Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

4-0-3-2-6-0In the recent case of Panzera v. O’Neal, a man was killed in a fatal accident when he was struck by a large semi-truck on an interstate in 2011. The man had been trying to cross the interstate on foot. After the accident, the victim’s family brought a lawsuit claiming that the truck driver acted negligently in hitting the man. The plaintiffs also filed a lawsuit against the supermarket chain that employed the driver. In response, the truck driver and the supermarket chain filed a motion for summary judgment.

During the hearing on the motion for summary judgment, evidence was offered indicating that the victim had climbed over a chainlink fence to cross the dark highway immediately before he was killed. Evidence also showed that the man was wearing dark attire and that the accident occurred in the middle of the night, at roughly 3 a.m. During his testimony, the driver stated that he slammed on his brakes and tried to swerve away from the victim immediately before making the impact. Police officers testified to seeing long skid marks on the highway at the time they responded to the accident, corroborating the truck driver’s testimony that he attempted to avoid hitting the victim.

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file000850100179In a personal injury action, it is not uncommon for the parties to attempt to obtain as much information  as possible about each other. This can lead to instances in which a party’s personal and private information is exposed to public view. The judicial system has developed a process for determining whether sensitive information is discoverable in a lawsuit. This process stems from the Florida Constitution, which prohibits a court from requiring a party to disclose information that is not necessary to the court’s determination of the issues before it.

In the recent case of Muller v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., a Florida district court concluded that the defendant’s right to obtain the plaintiff’s military record through discovery was limited to the portions of the military record that were relevant to the litigation.

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In a recent study, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety concluded that six out of 10 motor vehicle accidents involving teens are caused by distracted driving. The biggest culprits causing teens to take their eyes off the road are cell phones and talking with other passengers.

The-Cost-of-Distracted-Driving

To compile the study, researchers reviewed and analyzed roughly 1,700 videos of teens operating motor vehicles, particularly during the moments leading up to a collision. Approximately 6,850 cameras were installed in the vehicles of drivers ages 16 through 19. The cameras were set up to view both he driver and the driver’s view through the front windshield.

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Truck 1Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal held that a trucking company was not vicariously liable for a truck driver’s negligence because the driver was an independent contractor, not an employee.

The trucker was involved in a truck accident that injured the plaintiffs. At the time of the accident, the driver was working as an independent contractor of the trucking company, and the trucking company owned neither the truck or the trailer. The plaintiffs filed suit against several entities, although the driver and the trucking company who employed him as an independent contractor were the only parties to the appeal.

The plaintiffs moved for a directed verdict on the theory that the defendant was vicariously liable for the trucker’s actions pursuant to section 316.302(1)(b) of the Florida Statutes. This law makes the owners and drivers of commercial vehicles engaged in intrastate commerce subject to many of the same federal laws as those taking part in interstate commerce. The federal laws, in some cases, hold employers liable for the actions of independent contractors. The trial court granted the plaintiff’s motion for a directed verdict.

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