Truck accidents are one of the leading causes of death on American roadways, and Florida is no exception. In 2015, an estimated 116,000 people were injured in vehicle accidents involving semi trucks. In Florida alone, large trucks comprise 5.2% of all accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. According to the same report, semi truck accidents are most common on interstates and in rural areas. Whenever a person is injured by a semi truck accident, he or she may be able to recover for those damages in an Orlando court.
Florida Law on Truck Accidents
Under the laws applicable to Orlando, victims of truck accidents will usually seek recovery for their damages through a negligence lawsuit. In order to prevail on a negligence lawsuit in Florida, the injured party will be required to prove the following in an Orlando courtroom:
- The truck driver owed a duty of care: Whenever a driver chooses to get behind the wheel, the law requires that driver to behave as a “reasonably prudent person.” While this standard is flexible to the circumstances surrounding each vehicle accident, this typically requires the truck drivers to follow the traffic laws, to only drive if they are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and to only drive if they are alert and focused on the road. For drivers of large trucks or semi trucks, these standards are even higher.
- The truck driver violated this duty of care: Next, the injured victim in a truck accident will be required to prove in an Orlando court that the truck driver “violated” this duty of care, or, in other words, that the driver did not behave in the way a “reasonably prudent” person would have behaved in similar circumstances. Using the previous examples, this means that driver was violating some traffic law or driving while impaired or distracted.
- This violation caused truck accident injuries: Finally, the driver’s violation of his or her duty must have been the cause of your injuries. This fairly simple legal concept is best illustrated by an example: If the driver was sending a text message while driving 30 minutes prior to the truck accident and was otherwise behaving in a reasonably prudent manner at the time of the collision, then the injuries from the truck accident were not “caused” by the negligence of the driver, even though he or she had recently behaved in a negligent manner.