Florida is the fourth most populous state in the union and it's easy to see why when you consider its tropical climate, long sandy beaches, and tourist attractions. With vast ocean and waterway access, it's also a major international hub for importing and exporting goods, meaning that its roadways see their fair share of freight-bearing trucks.
With all of these trucks on the road, Floridians aren't always surprised to read news stories of overturned semis. Although they probably do take notice when a Florida truck accident releases millions of agitated bees on the highway or, for that matter, when a truck driver is caught with dismembered alligator parts in the cab of his truck. It's impossible to predict when accidents like these will happen, which is why it's important to know your rights and what to do after a truck accident in Florida.
Duty to Stop, Provide Information, and Care
The first thing to note about Florida truck accidents is that, in addition to stopping to exchange basic information, state law requires drivers to provide "reasonable assistance" to those injured in an accident. And when a person's injuries prevent him or her from being able to exchange information, the other parties are required to report the crash to the nearest law enforcement office. Drivers that fail to do so and instead leave the scene too early could face a third degree felony. Where the injuries are serious, they could face second degree felony charges.
In Florida, law enforcement is required to prepare reports for any crash involving a commercial motor vehicle or any which result in death, injuries or inoperable vehicles. For all other crashes involving property damage, the law requires drivers to submit a written crash report to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. In other words, every Florida truck accident will require a written report by law enforcement. So even in the unlikely event that a truck accident doesn't result in injuries or property damage, you're still required to stick around and call law enforcement to report the incident.
Overview of Florida Truck Accident Laws
You can consult the chart below for more information on Florida Truck accident laws.
Florida Statutes Section 95.11 (statute of limitations)
Florida Statutes Section 316.027 (penalties for failing to provide care after an accident)
Florida Statutes Section 316.061 (requirements to stop after an accident)
Florida Statutes Section 316.062 (duty to give information and render aid after an accident)
Florida Statutes Section 316.066 (crash reporting requirements)
Florida Statutes Section 768.096 (employer presumption against negligent hiring)
|Statute of Limitations||
For negligence actions, there is a four year statute of limitations.
For wrongful death actions, there is a two year statute of limitations. However, in cases of wrongful death involving intentional torts, there is no such limitation.
|Can a Trucking Company be Held Liable?||
Yes, a trucking company can be vicariously liable for damages caused by its driver, but only where the driver was acting within the scope of his or her employment at the time of the incident.
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Related Resources for Florida Truck Accident Laws
Get Professional Legal Help With Your Florida Truck Accident Case
As the trauma of a Florida truck accident subsides, it's important to take a step back and determine the totality of its impact on your life. As you weigh your options going forward, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to see how you and your loved ones can be made whole.
Contact a qualified attorney.