Understanding How Safety Regulations Affect Your Trucking Accident in California
While all drivers are required to follow the laws that are set in place by the state and local government that they live in, commercial truck drivers also have another set of rules and regulations set in place by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that they must abide by. The purpose of these regulations is to keep all drivers, pedestrians, passengers, bicyclists, and anyone else on the road that a commercial truck driver may come in contact with safe. Commercial trucks can pose great risk for injury or even wrongful death if these guidelines are not followed. When these regulations are violated, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your losses. Learn how safety regulations affect your trucking accident case in California and how our experienced trucking accident lawyers can help you recover the compensation that you deserve.
Here at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., our experienced trucking accidents have been handling 18 wheeler accident cases throughout New Mexico and now in California. If you or your loved one have been injured or killed in a commercial trucking accident case, you need to work with a commercial trucking accident lawyer who is aware of all regulations that truck drivers are required to follow, and know how to obtain vital evidence to prove liability and help you recover the maximum amount of compensation possible for your injuries. Call our personal injury lawyers to schedule a FREE consultation to learn more about your rights and how we can help you and your family recover compensation.
Federal Regulations Commercial Truck Drivers are Required to Follow
- Hours of Service (HOS) – Federal guidelines dictate the amount of hours a truck driver is allowed to drive consecutively, as well as how many days in a row a driver is allowed to operate a commercial truck. Violation of HOS regulations can result in a commercial trucking accident, and evidence of HOS violations can greatly help your case by showing that the truck driver violated a safety regulation.
- Maintenance of the truck – Commercial truck drivers and their trucking companies are required to abide by FMCSA guidelines regarding truck maintenance, and are required to keep a record of all truck maintenance that is conducted. This includes truck inspections at appropriate intervals guided by FMCSA guidelines.
- Drug and Alcohol prohibition – truckers are not allowed to have any amount of alcohol in their system, not even .00, and must not have a drink within 4 hours of starting a shift. Any violation of that is a major FMCSA offense.
- Drug and Alcohol Testing – The FMCSA dictates when commercial truck drivers are required to be drug and alcohol tested, including before employment, after an accident, random drug and alcohol testing, if any impairment is suspected, upon return to duty after a violation, or if they are enrolled in a substance abuse program.
- Inclement weather – truck drivers must drive slower during inclement weather and, where safe travel cannot be done, truckers must stop until the weather passes.
Who Can Be Liable for Your Accident Involving a Commercial Truck? How Safety Regulations Affect Your Trucking Accident
While you may think that the driver of the commercial truck is automatically liable for your injuries, other parties may be liable as well. If a commercial trucking company did not properly train the truck driver, did not test for drugs and alcohol as they should, or if they did not provide repairs and appropriate maintenance, they may also be liable. Additionally, if they knowingly allow the truck driver to violate hours of service violations, they can be partially responsible for the accident.
Additionally, if a third-party cargo company loaded the truck and they did so improperly, they can be liable. Another party that may be liable is the truck or parts manufacturer. If a defect on the truck or one of its’ parts was defective and contributed to or caused the accident, the manufacturer may be liable. An example of this is if the brakes were defective but there was no parts recall. It all depends on how safety regulations affect your trucking accident and who may be liable for the damages.
Understanding Your Rights to Compensation With Our Lawyers Help: Call Today
If you or a loved one were seriously injured in any type of trucking accident in New Mexico or California, call the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. to learn how we can help you and your family recover compensation under the law. We offer FREE consultations and case evaluations, so please call (505) 883-5000 to schedule a FREE consultation with our lawyers.
We handle causes throughout New Mexico, including Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Roswell, Cuervo, Rio Rancho, Clovis, Farmington, Hobbs, Albuquerque where our office is located, and anywhere else throughout New Mexico. We also have a second trucking accident office in California, serving those in Inland Empire County and San Bernardino County, as well as those who have been catastrophically injured or wrongfully killed through California. Please call to schedule for FREE appointment by dialing (505) 883-5000 or contact us through our website’s easy to use and convenient contact box available here.