Common Laws that Regulate Commercial Vehicle Operation, and can affect your personal injury case if you have been injured in an accident with an 18-wheeler.
The motor shipping industry is regulated by both Federal and State laws. These laws set standards that must be followed by trucking companies and drivers to legally operate a commercial vehicle on public roads. Failure to abide by these laws can have serious consequences, including accidents that lead to severe injuries and even fatalities. The two main Federal Departments responsible for Federal motor shipping standards are the Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Each state also has its own Department of Transportation which regulates shipping/trucking within state lines.
This article outlines some of the common laws that have been issued to ensure the safety of all drivers on the roads, and will portray why having a lawyer who is experienced in these laws is important to your case if you have been injured in an accident with a commercial vehicle.
Quality of the Vehicle
All commercial vehicles, including Tractors and Trailers, must follow regulations when they are being manufactured, and as they are being maintained in service. This includes repairs and normal maintenance done due to normal wear and tear. If defective manufacturing, or improper maintenance caused, or partially caused an accident then it may be possible to file a claim against the truck manufacturer, dealer, or the shop that made the inadequate repairs.
There are specific regulations that must be followed when transporting hazardous materials. If a truck driver is in an accident while transporting these types of materials, and a person is injured by those materials, your Truck Accident Lawyer may be able to file a claim against, not only the driver, but his employer and the company who is shipping the materials.
Appropriate License Class and Endorsements
All commercial truck drivers must carry a valid Commercial Driver’s License or CDL. These licenses prove that the driver has had adequate training and understands the safety regulations required to operate his or her vehicle. There are several classes of licenses that are required depending on the type of vehicle being operated, and the type of cargo the vehicle transports. If someone is injured in an accident and the driver is not properly licensed, claims against the driver or the employer of the driver may be made.
There are laws that regulate how many hours a driver may operate a vehicle before requiring a certain amount of rest. The driver is required to keep a detailed log of his hours driving, and the hours that he has rested. Drowsy Drivers account for many trucking accidents, and also lead to the use of illegal drugs to help keep the driver awake. Operating a vehicle in these unrested states can lead to accidents and is negligent behavior.
Commercial vehicles are required to comply with regulations regarding how much weight the truck can carry. This depends mostly on the size of the vehicle. An overweight truck can cause a truck to behave dangerously at high speeds and lead to accidents and injuries. If you have been injured in an accident with an 18-wheeler, knowing how much the truck weighed at the last check point is an important piece of the puzzle when determining liability.
These are just some of the laws that determine safe operation of the vehicle. The complex nature of these laws, and the number of regulations that must be considered is why hiring an experienced truck accident lawyer is crucial in obtaining fair compensation for your damages if you have been injured in an accident with a commercial vehicle.
At Carabin Shaw, we have a team of highly qualified and experienced attorneys who will work Day and Night to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. If you have been injured in an accident with an 18-wheeler contact Carabin Shaw any time for a free consultation with no obligation. 1.800.862.1260