Collisions involving big rigs can cause devastating harm to anyone in a smaller vehicle. One major reason for truck accidents, according to the Department of Transportation, is brake failure. Commercial vehicles must be properly inspected and maintained, and brakes should be checked as part of this process. When they fail, serious injuries can result. If you were hurt in a truck crash in Ocala or one of the nearby communities, the lawyers of the Dean Law Firm may be able to hold the driver and his or her employer accountable for the compensation that you deserve.Brake Failure and Trucker Negligence
A tractor-trailer's brakes may fail when they are overheated, overly worn or thin, or smeared with excessive grease. Most often, these conditions occur because truck drivers or their employers fail to adequately maintain their vehicles. Federal law requires truckers to know about the condition of their brakes, but unfortunately this rule is not always followed. The responsible party when this happens may be the commercial driver, the trucking company, a mechanic, or the brake manufacturer.
If you are in an accident because of a trucker's failure to maintain the truck's brakes, you may be wondering from whom you can recover compensation. There may be complicated relationships between the responsible parties, leading to uncertainty about whether the trucker is an employee of the trucking company. This is important because an employer can be held indirectly liable for the actions of an employee if he or she was acting in the scope and course of his or her employment at the time of the careless conduct. In some cases, it may be possible to hold the trucking company directly liable as well if it failed to properly supervise the driver or violated federal regulations governing this industry.
Crash victims seeking to recover damages because of brake failure usually need to show the elements of a negligence claim. These are the defendant’s duty of care, a breach of the duty, causation, and quantifiable damages resulting from the accident. It is widely accepted that truckers must take at least as many precautions as the reasonable person in the same situation. This means following all of the applicable regulations as well as obeying traffic laws and accounting for any unusual road or weather conditions. Inadequate brake maintenance likely breaches this obligation, and it may expose a driver or trucking company to liability if it is the direct cause of an accident.
Florida has abolished the doctrine of joint and several liability. Any defendant may be held liable for damages only up to the extent of that individual’s or entity’s proportional responsibility for a crash. Forms of compensation can reimburse a victim for economic and non-economic losses, such as medical expenses, property damage, lost income, or pain and suffering. A family that has lost a loved one in a tragically fatal crash can pursue other types of damages by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. These claims are complex, however, and must be filed within a narrower time window than the statute of limitations for ordinary injury claims.Discus Your Big Rig Accident Claim with an Ocala Lawyer
Not all attorneys understand the complexities of truck accident cases. It is important to retain an advocate with substantial experience in this area, who has developed a thorough understanding of its numerous regulations and the ways in which these collisions can happen. At the Dean Law Firm, our big rig accident attorneys represent people in the area surrounding Ocala who have been hurt because of a commercial vehicle’s brake failure. Many of our clients come from Crystal River, the Villages, and other towns throughout Sumter, Lake, Marion, Citrus, and Levy Counties. Contact us at 352-387-8700 or complete our online form to set up a free consultation.