Do Different Laws Apply to Truck Accidents?
On Behalf of Rosenthal, Levy, Simon & Sosa | November 17, 2022 | Truck Accident Injuries
Truck drivers are beholden to the same state and federal laws that other motorists must follow. However, they also have additional federal laws that apply specifically to the commercial trucking industry. Unfortunately, for truck carriers, many of these laws are in direct conflict with the ways they can maximize their profit. Instead of accepting this fact and making safety a priority, many trucking companies and others in the industry cut corners to continue to make more money. Sadly, thousands of people are injured or even killed every year on American roadways due to their illegal and unethical practices. If you or someone you love fell victim to them, don't hesitate to reach out to the experienced West Palm Beach truck accident attorneys at Rosenthal, Levy, Simon & Sosa.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Laws
Hours of Services
The commercial truck industry must comply with current Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Laws. These laws cover a wide variety of areas, but the most common violations are those involving hours of service laws. Under these laws, truck drivers are limited on the number of consecutive hours they can drive and how many hours they can drive in a week. In addition, they are required to document their driving hours formally. However, some of them create fraudulent documentation so they can continue to abuse and break the law to drive more hours than they should. Hours of service laws are crucial as they decrease the incidence of driver fatigue— a leading cause of big rig accidents.
There are also laws that involve the trucks that trucking carriers operate. They are required by law to ensure that their trucks go through routine maintenance and inspections. Putting drivers on the road with a truck that's not in proper working condition is illegal under federal laws. Truck drivers must inspect their rigs on a regular basis and log their findings. This helps decrease the incidence of malfunctioning brakes and blown-out tires that can cause catastrophic accidents.
Additionally, truckers and their employers must both check that their trucks are loaded correctly and that the weight is balanced in the ways it should be. For example, if a truck's cargo isn't secured or if it's too heavy for the truck, it might cause a preventable truck accident.
The Hiring Process
Other laws deal with the trucking industry's hiring processes. The bottom line is that trucking carriers must only hire well-qualified and adequately trained drivers. Their hiring procedures should involve stringent checks, including a thorough review of:
- Medical histories
- Driving records
- Criminal records
- Drug tests
Suppose a trucking company fails to complete these checks and a driver causes an accident. In that case, they can both be held liable for the injuries and damages that arise.
Injured in a Truck Accident? Call Our Seasoned West Palm Beach Truck Accident Attorneys
Being involved in a truck accident often comes with many profound implications. For example, you may have severe or even catastrophic injuries that require extensive medical care and months or even years of not returning to work. In these instances, the West Palm Beach truck accident lawyers at Rosenthal, Levy, Simon & Sosa are here for you. We are strong advocates and will fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 561-867-4102 or use our convenient online contact form to get your case started with a free consultation.