Can a Truck Driver Sue Their Employer After an Accident in Florida?
Every year, thousands of truck drivers are involved in devastating crashes throughout the country. In many cases, people associate a truck collision with a driver’s negligence. Many people automatically assume that because of the truck’s size and weight, all liability should shift toward the truck driver. However, this is not always the case. There have been numerous instances where a trucking company has been found liable for the injuries caused in a truck accident. As a truck driver, you may wonder whether you can sue your employer for your accident and losses. Our Miami truck accident attorney at The Law Offices of Prosper Shaked invites you to keep reading as we discuss whether you can sue your employer after a truck accident in Florida.
Suing Your Employer After a Truck Accident in Florida
The short answer to whether you can sue your employer is, it depends. Generally, an injured employee gets compensation from the workers’ compensation system. However, there are exceptional circumstances where you can file a claim directly against your employer. Every employer has the legal obligation to provide all of their employees with workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer refuses to provide you with insurance, they could be liable for your losses.
Another circumstance in which your employers may be liable after a truck accident in Florida is if they engage in gross negligence. Gross negligence refers to the deliberate disregard for another person’s safety. For instance, your employer may be found to have engaged in gross negligence if he or she knew there was an existing failure in your truck but refused to fix it. If your employer created a hazard or dangerous condition that put you in harm’s way, you may be able to hold your employer liable.
While workers’ compensation may help cover certain expenses, it may not be enough to cover all of your costs. For instance, workers’ compensation will not provide coverage for things such as pain, suffering, or mental anguish. Filing a claim with a Miami personal injury lawyer may be the best option to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Who Else May Be Liable for My Truck Accident in Florida?
Truck accidents may be attributed to more than one person. You may hold multiple parties liable for your losses if you were involved in a truck accident in Florida and suffered severe injuries. It may be possible to sue your employer under exceptional circumstances. However, your employer may not be the only one responsible for your accident.
It is possible your accident occurred due to a mechanical failure caused by defective equipment. Under such circumstances, you may hold the truck manufacturer liable for your injuries. Truck manufacturers – like any other manufacturer – are expected to create products that are safe to use. Unfortunately, many negligent manufacturers cut corners in order to increase production and revenue, often disregarding safety. The lack of a safe design or manufacturing process can lead to a devastating accident caused by a defective product.
It is also possible your accident was caused due to improper distribution of cargo. A large number of trucking companies delegate the task of loading cargo to independent agents. These agents are in charge of loading the cargo into a truck to make sure the truck can haul the cargo safely, minimizing the risk of tipping over. Cargo loading is a very demanding, highly regulated practice. Loaders must abide by the rules laid out by the NorthAmerican Transportation Association (NATA). Failure to adhere to NATA regulations can lead to an accident.
It is also possible another driver on the road caused your accident. There have been numerous cases where truck drivers have been involved in motorcycle accidents, car accidents, and bus accidents that were not their fault. A third-party claim may be possible, allowing you to get compensation for injuries and losses caused by a negligent driver on the road.
How to File a Claim Against an Employer After a Florida Truck Accident
As a plaintiff in a civil claim against your employer, you have the duty of showing the defendant’s negligence. This means you have the burden of showing through the preponderance of the evidence that your employer’s negligence led to your injuries. A personal injury claim in Florida requires you to show four main elements. These elements are known as the legal duty of reasonable care, breach of duty, causation, and harm.
Showing a duty of reasonable care requires you to provide evidence showing that your employer – the trucking company – had a legal obligation to make sure you were operating a safe vehicle. Your employer’s obligations include checking the truck’s tires, making sure it has periodical oil changes, and checking the braking system. Once you have established the legal duty of reasonable care, you can proceed to the second element in your claim.
The breach of duty in your case can be shown by providing evidence showing that your employer failed to follow all of the required safety measures. The next element in your claim is called causation. Causation requires you to link your employer’s negligence with your accident and subsequent losses. You should be able to provide concrete evidence demonstrating the breach of duty and how it relates to your injuries.
Finally, you should be able to demonstrate that you suffered due to the defendant’s negligence. You can provide evidence showing your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Once you have proven your case, the court may grant you compensation.
Miami Personal Injury Attorney Offering Free Consultations in Florida
If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident, we can help. Many times, truck accidents are attributed to other drivers on the road. However, there are instances where your employer may have engaged in negligence. Under such circumstances, you may have the opportunity to file a claim outside of workers’ compensation. The Miami personal injury attorney at The Law Offices of Prosper Shaked can help with your situation. To learn more about all of our services in a free, confidential consultation, call our law offices today at (305) 694-2676.