The federal government holds truck drivers and trucking companies to high standards of safety. This is because trucks present an increased danger due to their massive size. After a commercial vehicle accident, the truck driver, trucking company, and manufacturers face heightened scrutiny for any negligence that may have contributed to the crash.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, and the truck driver is found to be negligent or in violation of federal trucking regulations, you may be able to file a personal injury claim for damages. For example, if the at-fault driver had been driving past the time limit set by the law, they can be held responsible for failing to follow established safety guidelines.
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Commercial trucks and "big rigs" are much larger than passenger cars. Most cars weigh about 3,000 pounds, while trucks can tip the scales at 80,000 pounds or more. These vehicles are often much more difficult to maneuver as well. Another factor that contributes to the increased risk of tractor-trailer accidents is the decreased visibility around the trucks.
Driver negligence can take many forms. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides certain rules that drivers must abide by regarding things like hours of service, drug testing, and more. If any driver fails to meet these criteria, and causes an accident as a result, they can be held liable. For example, the FMCSA specifically states that drivers of commercial trucks are limited to no more than 11 hours of driving after having at least 10 hours off in between.
Additionally, truck drivers are forbidden from driving more than 60 hours in a seven-day period or 70 hours in an eight-day period, and are required to take at least an eight-hour rest break while on duty. Commercial drivers are also subject to periodic drug tests to ensure that drivers are not using drugs or alcohol before getting behind the wheel. These types of precautions are meant to safeguard truck companies against negligent behavior and keep people safe on the road.
Unfortunately, many truck drivers ignore hours of service regulations in order to meet strict delivery deadlines. If a tired truck driver causes an accident, however, both they and the trucking company can be held liable for damages.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a serious trucking accident, it is important to understand that you have rights. With the help of a Phoenix car accident attorney from Suzuki Law Offices, you can seek justice for the losses you have suffered.
Schedule a free case evaluation with a member of our team to learn more about your legal options. Call Suzuki Law Offices at (602) 842-6762. We're available 24/7 to review your case!