways that have multiple lanes. The truck driver might fail to use a turn signal or may weave in and out of traffic quickly, causing an accident.
Finally, a head-on collision occurs when the front of a truck collides with the front of another vehicle. These accidents are common on dual-lane highways and roadways where one travel lane is going in each direction. These accidents can also result in the most serious types of injuries, including fatalities. This is especially true if both vehicles are moving at high rates of speed.
If you or a person you care about has suffered injuries in one of these types of accidents that an inexperienced or unqualified truck driver caused, a knowledgeable Plantation truck accident lawyer near you could explore your legal options and help you pursue much-needed monetary compensation for your injuries.
Filing a Claim Against the Insurance Company Seeking Monetary Compensation and Damages
When it comes to car and truck accidents within the state of Florida, no-fault motor vehicle insurance rules apply. This means that car and truck accident victims must turn to their own insurance company for monetary compensation and lost wages that result from their accident/injuries under most circumstances.
However, in certain circumstances, an accident victim might be able to turn to the at-fault driver’s insurance company for this compensation. This is especially true if the accident victim suffered a permanent injury in the accident that required extensive medical treatment.
In cases where someone files an insurance claim against the at-fault driver, the accident victim has the burden of proving negligence and damages. A truck driver behaves negligently when he or she acts unreasonably under the circumstances, such as by violating a traffic law or regulation.
In addition to the driver’s negligence, a trucking company could be negligent in one or more ways. For example, if the accident victim can prove that a trucking company hired a driver that was inexperienced/unqualified or had a record of moving violations or other infractions the trucking company could also be on the line for negligence. After all, trucking companies are responsible for hiring drivers who are qualified, skilled, and competent.
Trucking companies also must actively monitor their drivers and make sure that they comply with all training requirements and continuing education requirements. When trucking companies fail to properly supervise and monitor their drivers, and an accident happens, they could also be on the line for negligence. Similarly, trucking companies are responsible for terminating drivers who violate rules and who accumulate infractions and violations on their driving records.
Suppose you can file a claim against the at-fault truck driver’s insurance company. In that case, your attorney will likely submit a demand package which the insurance company adjuster assigned to the case will review. That demand package will typically include a settlement demand letter, which makes a monetary demand to resolve the case by way of a settlement, and which includes copies of all of the accident victim’s medical records, medical bills, photographs of property damage, injury photographs, lost wage documentation, and sometimes a victim impact statement.
The insurance company adjuster will review all of this documentation and decide whether or not to accept fault for the accident. If the insurance company does accept fault, the adjuster will likely make an initial offer to resolve the case through settlement.
Even in truck accident cases where the accident victim suffers one or more serious injuries, initial settlement offers made by insurance company adjusters are typically low. Initial offers are usually far less than the actual settlement authority that the adjuster has to resolve the case.
It will often take several rounds of negotiations between the accident victim’s lawyer and the adjuster working for the insurance company to settle favorably. If the case does not resolve by way of settlement, your attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf in the Florida state court system. The case will then work its way through the litigation process, but it could still settle at any point along the way.
Most truck accident cases do not go to trial. A trial is the option of last resort for most personal injury legal matters. In some instances, there may be available alternatives, such as mediation or binding arbitration. A knowledgeable Plantation truck accident attorney in your case will be able to discuss all of these legal options with you and help you decide on the best course of action to pursue and recover compensation in your case.
Compensation in a truck accident case can include recovery for medical expenses, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity. In addition, truck accident victims may be eligible to pursue compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of use of a body part in the case of a permanent injury.
The right truck accident attorney will do everything possible to help you maximize the compensation you can receive. They stand up to trucking companies and insurers while you focus on your medical recovery.
“These lawyers are not only very efficient, but caring as well. I would not hesitate to refer them to anyone.”
MATTHEW T. / FORMER CLIENT