West Palm Beach Truck Accident Lawyer
Have you ever been on the interstate or turnpike, at some strange time of the day or night, and looked around and noticed how many large tractor-trailer trucks there are? Large trucks keep our modern society going. Trucks transport the groceries we eat, the clothes we wear and the gas we put into our cars. These trucks, in short, help us maintain the lifestyles take for granted.
At Schwechter Law Group, we get to the bottom of what lead to your accident. We will make sure to inspect the truck before any repairs are done. We will make sure that the truck owner preserves the truck’s black box and any recording devices. If needed we will retain experts in accident reconstruction, or body mechanics to prove what actually happened in your crash. If you were injured in an accident involving a truck, please let us help you. West Palm Beach truck accident lawyer Brian Schwechter will listen to you, find out the facts and take immediate steps to protect your rights. Call (561) 935-9243 today for a free consultation.
Why Truck Accidents Occur in West Palm Beach, Florida
It’s never been harder to hire long-haul truck drivers, even though companies are making the job more lucrative, less aggravating and more inclusive. The driver shortage stretches back a quarter-century, and lately, a run-up in freight demand, staggeringly high turnover rates and waves of baby boomer retirements are compounding the problem. The American Trucking Associations figures companies need about 60,000 drivers, a number that could top 100,000 in just a few years.
Trucks move almost all of the food and other items Americans purchase, and the shortage of drivers is driving up shipping rates. “It’s not like these folks are making horseshoes,” says Todd Spencer, president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. “Trucking is an absolutely essential, critical industry to the nation, to everybody in it,” Spencer says.
With a shortage at critical levels, there is a strong push for truck drivers to drive as long as federal laws allow. This, in turn, pushes drivers to drive while exhausted. In an attempt to stay awake, some truck drivers take stimulants. Those stimulants negatively affect their driving and, as a result, leads to more accidents.
Furthermore, the trucking company may have failed to maintain the truck because they rushed to get it back on the road. Were you hurt because a truck lost control because they had a tire blowout? Or was your car rear-ended because the truck’s brakes did not work properly?
Should I Sue the Truck Driver or the Trucking Company After an Accident?
First, every driver in Florida is responsible for his/her actions. A driver does not avoid responsibility for causing an accident because the driver was “…just following orders” from the company.
The more complicated question is whether you can sue the trucking company. In most cases, the answer to that as well is yes. Truck accident victims can usually sue the company that hired the driver that caused the crash. If a negligent truck driver caused your West Palm Beach truck crash, the trucker’s employer is liable for your medical bills, any lost wages, any property damage caused to your vehicle, and other damages under the legal theory “respondent superior” or “vicarious liability”.
Respondent superior means “let the master answer”. It is an ancient legal theory that states there are some circumstances when an employer should be liable for acts of employees, namely when those acts are performed within the course and scope of their employment.
So what is in the “course and scope of employment”? Well, that can be pretty straightforward, or not. If the driver was in the act of doing a task that is clearly part of his job description, then it is in the course and scope of employment. For example, if a furniture moving company driver is involved in an accident while moving furniture, that is clearly part of his employment. If a delivery truck is dropping off packages, it is in the course and scope.
However, there are many other times that it is not nearly as straightforward. then duties. Now, let’s say a truck driver decides to pick up his dry cleaning, is that part of his course of employment? You would think the answer would be no, but it depends. For example, what if the truck company driver did not go out of his way to get the dry cleaning? That may not be considered a detour away from his normal job duties and could still be within the course and scope of his employment. Also, even if the dry cleaning is way out of the way and clearly not part of the scope of his employment, if the company knew the driver picked up his cleaning while in a company vehicle, then the company would still be on the hook.
Call Our West Palm Beach Truck Accident Lawyer Today
As you can see, trucking cases can be quite complex, especially if you want to hold the trucking company responsible. If you have become the unfortunate victim of truck driver’s negligence and you are hurt, Schwechter Law Group is here for you. We can help you gather the facts and any evidence, file a claim on your behalf so you can get the compensation you deserve. Call our office today at (561) 935-9243 to schedule a free case evaluation with a truck accident lawyer in West Palm Beach.