Florida Truck Accident Lawyer
The Florida Truck Accident Lawyer You Need for Top Compensation
The minute a crash occurs, the trucking company and its insurance provider are putting their wheels in motion to defend against liability. Their goal? To avoid taking responsibility for the devastation they have caused so they don’t have to pay you the money you and your family are owed. You need to manage your new normal of life with a serious and permanent disability or without a deceased loved one. You need an experienced Florida truck accident lawyer on your side. The Searcy Denney truck accident legal team takes immediate action to protect your right to just compensation.
Our Florida Truck Accident Attorneys Help Accident Victims Recover Top Compensation
While all car accident cases present challenging issues, truck accident cases are unique. From the complexities of large commercial trucks to the trucking and insurance companies involved, in order to secure just compensation after an accident, you need to be able efficiently and effectively pursue your claim without letting mistakes jeopardize your legal rights. This requires extensive experience in truck wreck settlements and litigation, and the ability to convince defense attorneys and judges that you are entitled to a sizable monetary award.
Damages awarded in truck accidents include:
- Medical expenses
- Estimated future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Future lost earnings ability
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Wrongful death
How Much Can a Florida Truck Accident Lawyer Help Me Recover?
The amount you can recover after a truck accident depends on the costs you incur as a result of your injuries or your loved one’s death. Every case is truly unique, as the details of the victim’s life are crucial factors for determining how much compensation will be awarded. Medical expenses, other out-of-pocket costs, annual income, and pain and suffering are just a small sampling of the factors that go into calculating just compensation for a serious or fatal truck accident.
One of the jobs of a Florida truck accident attorney is to determine why the accident happened, whether it was the result of driver negligence; the trucking company’s negligence; a failure on the part of the truck or parts manufacturers; or a combination of all of these.
Truck Driver Negligence
Truck driver negligence typically plays at least some part in causing truck accidents. For instance, many big rig wrecks result from:
- Truck driver speeding. Because 18-wheeler drivers’ jobs often depend on reaching their destinations at a certain time, it is not surprising that speeding is a common occurrence. Unfortunately, when truck drivers exceed the speed limit or drive too fast for conditions, serious truck wrecks can happen.
- Distracted driving. Mobile phones, tablets and GPS equipment help truck drivers alleviate their loneliness during long stretches on the road, stay in touch with dispatchers, and find best routes. But when a trucker uses technology while driving they are putting everyone in danger.
- Driving in a reckless manner. Erratic driving — tailgating and switching lanes too quickly, for example — puts everyone at risk. A Florida truck accident lawyer will help you hold a reckless truck driver responsible for your accident.
- Driver sleep deprivation. Federal laws restrict how many hours a truck driver can be on the road, but that doesn’t prevent many from driving too long, too far, and when they are drowsy. Many truck drivers suffer from sleep apnea or other sleep disorders making the problem of sleep deprivation even worse.
- Truck driver DUI. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is always a recipe for disaster, but even more so when the driver is operating a giant vehicle capable of causing unimaginable injury to other drivers and their passengers. While consuming alcohol and illegal narcotics is certainly a problem, many truckers who take prescription and OTC medicines can also become dangerously impaired.
Trucking Company Negligence Explained
Trucking companies have a responsibility to ensure that they create a safe environment for everyone on the road when their trucks are in operation. If a trucking company fails to meet this responsibility, your Florida truck accident lawyer can hold it legally liable for any accidents and injuries that occur. Common ways that trucking company negligence contributes to accidents include:
- Negligent hiring practices. It is the responsibility of the trucking company to put its trucks in the hands of competent and healthy drivers who have the appropriate licenses to operate big rigs on the road. If the trucking company bypasses proper hiring procedures or takes shortcuts — something that typically happens in times of driver shortages — then it is liable for the actions of its employees and/or contractors.
- Driver training failures. It is also up to the trucking companies to ensure that their drivers are properly trained in operating the vehicle in question. Failure to do so constitutes negligence.
- Hours of service violations. Federal law restricts how many hours a driver can operate a vehicle in any 24-hour period. Requiring drivers to meet schedules that necessitate a violation of these restrictions can result in accidents.
- Vehicle maintenance issues. It is up to the trucking company to make sure that its fleet is properly maintained and that all of its rigs are in good working order. Meticulous maintenance records are required to be kept by all commercial vehicle owners.
