Multi-Vehicle Accidents Where A CMV Is Involved
When commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) are involved in accidents on the road, the injuries are more likely to be significant due to the larger size and weight of the vehicle. When multiple vehicles are involved, however, it can be more difficult to determine who is liable, as multi-vehicle crashes can happen in the blink of an eye. A recent one on I-95, south of Ft. Lauderdale, illustrates this: three cars and a commercial tractor-trailer collided, leading to a fuel spill and one person needing transport to a nearby hospital.
Determining Liability Can Be Difficult
In most cases, a multi-vehicle crash does not happen with all the vehicles hitting each other in the same moment. Rather, what usually occurs is a chain reaction – one vehicle striking another, with the second hitting another vehicle, and so on. While there is not much information on the Ft. Lauderdale crash, it is likely that events unfolded in this way, which would in theory make the first driver liable for the majority of injuries.
That said, it is rare that the first driver in a multi-car accident winds up being held liable for everyone’s injuries. Florida abolished joint and several liability in 2006, which means that one defendant cannot be held liable for the entirety of a jury award unless they are ruled to have been totally at fault, which is very unlikely. It is much more common for a judge or jury to apportion some fault to most actors involved.
If you have been injured in an accident where a CMV was involved, it may feel too intimidating to try and hold that driver liable for the harm you suffered – after all, trucking companies are generally well represented by experienced attorneys. However, if you have evidence that the CMV driver was negligent, you have the right to seek compensation in court for your injuries, particularly if they are severe.
Keep in mind that Florida’s law on comparative negligence has recently changed. If you are ruled to be more than 50 percent at fault for your own injuries, you will no longer be able to recover anything from a jury. It is important that you have knowledgeable legal help in order to ensure that you get the best chance at recovery.
Contact A Tampa CMV Accident Attorney
While the overall outcome of the Ft. Lauderdale crash remains to be seen, it is important to enlist a knowledgeable Tampa CMV accident attorney if you have been in a similar crash. The Rinaldo Law Group can offer experienced and compassionate representation during what can be a nerve-wracking time for you and your family. Call our office today for a free consultation.