Negligence in Tampa Truck Accident Cases

Involvement in a truck accident can be overwhelming, and could also have long-term effects on your health. Following an accident, you may decide that you want to hold the at-fault party liable and pursue damages. One of the instrumental elements of any personal injury case is proving liability. It is difficult to prove liability without first proving negligence in Tampa truck accident cases. If you have been injured in a truck accident case, consult a determined truck accident lawyer that could devote the time and resources necessary to hold the at-fault party liable for their negligence.

What is Comparative Negligence?

Tampa, along with the rest of the state, is a comparative negligence jurisdiction. That means that if the victim in the accident was also negligent to some degree or in some way, that person’s claim is not barred. They are not prevented from seeking compensation from the primarily negligent truck driver. Instead, under a comparative negligence system, the victim of the trucking accident can seek compensation from the truck driver even if the victim was negligent to some degree or in some way. The jury will hear the evidence and decide out of 100% what percentage of fault should be placed on the victim and what percentage of fault should be placed on the truck driver.

How Comparative Negligence Impacts Truck Accident Cases

Comparative negligence in Tampa truck accident cases comes into play by potentially reducing the recovery of the victim of the trucking accident. If the victim was not paying attention him- or herself, was distracted him- or herself, was speeding him- or herself, or was engaged in some other form of negligence at the time of the accident, that will be considered by the trucking company or the trucking company’s insurer when negotiating the claim and deciding how much to offer to pay. It can make the case harder to settle if the negligence of the victim is considered to be substantial or great. It can make the case last longer and not get settled early on.

It can make it more likely that the case will have to go through the filing of a lawsuit, litigation, and possibly a trial in order to get resolved. Cases that do not involve the comparative negligence of the victim tend to get resolved before a lawsuit is filed or after not much litigation. When there is comparative fault on the part of the victim, they tend to be more difficult cases and take longer to get resolved. That does not mean that one cannot get any recovery or that a person does not have a case. It just means it is going to be harder to obtain more money from the trucking company or their insurer.

Factors Considered By the Jury When Determining Negligence

When trying to determine negligence in Tampa truck accident cases, a jury may look at factors like:

  • What type of negligence was committed by the victim?
  • Was he or she speeding?
  • Was he or she not paying attention?
  • Was he or she being distracted?
  • Was he or she not turning out of the way or avoiding a collision when it could have been avoided?

The jury will consider what type of negligence the victim displayed if any, and then the jury will consider what the truck driver did wrong and how or in what way the truck driver was negligent. The jury will consider or compare those two types of negligence to circumstances surrounding those two instances of negligence and then decide which of the two parties it believes was more responsible for the accident. The jury will apportion the percentages of fault accordingly.

Consulting the Skilled Tampa Attorneys at Slater|Grant

The first step that any victim in a trucking accident should take before even thinking about or considering an attorney is seeking medical care and attention. That is the first and most important thing to do when involved in a serious accident. Once the victim is medically stable and has addressed his or her immediate medical needs, they should seek the services of a skilled truck accident lawyer.

When the person is at that point of looking for an attorney, they should do research. A person could research by searching online, reading reviews, and becoming familiar with the attorneys in their local area who have experience and expertise in the area of trucking accidents and personal injury law. If an individual has been injured in a truck accident, they should consult one of the distinguished tractor-trailer accident lawyers at Slater | Grant. A qualified lawyer could explain how negligence in Tampa truck accident cases works, and help a person pursue damages.