Being involved in an accident with a commercial truck can be devastating. The sheer size and weight of large commercial trucks mean that when an accident occurs, it can cause serious injury, even death for those involved.
While Florida is a no-fault insurance state, meaning that you would in most cases turn to your own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance policy for coverage of your injuries, injuries from truck accidents often result in higher damages than are covered by these basic policies. In these cases, it would be necessary to find out who is liable for the accident and file an insurance claim or lawsuit against those responsible.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a trucking accident, it’s important to know who is liable for the damages and losses incurred by those involved. In general, fault is assigned to the driver of the truck involved in the crash. However, other entities may also be held responsible depending on the circumstances. That could include the owner of the truck, any maintenance companies that serviced the truck, and the company that hired the driver.
Who Is Liable for a Trucking Accident in Florida?
When it comes to trucking accidents, liability can be complicated. In Florida, liability for a trucking accident often extends beyond just the driver of a commercial vehicle. Under certain conditions outlined by state law regarding vicarious liability and negligence, an employer can face legal consequences if their employee causes an accident while driving a company-owned vehicle or when performing work-related duties.
Additionally, any maintenance company servicing a truck may also be found liable if they were negligent in inspecting and repairing vehicles prior to putting them back out onto public roads and highways.
In some cases, liability could fall to more than one party involved in operating or maintaining a truck. In cases where multiple parties are deemed at fault for causing an accident involving a commercial vehicle, each one could potentially bear responsibility for covering any resulting damages or injuries incurred by victims involved in the incident.
What About the Driver's Role in the Accident?
In Florida, drivers of large commercial trucks are required to adhere to certain regulations and safety standards when operating on public roads and highways. This includes following speed limits, obeying traffic signals and signs, and ensuring that their vehicles are properly maintained prior to taking them out onto the road. If it’s determined that a driver failed to meet these requirements or acted negligently while operating their vehicle prior to an accident occurring, then they can face both criminal charges as well as potential civil penalties for any harm caused by the incident.
Potential Liability of Other Parties Involved
In addition to the driver of a commercial truck, other entities may also be held liable for damages or injuries resulting from an accident. This could include:
- Trucking company
- Truck owner
- Third-party maintenance companies that serviced them
- Cargo loaders
- Parts manufacturers
Steps to Take After an Accident with a Commercial Vehicle
If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, it’s important to know what steps to take next. First, it is vital that you seek medical attention as soon as possible after an accident involving a commercial truck. Not only can this help reduce the severity of any injuries that have been sustained, but it also serves as an important record for later legal proceedings should you decide to pursue them.
Seeking immediate medical care can provide evidence of your condition and any treatment required at the time of the incident, which may be useful in proving fault or negligence on behalf of those responsible for the crash. Additionally, by seeking prompt medical treatment following an accident with a commercial vehicle, you will be able to document and track your recovery process over time which could be beneficial if you choose to file a personal injury claim against those involved.
Next, you should contact local law enforcement and report the incident as soon as possible. This will create an official record of the event and provide evidence if it is needed when filing a claim against any liable parties. Additionally, it’s important to document everything related to the crash such as pictures of damage caused by the collision and statements from witnesses who saw what happened.
If possible, exchange insurance information with all drivers involved to seek compensation through their respective policies if necessary. It’s also important not to speak with anyone representing any of these entities before you consult a truck accident attorney; insurance companies may try and use anything you say against you during negotiations or court proceedings down the line.
Finally, make sure that all medical records relating to injuries sustained during the accident are kept intact and that any treatments received are properly documented. This will be important information for seeking damages from any liable parties.
Contact Mitchell & West LLC for Help with Your Claim
At Mitchell & West LLC, our experienced personal injury attorneys are here to help you navigate the complexities of a trucking accident and ensure that those responsible for causing it are held accountable. We understand how devastating these types of collisions can be, and we’re committed to helping victims seek justice and compensation for their losses.
Contact us online or call us at (305) 783-3301 to learn more about how we can help with your case.