CDL Licensing Requirements

Pembroke Pines Lawyers Advising Truck Accident Victims in South Florida

If you or a person close to you has been involved in a truck accident caused by the negligence of a trucker or trucking company, you should know that there are special laws and regulations that pertain to the trucking industry. These include certain requirements for people who hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL). If a truck driver fails to abide by CDL licensing requirements, or if a trucking outfit does not use due care in the hiring and retention of its commercial drivers, this may be evidence of negligence in a semi-truck or 18-wheeler crash. The knowledgeable Pembroke Pines truck accident attorneys at Cohn & Smith have handled many serious motor vehicle collision lawsuits. We are here to guide your family and you through the process of seeking maximum compensation following an accident.

Understanding CDL Licensing Requirements

There are many federal and state laws that apply to professional truck drivers who hold CDLs. For instance, it is illegal for a professional trucker to operate a commercial motor vehicle in Florida if they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .04% or more. While this would not meet the threshold for a conviction of DUI for the driver of a passenger vehicle, the laws pertaining to people with CDLs are stricter because of the potential damage that a large truck weighing 80,000 pounds may inflict on other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

Many other events that would not trigger a loss of driving privileges for noncommercial operators have potentially negative consequences for CDL drivers. These include a conviction of a serious traffic violation, such as excessive speeding, following too closely, or erratic lane changes. Even traffic violations in a CDL holder’s personal vehicle have the potential to affect their legal right to drive a big rig.

Bringing a Negligence Claim for Compensation

As with any motor vehicle accident case, the injured person has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant trucker or trucking company failed to meet the applicable duty of care owed to the victim and that the victim’s damages were the direct result of the defendant’s breached duty of care. Potential damages include items such as pain and suffering, loss of income, medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost earning capacity, and loss of consortium if the plaintiff’s spouse joins in the claim. Wrongful death lawsuits by the family or estate of a person killed in a fatal truck accident may seek other damages, such as funeral expenses, lost net earnings to the victim’s estate, and other related losses. In cases involving reckless conduct or a wanton and willful disregard for the plaintiff’s safety, there may also be a possibility of punitive damages.

In many truck accident cases, both the truck driver and their employer are named as defendants. The employer may be held vicariously liable through the doctrine of respondeat superior, or it may be directly liable for its own negligence, especially if CDL licensing requirements were violated. The case must be filed by the plaintiff against all potential defendants within the appropriate statute of limitations, or it will likely not be able to proceed.

Protect Your Rights by Enlisting a Truck Accident Attorney in Pembroke Pines

Truck accident litigation may be difficult, protracted, and hotly contested. If you have been involved in a serious crash, it is critical to have a seasoned motor vehicle collision attorney beside you in your fight for maximum compensation for your injuries. To put six decades of combined personal injury trial experience to work on your case, call the experienced Pembroke Pines lawyers at Cohn & Smith at (954) 431-8100 or contact us online for a free case evaluation. We represent people throughout South Florida, including in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Davie, Weston, Sunrise, Tamarac, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, Aventura, and cities throughout North Dade County.