Different Forms Of Negligence In CMV Accidents
Commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) are routinely involved in automobile accidents on Florida roads, caused by a variety of factors. In most cases, an injured plaintiff will file suit against the CMV driver, and possibly their employer (or the owner of the vehicle), seeking damages for the harm they have suffered that allegedly occurred because of the driver’s negligence. There are many different ways for a plaintiff to establish negligence on the part of the driver, if they can satisfy the legal criteria. However, doing so is often easier said than done.
In Florida, there are three criteria one must meet in order to establish that a defendant driver was negligent. They are (1) establishing a breach of the duty to exercise reasonable care, which every Florida road user owes to other road users; (2) showing that breach of duty was the direct cause of injury, with no other intervening cause; and (3) showing that you actually suffered a tangible injury – something more severe than cuts and bruises or a momentary fright. Some accidents will have a fairly straightforward fact pattern, but others will be more complex.
Filing suit against a commercial motor vehicle driver and their employer can be a daunting prospect, but you have the right to do so if your injuries are sufficiently severe. (If your injuries do not meet the required threshold, you will be advised to file an insurance claim with your personal injury protection insurance, which you are required to carry as a driver in Florida.) If your injuries occurred directly because of the negligence of a CMV driver, they are on the proverbial hook for money damages, assuming you can establish the facts of your situation in court.
“As A Matter of Law”
Normally, when one has to establish negligence on the part of a defendant, they must do so slowly and painstakingly. However, in more rare circumstances, a concept called negligence per se can be used to somewhat short-circuit the process. Negligence per se is a concept that states that if a law exists to protect a certain class of people, and a person breaks that law by harming a person of that class, they are negligent as a matter of law – in other words, it is simply a proven fact, taken into account by the court.
For example, drunk driving laws exist to protect other drivers and pedestrians from harm. If a drunk driver strikes a pedestrian, they have broken the drunk driving laws by harming someone they were meant to protect – and as a result, they will be negligent as a matter of law. This can shorten the legal process – which can save time and money for an injured plaintiff who may still need to focus their energies on healing.
Contact A Tampa CMV Accident Attorney
If a CMV driver is ruled negligent as a matter of law, this can make the legal process very different than if one had to manually establish it over time. A Tampa truck accident attorney from the Rinaldo Law Group can help protect your rights while you seek the compensation you deserve. Call our office today for a free consultation.