Who is Held Liable in a Truck Accident in Florida?
Just recently, a tractor-trailer driver was cited with careless driving after causing a multi-car crash on Interstate 75 in Western Florida, according to WTSP News.
The truck accident occurred on a Tuesday afternoon when the tractor-trailer driver recognized that his rig was breaking down, so he attempted to pull over to the site of the Interstate, WTSP News reported.
The driver, Gregory Scott, was headed north on the Interstate and attempted to pass into the far right lane. The driver in the immediate vicinity, Yolanda Gooden, driving a Ford Taurus, slowed to allow Scott to move over in the lanes. The driver behind her heading northbound, Idalberto Cepero, who was also driving a large Freightliner truck, did not slow down.
The three vehicles collided, WTSP News reported, and Scott’s truck caught fire. Scott was ultimately cited with careless driving as a result of the crash.
How common are truck accidents in Florida?
There were more than 67,000 trucking accidents in Florida in 2010, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. There are generally about 230,000 motor vehicle crashes in the state each year, making truck accidents nearly 30% of all crashes in the state. These truck accidents include small, medium and heavy trucks and tractor-trailers.
Of the 67,000, more than 41,000 resulted in injuries and another 800 caused fatalities.
Who is held liable in a truck accident in Florida?
In trucking accidents in Florida, specifics matter in determining who might be held liable. In general, commercial truck drivers are governed by more stringent rules pertaining to hazardous materials, weight limits and time and sleep restrictions to ensure the safety of everyone on Florida roadways.
Florida statute 316.302 says that any person driving a commercial motor vehicle involved in intrastate commerce may not drive more than 70 hours in any period during 7 consecutive days. Additionally, the driver cannot go more than 80 hours in any period of 8 consecutive days if the driver works every day of the week. The time period is reset after the driver takes at least a 34-hour break from work. Drivers and their employers face fines and other penalties if they break these time regulations.
The main issue underpinning the question of, “who is held liable following a truck accident?” is negligence. If the driver or its employer is breaking any commercial trucking rules during the time of the incident, they could be held liable for the crash.
The types of instances of negligence we’ve seen in trucking incidents includes:
- Defective or malfunctioning truck parts;
- Overweight vehicles or vehicles that have been loaded incorrectly;
- Lack of maintenance or inspection for the truck;
- Inadequate or improper driver training for employees; and
- Reckless driving on the part of the truck driver.
What are the most common types of truck accidents?
The most common types of truck-involved vehicle accidents include:
- Blown tires;
- Rollover on a turn;
- Blind spot crashes;
- Brake failure;
- Loss of the truck’s load into the roadways as a result of improper loading; and
- Mechanical issues as a result of poor maintenance.
Have you been involved in a truck accident?
If you’ve been involved in a crash involving a truck and have sustained injuries, don’t hesitate to contact experienced Fort Lauderdale attorneys at Boone & Davis. We can talk you through your options and guide you through the process of seeking compensation.