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Florida Trucking Accident Law: What is it?

Florida Trucking Accident Law: What is it?

truck on freeway

Florida trucking accident law has a massive impact on our daily commutes. We see commercial trucks out on Florida’s roads and highways every day. However, we rarely think about what and who governs those driving them. When we get on a busy Miami highway, the sight of semis causing traffic jams is unmissable. While commercial trucks on our busy roads are the norm, laws that regulate their operations are much more complex. Statistics now show that each year, nearly 4,000 Americans suffer accidents with fatal injuries from truck drivers who fail to uphold the standard of care for public safety.

What does the public need to know about Florida truck accident law?

With such sky-high statistics, the laws surrounding truck accidents should be something the public has more exposure to. With the lack of information readily available to the public, it takes a lawyer with what Shaked Law Firm calls “in the trenches” experience in this detailed area of Personal Injury law to successfully represent a trucking accident case. This type of case tends to be highly complex because they often involve both federal law (The Department of Transportation, FMCSA, and FMCSR) as well as Florida’s state law.

Read more: Suing a Trucking Company For Negligent Acts?

Questions about Florida trucking accidents?

  • What experience does my Florida trucking accident attorney require?
  • Who is the Department of Transportation?
  • How are Florida’s trucking accident laws regulated?
  • What are “Hours of Service”?
  • What is the NTSB?
  • Why does my Florida trucking accident representation make a difference in the outcome of my case?

A lot of lawyers will falsely advertise that they’re prepared to take on a large truck accident claim. However, they’ve never seen any of these cases to trial. This is deceitful advertising on the part of the Firm. More importantly, this tactic severely hurts the client.

Trucking accidents are the cause some of the most serious injuries Florida Personal Injury lawyers handle. Sadly, the busier Florida becomes, the more these accidents are on the rise. That’s why within this article, the Shaked Law Firm’s Law Resource Blog will take you inside the reality of truck accident law. We also establish the importance of Board Certified representation in these cases. All of this from the perspective of a double Board Certified Personal Injury lawyer who gets in the trenches, tries, and recovers multi millions of dollars every month.

What experience does my Florida trucking accident attorney require?

There are several different, specific areas of law that apply in the case of a Miami trucking accident. A Board Certified civil trial lawyer will have experience not only in Personal Injury, but the areas of law that often must accompany it. In Florida’s most complex truck accident cases, victims may require that their lawyer provide legal counsel in the area of worker’s compensation, employment law, and have experience in both federal and Florida state laws.

Because of this, not every lawyer is suited to take on a trucking accident case and get their client the compensation they rightfully deserve. Some attorneys will claim to be ready and willing to take your trucking accident claim, only to leave you high and dry when it comes time to go to trial! This can cost clients financial, emotionally, and put further strain on their already compromised physical health.

Expert trucking accident attorneys

The Shaked Law Firm Blog exposes the truth about what the insurance companies hope trucking accident victims won’t find out!

To best understand the laws surrounding Florida trucking accidents, this article will take a look at what truck accident law really is, and thoroughly explain government regulations.

Who is the Department of Transportation?

Commuting to and from work, or out on the road enjoying the weekend on a motorcycle ride, the first thing that comes to mind for a driver probably isn’t who’s out there keeping the road safe. In fact, we often take for granted that there’s even a governing body for exactly this reason. The office that makes road safety for the public their first priority is known as the Department of Transportation, or, DOT.

The purpose of the DOT: “Serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.”

The main goal of the DOT is public safety and reducing the risk of accidents on every road, highway, freeway, and turnpike in the United States. Americans travel 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. That’s a lot of manpower required year round. Forging ahead, the DOT is dedicated to serving the public and providing for the best interests of drivers both publicly employed and private citizens. That’s why the Department of Transportation employs 55,000 government workers all over the United States each year. By maintaining a standard of public safety and regulating the laws surrounding transportation and commuting, the DOT is able to, as they state via their website, “contribute to the nation’s economic growth”.

How are Florida’s trucking accident laws regulated?

There are several questions that arise when navigating truck accident law for the first time. The first is: who governs the legal side of sustaining injuries in a trucking accident? The second is: is a lawyer able to uphold the standard of proof in a trucking accident case?

The answer to that question is: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or, FMCSA. The FMCSA regulates the laws surrounding driver safety, retraining, proper securing of cargo in or on a commercial carrier. FMCSA also regulates liability (Hours of Service) in cases of operator fatigue. FMCSA requires up to date logbooks for each truck operator to ensure rest requirements are being met. In the next paragraph, we’ll further explain Hours of Service with an excerpt from our October 2019 writeup.

What are “Hours of Service”?

To ensure public safety as well as the safety of those who drive commercial vehicles, the DOT provides a thorough list of regulations. These regulations explicitly state requirements to be met. This assists trucking operators in avoiding carrier fatigue. These regulations as a whole are known as Hours of Service.

Furthermore, the Department of Transportation lists everything from specific mileage and/or driving limits broken down into hours, to mandatory rest breaks.

We’ve laid out these federal regulations below:

  • Property carrying drivers. 11-hour driving limit; a driver may only drive a maximum of 11 consecutive hours, after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • Passenger carrying drivers.10-hour driving limit; a driver may only drive a maximum of 10 hours, after 8 consecutive hours off duty.
  • Rest break requirements.A trucking operator may only drive if 8 hours or less have passed since end of driver’s last “off-duty” or rest period (must be at least 30 minutes).
To ensure public safety as well as the safety of those who drive commercial vehicles, the DOT provides a thorough list of regulations.

One should also familiarize themselves with in connection to the area of truck accident law is the Federal Highway Administration. Also known as the FHA, this Administration governs all aspects of highway transportation. Therefore, when a lawyer tries a trucking accident case, the liability laws set forth by FHA apply.

The FHA, FMCSA, and FMCSR are all part of the federal government.

What is the NTSB?

Last but not least, an important point one seeking trucking accident information should be knowledgable in is the NTSB. The National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB involves themselves in any serious accident that occurs on a highway. However, we most often see their presence after plane accidents. However, any laws the NTSB sets forth would apply during trial when trying a truck accident case. The laws apply whether the case is one of liability, hit-and-run, or wrongful death.

Learn more:

Why does my Florida trucking accident representation make a difference in the outcome of my case?

A Board Certified Personal Injury lawyer is proficient in trucking accident law. This type of lawyer, with “in the trenches” trial experience, can also successfully litigate cases of wrongful death.

Thus, the Board Certified difference should be obvious. A lawyer with Board Certification has appropriate knowledge of federal, state, and specific trucking-related laws. More so, overall compassion, ethics, and moral standing ranks well above that of their non-board certified peers.

Little known federal fact: the Department of Transportation was established as a Congressional act on October 15, 1966. However, the Department’s first day of operation did not commence until April 1, 1967.

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