Hit and Injured by a Big Rig? – Understanding Your Rights
When a large commercial truck collides with a smaller vehicle like a sedan or SUV, the damage can be severe, especially for the smaller vehicle. For example, a dump truck for the Miami Department of Public Works collided with a taxi at the intersection of Northwest Seventh Street and Northwest 17th Avenue in Miami, according to local10.com. The impact was so severe that a passenger in the smaller taxi died. The operator of the dump truck was unharmed. Reports indicate that the truck operator fell asleep behind the wheel and ran a red light causing the tragic collision. If you or a loved one gets hit by a large truck or tractor-trailer, you have legal rights and may be able to hold the driver and the company they worked for accountable.
Causes of Serious Commercial Truck Accidents
As you can see from the horrific accident described above, when a big rig is involved in a crash, the ramifications can be quite serious. This is why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) oversees a set of federal regulations that commercial truck companies and operators must adhere to on roads and highways across the country. FMCSA regulations include specifying maximum speed limits, limiting the amount of time truck drivers can be on the road, requirements to log the miles driven and hours on the road, weighing the vehicle periodically, checking the truck for balding tires and other mechanical issues, etc. If it turns out that the truck company or operator violated one or more of these regulations, it can establish liability for harm caused by the non-compliance of these important safety regulations.
Taking Legal Action
A truck accident injury lawsuit is typically filed against the truck company that owned the big rig, dump truck, or 18-wheeler that collided with your vehicle. Why is the lawsuit against the company and not just the driver? Because the company, as the owner of the commercial truck, bears responsibility if an agent of the company (i.e. the truck operator) misuses the vehicle or fails to operate it a reasonable manner and that negligence causes harm to someone else.
Compensation That Can Be Recovered in a Truck Accident Injury Lawsuit
If you or a loved one decides to pursue an injury claim against the truck company, the compensatory damages you can pursue include:
- Your medical bills (both incurred medical bills and future medical bills)
- Any lost wages from time missed from work
- Pain and suffering
Depending on the facts of your case, you may also be able to pursue punitive damages. This is a unique form of damages designed to punish the at-fault party for their egregious conduct.
How a Miami Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in an accident involving a tractor-trailer or big rig, you need to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney sooner rather than later. Why? Because large truck companies have a team of defense lawyers and claims adjusters who will go to work immediately upon learning of a serious accident. You need to level the playing field.
Your lawyer can get to work collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, obtaining copies of the accident report, obtaining copies of accident scene photographs, etc.
Your lawyer can also take the burden off your shoulders of dealing with the claims adjuster assigned to your case. Your lawyer can negotiate to see if it is possible to reach a settlement you are happy with. If the truck company only makes unacceptable, lowball offers, then you can take comfort in knowing that you have an experienced advocate on your side who will take your case all the way to a jury trial.
Miami Truck Accident Lawyers Here to Help
Alan Goldfarb, P.A. understands the complexities of commercial trucking accidents. We understand that they are different from car accident cases and require intense preparation and investigation. Contact our office to schedule a free consultation at (305)371-3111 or call toll-free at (866)936-9761.