Manufacturer Liability in Florida Truck Accidents
When a truck accident is found to be caused by a defective part — such as malfunctioning brakes or faulty tires — the truck’s manufacturer and/or the manufacturer of the parts may be held liable for the resulting damages. Proving manufacturer liability in a trucking accident is a complex process, requiring truck manufacturing industry knowledge as well as experience analyzing manufacturing and maintenance records. It takes the skills of an accomplished Florida truck accident attorney to establish a strong case for manufacturer liability.
How Fault is Determined in Truck Accidents Explained By A Florida Truck Accident Lawyer
Before the judge or jury awards you damages. it is necessary to prove who or what caused the collision. While truck driver negligence is the primary factor in most cases, other causes of liability need to be examined. Uncovering fault is complicated because there could be several parties who share in the blame. A commercial truck driver who owns and operates the truck could be liable for negligence if they operated the truck under unsafe conditions or if they failed to maintain the vehicle properly. Trucking companies, truck part manufacturers, and cargo loading companies are also potential defendants in your lawsuit. Your Florida truck accident lawyers will examine all possible parties for blame in order to maximize damages.
Our Florida Truck Accident Lawyers Outline Common Examples of Negligent Truck Driving
Behind the wheel of a large commercial truck, even minor mistakes can lead to loss of control. But, many truck drivers make mistakes that are not minor—speeding recklessly, looking at their phones and even falling asleep in the driver’s seat. Regardless of the specific issue involved, poor driving is justification for holding truck drivers and their employers accountable.
Our truck accident lawyers help accident victims and families seek just compensation for truck driving mistakes such as:
Distracted Truck Driving
Distracted driving is a leading cause of all motor vehicle collisions—truck accidents included. While truck drivers need to be paying attention to the road at all times, studies have shown that distracted driving is extremely common. This includes forms of distraction such as:
- Talking on the phone
- Using social media
- Reading a map or setting GPS directions
- Communicating with dispatch
- Eating and drinking
- Reading the news and watching videos
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a common factor in commercial truck accidents as well. In Florida, the “legal limit” for truck drivers is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04 instead of the standard 0.08 BAC for non-commercial drivers—and there is a very good reason why. Behind the wheel of a large commercial truck, even the slightest impairment can prevent drivers from making smart decisions and safe maneuvers that avoid serious and fatal collisions.
In addition to alcohol impairment, drug impairment is a concern in truck accident cases as well. This includes impairment caused by illegal drugs, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter medications.
Fatigued Truck Driving
Truck drivers often spend their entire day behind the wheel, and many drive late into the night. As a result, fatigue is to be expected. But, when truck drivers get fatigued, they need to stop. Federal regulations not only limit the number of consecutive hours truckers can drive, but they also establish minimum rest periods between stints behind the wheel. Unfortunately, many truck drivers ignore these restrictions (or get pushed to violate them by their employers), which means that fatigue plays a role in many large truck accidents.
For long hauls, two drivers will often share driving responsibility. In most cases, the driver behind the wheel will be responsible when an accident occurs, but there are circumstances in which a co-driver can be liable. If you were injured in a truck accident involving co-driver negligence, our truck accident lawyers can help you seek just compensation.
Failure to Control Oversized Trucks
Oversized and overloaded trucks present particular driving challenges, and they present certain risks for the occupants of other vehicles. Swerving, waiting too long to break, turning too sharply and other mistakes can easily cause oversized truck drivers to lose control.
Failure to Control Trucks in Bad Weather
Heavy downpours and high winds can make Florida’s roads dangerous for all motorists. But, for truck drivers, the dangers are often exceptionally high. A wet road can significantly increase a large truck’s stopping distance, and high winds can push tractor-trailers out of their lanes. Truck drivers are (or should be) trained to avoid these risks, but not all of them are equipped to do so.
Failure to Prevent a Jackknife
Jackknifing tractor-trailers present extreme risks on Florida’s highways and other roadways. Truck drivers can avoid these accidents by driving safely, leaving plenty of buffers, and gradually slowing down. As a result, when truck drivers fail to avoid these accidents, they (and their employers) can usually be held legally responsible.
Speeding, Tailgating, and Other Forms of Aggressive Driving
Just like other drivers, large commercial truck drivers need to obey all of the rules of the road. Among other things, this means observing the speed limit, following at a safe distance and only passing when it is safe to do so. Yet, many truckers choose to drive aggressively—and when they do, they often end up making mistakes that lead to catastrophic accidents.
