Florida motorist laws can be complicated and confusing. But when an accident involves a semitrailer the case can take an even greater complicated turn. When a truck accident occurs, not only does the choice of law involve both state and federal laws, but issues regarding respondeat superior and insurance contracts create conflicts between many parties.
Florida law has held that a tractor is a dangerous instrumentality but an un-motorized trailer is not. Further, case law supports that when a tractor-trailer is involved in an accident, the owner of the trailer portion is not liable under the dangerous instrumentality doctrine. However, the owner of the trailer can be liable if the tractor driver is the trailer owner’s employee. Further, case law supports that the insurance policy language may be written where both the tractor owner and the driver become insureds under the trailer policy.
Thus, when there is a trucking accident not only will general principles of negligence apply, but also insurance contract law as well as dangerous instrumentality and respondeat superior doctrines. If you have suffered a personal injury as the result of a trucking accident it is important that you seek the legal representation so that you can be prepared to address this complicated area of the law.
If you have been a victim of a trucking accident we invite you to contact Givens Givens Sparks for a free case evaluation.