Semi-trucks are among the largest, most dangerous vehicles on the road, and as a result are involved in more than their share of Florida automobile accidents. Indeed, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reported that in 2016 there were 293 fatal Florida semi-truck accidents. Also concerning is the fact that as a percentage of the total number of accidents, Florida semi-truck crashes continue to rise.
One type of semi-truck accident that has been getting significant attention over the past few years is an underride accident. An underride accident occurs when another vehicle gets wedged underneath a semi-truck during a collision. This normally occurs when a motorist rear-ends a stopped or slowing semi-truck at a significant speed; however, underride accidents may also involve a vehicle being dragged underneath the front side of the truck as well.
Trailer manufacturers have long been required to install rear underride guards on their trucks. These guards reduce the likelihood that a vehicle will get dragged underneath the rear of the truck in the event of a rear-end collision. However, more recently, lawmakers have been pushing to require trailer manufacturers to install front- and side-underride guards as well.
Who Is Liable in a Florida Underride Accident?
Due to the nature of Florida underride accidents, there are often serious injuries involved. Accident victims may be able to pursue a claim for compensation against several parties, depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the accident. For example, the most commonly named parties in these lawsuits are the truck driver, the trucking company, and the trailer manufacturer.
Of course, a truck driver who causes an accident, as well as the company that employs, him, can be liable under a traditional negligence theory. In order to succeed in this type of claim, an injury victim must establish that the truck driver violated some duty of care that was owed to the accident victim, and that this negligence caused their injuries.
A trailer manufacturer’s liability may be based on a product liability theory. For example, if a trailer manufacturer failed to include a functioning rear-underride guard. A manufacturer could be liable for failing to install equipment that was not mandatory at the time, but was understood to be the industry standard, such as front- or side-underride guards.
Have You Been Injured in a Florida Truck Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Florida truck accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The dedicated South Florida personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Cecere Santana have extensive experience handling a wide range of Florida truck accident cases, including Florida underride accidents. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with an attorney, call 800-753-5529. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our services unless we are able to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
See Additional Blog Posts:
Wrongful Death Claims Following Florida Auto Accidents, South Florida Injury Attorneys Blog, September 5, 2018.
Update: Investigation Sheds Additional Light on Florida Roller Coaster Accident, South Florida Injury Attorneys Blog, published August 27, 2018.