Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident Injury Case?
Driving a truck is a notoriously dangerous job. Think about how much practice it takes to change lanes or make turns, or to apply the right amount of pressure to the brakes at the right time when stopping at a traffic light, even in a normal sized four-wheel car. Almost all new drivers, especially those early in their driving careers, make minor mistakes that lead to minor accidents, but with an 18-wheel truck, even minor mistakes can cause serious damage and serious injuries. If you are trying to put your life back together after a traffic accident involving a commercial truck, trying to recover monetary compensation for your medical bills and lost income can seem like an overwhelming task. A truck accident injury lawyer can help.
Strict Rules for Truck Drivers
Car accidents that result in serious injuries usually involve an egregious mistake on the part of one of the drivers, but with a commercial truck, even the slightest mishap can lead to an accident with serious injuries. Even if the driver was driving within the speed limit and obeying road signs, a slight problem with the truck could cause it to malfunction and cause an accident. Truck drivers must have their trucks weighed and inspected frequently during long hauls. Additionally, they must observe the minimum rest periods between shifts and not exceed the maximum number of driving hours per week considered safe by Florida law. Truck drivers whose trips are more than 150 miles must keep written records of their driving time and the state of maintenance of their trucks. Because the laws are so specific, and because there are such detailed written records, or at least there should be, it is usually possible to pinpoint what went wrong to cause the accident.
Who Is Legally Responsible When a Truck Driver Causes an Accident?
Most commercial truck drivers do not own the trucks they drive. Therefore, it is often the company that owns the truck or the merchandise the truck is transporting that is legally responsible for damage caused by its trucks. In other words, trucking companies have a duty to ensure that truck drivers working for them are aware of the safety standards related to truck driving and that they uphold these standards. Thus, some plaintiffs injured in traffic accidents involving trucks name the trucking company as a defendant. This does not mean that truck drivers are off the hook as far as responsibilities. Their driving records will be negatively affected if they cause accidents. If they drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they can face criminal penalties, as well.
Contact Scott Smith About Truck Accident Injury Cases
Palm Beach County truck accident lawyer Scott Smith takes many kinds of personal injury cases, including truck accident cases. If you have been injured in a commercial vehicle accident, contact Scott Smith for professional assistance with your case.