When Is The Trucking Company Negligent In A Truck Accident Lawsuit?
A simple truck accident lawsuit goes something like this. You are driving on the highway, and a truck attempts to merge into your lane. They don’t see you, and your car is struck by their truck. You spin out, you hit the rail, your car is damaged, and you have minor injuries. You file a claim against the trucking company’s insurance policy, and they pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, and a little bonus for your inconvenience. The matter is settled.
What about complex cases? We don’t hear anything about the cases above because they are not necessarily newsworthy. Nonetheless, they are the most common types of cases you see. Other cases, like the $1 billion verdicts you hear about in the newspaper, are much more complicated to file because they include allegations against the trucking company itself.
Complex cases don’t just involve an otherwise good truck driver causing a traffic accident with a moving violation. They include allegations against the trucking company itself. Then the question becomes: What kinds of allegations result in $1 billion “nuclear” verdicts. Below, we’ll discuss that issue.
The rise in “nuclear” verdicts against trucking companies
A driver who commits a moving violation is not “evil”. They just made a mistake. However, a trucking company that recruits new drivers to meet a growing demand for business by shirking their responsibilities to train the driver on their rig and ensure they have all the proper licensing is “evil” under the law.
While we don’t use the term “evil” to describe these trucking companies, we will use terms like “gross negligence”, “wanton failure to render ordinary care,” and discuss the “inevitability” of a serious injury. In these cases, the negligence is not ordinary but extraordinary in a way that shocks the conscience of the American public.
Nuclear verdicts and reptile theory
Civil defense attorneys counter that personal injury lawyers are demonizing trucking companies for the purpose of extorting massive settlement awards against them. This has become such a serious issue, that Texas recently passed legislation bifurcating trials. This helps trucking companies defend themselves from simple negligence allegations before defending themselves from complex allegations or gross negligence. The idea is that the public hates trucking companies so much that they can’t get a fair day in court. While perhaps true, trucking companies have earned the ire of the American public by continually failing to adequately train drivers and causing fatal crashes that could have been avoided.
Meanwhile, reptile theory can explain the rise in “nuclear” verdicts, but it does not explain the rise in fatal traffic accidents involving trucking companies.
Talk to a Florida Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you’ve been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, the Coral Gables tire defect attorneys at Halpern, Santos & Pinkert will review your claim for evidence of gross negligence or extreme carelessness. Call today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.