Westchase Truck Accident Lawyer
In the early 2000s, an extended truck driver shortage began. This shortage is expected to reach some 350,000 drivers by 2025. As a result, many truckers have little experience. A significant number of them are practically straight out of driving school. The driver shortage has not affected the economy’s reliance on large trucks. Pretty much every large or small item for sale in Florida spent some time on a large truck. So, the risk of a collision is higher than ever.
The diligent Westchase truck accident lawyers at the Rinaldo Law Group work hard to obtain maximum compensation for your serious injuries. This hard work usually includes a thorough legal evaluation and meticulous evidence collection. As outlined below, truck accident claims are quite complex. So, we spend extra time determining your legal options. Furthermore, all successful claims rest on solid evidence.
Duty of Care
Compensation is available if tortfeasors (negligent drivers) breach their duty of care and that breach causes injuries. Truck drivers, Uber drivers, and other commercial operators normally have a higher duty of care than noncommercial operators. Therefore, it’s easier to establish a breach of duty in these cases.
Driving in inclement weather is a good example. Noncommercial motorists usually have a duty to slow down and drive more carefully in the rain. Since large trucks are so big, so dangerous, and so difficult to control, truck drivers arguably have a duty to pull over until the rain stops, or at least subsides.
Recently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has rolled back some truck driver rules, mostly because of the coronavirus pandemic and its aftermath. Because of this lax enforcement, many truckers feel like they can push the envelope even more.
The duty of care includes more than operational safety. Before they get behind the wheel, drivers must be physically, mentally, and otherwise fit to drive. That’s especially true for truck drivers, due to the higher duty of care.
Despite this responsibility, many truckers drive when they are dangerously fatigued. Driving after eighteen consecutive awake hours, which is the equivalent of a long day on the road, is like driving with a .05 BAC level. That’s above the legal limit for commercial operators in Florida.
Third Party Liability
Negligent drivers are legally responsible for damages. Usually, the shipping, transportation, or other company which owned the truck is financially responsible. These damages usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Typically, the respondeat superior doctrine applies in truck accident claims. The truck owner is financially responsible for losses if:
- Employee: Like a ship’s captain is responsible for the crew’s conduct, employers are responsible if their employees are negligent. Although most truckers are owner-operators or other non-employees for tax purposes, they are typically employees for negligence purposes.
- Scope of Employment: Once upon a time, the “scope of employment” meant something like a regular delivery driver on his/her regular delivery route. Now, under Florida law, any act which benefits the employer in any way is within the scope of employment. That includes something like driving an empty truck to a warehouse.
Vicarious liability is very important in truck crash claims. Usually, the damages are so large that individuals don’t have enough insurance coverage to take care of them all.
Contact a Diligent Hillsborough County Truck Accident Lawyer
Accident victims are entitled to fair compensation for their serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced Westchase truck accident attorney, contact the Rinaldo Law Group. Lawyers can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no money or insurance.