Due to their size and weight, big rigs are inherently dangerous and can cause especially severe injuries when they are involved in collisions. Flatbed trucks pose distinctive hazards, given their openness and ability to haul even heavier loads. The truck accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon can assist Miami residents and other individuals who have been hurt by the carelessness of others, helping them pursue proper compensation for their harm.Causes of Flatbed Accidents
Flatbed trucks have flat, open beds that can either be detachable or permanently secured to a truck’s frame. They are typically used to transport materials and equipment that may not fit in an enclosed trailer, such as logs, construction materials, and other machinery. Flatbeds require special attention both when loading cargo as well as when operating the vehicle on the roads. These trucks can carry more weight and cargo than closed tractor-trailers, and therefore they are used frequently by businesses to haul their goods from state to state.
Because of their openness, however, flatbeds need extra care when loading cargo and strapping it down to secure it properly. Many of the truck accidents that occur yearly involve flatbeds, often due to shifts in their cargo. Flatbed drivers are required to periodically stop and check their load’s security, and they must adhere to the regulations regarding the number and type of tie downs required. Without proper care, objects could fall free during an accident, causing additional and more severe injuries to those involved.Bringing a Negligence Claim against a Trucker or Trucking Company
A victim injured in a flatbed accident caused by another party’s negligence may be able to recover damages through a personal injury lawsuit. To establish liability, the plaintiff must show that the defendant or defendants acted negligently. Proving negligence involves showing that the following elements are more likely than not to be present:
- The defendant owed the victim a duty of reasonable care;
- That duty was breached because of some careless action, such as a failure to comply with federal or state trucking regulations;
- The breach directly caused the victim’s injuries; and
- The plaintiff sustained damages that are reasonably quantifiable.
All operators of flatbed trucks owe other people on the road a duty to act as a reasonable and prudent trucker would act under similar circumstances. A driver or trucking company could be found negligent for failing to secure cargo properly under federal or state regulations, failing to make the required periodic checks, getting behind the wheel while exhausted or intoxicated, or violating any traffic rule, among other examples. Once negligence is established, a victim of a flatbed accident may be able to recover damages for medical costs, pain and suffering, loss of income, lost earning capacity, property damage, future medical expenses, and any other losses that may have arisen.
Sometimes truck accidents can be tragically fatal for a victim. In these situations, certain family members may pursue a wrongful death claim to recover burial and funeral expenses, as well as loss of consortium damages.Consult a Miami Attorney when Pursuing Compensation after a Motor Vehicle Collision
If you have sustained an injury or lost a loved one to a careless trucker in the Fort Lauderdale or Miami areas, you can reach out to the motor vehicle collision lawyers at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon for guidance on the legal process. Our firm can work tirelessly to make sure you and your family assert your rights. If you need assistance following a devastating crash, call (877) 499-4878 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation about your claim. We represent victims and their families in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties, as well as across South Florida.