Mail Truck & Tractor-Trailer Collide In Hillsborough County
The majority of accidents involving tractor-trailers tend to happen between a truck and a car. That said, crashes involving tractor-trailers do happen, and it can lead to serious injuries and damage. A recent crash in Hillsborough County involving a mail truck and a produce truck led to one driver hospitalized with serious injuries, and significant damage to both vehicles. If you are ever involved in a crash where two tractor-trailers collide, you may have to answer unique questions.
Who Is Liable?
In the Hillsborough County accident, the produce truck was at the side of the highway being serviced when the mail truck slammed into its rear after losing control. The driver of the mail truck was hospitalized, though the driver of the produce truck was thankfully unhurt. The authorities stated that criminal charges would be pending, but the owner of the produce truck would still likely have a case against the mail driver for the damages to the truck.
If the driver of the produce truck had been injured, he could file suit in civil court over his injuries if they were severe enough to pass Florida’s severe injury threshold (Florida requires that an injury be sufficiently severe before one is permitted to file suit over it; more minor injuries are required to be compensated, if at all, through the state’s no-fault auto insurance system). That said, there may be one more obstacle in obtaining compensation.
Does Sovereign Immunity Apply?
In most states, the actions of governmental employees fall under a doctrine called sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity is a doctrine that dates back to English common law, and it holds that the ‘sovereign’ – whether king or other government – is immune to all kinds of minor suits. The rationale is that if the government had to spend time defending against every lawsuit, it would have no time to govern.
Florida, however, is somewhat unique in that it explicitly waived sovereign immunity for certain acts – namely, if a person would have a right of action against a private individual in the same situation, sovereign immunity does not apply. It is reasonable to assume that the produce truck driver would have a cause of action against the mail driver (and his employer) if they were from a private company; therefore, it is unlikely that sovereign immunity will apply.
Call A Tampa Tractor-Trailer Accident Attorney
While the produce truck driver was thankfully unhurt, someone else in the same situation might not have been so lucky. If you have been involved in a tractor-trailer accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. A Tampa tractor-trailer accident attorney can help – call the Rinaldo Law Group today for a free consultation.