State Trucking Regulations
The State of Florida has set forth numerous rules and regulations that govern the operation of tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, and other commercial vehicles throughout the state. State trucking regulations detail the maximum size, the maximum weight per axle, and other specifications designed to increase the safety of both truckers and the motorists with whom they share the road. Unfortunately, many truckers and trucking companies disregard these state trucking regulations, leaving those in smaller vehicles such as cars and SUVs vulnerable to serious injuries or even death. The Pembroke Pines truck accident lawyers at Cohn & Smith are here to help individuals try to hold commercial drivers and their employers accountable following a crash caused by a safety violation.
In addition to state trucking regulations, there are also many federal regulations that cover the trucking industry. Many of the federal regulations are promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. They are in place to promote the safety of not only professional truck drivers but also motorists, passengers, and pedestrians. When they are loaded, a commercial truck and trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. When combined with a typical length of 80 feet, it is clear that a commercial truck is a potentially dangerous instrumentality that can wreak serious harm on others if it is not properly controlled by a safe and prudent operator.Bringing a Negligence Claim to Assert Your Right to Compensation
As with other types of personal injury lawsuits, accident cases arising from a truck driver or trucking company’s failure to abide by Florida regulations usually will proceed under a theory of negligence. While this term has a common meaning often synonymous with carelessness, it has a very specific definition under the law. It can be broadly defined as doing something that a reasonably prudent person or business would not have done under the same circumstances or failing to do something that a reasonably prudent person or business would have done under the same circumstances.
Negligence cases require that four elements be proven by the plaintiff, who is typically the accident victim or the personal representative of a person who has allegedly suffered a wrongful death. The first element consists of establishing that the defendant trucker or trucking company owed a duty of some sort to the person seeking recovery. The existence of a duty can be proven in several ways, including statutory laws, case law, and regulations. After the duty has been shown, the next step is for the claimant to show that the defendant breached the duty that was owed. Violations of state trucking regulations such as the following can be used to show a breach of duty:
- All parts on a truck must be in safe working order;
- The equipment on a trailer must be in a safe condition; and
- Both the truck and the trailer must be of the correct weight and size.
The third step in proving negligence is showing causation linking the defendant’s breach of duty and the accident. Causation, in the legal sense, requires that there be a connection between the defendant’s action or inaction and the injuries suffered by the accident victim. Lastly, the claimant must have sustained actual damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering, in the collision at issue. These can be both objective (or economic) and subjective (or non-economic) types of costs and losses.Enlist a Pembroke Pines Lawyer to Pursue an Injury Claim
If you or a family member has been hurt in an accident near Pembroke Pines, you may need an experienced injury attorney who can help you investigate the sequence of events, document all of your lost wages, medical expenses, and other damages, and steadily compile a strategy to vindicate your rights. At Cohn & Smith, we aim to help a family get back on its feet as a victim seeks financial compensation for harm in a crash caused by someone else’s carelessness or recklessness. Schedule your appointment today by calling our Pembroke Pines attorneys at 954-431-8100 or completing our contact form online. The initial consultation is free, and we accept most cases on a contingency fee basis, so no money is required to start your case. We also represent injured individuals in Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Aventura, and other Florida communities.