Trucking Company Agrees To Settle Case For $10 Million
A trucking company recently agreed to settle a lawsuit for $10 million after one of their drivers killed a cyclist. The settlement comes at the same time the trucking lobby is attempting to reduce its duty of care to the public, and at the same time, trucking accidents involving serious injury or death are going up. Trucking companies are losing these lawsuits because they are at fault in these cases, and in some cases, they are losing big. For that reason, the trucking lobby is attempting to pass new rules that would make it harder to sue, reduce the duty of care the trucking company owes the public, and potentially cause more fatal accidents on roadways.
According to reports the truck was exiting a loading dock at an unsafe speed when it backed into a cyclist, killing them. The truck driver allegedly did not attempt to check for pedestrians on the sidewalk prior to performing the maneuver. The lack of care and obvious inattention to the environment around them resulted in a large verdict for the plaintiff.
Legislation would make trucking companies more difficult to sue
HB 7055 would reduce the duty of care trucking companies and their drivers have to the public. Not only would it mean that these companies are not required to retrofit their vehicles with safety measures like underride guards, it would also mean that personal injury attorneys would not be allowed to mention the fact that life-saving technology exists that could have prevented the death of a victim.
In cases where a life-saving technology does exist, personal injury attorneys mention this to the jury and it comes out in depositions. The capacity to focus on these technologies shines a negative light on the defendant who avoided the expense of having to retrofit their vehicles at the cost of someone’s life. Trucking companies are very sensitive to these arguments because they ultimately result in major monetary losses in court. While it would certainly be cheaper to retrofit the vehicles, lobbying politicians to reduce their burden of care also could work.
In the case mentioned above, the 28-year-old cyclist who lost their life would still be alive if underride guards or other safety technology had been employed by the driver. In many truck accident lawsuits, we find that the drivers are not respecting other commuters on the road. These are the sorts of cases that net 7- and 8-figure settlements.
Truck drivers have an expanded duty of care, must inspect their vehicles prior to going on delivery, and must abide by hours of service regulations that require rest breaks every 8 hours. We find that in a lot of fatal accidents, the truck driver did not abide by these regulations, and the results are devastating.
Talk to a Florida Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Halpern, Santos & Pinkert represent the interests of Florida residents who have been injured in accidents with commercial trucks. Call our Florida personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.