There are many different skills that are required to operate a large commercial truck safely. When a trucking company hires a driver, they are supposed to ensure that the driver has the training to drive the type of trucks for which he would be responsible. In addition, the trucking company has the obligation to check a driver’s background in order to determine if there is any evidence of substance abuse or other issues that would impair the driver’s ability to safely navigate the roadways with tractor-trailers and other large trucks. When the trucking company fails in this obligation, innocent drivers and occupants in other vehicles can be seriously hurt or killed.
Commercial truck collisions are devastating because of the mass and weight of the vehicle, leading to high impact forces. People who are injured in a truck accident may never recover. With more than 130 years of collective experience, the tenacious and compassionate Miami truck accident lawyers at Greenberg Stone and Urbano understand how critical it is to recover compensation for our clients. We work with our clients to identify everyone responsible, in whole or in part, for the crash.
Liability is one of the critical questions in a truck crash case. Generally speaking, liability may be imposed under the following two theories:
• Per se negligence – When the truck driver breaks the law, he may be held liable for the harm that he causes. This may be the case when an accident occurs after a person has been driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The legal impairment may be sufficient for a trier-of-fact to determine that there was negligence that led to the accident; or
• Negligence – A person may be liable for an accident if he owed a duty of care and breached that duty. This may be when a person fails to check that a load is properly secured or when a trucking company failed to do a comprehensive background check on a prospective driver before hiring him.
Although the actions of the truck driver may be the direct cause of the injuries suffered by the truck crash victim, it often is important to build a case against the trucking company as well. The reason for this is that the trucking company often has the resources to ensure that the injured person gets the compensation that he needs for medical treatment, expenses, and pain and suffering.
It is possible to bring a case against the trucking company based on the fact that the driver was the agent of the trucking company employer. Under the theory of respondeat superior, the principal is legally responsible for the actions of the agent. Therefore, if the driver decides to drink before getting behind the wheel and hitting the road, the trucking company may be responsible for the harm that the driver caused. Many times, these cases are brought under this liability theory when there is no evidence of direct negligence by the trucking company.
In order to be liable for the damage caused by a driver under a theory of negligence, a trucking company must have breached a legal duty of care. Building a case for this may involve analyzing employment records, finding evidence of substance abuse treatment and a lack of follow-up on the recovery status of the driver, or otherwise failing to take the actions that a reasonable trucking company owner or manager would have taken under the same circumstances.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano Fights for Truck Accident Victims
When a trucking company fails to take appropriate actions in hiring or retaining employees, it may be liable for the harm that was caused by the driver. The South Florida truck accident law firm of Greenberg Stone and Urbano has spent more than 30 years advocating on behalf of our clients. The firm has received an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell in recognition of its dedication to legal excellence. We also were voted one of South Florida’s top-rated firms by the Miami Herald. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule an initial appointment so that we can get to work for you.