Hit By a Semi-Truck in Florida: What Do I Do?
For immediate assistant, call our Florida Trucking Accident Lawyers now or go to the contact page and fill out a form and an attorney will contact you as soon as possible. Driving home from a vacation in Orlando, Florida, you and your family are suddenly struck by a semi-truck on the highway. While your mind is reeling from emotions, worry may also set in: who is going to pay for your vehicle? If your family requires medical attention, who is going to foot the bill? If you are hit by a commercial truck, your claim will proceed much like it would in any standard car accident. However, you are going to need to spend some time with your Florida Trucking Accident Lawyers and decide whom you want to sue.
Options for Your Florida Trucking Accident Lawyers Suing On your Behalf
In a typical car accident, you sue only the driver of the other car. In some states, it may be customary to also sue the owner of the car, even if that individual was not present at the time of the accident. However, in a case involving a commercial truck collision, there are a few people that you may be entitled to sue.
First, much like in a regular car accident, you would sue the driver of the truck. If the driver was a direct employee of the company and not an independent contractor, you would also typically sue the employer as well. Employers are always responsible for the actions of their employees, both responsible and negligent, if the employees were acting while on the clock.
However, you will also need to determine the other individuals associated with the commercial vehicle. Oftentimes, the commercial trucking industry involves a complicated situation: person A is the owner of the truck and hires individual B to drive the truck. Person A may also lease the truck to company or person C to deliver products for company D. So, depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the vehicle and the various contracts associated with the companies, you may also be entitled to sue the owner, lessor and the company who owns the goods inside the truck. Additionally, consider how the accident occurred. If it was the direct result of mechanical failure, you may also sue the mechanic of the vehicle as well.
Suing the Trucking Company
In some situations where the driver was, in fact, an employee of a company, some trucking accident lawyers may recommend that you only sue the employer and not the driver. This may seem confusing; why wouldn’t you sue the driver if he was the one who caused the accident? Shouldn’t the driver be held responsible for his actions?
In a lawsuit, you are seeking compensation for your injuries, not necessarily justice. While it would be nice to receive both and have closure, it is of the utmost importance that your lawyer structures the lawsuit so that you have the best chance of receiving the maximum compensation for your injuries.
The truck driver is a human being, most likely with a family and loved ones. He more than likely did not try to hit your car on purpose; rather, it was simply an accident. It is generally safe to assume that a truck driver may appear to be more sympathetic to a jury than a faceless trucking conglomerate. By suing the corporation itself and not the driver, you increase your chances of obtaining more compensation.
Drivers who are Independent Contractors
An independent contractor is someone who works for himself; in other words, he has no formal employer. In an accident involving an independent contractor, you would most certainly sue the driver. However, your Florida Trucking Accident Lawyers will need to determine if there is a larger corporation responsible to a lesser extent, such as the owner or lessor of the truck.
The company may not be responsible for the negligence, but they could be held accountable depending on both the reasons for the accident and the contract they have in place with the driver. Typically, some companies place clauses in contracts which state that they are not responsible for any negligence, but they may also state that they have the right to control a portion of the driver’s actions.
Injured in an Accident?
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident involving a semi-truck or tractor trailer, contact our Florida Trucking Accident Lawyers today. Here at Attorney Group for Florida, we can help you to determine who is responsible for the accident and ascertain who you may be entitled to sue. We will work with you to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.