Truck accidents or truck accidents involving car accidents are worse than typical car accidents. This is because the fatality rate of such accidents is high, and so are the damages.
Do you think truck accidents are not that common? Unfortunately, the number of truck accidents is increasing every year, and most truck accidents involve car occupants.
If you have been in one too, you should hire a truck accidents attorney to claim your compensation for damages caused. Here is what you need to know about how an attorney can help you.
What Accidents Are Termed Truck Accidents?
The truck accidents cover accidents caused due to vehicles that have 18 wheels or more. These are known as tractor-trailers. Also, semi-trucks and big rigs are covered under truck accidents.
Tractor-trailers are prevalent in highways all around the U.S. They transfer 75% of the cargo from one state to another and from shipping ports to the respective states.
What Makes Truck Accidents Different From Other Accidents?
Truck accidents carry a higher risk of life and death as compared to any other sort of road accident. Trucks or larger vehicles can carry up to 80,000 pounds or 40 tonnes of cargo, making them 20 times heavier than cars. Therefore, the laws governing truck accidents are different from car accidents.
State and Federal Laws for Truck Accidents
There are certain state and federal and business regulations that have to be followed by the trucking companies and commercial carriers. These laws ensure that the use of trucks remains safe and are involved in minimal truck accidents.
An experienced truck accident attorney will take advantage of these laws to prove your case and establish the defendant’s fault.
Some of these trucking accident laws include:
According to this law, all truck drivers should be checked for substance abuse before being hired. In addition, the truck driver company must test for drug abuse even after the driver has been hired.
Truck drivers should be tested for drug use in case of truck accidents or at any time during employment when the employer is suspicious of their actions.
Number of Hours of Service
Fatigue is one of the most common reasons for truck accidents. Most of the truck drivers work overtime and cause accidents at night due to lack of sleep.
As per federal laws, truck drivers cannot drive for more than 11 consecutive hours. Further, they should at least have 10 hours off duty before they begin to work again. In a week, they cannot drive more than 60 hours in total. They need to have at least 34 hours or more breaks in a week.
Even if they are off duty for 8 consecutive hours, they cannot drive for more than 10 hours.
Also, if the driver has a sleeper berth in the vehicle, he should at least take 8 hours of total sleep split into two periods. However, he should at least sleep two hours in one shift.
According to law, proper logbooks should also be maintained that record the regular hours of service of different drivers working in a trucking company.
As per laws, the trucks and larger commercial vehicles should be inspected frequently to ensure they are properly maintained and follow compliance with operational safety regulations.
If any of the vehicles fail to meet the regular inspection criteria, they should either be permanently discarded or should not be used until they are revamped to meet the inspection regulations.
All the regular inspection reports should also be sent to the appropriate department of public safety for their proper assessment.
The trucks and larger vehicles should also be marked appropriately wherever necessary, especially when the truck is loaded with hazardous materials. Also, the truck and larger vehicles are allowed to carry the only respective amount of weight as per road directives. Also, the truck drivers should be well aware of the traffic rules of each state they are assigned to drive in.
Violations of any of these laws would be considered a misdemeanor in many states. The employer of the trucking company would be responsible for paying the charges under such cases.
Failure to follow such rules and regulations and to get involved in a truck accident can pose severe trouble for the trucking company.
Contact Our Truck Accident Lawyers Today
If you have had a truck accident that has caused huge emotional and physical loss to you and your loved ones, we are here to help. You can seek compensatory damages by filing a truck accident lawsuit with the help of an experienced attorney.