Truck Drivers Have a Duty to Avoid Truck Accidents
In Miami and throughout the United States, we depend on trucks to carry goods from coast to coast, and even across country borders. According to the American Trucking Association, more than 70% of goods consumed in the U.S. are moved by trucks. Trucks share the roads and highways with cars, motorcycles and other modes of transportation. While vehicle drivers have a responsibility to do what they can to prevent car accidents, truck drivers have a duty to avoid truck accidents.
The Truck Driver’s Duty
A driver of a big rig, 18-wheeler, or a cargo truck has a duty of care when it comes to driving the truck. The driver’s duty of care is to do the following:
- Obey traffic rules
- Adhere to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) laws
- Do not drive distracted and pay attention to the road
- Take measures to ensure roadways are safe
- Follow OSHA and U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) regulations
For instance, FMCSA laws, which is the primary regulator of the trucking industry, state a truck driver can only drive so many hours of service in a day and must take a required number of hours of rest, off the road. FMCSA laws are also the authority on inspection, repair and maintenance of trucks.
And according to OSHA, safety procedures must be followed when it comes to loading and unloading trucks at warehouses. OSHA does not regulate self-employed truck drivers; it regulates the places where truckers deliver goods, which has an effect on trucking employers.
Although the FMCSA is the primary regulator of the trucking industry, the agency is an agency within the US DOT. Finally, the US DOT is the investigating authority on trucking accidents on roads highways.
The Average Truck Driver is 55 Years of Age
The trucking industry is experiencing a shortage in drivers, according to an article by NPR News. The trucking industry is a dangerous and risky one, leaving the average driver, who is 55 years of age, tired with a life tied to the road.
Because generations are seeking opportunities outside of the trucking industry, the burden is placed on the average age of truck drivers to continue working to get the goods where they need to go.
What to Do When Truck Driver Breaches Duty of Care
When a truck driver breaches the duty of care and causes a car accident or motorcycle accident, the victim has a right to file a trucking accident claim or personal injury lawsuit to recover the damages. The victim can file a lawsuit against the following:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The owner of the truck
- The truck or part manufacturer
All entities or persons may not apply depending upon the situation. To determine who to sue, you should discuss the matter with a Miami truck accident lawyer. The lawyer will be able to develop a plan of action and strategy to help you recover the maximum compensation possible.
What if the Truck Hit Me Because of Another Driver?
If the truck did not actually cause the accident, but another driver did, it is unlikely that you would be able to recover from the truck driver and trucking entities. The driver who caused the accident will be the responsible party, thus being liable for your damages. In this case, the lawsuit would be handled much like a typical car accident case with personal injuries.
If you are injured in a truck accident in the Miami area, Call Spencer Morgan Law.
If you receive injuries from a truck driver’s failure to uphold the duty of care, contact the Miami truck accident lawyers at Spencer Morgan Law at 305-423-3800 to discuss your truck accident case. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning there’s no fee or costs if we can’t recover compensation on your behalf.