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Determining Liability In Florida CMV Accidents


Accidents involving commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) often lead to serious injuries or even death. If you have been unfortunate enough to experience this, you may feel too intimidated or too injured to file suit against the person who allegedly caused your injuries – or you simply may not be aware of who should be sued. There is a process to determine liability in these types of crashes in Florida. An experienced attorney can help.

Is The Driver Liable?

Normally, in the event of a road accident, the person who was injured would file a lawsuit against the allegedly negligent driver, seeking damages. It is true that very often, it is the driver’s failure to exercise reasonable care that is the direct cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. They may engage in any manner of behavior from speeding to using illegal substances to failing to yield, which can greatly increase the odds of an accident.

A driver will be held liable for a CMV accident in two major situations: (1) if their negligence can be established by law – that is, they are held to have breached the duty of care they owed to other road users and caused a plaintiff’s injuries; or (2) if they have committed an intentional tort in causing the accident. An intentional tort is essentially the civil version of a crime; instead of jail time, a person found liable for a tort is usually punished by having to pay money damages.

 Is Their Employer Liable?

In addition to the driver’s potential liability, the driver’s employer is another common potential defendant. If a CMV driver’s employer is found to have played a part in your accident, it will generally be under one of two legal theories: negligent hiring or vicarious liability. The former alleges that the employer failed to do their due diligence when hiring the driver, while the latter holds that the driver’s actions fell within the scope of their employment.

Be advised that negligent hiring can be difficult to establish in Florida, because a law exists stating that an employer is presumed to have done their due diligence in hiring if they performed a background check which did not uncover any information that should have reasonably been a sign of the applicant’s unfitness. Nonetheless, it is possible to prevail in these cases, with the right help.

Call A Tampa Commercial Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney

Being injured in an accident with a commercial motor vehicle can lead to a long-term recovery and much time off your feet. If you believe that your injuries were caused by one (or more) actors’ negligence, calling a Tampa commercial motor vehicle accident attorney from the Rinaldo Law Group can be a good first step toward obtaining compensation. Contact our office today for a free consultation.



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