Largo Truck Accident Attorney
Increasing fuel prices and other increasing costs have made it harder than ever for truckers to make money. A few dollars on each trip, such as a missed on-time delivery bonus, could be the difference between profit and loss. Therefore, many drivers push the envelope, by doing things like staying behind the wheel as long as possible. Making matters worse, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which is supposed to guard public safety, has repeatedly diluted some important HOS (hours of service) safety rules since supply chain problems began in 2020.
Fatigued truck drivers and other impaired drivers often cause serious injury collisions. Driving after eighteen consecutive awake hours is like driving with a .05 BAC level. That’s above the legal limit for commercial drivers in Florida. These serious injuries often include severe burns. Diesel fuel burns at a different temperature from ordinary gasoline, and most large trucks carry hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel. As a result, these victims often sustain third and fourth-degree burns over much of their bodies.
Truckers often take shortcuts, but the diligent Largo truck accident attorneys at The Reep Law Firm never take shortcuts. Instead, we thoroughly review your complex case and explain all your legal options in a language you understand instead of Legalese. Then, we leave no stone unturned as we collect evidence that supports your claims and refutes insurance company defenses. Finally, when the case goes to court, we never look for the easy way out. Instead, we are with you until the end of the line.
First Party Liability
The BAC limit is lower in Florida for commercial operators than it is for noncommercial drivers. That’s one example of the different duty of care which applies to truck drivers.
Basically, most noncommercial drivers have a duty of reasonable care. They must obey the rules of the road at all times. Most commercial operators have a duty of utmost care. They have more of a responsibility to avoid accidents. SImply driving defensively isn’t enough.
As the old saying goes, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. The higher standard of care makes it easier for a Largo truck accident attorney to prove negligence, or a lack of care.
Furthermore, as the different BAC level illustrates, the higher duty of care spills over into Florida’s traffic laws. Truckers must also follow certain routes and observe weight limits. Additionally, both the state and federal government have HOS laws that include daily and weekly driving limits as well as mandatory rest periods.
In Florida, tortfeasors (negligent drivers) who violate the DUI law or another penal safety law and cause wrecks could be responsible for damages as a matter of law. These damages usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages are available as well, in some extreme cases.
Third Party Liability
Individuals are legally and morally responsible for the wrecks they cause. Third parties are often financially responsible for the damages these wrecks cause.
The respondeat superior rule usually applies in truck crash claims. Employers are financially responsible for damages if their employees are negligent during the course and scope of employment.
Florida law defines all these key phrases in broad, victim-friendly ways. For example, truck drivers are employees for negligence purposes, even if they are independent contractors, owner-operators, or other non-employees for tax purposes. Additionally, any act which benefits the employer in any way is within the scope of employment. That category includes acts like driving empty trucks to garages.
Other employer liability rules, which often apply in assault and other intentional tort claims, include negligent hiring and negligent supervision.
Contact an Experienced Pinellas County Attorney
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced truck accident attorney in Largo, contact Reep, Coleman & Stubbendorff. You have a limited amount of time to act.