Tractor-trailers and other large commercial trucks need to make wide turns to avoid running over sidewalks and hitting signposts and street lights. However, when making wide turns, they must be careful not to go too wide and hit approaching vehicles. Wide turns (and failure to make wide turns) are common causes of commercial truck accidents—and they are common causes that can (and should) be avoided with proper driving.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident caused by poor driving, our lawyers can help. We handle commercial truck accident cases throughout Florida, and we have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our truck accident clients. Our truck accident law firm can thoroughly investigate the accident to prove that the trucker’s poor driving was to blame, and we can seek full compensation for the financial and non-financial costs of the collision
What Should I Do After a Truck Accident?
As soon as you retain Searcy Denney, our legal team jumps into action, meeting and often exceeding the efforts and skills of our trucking company adversaries. Before the accident scene is cleared and witnesses and important evidence disappear, your Florida truck accident law firm will dispatch experts to:
- Talk to witnesses and gather preliminary statements and contact information
- Examine and photograph physical evidence, including skid marks, guardrails, debris scatter and distances of signs and posts from the road
- Observe the driver’s demeanor for signs of intoxication, exhaustion or agitation
- Take note of the surroundings, weather, malfunctioning traffic lights or other factors that may be of importance
We also take immediate steps to ensure all evidence is preserved, including the entire rig, its cargo, the driver’s cell phone, and any other electronics or items that will help us piece together how the crash occurred. We have experts on hand to review and analyze the contents of the big truck’s event data recorder (EDR) — often referred to as the black box — that contains some of the most important details required to make our case. This indestructible instrument will tell us important facts such as the speed the semi truck was traveling, whether brakes were applied, details about the driver’s steering, and the exact events leading up to and time of the crash.
Why You Need a Florida Truck Accident Lawyer
Because tractor-trailer accidents happen so frequently, trucking companies and their insurers maintain an at-the-ready defense team whose sole purpose is to try to eliminate — or at least mitigate — the driver and/or company’s responsibility for the accident that has caused you so much suffering. To succeed against their well-oiled defense machine, you need a strong and aggressive legal team of your own. It is important that this team is headed up by a Florida truck accident lawyer whose law firm has a track record of fighting the trucking and insurance companies and succeeding.
Not every personal injury lawyer or car accident law firm has the knowledge, resources, experience, and reputation needed to successfully represent a client in a catastrophic truck accident case. Because truck accident cases are taken on a contingency basis — which means you don’t pay anything for expenses or fees unless and until you recover damages — hiring a firm that lacks financial depth can lead to premature and low settlements. The bottom line is you need a firm like Searcy Denney that not only has experienced truck accident lawyers but that can also absorb all the expenses until you win your court case or reach a settlement you are happy with.
Our Accident Case Results
As a top personal injury firm with a 40-year history of securing large verdicts and negotiating multi-million dollar settlements for our clients, every time a Searcy Denney lawyer takes on a Florida truck wreck case, the opposing side knows that our client means business. This is evident with our track record of success in pursuing negligence claims in commercial vehicle accident cases. We are fierce negotiators and we are not afraid to battle it out in the courtroom, a fact that is not lost on our adversaries who want to avoid the expense of a lengthy trial. Included among our case results are:
- $17.5 Million Settlement for Family in Horrific Crash Caused by Tired Truck Driver
- $13+ Million Awarded for Death Caused by Fuel Truck Collision
- $10 Million Judgment Against Big Trucking Company for Motorcyclist’s Injuries
- $6.9 Million for Serious Injuries Caused by a Garbage Truck Accident
- $2 Million Settlement for Fatal Crash Caused by Inattentive and Irresponsible Truck Driver
- $1.1 Million Settlement For Truck Driver with Devastating Injuries in Crash Gets
- $1 Million Settlement for a High School Student Who Suffered a Brain Injury in Truck-Auto Crash
Commercial Motor Vehicle Accidents in Florida
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) publishes annual statistics on accidents involving trucks and other commercial motor vehicles in the state. Here are some of the latest statistics available (based on the FLHSMV’s Traffic Crash Facts Annual Report 2021):
- Total Crashes Involving Medium and Heavy Trucks (More Than 10,000 Pounds): 33,695
- Incapacitating Crashes Involving Medium and Heavy Trucks: 124
- Fatal Crashes Involving Medium and Heavy Trucks: 28
- Total Crashes Involving Cargo Vans: 6,420
- Incapacitating Crashes Involving Cargo Vans: 58
- Fatal Crashes Involving Cargo Vans: 9
- Total Crashes Involving Buses: 6,543
- Incapacitating Crashes Involving Buses: 10
- Fatal Crashes Involving Buses: 1
