Commercial Truck Rules in Tampa

Commercial truck accidents in Tampa cause devastating injuries and traffic fatalities. Because of these risks of death and severe injury, there are rules and laws that govern commercial motor vehicles. 

In many accident cases, commercial truck rules and laws are a factor in the outcome of the case. Our Tampa commercial truck accident lawyers at Catania & Catania, P.A. understand the laws and rules governing the trucking industry. This gives us an advantage when we go up against trucking companies and their insurers. 

We’ve won millions of dollars on behalf of truck accident victims. Contact our law office at (813) 222-8545 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Tampa truck accident lawyers. Let’s work together to get you the money you deserve after a devastating truck accident in Tampa, FL.

How Can Our Tampa Truck Accident Attorneys Help You With a Commercial Truck Accident Claim?

How Can Our Tampa Truck Accident Attorneys Help You With a Commercial Truck Accident Claim?

You shouldn’t have to go it alone after a truck accident. Our Tampa truck accident lawyers have over 120 years of combined legal experience. We can use our extensive resources, skills, and knowledge to pursue claims against the parties responsible for your truck accident.

 Since 1992, we have recovered millions of dollars in damages for our clients. When you hire Catania & Catania, P.A. to handle your injury claim, you can expect us to:

  • Investigate the cause of the truck accident and identify all parties liable for your damages
  • File claims and handle all matters with the insurance providers, trucking company, and defense attorneys
  • Work with experts and accident reconstructionists to gather evidence proving liability and fault
  • Consult medical experts to document the extent of your injuries and damages
  • Calculate the value of your damages and work to get you that amount through settlement or a jury verdict

The trucking company and its insurance provider have unlimited resources to investigate and fight your claim. That’s why you should put our Tampa personal injury attorneys to work on your behalf.

Contact us today to schedule a free case review with one of our truck accident lawyers in Tampa, FL. We want to hold the parties responsible for your pain and suffering financially accountable for their conduct. 

What is a Commercial Motor Vehicle?

Florida Statute §320.01(25) defines a commercial motor vehicle as a vehicle that:

  • Is not owned or operated by a government entity;
  • Has a gross vehicle weight of 26,001 pounds or more; AND,
  • Uses motor fuel or special fuel on public highways.

A vehicle of any weight with three or more axles or a vehicle used in combination with a trailer with a combined gross vehicle weight of 26,001 pounds is also considered a commercial motor vehicle. Commercial motor vehicles used to transport goods are often called 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and big rigs.

Laws and Regulations for Commercial Trucks in Tampa, FL

The State of Florida has several laws designed to make the use of commercial trucks safe within the state. Some of the important truck laws in Florida include:

Commercial Driver License

Operating a large truck requires special training and skills. Florida law requires individuals to obtain a Commercial Driver License (CDL) to operate a truck or truck combination weighing 26,001 or more pounds and towing a vehicle or unit over 10,000 pounds. In addition, a special class of CDL is required if the vehicle is transporting hazardous materials. 

Truck Dimensions and Weight 

The maximum gross vehicle weight rating for a commercial truck is 80,000 pounds. However, the maximum gross vehicle weight may be lower than 80,000 pounds, depending on the number and type of axles. 

The maximum height of a commercial truck in Florida is 13 feet 6 inches, including the load carried on the truck. However, automobile transporters may have a height of up to 14 feet, including the vehicles being transported. 

Trucks cannot be more than 102 inches wide. A truck may pull up to two trailers that do not exceed 75 feet in total length. 

A motor carrier may seek a permit for oversized or overweight trucks from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). Trip permits allow drivers up to five days to complete a single trip. Blanket permits cover multiple trips over 12 months. 

Hours of Service Rules

Fatigued and drowsy driving are common causes of truck accidents. Therefore, strict federal hours of service rules govern how long a truck driver may operate a vehicle without taking breaks or rest periods. 

Federal law permits a commercial truck driver to operate a vehicle for a maximum of 11 hours after completing 10 hours off duty. Florida’s hours of service regulations permit truck drivers to drive up to 12 hours after completing 10 hours off duty. Federal and state regulations also limit the number of hours a truck driver may operate a vehicle within a seven to eight-day stretch.

Drug and Alcohol Testing 

The state minimum alcohol limit for truck drivers is .04 instead of .08 for other drivers. Federal and state regulations require truck drivers and trucking companies to follow specific drug and alcohol testing procedures. 

Truck drivers are subject to pre-employment, post-accident, and random drug and alcohol tests. In addition, there are severe penalties for violating truck driver alcohol and drug testing. 

Traffic Laws for Commercial Truck Drivers

There are specific traffic laws that apply to commercial trucks. For example, driving in truck convoys is not permitted in Florida. 

Every driver has a duty to learn and follow the traffic laws. Many of these laws can be found in the Florida Commercial Driver License Manual.

Filing a Truck Accident Claim in Tampa, FL

If a truck accident caused your injuries, you could be entitled to compensation for your damages. However, you have the burden of proving that the truck driver, trucking company, or other parties were negligent.

Let us help you recover compensation for damages, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Nursing and personal care
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages and benefits
  • Mental anguish and emotional distress

Trucking companies and truck drivers who violate Florida truck laws can face penalties from the government. They may also be held accountable for the damages in civil court. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Tampa Commercial Truck Accident Lawyers

Let us take up the battle for you while you focus on your health and recovery. Call now for a free consultation with a Tampa personal injury lawyer. It does not cost you anything to obtain legal advice about your rights and options regarding a truck accident injury claim.