Truck accidents and car accidents are quite different from each other as truck accidents are regulated by both federal and state laws. It is for this reason, it is quite tough to figure out who should be held liable for damages if an accident occurs. So, are the truck drivers held responsible for accidents? Let’s get some insights into the trucking industry regulation to better understand when they can be held liable and too what extent.
Federal and State Regulation of Trucking Industry
When compared to cars, commercial trucks are very huge, hence commercial trucking in the U.S. and particularly in Florida is a highly regulated sector. The primary goal of such stringent laws is to protect civilians and people who have been a victim of truck accidents. And since the additional regulation is required, they include both federal and state laws. This also means that if a truck driver was found to be involved in a crash cash, any sort of violations of these laws may serve as a basis to file a negligence lawsuit. At the federal level, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the agency that regulates trucking businesses in the country. The federal regulations are majorly based on the number of hours a trucker is permitted to drive per sitting daily. Whereas, state trucking regulations includes many laws that vary from state to state. These involve proportion- and weight-specific regulations of trucks and the trailers attached to these heavy vehicles.
Responsibility in Truck Accidents
If you have been involved in a trucking accident, your accident attorney as well as your insurance company will try to determine someone to be held responsible for the mishap. It is to be noted that in a truck accident, more than person can be held responsible. Moreover, depending on the state in which the incident has happened, the applicable state laws will find out where to place the liability. In specific types of truck accidents, known as “jackknifing” in which, the driver requires making a sudden turn to avoid colliding with other vehicles on the road, the drivers are usually not held liable. Since trucks are extremely big, they almost always require two lanes to make a turn, and if a driver causes an accident in the process, they will be held responsible for the incident completely without the involvement of anyone else.
The Jury Decides Who is Responsible
You may be now wondering if truck drivers are always responsible for losses in an accident. Well, an experienced truck accident lawyer in your locality is the best professional to answer this question. However, we will help you determine who can be held responsible too some extent. In many cases, finding this is quite difficult, hence seeking legal help is the best bet. Many a time, an accident reconstruction professional is required to understand how the accident occurred. And as already mentioned, more than one party can be held liable for losses too. The jury can divide the fault in any proportions, such as 50/50, 70/30, and so on. If the jury rules that the driver’s fault is 100% and awards you a specific amount of money as compensation, it means that you will receive all of the money decided by the jury.
Understanding Property Damage in a Tucking Accident
In case your vehicle hasn’t sustained any major damage due to a truck accident, the most likely scenario is that the insurer will cover the repair expenses and once your car is back to its normal state, the truck insurer will pay the bill if the drive was found to be at fault. On the other hand, if your car is damaged to the point that the cost of repair is quite close to or beyond the actual value of the vehicle, you may receive the blue book value of your car as part of the settlement process.
It is extremely important to discuss the specific details of your truck accident case with your attorney because a truck accident is quite different from a typical car accident and it involves federal laws as well. Hence, it is important to hire an experienced accident lawyer, who specializes in representing truck accident cases as this will help you stand a better chance of winning the maximum possible compensation.
Bottom line: Truck accidents are always devastating as they result in severe losses and injuries. For this reason, they are additionally regulated by federal laws. To what extent the truck driver is at fault for the losses depends on several factors and in some cases, experts are required to recreate the scenario in order to understand the circumstances in which the accident occurred, and subsequently to decide the party at fault. Since these cases are complex to navigate through, they should ideally be handled by an experienced truck accident attorney.