After A Florida Truck Accident
The most recent available data estimates approximately 500,000 large trucks were involved in police-reported crashes, with approximately 4,400 being fatal. More than half of all crashes involving large trucks occurred in rural areas, and about one-quarter of them occurred on interstate highways – two areas which are frequently seen in Florida. If you have been involved in an accident with a semi-truck in Florida, you may be able to file suit against the trucker – or the trucking company – in order to recover for the harm you have suffered, if your injuries are severe enough.
Many Different Types Of Crashes
Large commercial trucks, especially if they are loaded with cargo, can cause life-changing injuries and property damage, and there are several different ways in which their drivers can contribute to potentially deadly accidents – examples include driving while fatigued or under the influence of substances, speeding, or failing to ensure that their cargo is secured properly. Studies from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) show that driver error is by far the most common reason for truck crashes in incidents where the truck was found to be at fault.
There are several different types of trucking accidents, having to do with the way in which the two parts of the truck are affected – for example, jackknife accidents, where the cab and trailer wind up at a right angle, or underride crashes, where a passenger vehicle may actually crash into a semi-truck and wind up under the trailer. There is not much difference in terms of potential severity if an accident happens, but it is worth noting the type of crash because different types may implicate varying degrees of liability for the driver.
Is The Employer Liable?
There are two factors that anyone who has been injured by a Florida trucking accident should be aware of as they try to determine their next steps. The first is that Florida is a no-fault state, which means that in most auto accident cases, the injured plaintiff will not file suit against the defendant; rather, they are intended to be carrying personal injury protection insurance coverage, which they can apply to for coverage. However, if your injuries are “significant and permanent” enough, you may file suit in court, like in many other states.
The other factor to be aware of is that in accidents involving commercial trucks, if your injuries meet the “significant and permanent” threshold, you may be able to file suit against not only the truck driver, but also against their employer. This can be done under a theory called vicarious liability, where an employer may be held liable for the torts (a tort is the civil equivalent of a crime) of their employee, if their employee was acting in the course and scope of their employment at the time. Filing suit against the trucking company, if possible, may yield a larger jury award, which can make all the difference to ensuring that your medical bills get paid.
Call A Tampa Truck Accident Attorney
Living through a serious truck crash can leave someone with life-changing injuries and emotional trauma. Filing suit against the person or people responsible may help a person find closure, or simply to receive the compensation you need to help get your life back on track. The Tampa truck accident attorneys at the Rinaldo Law Group can provide compassionate and dedicated representation as you navigate the legal process. Call our offices today for a free consultation.