Four Ways Trucking Accidents Legally Differ From Car Accidents

There are many reasons why trucking accidents are special cases in the field of personal injury. 

Trucking accidents involve large vehicles that can potentially cause catastrophic damage in the case of an accident on a Florida highway or street.   Additionally, the trucking industry is collectively held to higher standards as drivers, employers, logistics companies and manufacturers. The layered nature of the trucking industry means that the already complex world of auto-accidents is further complicated by the network of entities that manufacture, operate, pack, inspect and insure trucks and their cargo.

Here are four key ways that truck accidents are different to car accidents in Florida:

1. Duty of Care (Florida Statute 316.602)

Unlike the drivers of private vehicles, truck drivers are obligated to stop, exchange documentation and must provide all reasonable assistance to all parties involved in an accident.  This includes tasks such as assisting with injuries and damaged property where it is safe and reasonable to do so.  Failure to provide adequate assistance is punishable as a crime with harsher felony charges for abandoning the scene of an accident when there are serious injuries involved.  Note that such penalties are enforceable even after other drivers have exchanged information and agreed to leave the scene of the accident.

2. Written Report (Florida Statute 316.066)

Truck drivers are required to write a report to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles even in cases where there is no loss of life, injury, damage to property or vehicle rendered inoperable.  All events must be documented, meaning that in all circumstances truck drivers must wait for law enforcement to arrive and file an official report of the accident.  This is because the report requires the “name, badge number, and law enforcement agency of the officer investigating the crash”.

“Unlike the drivers of private vehicles, truck drivers are obligated to … provide all reasonable assistance to all parties involved in an accident.”

3. Vicarious Liability (Florida Statute 768.096)

Trucking companies are specifically required to hire their drivers responsibly.  Strict and thorough background checks, on going employee/contractor assessment and reviews of performance are mandated by law.  In the event of an accident, the employment and performance history of the driver will be considered as a factor that could implicate the trucking company if an argument can be made that the driver should not have been on the road.

4. Multiple Responsible parties

Trucks, drivers, trailers and the various connecting elements of the rig can all be reasons that led to the accident in question.  Furthermore, the standard 360 degree investigation of all parties involved in an accident may reveal varying levels of comparative negligence or comparative liability.  Here is a non-exhaustive list of all of the people and organizations that will be included in a personal injury investigation concerning a trucking accident:

  • Contractors
  • Truck Drivers
  • Car Drivers
  • Employers
  • Government Authorities
  • Insurance Companies
  • Logistics Companies
  • Manufacturers

Hire an Experienced Accident Attorney

Jared K. Newman, Esq of South Florida Law PLLC understands the nuances and complexities of Trucking Accidents and can let you know where you stand in the event of a truck-related accident in Florida.  Have you been involved in a trucking accident?  If so, call Jared K. Newman today on (954) 900-8885 or click here to access our Contact form.

Jared Newman, Esq. is a seasoned attorney at South Florida Law, with an emphasis in Personal Injury Law. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology from the University of Florida. Mr. Newman attended and received his Juris Doctorate from the South Houston College of Law.

Mr. Newman understands insurance companies tactics and has the experience to counter them. This background allows South Florida law to fight smart against the Big Insurance Companies. If necessary, we are prepared to meet insurance companies in court and recover the compensation you deserve.