To operate a large truck and other specified vehicles, drivers in Florida must obtain a commercial driver’s license, or CDL. Licensing requirements stipulate that drivers must undergo certain training and evaluations in order to receive CDLs. This training and testing is important to safety on the roads. Even with proper licensing, commercial drivers can contribute to serious accidents. When license lapse or are fraudulently obtained, the potential for severe injuries increases. The Miami truck accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon are dedicated to pursuing proper compensation for victims. We can assist people throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties, as well as in other areas of South Florida.Holding Commercial Drivers Liable for Negligence
If you are injured as a result of a crash involving a truck, a negligent commercial driver can potentially be held responsible for the damages incurred through a personal injury lawsuit. To prevail in this type of case, the plaintiff must show that the driver, or the trucking company employing the driver, was negligent. To establish negligence, the plaintiff must prove that he or she was owed a duty of care and that the duty of care was breached. The plaintiff must also show that the breach was a cause of the plaintiff’s injuries and resulting damages.
Commercial truck operators have a duty to act as a reasonable and prudent driver would behave under similar circumstances. As a result, a commercial driver who is speeding or operating a vehicle without proper training or licensing, leading to a collision, may be held responsible for the injuries that result. In addition, if a trucking company fails to adhere to state laws and hires unlicensed drivers to operate its vehicles, it could be found at fault for negligent hiring or negligent entrustment. If liability is established, a plaintiff may be awarded damages in the form of past and future medical costs, lost income, loss of earning capacity, property damage, and pain and suffering, among other examples.CDL Licensing Requirements
Vehicles that weigh over 26,000 pounds or that carry more than 15 passengers must generally be operated by an individual with a CDL. The same is true for trucks carrying hazardous materials. In Florida, CDLs are issued based on different “classes,” corresponding to different types, weights, or cargoes of trucks. To obtain a CDL, drivers must be trained and tested in the following areas:
- General knowledge concerning trucks, road safety, and traffic regulations;
- Equipment performance and requirements;
- Basic skills;
- Air brakes (if applicable);
- Combinations vehicles; and
- Other exams applicable for endorsements, or special authorizations.
Drivers must be at least 18 years old to qualify for a CDL, and those under 21 are restricted to intrastate operations only. Drivers issued citations for speeding or other dangerous actions may face suspensions of their CDLs for up to three years, and depending on the infraction, or its frequency, CDLs may be revoked.Discuss Your Truck Accident Case with a Miami Lawyer
If you have been hurt in an accident involving a commercial truck operator, the Miami truck accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon can help you pursue your claim against those who may have been responsible. Our firm offers seasoned legal assistance from the initial investigation of the accident until the conclusion of any necessary litigation. We also represent people in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and other South Florida cities. Call (877) 499-4878 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney.