Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

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.

In a personal injury action, it is not uncommon for the parties to attempt to obtain as much information  as possible about each other. This can lead to instances in which a party’s personal and private information is exposed to public view. The judicial system has developed a process for determining whether sensitive information is discoverable in a lawsuit. This process stems from the Florida Constitution, which prohibits a court from requiring a party to disclose information that is not necessary to the court’s determination of the issues before it.

In the recent case of Muller v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., a Florida district court concluded that the defendant’s right to obtain the plaintiff’s military record through discovery was limited to the portions of the military record that were relevant to the litigation.

The lawsuit arose when the car in which the plaintiff was riding was struck by a truck driven by one of the defendant’s employees. The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit seeking damages for permanent injuries he sustained in the crash in addition to aggravation of pre-existing conditions, pain and suffering, medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, and many more. Prior to being involved in the injury, the plaintiff served in the military for several years, suffering three injuries during that time. Although the plaintiff provided this information using discovery, he noted that he was not seeking damages for the aggravation of these injuries.

In a recent study, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety concluded that six out of 10 motor vehicle accidents involving teens are caused by distracted driving. The biggest culprits causing teens to take their eyes off the road are cell phones and talking with other passengers.

To compile the study, researchers reviewed and analyzed roughly 1,700 videos of teens operating motor vehicles, particularly during the moments leading up to a collision. Approximately 6,850 cameras were installed in the vehicles of drivers ages 16 through 19. The cameras were set up to view both he driver and the driver’s view through the front windshield.

The footage revealed that in 60 percent of moderate-to-severe crashes, the driver was not paying attention to the road when the accident occurred. This is particularly surprising, considering that the teen drivers had consented to being videotaped while driving and knew that the tapes would eventually be released. Despite this, the teens engaged in a number of distracted driving activities, suggesting that they did not see the behavior as risky or dubious.

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