Can I Sue a Semi Truck Driver After an Accident in Orlando?
Truck accidents frequently leave their victims with very serious injuries that require extensive treatment. The medical procedures and long-term care required for these injuries often become very expensive for the victim. As a consequence, victims of truck accidents will file truck accident lawsuits in order to try and get the compensation they need to pay for their care as well as get justice for wrongs done to them. However, victims of truck accidents may not know exactly how to do that. One of the first things that often comes to mind is suing the driver who hit you.
In Florida, you are allowed to sue a semi truck driver who hit and injured you in a truck accident. That being said, it may be a better idea to sue another party or to include another party as a defendant in your truck accident lawsuit. A truck driver may be a defendant in a truck accident lawsuit, but they may not be the best defendant for your truck accident lawsuit.
Call The Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, at (954) 751-4258 today and get a free case review from our Orlando personal injury lawyers.
Can I Sue the Driver of the Semi Truck Driver Who Hit Me in Orlando?
You are absolutely able to sue the driver of the truck who injured you in a truck accident lawsuit. The law allows for plaintiffs to sue people who injured them because of negligence. If a truck driver injured you because they were careless behind the wheel, they are a perfectly valid target for a truck accident lawsuit.
However, there are some factors that may lead to another party being a better defendant for your case, or at least would lead our Ft. Lauderdale truck accident lawyers to recommend including other parties.
First, the truck driver may be what is called “judgment proof.” Being judgment proof means that, even if you win against this defendant, they will be unable to pay your damages. While knowing that justice is served might be satisfying, the problem will still exist that you may need financial compensation to address needs like medical bills or long-term care. For that reason, it may be advisable to look for other parties in addition to the driver to include in your lawsuit that are better situated to pay damages.
Who Should I Sue After a Semi Truck Driver Hits Me in Orlando?
Although the driver is the most obvious target for a semi truck accident lawsuit, there are other parties you may want to consider suing in addition to or instead of the truck driver. Doing so can potentially maximize the potential compensation you can get out of your lawsuit.
The Truck Driver
The truck driver may be the most responsible party for your truck accidents. Truck accidents that are the driver’s fault are generally because they did something negligent while on the road. This may take the form of a regular traffic violation like speeding, running red lights, or failing to use turn signals. Truck driver negligence can also take the form of impaired driving. This includes not only drunk driving but also driving while tired or fatigued. Tired driving is a serious problem in the trucking industry. Accordingly, there are rules in place by the FMCSA regarding how long truckers are allowed to be on the road in one sitting.
The Truck Driver’s Employer
When you sue a semi truck driver after a truck accident, it may also be a good idea to include their employer in your truck accident lawsuit as a defendant. The law allows employers to be responsible for the negligent acts of their employees through something called “respondeat superior” or “let the master answer.” Essentially, this means that employers are not off the hook when their employees do something bad.
The first thing to keep in mind when considering suing a truck driver’s employer is to make sure you know who is actually their employer. Many companies will use third-party delivery services to get their packages from point A to point B. For example, truckers who drive trucks with “Amazon” emblazoned on the trailer do not necessarily work for Amazon. Instead, look for the trucking company that actually employs the driver, since that is the party that would be liable.
Second, the employee’s conduct must be sufficiently related to work. If the employee was doing something not closely related to their job, the employer cannot be held liable. These things are called “frolics” and “detours.” A frolic is when the employee does something that does not impart liability to the employer. For example, if a semi truck driver hits you on the way to their friend’s house when they are supposed to be delivering a package, that is a frolic, and the employer will not be liable. On the other hand, if the semi truck driver hits you while pulling out of a rest stop near a highway, the employer will very likely be liable because using a rest stop is sufficiently related to the trucker’s job, and is merely a detour.
Sometimes, the truck driver is not at fault for an accident. In cases where a problem with the truck caused an accident, you may want to sue the manufacturer of the truck rather than the driver. However, even then, it may be advisable to include the semi truck driver in the lawsuit in some capacity.
Talk to Our Orlando Truck Accident Lawyers Today
The Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, has Orlando car accident lawyers ready to discuss your case when you call (954) 751-4258.