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Interstate vs. Intrastate Trucking

Interstate vs. Intrastate Trucking

The difference between interstate vs. intrastate trucking could be significant if you are involved in a truck accident in Miami, FL. Interstate trucking refers to a commercial motor vehicle that delivers goods across state lines. For example, the truck may pick up car parts in Louisiana and drive them to a destination in Florida.

Intrastate trucking is limited to one specific state. For instance, a truck operates only within the state of Florida. It does not deliver goods or engage in commerce across state lines.

Why Is It Important To Identify Whether a Truck Is Engaged in Interstate vs. Intrastate Trucking?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) sets and enforces rules and regulations for commercial motor vehicles engaged in interstate commerce. Therefore, a truck delivering goods across state lines must comply with federal law.

However, if the truck solely delivers goods within Florida, it is subject to state law. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) enforces the rules for intrastate trucking in Florida.

Florida has adapted many of the federal interstate trucking regulations for commercial vehicles operating solely in Florida. While many of Florida’s rules and regulations are the same as those of the federal government, there are some differences. 

Knowing the differences can help you with a trucking accident claim, especially if a violation of the intrastate trucking rules contributed to the cause of the crash.

Differences Between Federal and Florida Trucking Regulations

There are a few differences between interstate and intrastate trucking regulations in Florida. Differences include, but are not limited to:

Hours of Services

The Florida hours of service of intrastate trucking allow truckers to drive 12 hours after being off duty for ten straight hours. However, the FMCSA hours of service limit truckers to 11 hours of driving after being off duty for ten straight hours. Other differences may also impact rest periods and driving time.

Commercial Truck Insurance

The FMCSA sets the minimum truck insurance for interstate vehicles at $750,000 for non-hazardous property. The amount increases to $5 million, depending on the products being hauled. However, the minimum insurance for intrastate commercial motor vehicles in Florida begins at $50,000.

Height, Weight, Width, and Length Requirements

The FMCSA does not set height requirements for commercial trucks. The length restrictions also differ between state and federal law and also depend on the type of vehicle. Florida law sets a height restriction at 13 feet 6 inches for most trucks. Federal and state laws set limits of 102 inches in width for most trucks.

Generally, most commercial trucks cannot weigh more than 80,000 pounds, including their loads. Florida’s maximum gross weight restrictions depend on the distance between the first and last axles, but it has a maximum of 73,271 pounds.

There are exceptions to these rules. You can also apply for special permits to carry larger loads.

Other State Laws for Intrastate Trucking

Florida imposes other rules for intrastate trucking. Some of the rules apply to all trucks that operate on Florida roads. For example, Florida’s truck lane restrictions restrict which lanes trucks can use on specific roads within the state. Specific rules exist for truck driver qualification, hauling hazardous materials, substance abuse testing, and vehicle maintenance.

It is a truck driver’s and trucking company’s responsibility to know and understand the trucking rules that apply to their specific vehicles. If they violate federal or state trucking regulations, there could be fines and other penalties for the violations.

If the violation leads to or contributes to the cause of a truck accident, the trucking company and truck driver could be liable for damages in a civil lawsuit.

What Do I Need To Prove To Win a Truck Accident Claim in Miami, FL?

Regardless of the cause of the accident or whether the truck accident involved a violation of trucking regulations, the injured victim has the burden of proof. Negligence (carelessness) is the most common legal basis for truck accident cases. To win a negligence claim, you must prove:

  • Duty of Care – The party you allege caused the truck accident owed you a legal duty of care.
  • Breach of Duty – The party you accuse of causing the accident breached the duty of care by failing to use reasonable care or engaging in other wrongdoing.
  • Causation – The party’s actions directly and proximately caused the crash.
  • Damages – You sustained injuries and damages because of the party’s breach of duty.

Intrastate and interstate truck accidents cause severe injuries. Truck accident victims often sustain life-threatening injuries and permanent impairments. Seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries.

Get Help Recovering Compensation for a Miami Truck Accident Claim

You could receive economic and non-economic damages for a truck accident case. However, truck accidents are complex personal injury cases. The trucking company and insurance provider have vast resources to fight your claim. Call a truck accident lawyer for a free consultation to discuss how an attorney can help you receive the compensation you deserve.

Contact Our Truck Accident Law Firm in Miami, FL

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Miami, FL and need legal help, contact our Miami truck accident lawyers at Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation.

Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers
20900 NE 30th Ave Suite 715
Aventura, FL 33180
(305) 937-0191