Litigating Truck Accident Cases in Hillsborough County
An untrained truck driver is a threat to the safety of other motorists on the road. At Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, our Spring Hill truck accident attorneys offer legal guidance and representation to victims of truck crashes. Our lawyers have handled numerous Florida truck accident cases over the course of our extensive legal practice. We can provide the aggressive, thorough representation you need to obtain fair compensation for your injuries. Please contact our office today to discuss how we can help you.
Lack of Truck Driver Training
Truck drivers operate vehicles that are significantly larger and heavier than most other vehicles on the road. Trucks, semi-trucks, and tractor trailers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds or more, and may carry hazardous materials. Drivers usually work long hours and sometimes travel through time zones to make their delivery deadlines. Given the nature of their work and size of their vehicles, truck drivers must be properly licensed and trained before they can get behind the wheel.
Federal law prohibits a person from driving a truck unless he or she receives the proper training. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires that a person have a valid commercial driver’s license issued by a state. A driver must pass both a written and skills test in Florida to obtain a commercial driver’s license. The skills test includes demonstrating that the driver can properly control the vehicle in a variety of traffic scenarios. Truck driver training also includes:
- Instruction on basic health maintenance (such as avoiding excessive alcohol use);
- Limits on hours-of-service, record of duty status preparation, and fatigue countermeasures to avoid a crash;
- Familiarity with the vehicle’s braking system; and
- Special training for drivers of longer combination vehicles, or LCVs.
Employers must also do background checks on their drivers. This includes an inquiry into a driver’s safety performance history, drug and alcohol testing, and periodic reviews of driving records.
Lack of Training and Liability
If you are hurt in a truck accident, and believe lack of training played a role in causing the crash, you can hold the driver or employer liable under a claim based on negligence. Drivers must have the proper training before getting behind the wheel of a truck. Employers must also ensure that their drivers are qualified and have the training required by law. If a truck driver does not have the proper training, the driver and employer may be held accountable.
To make your negligence claim, you must demonstrate that the defendant in your case owed you a duty of reasonable care; breached the duty of care; caused your injuries as a result of the breach; and that you suffered damages.
A truck driver may be liable if you can show that he or she breached the duty of care by driving despite the lack of training. The truck driver’s employer may be held liable if you can demonstrate that it disregarded its duty to ensure that its driver receive the proper training. In both cases, you must show that the breach caused your injuries. A review of the employer’s records will help determine if lack of training is a factor.
Given the high stakes of many truck accidents, there is the possibility that evidence will go missing. This is called spoliation of evidence, which is the destruction or alteration of evidence in an existing or pending litigation. Florida courts can impose sanctions on the party that “spoils” evidence, such as an adverse inference instruction to the jury or the exclusion of expert testimony.
Damages and Compensation
You may be able to recover economic and non-economic damages for your injuries, such as medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering. If you lost a relative in a fatal truck accident, you may file a wrongful death claim and seek damages that include loss of consortium and loss of support and services.
Comprehensive and Client-Oriented Legal Service
The North Tampa truck accident lawyers at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC are prepared to advocate for your right to just compensation. Our attorneys are committed to providing clients with thorough and comprehensive legal representation. We are capable of tackling even the largest truck accident cases, while providing our clients with the personalized client service that a boutique firm can offer. We serve clients in Hillsborough, Pasco, and Citrus Counties. For a free consultation, please give us a call at (866) 597-0009 or complete our online form today.