Read to learn about who is to blame in a trucking accident and how the benefit of doubt doctrine plays a role.

Trucking accidents caused by improper lane changes and merges account for over 500,000 accidents in the United States annually, according to a United States Department of Transporation report. It is indisputable; a trucking accident is a travesty that harms all parties involved. The collision can lead to thousands of dollars in property damage, an endless pile of medical bills, among other expenses. Continue reading to learn more about who is to blame in trucking accidents and how the benefit of the doubt doctrine plays a role.

Who Had The Right Of Way?

To take merging accidents as an example, merging requires patience and flexibility from drivers in both lanes of traffic. The driver merging must pay attention and find an opening in which they can safely merge into. In response, the adjacent lane driver must also drive responsibly, adjusting their speed, if necessary, to create a space for the merger. Therefore, the general rule follows that if a driver was hit from behind while attempting to merge into traffic, the fault for the collision would be split between both drivers. The merger should have waited for a more appropriate opening, while the other driver should have been more attentive and attempted to avoid the accident. In Florida, the driver in the moving lane has the duty to avoid an accident to the best of their ability. However, if an opening could not be identified, the driver in the moving lane will be given the benefit of the doubt. The “benefit of the doubt” is a standard of proof doctrine. In this current scenario, the driver in the moving lane is given the benefit of the doubt, since they have the right of way.

Was Negligence Involved In The Truck Accident?

If the merging driver originally had a safe opening, but the driver in the moving lane accelerated to close the gap before the merger could be completed, then the driver in the moving lane would be at fault. As previously mentioned, in Florida, the driver in the moving lane bears the responsibility of driving cautiously and avoiding an accident to the best of their ability. Conversely, if it is found that the driver in the merging lane attempted to squeeze into traffic, even though there was not enough room, that driver would be deemed negligent. In instances where a party is shown to have been negligent, the benefit of the doubt doctrine would not apply.

Were There Any Witnesses At The Scene Of The Truck Accident?

Accidents involving 18-wheeler trucks are generally dangerous and cause large-scale levels of damage. As a result, both parties will likely vouch for their own innocence while asserting the opposing party’s negligence. To combat any discrepancies among the drivers’ accounts, it is optimal to have a witness. Witness statements and police statements can be extremely beneficial in corroborating stories. However, it is oftentimes difficult to find an unbiased witness in a trucking accident.

What Types Of Injuries Are Seen In Florida Trucking Accidents?

While the severity of injuries involving a truck may vary, these are a few common injuries that may result from vehicular accidents:

  • Arm and leg fractures
  • Neck injuries
  • Sprains and bruising
  • Spinal injuries and herniated discs

Individuals involved in a vehicular accident may also suffer psychological impacts, such as post traumatic stress disorder. These long-lasting effects may lead to absconding events, including missed work.

If you or someone you love has been involved in a trucking accident, Abercrombie, P.A. is here to help you through this difficult time.