Box Truck Accident Seriously Injures Two People
An out of control box truck smacked into a Mazda at the intersection of Port St. Lucie and Morningside.
First responders used the Jaws of Life to extricate two crash victims from the mangled Mazda. They were later airlifted to nearby hospitals with serious injuries. Investigators believe the box truck made an illegal turn, and that unsafe maneuver caused the collision.
None of the names were released.
First Party Liability
Intersection collisions might be unintentional, but they are usually not “accidents.” People accidentally leave the lights on. They do not accidentally make unsafe turns and cause crashes. Frequently, either the ordinary negligence doctrine or the negligence per se presumption applies in intersection collision cases.
Ordinary negligence is essentially a lack of care. Most noncommercial drivers have a duty of reasonable care. Most commercial drivers, including box truck operators, have a higher duty of care. Therefore, it is easier for a Port St. Lucie personal injury attorney to establish negligence in these situations. It’s also more difficult for the insurance company to use defenses and disprove liability. More on that below.
If one party committed a traffic violation, the negligence per se presumption usually applies. Tortfeasors (negligent drivers) are presumptively responsible for all damages if:
- They violate a safety law, and
- That violation substantially causes injury.
However, there is often a difference between fault at the scene and legal liability for damages. Intersection collisions are a good example. For example, the tortfeasor might have made an illegal turn and the victim might have been speeding.
In these situations, the jury must divide fault on a percentage basis, based on their interpretation of the evidence. Florida is a pure comparative fault state. Even if the tortfeasor was only 1 percent responsible for the crash, the tortfeasor is still responsible for a proportionate share of damages.
These damages usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Third Party Liability
Commercial operator claims often involve the respondeat superior doctrine. According to this legal rule, shipping or transportation companies are liable for the negligence of their drivers if:
- Employee: Since the shipping company controls its drivers in terms of things like cargo carried, these drivers are typically employees for negligence purposes. It does not matter if the driver was technically an owner-operator, independent contractor, or even an unpaid volunteer.
- Scope of Employment: This respondeat superior prong is much broader than it once was. Any act which benefits the employer in any way is normally within the scope of employment. That includes driving an empty truck around town, because the employer benefits from the free advertising.
Vicarious liability theories like respondeat superior are especially important in catastrophic injury claims. Typically, individual drivers do not have enough insurance coverage to provide fair compensation in these matters. Third party liability gives victim/plaintiffs an additional recovery source.
Reach Out to an Assertive Lawyer
Car accident victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Port St. Lucie personal injury attorney, contact Eighmie Law Firm, P.A. Home and hospital visits are available.