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The Various Theories of Liability in a Florida Trucking Accident

Florida accidents involving commercial tractor-trailers and semi-trucks often result in serious and potentially life-threatening injuries. The risk of serious injuries increases because of the size differential between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles. Even if evidence suggests that a Florida truck driver was responsible for an accident, there are often additional parties who may be liable for the damages.

Determining fault and apportioning liability in Florida trucking accidents often present injury victims with various challenges. Courts and insurance companies will engage in lengthy and comprehensive investigations before deciding who is at fault. Despite the size of commercial trucks, there may be evidence that suggests that the passenger vehicle was partially at fault. Injury victims must understand potential limitations to recovery and defenses that the other party may assert.

In some cases, truck drivers engage in blatantly negligent or reckless behavior that results in an accident. Some common examples of this are speeding, operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, falling asleep behind the wheel, or driving while distracted. Other situations may open the door to additional liable parties. For example, equipment failure, misloaded freight, and overloaded trailers may result in the truck fishtailing or swerving into other vehicles. In these cases, the truck driver, in addition to their employer or truck part manufacturer, may be liable as well.

Under Florida’s, vicarious liability doctrine, trucking employers may be secondarily liable for the actions of their employees. To establish a claim of secondary liability, Florida injury victims must be able to prove that the unintentional acts occurred within the scope and course of employment. Additionally, trucking companies may be liable under theories of negligent hiring and training. Many trucking companies try to avoid liability by claiming that the truck driver was an independent contractor. These cases require an extensive analysis of the trucking company’s behavior and management of the truck driver.

Injury victims and their families should receive compensation for their losses as these accidents can have lifelong consequences. For example, recently, three family members died after a truck rear-ended their vehicle near Disney World. According to a local news report, the family was visiting Florida when the truck failed to notice that traffic was beginning to slow down and collided with the family’s rental van. The van rolled over, resulting in the death of a grandmother, mother, five-year-old girl, and critical injuries to another sibling. Florida Highway Patrol reported that the case is still under investigation, but it is clear that the truck driver was at fault.

Have You Been Involved in an Accident with a Florida Truck?

If you or someone you know has suffered injuries or died after being involved in an accident with a negligent Florida truck driver, you may be entitled to compensation. The prominent and reputable attorneys at Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A. have extensive experience successfully handling Florida trucking accidents on behalf of injury victims. The attorneys at our firm understand the devastating toll that these accidents can have on individuals, their families, and the community-at-large. We have dedicated our practice to helping injury victims get the compensation that they deserve. Contact our office at 877-448-8585 to schedule a free initial consultation with a Florida injury attorney.

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