Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

Many civil litigants choose to try their cases before a judge rather than a jury. As such, they must select jurors before the trial. Part of jury selection involves assessing whether any prospective juror is implicitly or explicitly biased and lacks the ability to come to an objective decision. If a prospective juror demonstrates bias, either party may exercise pre-emptive challenges to prevent them from becoming a juror. The right to exercise pre-emptive challenge is critical, and if a court neglects to uphold a party’s right, it could result in an unjust verdict. This was demonstrated recently in a verdict issued in a Florida case arising out of a truck collision. If you were hurt in a crash with a tractor-trailer, it is smart to meet with a Cape Coral truck accident lawyer about your options for seeking damages.

Historical Background of the Case

It is alleged that the decedent was driving through a construction zone on a highway behind the defendant driver. The defendant driver suddenly veered into the opposite lane of travel where the defendant trucker was approaching and struck the side of the truck. This caused the truck to swerve and collide with the decedent’s car. The defendant suffered fatal harm in the accident. His wife then filed negligence claims against the defendants.

Reportedly, during the process of selecting a jury, the plaintiff attempted to challenge a prospective juror who stated her husband had worked as a trucker. The court denied the plaintiff’s challenge on the grounds that the jury was the only Black member of the panel, and the court found that the plaintiff had not met Florida’s race-neutral test. The plaintiff objected again prior to trial, but the court upheld its decision. The jury issued a verdict in favor of the plaintiff but determined that the defendant trucker was not at fault. The plaintiff then moved for a new trial, and the court granted her request. The defendants appealed. Continue reading ›

People who cause fatal truck accidents typically refuse to admit responsibility and, in many cases, attempt to blame the person who died for the accident. Although defendants in truck accident cases are allowed to claim the deceased person’s contributory negligence as a defense, they cannot rely on inadmissible evidence to do so. In a recent Florida matter, a judge ruled on whether hearsay information can be used to prove comparative fault. If you or a loved one has died as a result of a collision with a tractor-trailer, you should consult with an experienced Florida truck accident attorney to discuss your possibilities.

The Fatal Crash

The plaintiff’s spouse was alleged to have been at work when he was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer owned by the defendant corporation and driven by the defendant driver. The plaintiff sued the defendants for wrongful death, claiming that their negligence was to blame for her husband’s death. During the trial, the defendants introduced testimony from a police officer who stated that another officer informed him that when the plaintiff’s husband was found at the accident scene, he had an earphone in his ear. The plaintiff appealed the final verdict, claiming, among other things, that the trial court erred in allowing the officer’s testimony since it was hearsay.

In Trucking Accident Cases, Is Hearsay Evidence Acceptable?

The appellate court determined that the officer was most likely testifying as an expert witness at the trial. As a result, the court considered how much he was allowed to rely on inadmissible evidence. The court emphasized that facts do not need to be accepted into evidence if they are of a sufficiently reliable nature. Expert witnesses may not reveal facts to the jury that are normally inadmissible unless the court determines that their probative value overcomes the danger of adverse influence. Continue reading ›

Truck accidents often cause catastrophic injuries, and in many instances, trucking companies lack adequate insurance to cover the injured party’s losses. Thus, people hurt in such collisions may turn to their insurance companies to recover underinsured motorist benefits. While the law precludes people who are hurt from obtaining windfalls, a defendant deemed liable for a plaintiff’s harm will only be granted a set off of the plaintiff’s settlement with another party in limited circumstances.

A Florida court recently discussed setoffs in an opinion issued in a trucking case in which the plaintiff obtained $4 million from his insurance company and was granted over $30 million in damages from the defendant. If you were hurt in a collision involving a commercial truck, you should consult a capable Florida truck accident lawyer to discuss your options for seeking compensation.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff was a passenger in a car that was t-boned by a truck driven by the defendant driver and owned by the defendant owner. He suffered serious injuries in the accident and filed a lawsuit alleging negligence claims against the defendants and claims against his insurance carrier for underinsured motorist benefits. Two years later, he settled with his insurance company for $4 million.

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Collisions involving tractor-trailers typically cause significant injuries, and people hurt in such accidents will often pursue damages from both the truck driver and the company that employed the driver in a civil lawsuit. Even if it appears that a trucking company’s or driver’s liability is clear, though, it is essential that any claims against them are properly pled; otherwise, a plaintiff’s claims may be rejected. This was established in a recent Florida ruling in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims due to the vague and cursory manner in which they were pled. If you sustained losses in an accident involving a commercial truck, it is advisable to speak to a seasoned Florida truck accident attorney about your options.

