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Thomas DeLattre and Glen D. Wieland

Who is liable for a truck accident in Florida?

On Behalf of | May 17, 2024 | Trucking Accidents |

Although any type of motor vehicle accident in Florida is often a devastating experience that leaves you wanting to hold someone responsible, determining liability after a truck accident can be particularly complicated.

If you are in a car accident that you believe is caused by another driver, that driver is likely the one who you will hold liable.

The situation is more complex when you are in an accident with a large truck because there several parties could be held liable. Determining the liable party after a truck accident involves an analysis of various factors.

Potentially liable parties

Sometimes the truck driver is responsible for the accident. There are many negligent behaviors that truck drivers engage in that cause accidents, such as distracted driving, aggressive driving, impaired driving or speeding.

Other times, the trucking company the truck driver works for could be liable. Trucking companies can set unreasonable delivery schedules for their drivers, put drivers on the road without proper training or fail to properly maintain their trucks.

Trucking companies might use a different company to maintain their vehicles. If you believe improper maintenance caused your truck accident, you should determine which company is responsible for the maintenance, understanding that it may not be the trucking company itself.

Items or cargo that are negligently loaded onto trucks can cause accidents. If that happens, the company that was responsible for loading the cargo could be liable. This could also be a company other than the trucking company.

Trucking manufacturers are another party that could potentially be held liable for a truck accident.

Gathering evidence

Once you determine who should be held responsible it is time to begin gathering evidence. Witness statements, photographs, videos and cell phone records are valuable pieces of evidence to collect if you believe the truck driver was responsible. Cell phone records can be used to show if the driver was using their phone at the time of the accident.

When you believe the trucking company is the liable party, obtaining evidence such as trucking company policies, hiring and training information and communication between the driver and the trucking company can help you prove your case.

Evidence for proving the negligence of maintenance or cargo loading companies can include reports, records or contracts.

Evidence that the truck contained defective equipment or parts, such as problems with brakes or tires can help you show the trucking manufacturer’s negligence caused the accident.

Additional considerations

Although less common, other drivers on the road could cause the accident. Camera or surveillance footage of the surrounding area can help you get an overall picture of the accident and help determine the liability of any third parties.

Do not forget to review the road conditions at the time of the accident. Sometimes poor road conditions cause a truck accident and you may be able to argue negligence against the government entity responsible.

Determining liability after a truck accident can be overwhelming and complex, especially when a combination of these parties share responsibility.


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