Estero Truck Accident Lawyer
A fully loaded large truck weighs over 80,000 pounds. Even experienced operators have difficulty controlling such massive vehicles, especially in adverse traffic, weather, or other conditions. Because of the ongoing truck driver shortage, many large truck drivers have little or no experience. In fact, Florida is one of the few states that issues commercial licenses to 18-year-olds. On a related note, the truck driver shortage means that the remaining drivers log more hours behind the wheel.
Shipping and transportation companies use inexperienced drivers because these companies only care about their own profits. In contrast, the dedicated Estero truck accident lawyer at Cardinal Law only cares about accident victims. So, when they reach out to us, we immediately begin collecting evidence that supports their claims and refutes possible insurance company defenses. Then, when the matter goes to court, our well-prepared legal team strongly advocates for victims. Throughout the process, we proactively communicate with our clients, so they are never in the dark.
First Party Negligence
Negligence, or a lack of care, is the legal version of the Good Samaritan story. Just like this man went out of his way to help an injured traveler, truck drivers must go out of their way to avoid accidents.
Truck drivers and other commercial operators must go the extra mile to avoid accidents. Florida law imposes a duty of utmost care on these operators.
Driving while fatigued, a common issue among truck drivers, is a good example. Scientifically, driving after eighteen consecutive awake hours is like driving with a .05 BAC level. That’s a dangerous level of alcohol impairment for noncommercial drivers. This impairment includes clouded judgment and slow motor skills. This level is above the legal limit for commercial operators. In other words, this level of fatigue is a clear breach of care as opposed to a marginal breach of care.
If a breach of care substantially causes injury, the victim is entitled to compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Impaired driving, like excessive fatigue, is not the only possible breach of care. Aggressive driving is a breach of care as well. Aggressive driving includes speeding and changing lanes unsafely.
Once again, the higher standard of care comes into play in these situations. In terms of following distance, the two-second rule usually applies to noncommercial drivers. For large truck operators, the recommended following distance is usually seven or eight seconds. Many truckers ignore this requirement, so they can reach their destinations faster.
Third Party Liability and Estero Truck Accident Lawyers
Because of the high duty of care (the bigger they are, the harder they fall), and because truck crashes often cause catastrophic injuries, compensation in these claims is usually substantial.
Generally, the shipping or transportation company that owned the truck or cargo is financially responsible for damages. The respondeat superior doctrine applies if the tortfeasor (negligent driver) was an employee acting within the scope of employment at the time of the wreck.
Florida law defines these key terms very broadly. “Employee” is a good example. Most truck drivers are independent contractors or owner-operators. However, regardless of legal status, most truck drivers are employees for negligence purposes, because the company has some control over their behavior.
Contact a Dedicated Lee County Lawyer
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Estero truck accident lawyer, contact Cardinal Law, P.A. We routinely handle matters in Charlotte County and nearby jurisdictions.