The FLHSMV also tracks total commercial vehicle accidents by county. Based on the FLHSMV’s data, the following counties are among those with the highest numbers of commercial vehicle accident crashes and fatalities in 2021:
- Miami-Date: 7,903 crashes and 27 fatalities
- Broward: 4,111 crashes and 12 fatalities
- Palm Beach: 2,970 crashes and 18 fatalities
- Hillsborough: 2,781 crashes and 24 fatalities
- Duval: 2,694 crashes and 21 fatalities
- Orange: 2,632 crashes and 12 fatalities
- Lee: 1,631 crashes and 6 fatalities
- Brevard: 943 crashes and 12 fatalities
Deadly Truck Accident Statistics in the U.S.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) publishes an annual report on large truck and bus crashes in the United States. This report includes data on crashes involving deadly truck accidents. Here are some of the most noteworthy figures from the FMCSA’s most recent Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts report:
- Total Fatal Crashes Involving Large Trucks: 4,444
- Large Trucks Involved in Fatal Crashes: 4,842
- Large Truck Occupant Fatalities: 831
- Total Fatalities in Large Truck Crashes: 4,965
- Rate of Fatal Crashes Involving Large Trucks (Per 100 Million Vehicle Miles Traveled): 1.47
As you can see from these statistics, fatal crashes involving large trucks are alarmingly common (more than 12 per day in the U.S.), and the vast majority of victims are pedestrians, cyclists, motorcycle riders and occupants of passenger vehicles. This is unfortunate; and, simply put, there is no excuse for the number of innocent victims who die in truck accidents in the U.S. each year. These statistics underscore the importance of truck accident victims and their families holding negligent truck drivers and trucking companies accountable—and, if you have tragically lost a loved one in a fatal accident involving a large commercial truck, you should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Truck Accidents
How Do You Prove that the Trucking Company is Liable After a Truck Accident in Florida?
Proving that a trucking company (or any other company) is liable for a truck accident requires a comprehensive investigation. This includes but is not limited to, investigating the scene of the crash. As a result, it is important that you hire a Florida truck accident lawyer as soon as possible, as your lawyer will need to gather crucial evidence before it disappears.
In addition to forensic evidence from the scene of the accident, various other forms of evidence can be used to prove liability after a truck accident as well. Driver logs, employment records, and phone records are just a few examples. When we investigate your case, we will seek to gather all relevant evidence from all available sources to prove your right to financial recovery.
What if I was Speeding or Texting When the Truck Accident Happened?
If you were speeding, texting, or otherwise violating Florida’s traffic laws when your accident happened, this might have an impact on your financial recovery. But it also might not. Just because you were doing something that perhaps you shouldn’t have, this does not necessarily mean that you played a role in causing the collision. If the accident would have happened regardless, then you can still seek full compensation for your accident-related losses.
What if you were partially at fault? If this is the case, then this may reduce the amount you are entitled to recover. However, you may still have a claim for significant compensation, and you will still want to speak with a Florida truck accident law firm about your legal rights.
How Do I Know if I Should Hire a Lawyer to Represent Me After a Truck Crash?
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident, you should hire a Florida truck accident lawyer. It’s that simple. You have nothing to lose, and you have everything to gain. At Searcy Denney, we will thoroughly investigate your (or your loved one’s) truck accident to determine if you have a claim, and if you do, we will use our experience to fight relentlessly for the compensation you deserve.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire A Florida Truck Accident Attorney?
When you choose Searcy Denney, it costs you nothing out of pocket to hire a Florida truck accident lawyer. We handle all truck accident claims on a contingency fee basis. Your initial consultation is completely free, and if you choose our lawyers to represent you, we will not charge any fees or costs unless we help you win just compensation.
What should I do immediately after a truck accident in Florida?
Whether you have been seriously injured in a truck accident or you have tragically lost a loved one in a crash involving a large commercial truck, there are some important steps that you should try to take as soon as possible. For example, if you can, immediately after a truck accident in Florida, you should:
- Preserve as Much Evidence as Possible – If you have photos or videos from the crash site, you should be sure to keep these on your phone. If you have a copy of the police report or any other records from the crash site (i.e., notes you took about the truck or the truck driver’s insurance), be sure to keep these as well. Also, try to write down as many details as you can remember (or record yourself with your phone). At this point, the more information you can preserve, the better.
- Start Documenting the Costs of the Accident – In addition to documenting the accident itself, you will need to start documenting your accident-related losses. To do this, you should get in the habit of keeping all medical records, bills and letters you receive from the insurance companies, and you should start a log or journal where you record the physical and psychological effects you suffer on a daily basis.
