Is the owner of the truck, the driver of the truck, or employer responsible to pay for damages following a Florida truck accident?

Every year thousands of serious accidents are caused by the negligence of truck drivers using the roads and highways of Florida. Many of these accidents result in serious injury or death due to the size and weight of these vehicles. If someone is injured as a result of a truck accident, there may be several different sources from which recovery can be made.

Obviously, if the driver of the truck operates the truck in a negligent manner resulting in injury, he would be liable to the injured person in the same manner that a negligent automobile driver would be liable. Therefore, if the driver has his own personal automobile insurance policy, recovery may be able to made from that insurance carrier. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, the owner of the truck would be responsible for the negligence of the driver. This is because in Florida, the owner of a dangerous instrumentality is held liable for damages caused by someone who is a permissive user of that instrumentality which is used in a negligent manner. Motor vehicles, including cars and trucks, are considered dangerous instrumentalities, and therefore subject the owner to liability. In cases involving serious injuries or death, defendants such as these usually have large insurance policies or are self-insured, providing the ability of greater compensation to be recovered.

If the driver of the truck was in the course and scope of his or her employment, then his or her employer may also be liable for damages. Respondeat superior (Latin: “let the master answer”) is a legal doctrine which states that, in many circumstances, an employer is responsible for the actions of employees performed within the course of their employment.

Although these are the usual sources of compensation, in certain specific situations others may be liable, such as the truck manufacturer, the people who maintained or serviced the truck, etc.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, speak with an attorney at Dell & Schaefer who can answer your questions and assist you in obtaining just compensation for you injuries or loss.

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