Being larger than your personal vehicle, truck accidents pose a significantly higher risk and damage. The injuries in such cases are usually long-term and might even have detrimental effect on your loved ones. You ought to have a basic knowledge pertaining to the law regulating trucks and truck accidents.

As far as Florida is concerned, truck accidents are usually more complex than car crashes. This is attributed by the fact that truck accidents involve multiple factors such as the truck’s owner, its driver, manufacturer, insurance carrier, brake manufacturer, and certain other parties.

In Florida, truck accidents are taken into account both by the state as well as the federal law. These laws when considered along with the basic set of trucking regulations, complicate investigations by manifold times.
Florida state law along with the two primary federal agencies, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), look after the regulation of the activities of truck drivers for both in-state as well as interstate traffic. However, State laws are always open to amendments.

Here are certain things you should know beforehand about Truck Accident cases:

  • Providing Reasonable Assistance
  • The Florida state law states that drivers should provide reasonable assistance to the injured party in an accident. A case might arise in which a person’s injuries don’t allow him or her to exchange information. In such situations, the other parties should report the crash to the nearest office of law enforcement. If drivers flee from the scene early to make an escape, they might face the charge of third degree felony. Moreover, if the injuries are grave, they could face second degree felony charges as well.

  • Written Report
  • It is essential for the law enforcement to prepare reports for any crash related to a commercial motor vehicle or any crash that results in death, injuries or completely non-functional vehicles. In case of other crashes involving damage to the property, the law requires drivers to submit a crash report in written to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Thus, law enforcement needs to produce a written report for every Florida truck accident. Even in rare cases where the truck accident doesn’t cause injuries or property damage, you are still expected to call law enforcement to report the incident.

  • Statute of Limitations
  • The duration of the statute of limitations for the Florida Truck accident case is four years in case of negligence. In case of wrongful death actions, there is a two year statute of limitations. In case of deliberate death action, there is no limitation at all.

  • Case where a Trucking Company can be held liable
  • A trucking company can be held indirectly liable for damages caused by its driver. However, it applies only where the driver was acting within the scope of his or her employment at the time the incident took place.

  • Commercial Driver’s Licensing
  • It is vital that drivers of large trucks like 18-wheelers or other commercial vehicles must follow the state statutes and case law on the basis of commercial drivers’ licensing. It might happen that the driver involved in the accident with you had no proper license. In such a case it can impact your legal proceedings against them as well as the employer of the driver.

  • Hours of service
  • There is a limit to the number of hours the operator of a commercial truck can drive continuously drive without taking a break or resting. This regulation is called the “hours of service.”

  • Limit to the weight hauled by a truck
  • There is a limit to the maximum weight a truck can haul. This limit is dependent on the size of the truck. For instance, around 20,000 pounds can be carried by single axle trucks. Tandem or two-axle trucks can carry up to 34,000 pounds. It can be more than dangerous to overload a truck! Thus, what the truck was carrying at the time of the accident becomes an important matter while carrying out the investigation of the case.

  • Product liability
  • A case might arise where a defect in the truck is the major cause of your accident. In such a case you need to raise a claim against the manufacturer, supplier, or repairer of the truck. This is stated as per the legal theory known as “product liability.”
    This reinforces quality control.

  • Transportation of Hazardous Waste
  • Certain safety regulations are developed by The Office of Hazardous Materials Safety (OHMS) to prevent the transportation of hazardous materials. In case the truck operator does not follow these guidelines that get you injured, you should pursue a claim against the truck driver, his or her employer, and the company shipping the hazardous material with the helping hand of a Truck Accident Attorney.

  • Proving Liability of the other party
  • he best way to prove liability is to show that the other party broke the law that proves negligence on their part. This comes under the legal concept of “negligence per se.”

You can be compensated for the following expenses for damages such as:

  • Medical Expenses like ambulance fees, hospital visits, doctor visits, in-home care services
  • Pain and Suffering related to the mental and physical anxiety and stress
  • Lost Wages indicates pay lost due to the accident
  • Loss of Earning Capacity indicates the loss of ability to earn money in the future due to permanent damage from the injuries
  • <Loss of companionship indicates the loss of loved ones in wrongful death cases
  • Special Damages covers all monetary losses after an accident

Contacting a specialized Truck accident attorney such as the Schiffrin PA is a must. A complex Florida truck accident case calls for a lawyer who is has experience in dealing with insurance and regulatory issues that might comprise of a bunch of confusing rules, such as state statutes of limitation, interstate issues, the ins and outs of trucking insurance etc. Moreover, there might be many factors like alcohol or drug use, traffic conditions, driver health etc. that might play a major role in the changing the final verdict of the case.

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