- Talk to a Lawyer About Your Legal Rights – After a truck accident, one of the most important things you can do is talk to a lawyer about your legal rights. When you hire a lawyer to represent you, your lawyer will gather all of the evidence needed to pursue your claim, and your lawyer will fight to recover maximum financial compensation on your (or your family’s) behalf.
What are the common causes of truck accidents in Florida?
Truck accidents can result from a broad range of causes. These include driver-related causes, truck-related causes, and environmental causes. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents in Florida include the following:
- Aggressive truck driving (i.e., speeding and tailgating)
- Distracted and drowsy truck driving
- Inadequate truck maintenance
- Overloading trucks and failing to secure truck cargo
- Heavy rains, high winds and poor road conditions
After a serious or fatal truck accident, determining the specific cause (or causes) of the accident is one of the first steps toward recovering just compensation. Determining the cause involves both conducting a comprehensive on-scene investigation and gathering evidence from other sources.
Who is liable for a truck accident in Florida?
Determining who is liable for a truck accident in Florida starts with determining the accident’s cause (or causes). If truck driver negligence or negligent truck maintenance was to blame (as is often the case), victims and their families will typically have a claim against either:
- The Truck Driver’s Insurance Company – If the truck driver is an owner-operator, he or she should have liability insurance that covers serious and fatal accidents. In these cases, victims and families can file claims with the truck driver’s insurance company to recover just compensation.
- The Trucking Company – If the truck driver is an employee of a trucking company (or a big box company like Amazon or Walmart), then the truck driver’s employer will most likely be liable in the event of a crash. Trucking companies and other businesses can be held liable for their employees’ negligence, and in many cases, they can be held liable for their own negligence (i.e., failing to adequately maintain their trucks) as well.
But these are just two of several possibilities. Depending on the circumstances involved, truck accident victims and their families could also have claims against truck manufacturers, shipping companies, other drivers’ insurance companies or even the government. When you hire a truck accident lawyer to represent you, your lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation to identify the liable party (or parties) and fight to hold them liable on your behalf.
How long do I have to file a truck accident lawsuit in Florida?
How long you have to file a truck accident lawsuit in Florida depends on the reason for the accident. This is due to a change in Florida’s personal injury statute of limitations signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis in 2023. Previously, all personal injury claims in Florida were subject to a four-year statute of limitations. But, under the new law (House Bill 837), accident victims only have two years to file a claim based on negligence.
Since the vast majority of truck accident claims are based on negligence, this means that Florida’s new two-year statute of limitations applies in most cases. However, as claims involving truck defects are based on strict liability rather than negligence, the new statute of limitations does not apply to these claims.
In fatal truck accident cases, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death. This was the limitations period for wrongful death claims prior to House Bill 837.
Regardless of how long you have to file, you should discuss your claim (or your family’s claim) with a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. If you wait to hire a lawyer, key evidence could disappear before your lawyer is able to investigate. Additionally, waiting to file a claim will delay your financial recovery, while taking action promptly will allow you to begin moving on from the accident as soon as possible.
What damages can I recover in a truck accident lawsuit in Florida?
The damages you can recover in a truck accident lawsuit in Florida depend on the losses you have suffered (and will suffer) as a result of the accident. Everyone’s truck accident claim is unique, and you will need to work closely with your lawyer to calculate just compensation for your financial and non-financial losses.
With that said, the damages that are available in truck accident cases typically fall into several broad categories. In non-fatal truck accident cases, these categories include:
- Medical bills, prescriptions, and other treatment-related costs
- Loss of income, benefits and future earning capacity
- Pain, suffering and emotional trauma
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of companionship, consortium and enjoyment of life
In fatal truck accident cases, the categories of damages that are available differ slightly. If you have lost a loved one in a fatal crash involving a commercial truck, your family’s lawyer will most likely be able to seek damages for losses such as:
- Damages your loved one would have been entitled to recover had he or she survived the accident
- Loss of health insurance, Social Security, veterans’ benefits and other types of benefits
- Loss of inheritance
- Funeral and burial costs
- Your pain and suffering
- Your loss of companionship, consortium, guidance and support
- Your loss of services (i.e., loss of childcare, housekeeping, landscaping and security)
Can I still recover damages if I was partially at fault for the truck accident in Florida?
Yes, even if you were partially at fault in a truck accident, you can still recover damages under Florida law. In this scenario, the amount of your damages will simply be reduced based on your percentage of fault. For example, if you were 10 percent at fault and your damages total $100,000, you would be entitled to recover 90 percent of your damages, or $90,000.
