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Keep on Truckin’, Higher Expectations for Truck Drivers

Is it fair to have higher expectations for truck drivers? It is and we should – the law says so. Truck drivers are specially trained, have commercial drivers’ licenses (CDLs) and are common carriers. They are big (some weigh more than 10,000 pounds), they can be scary, and they have potential to cause tremendous damage. That’s why not only are truck drivers mandated to follow the same road rules and traffic laws as other drivers, they must also yield to smaller vehicles to avoid collisions.

All drivers have a duty of care they owe to other drivers, their passengers, and pedestrians. That duty is that they must exercise reasonable care while on the road to protect both their own safety as well as that of other motorists. For truck drivers, it’s next level.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations dictate that truck drivers owe more than merely ordinary or reasonable care, “extreme caution in the operation of a commercial motor vehicle shall be exercised when hazardous conditions, such as those caused by snow, ice, sleet, fog, mist, rain, dust, or smoke, adversely affect visibility or traction.”

Several courts have interpreted a “higher standard of care” for commercial truck drivers, based on that language. Lawsuits involving trucking accidents have translated this to the conclusion that truckers need to be more careful than car drivers. Basically, federal law requires a truck driver to exercise a higher level of caution than a reasonable and prudent person in a similar situation would.

So if an accident involving a truck occurs it is frankly easier to blame the truck driver – even if the weather was okay and there was nothing else remarkable about the incident. A court is more likely to find that a truck driver breached his/her duty of care compared to the person driving a regular car; because the expectation on a truck driver is far greater.

Therefore, it isn’t complicated to sue a truck driver for negligence.

A negligence claim against a truck driver requires a plaintiff to prove the following elements:

– The truck driver failed to exercise the duty of care owed to the plaintiff (i.e., the driver was negligent);
The plaintiff/victim was injured or killed as a result; and
The injury or death resulted in compensatory damages.
For more on accidents involving trucks, and all types of personal injury cases, the expert attorneys at , Goldman, Babboni & Walsh are available to answer your questions. Why not start off with a free case review? Just email us today at [email protected] so we can get you justice.

Attorney David Goldman has a strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and those with the means should do what they can to bring justice in all areas of our society. That belief has led him to help Florida's injured from being taken advantage of by corporations and insurance companies. Since 1989 David Goldman has been fighting for the rights of Floridians both as an attorney and by personally supporting our community.

Keep on Truckin’, Higher Expectations for Truck Drivers

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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