Although the analysis of tractor-trailer accident lawsuits is not new to this blog, this article focuses on a tractor-trailer that was parked at the time of the collision. The enormous size and weight of semi-trucks create potential dangers even when the vehicles are stationary. The length and height of a tractor-trailer cause many blind spots for truck drivers, which are referred to as “no zones.” These vehicles obscure the visibility of other motorists more significantly than a typical passenger car or even a large SUV. In this blog post, our experienced Miami tractor-trailer accident attorneys examine a Florida Court of Appeals decision involving a collision between a plaintiff and a parked semi-truck.
In Newsome v. LinkAmerica Express, the defendant was the owner and operator of a tractor-trailer. The truck owner routinely parked his big-rig on the street in front of his home to facilitate frequent use of the vehicle. On the day of the crash, the plaintiff was traveling on the defendant’s street on the side of the road where the large truck was located. The plaintiff alleged the sunlight reflecting off the windshield of his vehicle led to him being briefly blinded. Although the plaintiff slowed his vehicle to cope with the glare, he slammed into the back of the semi-truck because he could not see it in time.
The plaintiff filed a trucking accident lawsuit seeking damages for serious injuries experienced in the crash. Documents filed in the lawsuit alleged that the truck owner was negligent in parking his truck on the street in front of his home. During the discovery phase of the litigation, it came to light that another motorist had slammed into the back of the big-rig when it was parked on the street outside the defendant’s residence. The parties to the litigation also disagreed over the degree to which the semi-truck protruded into the roadway. While the plaintiff argued that the truck obstructed the flow of traffic, the defendant insisted that the vehicle did not extend far enough to violate any law or to interfere with the flow of traffic. Photos and the law enforcement accident report revealed the large truck protruded significantly into the lane in which the plaintiff was traveling.
Once the discovery process was complete, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment contending he did not violate any duty of care toward the plaintiff. The trial judge agreed with the defendant and granted the motion for summary judgment. The appellate court reversed the trial judge based on two specific issues. The higher court found that there was a genuine question of fact regarding the extent to which the truck blocked the road. The prior trucking accident under similar circumstances also raised a sufficient question of fact regarding whether the defendant’s conduct was reasonable. Although the decision does not necessarily mean the plaintiff will prevail, the appellate court determined the trial judge should not have denied the plaintiff a right to present the case to a jury.
Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano: Seeking Maximum Recovery for Trucking Accident Victims and Families
Even though the tractor-trailer was not moving at the time of the collision, this decision shows that liability could exist even when a semi is parked. Our Miami trucking accident injury attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano offer the assistance you need to pursue the results you desire. For over 130 collective years, our firm has assisted accident victims in personal injury and wrongful death actions across South Florida. We seek to obtain compensation for your tangible and intangible damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Our skill and dedication have earned us an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.