Technically, this is true even if you were 99 percent at fault in your truck accident (in which case you would be entitled to recover one percent of your damages). While it may or may not be worth filing a claim in this scenario, the most important thing to know is that you should not assume that you were at fault under any circumstances—no matter how the accident happened or what you were doing when the accident occurred. Determining fault in a truck accident is an extremely complicated process, and until you hire a lawyer to conduct an investigation, you won’t know what exactly triggered the collision.
Should I speak to the insurance company after a truck accident in Florida?
While you may need to report your truck accident to your insurance company, you should avoid speaking with your claims representative or adjuster any more than necessary. When you have a truck accident claim (or any type of accident claim), you should let your lawyer do the talking for you. As an accident victim, speaking to the insurance company can be risky, and you are far better off letting your lawyer speak with the insurance company on your behalf.
Can I sue the trucking company directly after a truck accident in Florida?
Truck accident victims can sue trucking companies directly after serious collisions in many cases. If the truck driver is an employee, or if the trucking company is responsible for the accident due to inadequate maintenance or any other issue, then you can hire a lawyer to sue the trucking company for just compensation. When you sue the trucking company, it will most likely refer your claim to its insurer, and then your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company to try to secure a favorable settlement on your behalf. If these negotiations do not result in a favorable settlement, then your lawyer will be able to take the trucking company (and its insurer) to court.
What evidence is important in a truck accident case in Florida?
Several different types of evidence can be important in a truck accident case in Florida. This includes forensic evidence from the crash site, eyewitness testimony, photos or videos you took with your phone, the truck driver’s phone records and driving log, and potentially a variety of other forms of documentation. Of course, if the accident was captured on a traffic camera, security camera or dash cam, the footage of the accident will be key evidence as well. When you hire a truck accident lawyer to represent you, your lawyer will determine what types of evidence are available to prove your claim for damages.
In addition to evidence of the accident, recovering just compensation also requires evidence of your losses. This includes evidence such as your medical records, employment records, photos of your injuries, medical and financial expert testimony, testimony from friends and family, and any notes you are able to take documenting the day-to-day effects of your injuries.
Can I still file a lawsuit if the truck driver was not cited for the accident in Florida?
Yes, you can still file a lawsuit after a truck accident if the truck driver did not receive a ticket at the scene. There could be a variety of reasons why the truck driver didn’t receive a ticket—none of which are relevant to your claim for damages. Regardless of whether the truck driver was cited, you should always speak with a lawyer about your legal rights.
Florida Laws that Impact Victims’ and Families’ Rights After Serious and Fatal Truck Accidents
In addition to the laws that apply to personal injury and wrongful death claims generally, Florida also has laws that apply specifically to truck accidents. When you have a claim for a serious or fatal accident, these laws can help you establish your legal rights and hold the truck driver or trucking company accountable.
For example, Section 316.302 of the Florida Statutes governs the operation of large commercial trucks on Florida’s roads. The federal trucking safety regulations apply to truck drivers and trucking companies in Florida as well. Under Section 316.302 and these regulations, some examples of truck drivers’ and trucking companies’ obligations include the following:
- Truck drivers must be at least 21 years old to drive across state lines. Trucking companies can only hire commercial truck drivers who are 18 years of age or older.
- All truck drivers must be able to understand English well enough to read road signs, write in their driving logs and communicate with the police and other officials.
- All commercial truck drivers in Florida must have a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL). To obtain a CDL, truck drivers must have at least 20/40 vision in each eye and a field of vision of at least 70 degrees.
- Truck drivers can drive no more than 16 hours after taking a 10-hour break.
- Truck drivers must avoid driving more than 70 hours in a seven-day period or more than 80 hours in an eight-day period. If a truck driver reaches either of these limits, the driver must take off at least 34 hours before getting back behind the wheel.
- Most commercial truck drivers must maintain a log book where they record their driving hours. These log books are subject to inspection by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and they can be used as evidence following a serious or fatal truck accident.
Call an Experienced Florida Truck Accident Attorney at Searcy Denney for Help Today
As soon as you or a loved one are in an accident with a large commercial vehicle, it is critical to your case for financial compensation and recovery that you contact an experienced Florida truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment with a Searcy Denney truck wreck attorney, please fill in our Contact Form or call us at 800-780-8607 to arrange for your free, confidential consultation at our Tampa, West Palm Beach, or Tallahassee office. No recovery, no fee.