Determining Responsibility For a Florida Truck Crash Can Be Tricky.
Florida ranks third in the nation in fatal truck accidents per year, and nearly one-third of the state’s vehicular accidents involve large trucks. Fully loaded tractor-trailers can weigh up to 25 times as much as the average car. The laws of physics dictate that the consequences will be more severe for auto drivers—injury-wise, fatality-wise, and damage-wise. In 2009, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truck crashes involving another vehicle(s) resulted in 149 trucker fatalities nationally; auto drivers and passengers fared far worse, with 2,551 losing their lives.
Many causes of Florida accidents are the same for cars and trucks: speeding, careless/aggressive driving, alcohol/drug impairment, falling asleep at the wheel, and distracted driving, among others. However, there are factors unique to trucks. Overloaded or improperly loaded trucks are more susceptible to tip-overs, sudden swerving, and jackknifing. Improper brake and tire maintenance and driver blind spots are more prevalent, and wider turns may lead to jutting into other lanes.
Determining responsibility for a truck crash can be tricky. Ultimately, the company that owns the truck and hires the driver might be found responsible for injuries to third parties, but there are many factors that can muddy the waters. The name on the truck might not be the actual owner. The truck and the trailer might be leased from two different companies. The driver may be an independent contractor, or an employee of the leasing company. A third-party maintenance firm may do the work on a truck/trailer instead of company mechanics. Perhaps another company was hired to load the truck. All the insurance companies affiliated with these entities must be dealt with as well.
Specific evidence and information must be gathered on the truck driver (e.g., driver qualifications, training file, driver logs, etc.) as well as detailed vehicle and load/cargo information. By law, some information only needs to be saved temporarily. Act immediately so you have access to all necessary information to achieve a favorable outcome