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Proving Liability in Truck Accidents in Florida

When the road is slippery, accidents are bound to happen. When there are constructions, the danger is just a few steps away from you. Road accidents are so common that you are already used to seeing police cars and ambulances on the road. Wreckages and people panicking have become typical scenery. When you turn on the television, vehicular accidents are frequently reported. You got so familiar with it that driving at 45 km/h became part of your daily routine. And even when you are running late, you always choose your safety over attendance. 

However, not everyone thinks like you. Not everyone is as cautious as you. No matter how slowly you drive or walk, you’re not always safe. Whether you’re a driver or a commuter, you're not exempted. Even more terrifying is when it involves larger vehicles. The damage is more massive. Casualties are higher. More often than not, truck or bus drivers are guilty of reckless driving. Apparently, some are still absolved due to a lack of evidence. With that in mind, the aggrieved must prove the culprit’s guilt to press appropriate charges. 

A Brief Overview of Truck Accidents in Florida

Every hour in the US, 3-4 persons die in a collision with a truck. Florida has always been one of the states with the highest incidents. Over 400,000 truck accidents have already been recorded in Florida. In the last five years, 1,345 people have died, while over 4,000 people have been incapacitated. The remaining portion corresponded to less serious injuries. But if other casualties were considered, figures would be higher. Even more alarming is that despite the laws, many reckless drivers go unpunished. CCTVs slowed down the increase but did not stop it totally. On average, it has been increasing by 12% every year since 1997.

Common causes of accidents include distracted driving, driving under the influence, and fatigue. Speeding, poor maintenance, and inadequate training/experience are also noted. Minor causes are faulty auto parts and errors of other drivers. 

Potential Liable Parties in Truck Accidents in Florida

Despite the use and proliferation of CCTVs, some cases and culprits go unreported. In some cases, it is not easy to identify who exactly is at fault for the collision. A negligent inspection process or inadequate maintenance can mar the driver’s ability. Without enough evidence, the victim can’t file charges. The list below can help in determining the liable parties when the accident happens. 

Truck driver

If the truck driver causes an accident, what is his liability? The truck driver is primarily responsible for the accident due to various reasons. If he is drunk or intoxicated, the aggrieved party can press charges right away. If he is proven to have violated traffic laws, he may also be held liable. Even so, there could be more than meets the eye. Underlying reasons can be linked to his health condition, exhaustion, and drowsiness. Hence, it requires deeper investigation.

Trucking Company

In many cases, trucking companies incur shared or sole liability. These can be linked to negligent inspection and poor maintenance of trucks. Forcing drivers to meet unrealistic deadlines and expectations can also be considered. Yet, it can be a tricky process. Frequently, it requires an experienced truck accident attorney, a set of investigators, and expert witnesses. Moreover, if there are third-party truck owners involved, they can complicate the situation.

Truck Owner

There’s a possibility of a mechanical failure of a truck part. Your attorney must find maintenance contracts between the trucking company and the owner. He may be a separate entity from the company. Generally, the owner is responsible for the truck’s maintenance. If he did not conduct maintenance or inspection, the owner is held liable and may face more charges. Keep in mind that the cargo shipper and vehicle manufacturer must remain in the picture. 

Truck Manufacturer 

Certain situations also involve the manufacturer, especially if the truck is proven defective. Some examples include defective parts that led to tire blowouts and brake failure. If the manufacturer’s negligence caused the failure of a part, then it may also be held liable. Nevertheless, it’s often hard to prove negligence if trucks have been used for a specific period. 

In addition, some accidents came from improper cargo inspection, loading, and securing. When cargo falls off and causes damage or injury, the loader and his employer may be accountable. There are clearer guidelines for the proper loading relative to the size and weight of the truck. The types of materials and their destinations are also considered. Improper loading can increase the risk of rollovers and brake issues. 

Damages when Proven Liable for Truck Accidents in Florida

Compensatory Damages

When the guilty injured a person and damaged property, he must provide compensation. If he is insured, the insurance company will cover the expenses. Otherwise, he has to cover everything. The compensation depends on the seriousness of the injury and the value of the property. It includes medical expenses and income loss. If the victim cannot go back to work, future medical expenses and income loss must also be estimated. The damaged vehicle and its contents are covered as well. Moreover, the victim can ask for compensation for emotional damages. 

Punitive Damages 

Punitive damages are awarded if the victim proves the defendants' despicable behavior. But the primary basis is the level of maliciousness or the intent that led to the accident. Truck accident liability varies according to the extent of the damage and the defendant’s financial capacity. Larger companies or wealthier parties will pay more than those who have fewer means. 

Sources of Evidence for Proving Liability in Truck Accidents

Electronic Logging Device (ELD) It is a piece of electronic hardware that records driving hours. The driving hours are regulated by the hours of service (HOS) in the US or Drivers' working hours in Europe. An ELD monitors whether a vehicle’s engine is running or moving. It can also track the distance and duration of engine operation.
Safety Maintenance System (SMS)  It is a safe approach through an organization-wide policy. It develops formal ways of identifying hazards and minimizing risks. Also, it guarantees or assures continuous safety improvement and promotion strategies. 
Event Data Recorders (EDR) Also called a black box, it is installed to record traffic collision information. 

Somebody’s carelessness leads to accidents. It will be a challenge to prove liability in truck accidents in Florida. Contact Tom Grajek to have your case reviewed.

Pro Tip

There are deadlines set to file lawsuits. Don’t miss these deadlines so you can be compensated.

Personal Injury Attorneys Who Can Help in Proving Liability in Truck Accidents in Florida

If you’ve suffered from a truck accident, we fully grasp what you are going through. It is a lot easier to seek rightful compensation when you have a dedicated team of professional attorneys going to bat for you. If you’ve been in a trucking accident on the Florida roadways, contact us today to talk about your options for your case. Our truck accident attorneys will investigate your case and help you fight for justice.

FAQs about Truck Drivers and Truck Accidents in Florida

Are truck drivers given special considerations that other drivers of other vehicles do not have?

Category: Proving Liability in Truck Accidents in Florida
Since trucks are larger vehicles, there are special considerations related to breaking or turning. In case of an accident, it has to be determined first if there are unexpected road conditions or avoidance of a stalled vehicle on the road.

Are truck restricted to where they can drive?

Category: Proving Liability in Truck Accidents in Florida

The current truck lane in Florida involves a six-lane interstate freeway.  Trucks are not allowed in the left or inside the travel lane.

What are the federal regulations that cover trucks?

Category: Proving Liability in Truck Accidents in Florida

Truck drivers cannot drive more than 60 hours over 7 days or more than 70 hours over 8 days.

Categories: Personal Injury
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