Weighing upwards of 10,000 pounds, commercial trucks are massive behemoths on the road. They can wreak untold amounts of damage to other vehicles and their passengers with ease, so anyone involved in operating one should be intensely trained and certified. As a transportation and logistics hub, Florida experiences thousands of truck accidents each year. These accidents result in thousands of injuries and hundreds of fatalities.
Understandably, not everyone knows what to do in the event of a truck accident. Truck accidents are far more complex than your average car crash can involve multiple liable parties and their legal teams. Residents of Davie, Florida who have been involved in a truck accident should reach out to the highly skilled team at The Law Offices of Scott Sobol for a free case evaluation and quality legal assistance.
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WHAT Laws Govern Trucks and Their Operations in Davie, Florida?
Commercial trucks are regulated by federal and state government agencies working together. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets federal standards for trucks and trucking companies. This administration regulates a wide range of trucking operations, including operator training, credentials, hours of service, and vehicle maintenance. The FMCSA has made numerous contributions to commercial truck safety, including:
- Providing financial aid to states for roadside inspections and other commercial motor vehicle safety programs
- Creating testing and licensing criteria for commercial motor vehicle drivers
- Collecting and distributing data on motor carrier safety
- Using data to allocate resources to improve motor carrier safety effectively
- Operating a program to improve safety performance and remove high-risk carriers from American highways
- Organizing research and development initiatives to improve the safety of motor carrier operations and commercial motor vehicles and drivers
Florida’s state regulations can be found in Section 316.302 of the Florida Statutes. They are largely similar to the FMCSA’s, with a few exceptions, and only apply to operations within the state, which must adhere to the FMCSA’s regulations.
How is liability Assessed for a truck accident in davie, Florida?
Because accidents involving commercial trucks often involve multiple parties, determining who is liable is more complicated than in accidents involving only passenger cars. Commercial truck accidents entail more than just the drivers involved in the collision. Trucks are big machines that require numerous parties to work together to get them on the road. As a result, many people could be deemed at fault for the cause of a truck accident.
Potentially liable parties include:
- The maintenance company: If the collision was caused by the vehicle being improperly maintained, then the maintenance company charged with keeping the truck in safe operational conditions may be liable.
- The parts manufacturer: If the collision was caused by faulty or defective parts, then the manufacturer of those parts could be liable.
- The trucking company: Trucking companies are responsible for adequately training their drivers and ensuring they operate their vehicles within the legal time limits of hours of service. Failing to do so could make the company liable if the driver’s actions or driver fatigue led to the accident.
- Cargo loaders: Cargo loaders can also be held liable if the crash is caused by the cargo being loaded improperly. The cargo may be loaded off-balance, throwing off the truck’s center of gravity, or it could be improperly secured, causing it to come loose or spill out onto the road.
For Florida drivers, it’s also important to know that you could be deemed partially liable for a truck accident. When dealing with auto accident cases, Florida employs the “pure comparative negligence” rule. As a result, you can be partially at fault but still recover damages. If you choose to file a personal injury claim and the jury ascribes you a percentage of fault, your compensation will be reduced by that percentage.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Davie, Florida
Truck accidents can occur for various reasons. Many elements have to be working well together for these trucks to operate safely on the road. Truck accidents can be caused by dangerous driving practices, such as speeding, tailgating, carrying improperly loaded cargo, and making wide turns while unaware of the surroundings. Truck accidents can also be caused by negligence that occurred before the truck even got onto the road.
Truck operators, trucking companies, maintenance teams, and more have to carefully follow regulations that are put forth to ensure a truck is safe enough to be on the road. Truck accidents can be caused by negligent acts, such as:
- Truck operators abusing substances, like drugs or alcohol and driving impaired
- Trucking companies not properly training their truck operators or checking for certifications
- Trucking companies forcing truck operators to drive beyond their limits of hours of service, leading to driver fatigue
- Trucking companies failing to perform regular inspections and maintenance on trucks
- Maintenance companies neglecting their duties when verifying a truck is road-safe
Accidents can also be caused by a combination of faults between the driver, the company, and others on the road.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim after a Truck Accident
If you were involved in a commercial truck accident, you are undoubtedly wondering what your next move should be. With a damaged vehicle and possible injuries, it’s understandable to have questions about what course of action you can take to get back on your feet. Under Florida law, you must first report claims for injuries or damages sustained in a traffic accident to your own insurance company immediately after the accident. You can also file a claim against the other driver’s insurance coverage.
If your injuries are severe enough, you can pursue further compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit. In most cases, insurance companies only cover financial damages such as medical expenses and lost wages from taking time off work for your injuries. By filing a personal injury lawsuit, you can pursue compensation for noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering. Accident victims have four years from the date of their injury to file a personal injury lawsuit.
What Happens If Someone Dies in a Truck Accident?
Truck accidents are far more dangerous than accidents with regular passenger cars. Because trucks are so big and heavy, the likelihood of someone losing their life in a truck accident is much greater. If someone dies in a truck accident, their personal representative may file a wrongful death claim.
In Florida, wrongful death suits must be filed by the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. A personal representative is designated by the deceased in their will or by a probate court if the victim died without a will. Damages recovered from a wrongful death suit are instrumental in providing funds for burial and funeral expenses, the victim’s medical expenses, and the victim’s contribution to their family’s income.
Reach Out to a Skilled Davie Truck Accident Attorney
Most people injured in truck accidents do not have the finances or the experience necessary to secure the maximum payout for their claim. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident, you need quality legal assistance to pursue fair compensation successfully.
At the Law Offices of Scott Sobol, we are forces to be reckoned with in personal injury and auto accident cases. Scott Sobol is dedicated to pouring his energy into serving his clients. Our firm will listen to you and carefully evaluate your case to advise you on your best options for pursuing the compensation you deserve. Thousands of clients have benefited from our services, and we want you to be one of them. Contact us now by calling us at (954) 440-2000 or submitting our contact form, and we will schedule your free legal consultation.