There is good news for Florida’s drivers: Truck crash avoidance technology may soon be available. Installation of collision avoidance and mitigation braking technology in new trucks and buses rated at 10, 000 pounds or more GVW may soon be required by the National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The new technology, termed “F-CAM” systems, is expected to significantly decrease truck-related crashes. The F-CAM technology utilizes a system of radars and sensors to alert truck drivers of an impending accident and then applies the truck’s brakes before a crash occurs. If the technology works as expected, it could prevent thousands of crashes from happening annually. The exact date of potential implementation is not yet known, but four highway safety lobbies are petitioning the NHTSA.
Technology is Not Cause for Complacency on Florida’s Highways
Importantly, however, the good news concerning truck crash technology is not cause to become less vigilant while driving on Florida’s streets and highways. Yes, technology is introducing a wealth of new benefits for drivers, but there is still ample room for human error and other factors to bring danger to the roads. Accidents are inevitable, and when they occur, Floridians need to know what to do. Receiving medical treatment for any injuries suffered always comes first – nothing is more important than your health and safety. After you have tended to your well-being, you need to protect your legal rights as an accident victim.
Technology Cannot Always Counteract Human Behavior
Technological safety advances cannot always counteract human behavior to prevent a car accident from happening. There are three types of human behavior that contribute to car accidents:
- Intentional wrongdoing
Negligence is a legal term synonymous with carelessness. Specifically, negligence occurs when a breach of a duty of care results in damages. To put this legal doctrine into practical terms in the car accident context, the duty of care is the duty of safe driving that drivers owe to one another. A breach of the duty of safe driving includes an array of behaviors such as driving too fast, driving erratically, or driving while distracted (e.g. looking at text messages).
When a breach of the duty of safe driving causes a car accident, negligence has occurred. When a driver has caused an accident due to his or her negligence, the accident victim may hold the negligent driver financially responsible for the personal injuries, property damage, and other losses suffered. In Florida, however, there is a catch: Florida’s “no-fault” car insurance law. Under this law, which exists in roughly a dozen states, you first seek a financial settlement from your own car insurance provider. Whatever your feelings about the “no-fault” law, it is intended to expedite the settlement process and keep the courts from being clogged with accident-related lawsuits.
There is a way to bypass Florida’s no-fault law, though. If you have suffered “serious” injuries in an accident caused by another driver, you may be able to reject the settlement offered by your own insurer, and instead sue the at-fault driver and his or her insurance provider. The reason for doing this is the original settlement offer from your insurer is inadequate – if it does not account for your injuries, pain and suffering, and other losses. When a settlement offer does not make up for the damage you have suffered, you may want to seek the full compensation you need and deserve from the at-fault party. Again, though, your injuries must qualify as “serious.” To be sufficiently serious, an injury must either be permanent, or have caused scarring or disfigurement.
The same rules apply when an at-fault driver has been worse than negligent in causing an accident. Some accidents are caused by recklessness. One example of recklessness is drinking and driving. To get behind the wheel and drive while intoxicated is more than careless – it is reckless. As such, drivers who cause accidents because of their own recklessness face criminal penalties in addition to civil penalties. Still, victims of accidents caused by recklessness must meet the “serious” injury threshold to bypass Florida’s no-fault system.
What to Do if You Have Been the Victim of a Truck-Related Crash in Florida
If you have been the victim of an accident with a truck, contact a skilled and experienced Florida auto accident attorney. A skilled attorney will help you protect your legal rights and work to obtain the compensation you need and deserve after an accident. In addition to Florida’s no-fault car insurance law, the state utilizes a comparative negligence system in awarding damages arising from car and truck accidents. Because of this, it is imperative to skillfully present all evidence concerning fault in an accident that resulted in serious injuries. The system is complex, involving multiple levels of law, and takes a dedicated attorney to navigate. For your future and your financial security, contact a skilled and experienced Florida auto accident attorney today.