What Happens if You Are Hit by a Company Vehicle in Florida?
Many businesses use vehicles for shipping, local deliveries, transporting staff, or simple advertisement. When you’re involved in a car accident, typically the driver is responsible. However, when that driver is performing a duty for a company, the company may share some responsibility for the actions of its employees. Miami commercial truck accident lawyer Prosper Shaked discusses your options after this kind of accident.
Who Can I Sue for a Commercial Vehicle Accident?
Any time a driver is involved in a car accident, the driver is personally responsible for any harm they cause. That means that the driver of a commercial vehicle is personally responsible for any injuries they cause, whether they drive a delivery truck, an 18-wheeler, a utility van, a pizza delivery car, or some other commercial motor vehicle.
Suing this driver follows the typical rules of car accidents in Florida. That means that you can take the driver to court for any permanent injuries you suffered or injuries worth more than $10,000 in medical bills and lost wages. Florida’s no-fault insurance policies may cover more minor cases, but you should still speak to a Miami personal injury attorney about your case to ensure you follow the best path to compensation.
In addition to the driver, you may also be able to sue the company they work for. There is a “vicarious liability” rule in Florida, known as “respondeat superior,” which allows victims of injuries to sue the employer of the person who injured them. To qualify under this rule, the person who injured you must have been actively engaged in their duties when the negligence occurred. If you were hit by a truck driver or delivery driver while they were on-duty and performing their job, you may be entitled to sue their employer for your injuries. This often allows you to recover a higher level of compensation since the business or company may be able to cover additional damages that a truck driver or delivery driver cannot afford.
You may also be able to sue the business that owns the vehicle if they failed to keep the vehicle safe. If the driver was given a vehicle with broken or malfunctioning equipment, worn-down tires, or an otherwise dangerous vehicle, the business that owns the vehicle could be directly responsible for putting a dangerous vehicle on the road.
Similarly, the company could also be directly liable for putting a dangerous driver on the road. Negligent hiring or retention of a driver who has a history of dangerous driving or serious traffic violations can justify a lawsuit against the driver’s employer. Especially if the driver has a history of drunk driving or is not licensed to drive a commercial vehicle, you can sue the company for allowing a dangerous driver to work for them.
What to Do After a Crash with a Delivery Truck?
An accident with a delivery truck or other commercial vehicle, like any car accident, can be difficult in the first few minutes after the crash. The immediate aftermath of an accident can be confusing, but your first priority should be to get yourself to a safe location. Then, you should call 9-1-1. Especially if the crash occurred on a highway or another busy road, you should get to the side of the road if you are well enough to move around. Calling police and EMTs is essential to ensure that your accident is properly recorded and any injuries are treated.
If you are too injured to stay and gather evidence, go with the ambulance and seek any recommended treatment. If you are well enough to stay and gather evidence, there is a list of information you should collect. Police may collect some of this information and share it with you, but it is important to get your own records as well. You should gather the following information before leaving the scene of the accident:
- The location of the accident, including cross streets or mile markers;
- The license plate number and registration info for any vehicles involved, including make and model;
- The other driver’s name and contact info;
- The other driver’s insurance information;
- The name and contact info for the company the driver works for;
- The name and contact info for any witnesses or passengers;
- Information about the lighting, weather, and road conditions;
- Information about how the accident occurred; and
- The name and contact info for any responding police officers.
If you can, take pictures of the scene. You can also take photos of things like license plates or insurance cards to record the information. If writing down this information is difficult, you may be able to use your phone to record yourself stating the information.
Miami Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
After a crash with a truck, van, or car belonging to a business, you may be able to take multiple parties to court to get the compensation you need. Contact The Law Offices of Prosper Shaked today to schedule a free consultation on your claim and learn more about what you might be entitled to in your case. Our number is (305) 690-0244.