The Accident

It is reported that the plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle that was involved in a collision with a commercial truck owned by the defendant company and operated by the defendant driver. The plaintiff sustained significant injuries and therefore filed a lawsuit against the defendants in state court. The defendant company moved the matter to federal court and filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the plaintiff had not pled facts sufficient to allow him to recover on his claims against the company. The plaintiff amended his complaint multiple times, and each time the defendant company filed a motion to dismiss asserting the same argument. The court then ruled on the matter, agreeing with the defendant and dismissing the plaintiff’s claims without leave to amend.

Federal Pleading Standards

Under the federal standards, a court faced with a motion to dismiss must assume that the factual assertions set forth in a complaint are true. Further, the court must draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. A plaintiff must still meet certain pleading requirements, however. Specifically, while the exact facts out of which the plaintiff’s alleged harm arose are not necessary, a complaint should nonetheless provide a defendant with adequate notice of the plaintiff’s claim and the circumstances out of which it arose.

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A semi-truck accident is not only frightening but can leave you with serious personal injury. Fortunately, our truck accident attorneys are ready to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Our skilled attorneys are here to help you.

Continue reading to learn what defects are most responsible for causing semi-truck accidents.

COMMON CAUSES OF SEMI-TRUCK ACCIDENTS

Even if you didn’t wear a seatbelt at the time of the car accident, you could still be eligible to receive compensation for car accident injuries. Fortunately, our car accident lawyers can help you understand your rights so you can hold negligent drivers and insurance companies accountable. Continue reading to learn how you can still file a claim after a car accident, despite not wearing a seatbelt.

If you have any questions after reading this article then please feel free to contact us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Proving Negligence

In the state of Florida, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate is responsible for bringing a wrongful death lawsuit. If your loved one recently passed away as the result of another person’s negligence, call one of our wrongful death lawyers as soon as possible. We can help you prove that the other party neglected their duty to the decedent to exercise reasonable care.

If you have any questions regarding wrongful death’s in Florida, please feel free to contact us and we’ll get back to you with an answer as soon as possible.

Q: Who Can File for Wrongful Death in Florida?

It’s unfortunate when a loved one passes away because of another driver’s negligence. We understand that this time is difficult for you and other surviving family members.

However, there is a limited window of time for the decedent’s estate to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Our wrongful death attorneys can help you win compensation for lost earnings, loss of companionship, and other damages.

Continue reading to learn the other ways we can help you prove wrongful death after a fatal car accident.

Over 15 million trucks operate in the United States alone. It is a rare day when you are driving on the highway and do not see a semi-truck or tractor trailer. Just recently in Naples, Florida, many people’s worst nightmare occurred on I-75: An accident involving a car and a semi-truck.

A woman in Naples was headed toward Fort Myers on Interstate 75 when she was hit by a semi-truck. The semi-truck unexpectedly veered into her lane, sideswiping her car. Thankfully, the semi-truck did not roll over on her car or she would have been killed instantly. However, her car was pushed into the side rail of the interstate and spun around.

The accident could have been much, much worse, but it still caused physical and mental injury—not only for the woman, but the semi-truck driver as well. As it turned out, the trailer had not been packed correctly by the loaders and the load had tumbled to one side of the trailer after hitting a pothole, causing the trailer to veer into the woman’s lane.

In the recent case of Panzera v. O’Neal, a man was killed in a fatal accident when he was struck by a large semi-truck on an interstate in 2011. The man had been trying to cross the interstate on foot. After the accident, the victim’s family brought a lawsuit claiming that the truck driver acted negligently in hitting the man. The plaintiffs also filed a lawsuit against the supermarket chain that employed the driver. In response, the truck driver and the supermarket chain filed a motion for summary judgment.

During the hearing on the motion for summary judgment, evidence was offered indicating that the victim had climbed over a chainlink fence to cross the dark highway immediately before he was killed. Evidence also showed that the man was wearing dark attire and that the accident occurred in the middle of the night, at roughly 3 a.m. During his testimony, the driver stated that he slammed on his brakes and tried to swerve away from the victim immediately before making the impact. Police officers testified to seeing long skid marks on the highway at the time they responded to the accident, corroborating the truck driver’s testimony that he attempted to avoid hitting the victim.

Evidence was also offered showing that the truck the defendant driver was operating had been equipped with a computer mechanism that limited the truck’s maximum speed to five miles under the speed limit. According to the computer records maintained for the truck, the vehicle decelerated immediately before it collided with the victim.

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