Understanding Liability from our New Mexico Trucking Accident Lawyer After a Truck Driver Violated FMCSA Regulations
Commercial vehicles such as 18 wheelers, tankers, big rigs, and other box trucks are large and powerful vehicles. They are also complicated vehicles. This is why individuals who want to drive them must pass a book test, shadow another driver, and pass a practical test in order to get a CDL. Because even if driven safely and correctly, a commercial vehicle is still a dangerous vehicle. There are so many moving parts and mechanical issues, as well as so many practical pitfalls when handling a large truck. This is why there are federal regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) which help protect people on or around the roadway. But when an innocent person is hurt in a trucking accident where a driver violated FMCSA regulations, there may be liable for an accident in New Mexico.
Here at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., our experienced New Mexico trucking accident lawyers know dangerous and devastating it can be when an innocent person is seriously injured as a result of a truck driver’s negligence. We also know how frustrating it can be when an innocent person is seriously injured after a truck driver violated well-established laws and rules. This is especially true when those rules would have prevented a victim from being harmed. If you or a loved one were seriously injured or wrongfully killed, call our law firm for a FREE consultation to learn how we can help protect your rights to compensation under New Mexico law.
Common FMCSA Violations
The FMCSA is deputized with promulgated regulations that apply to all commercial vehicle drivers throughout the United States. It does not matter where the truck driver is from, in, or going to. The regulations set the minimum standards that must be complied with in every state. The majority of the regulations are focused on safety of the driver and others on or around the roadway. This includes for the amount of time that a truck driver can drive, alcohol use, and illness rules, but also includes equipment specifications and securing cargo.
A victim who is injured in a New Mexico trucking accident may be able to use these violations as evidence of negligence against a truck driver and trucking company. Some of the most common violations include the following:
- Hours of Service Regulations – the hours of service regulations, also known as HOS, set limits on how often and for how long a truck driver may operate a commercial vehicle. This includes limiting a truck driver to 14 hours “on shift” during a 24 hour period, and only 11 hours of driving in those 14 hours. A truck driver may also only drive up to 8 hours before requiring at least a 30 minute rest break. Truck drivers may also only drive for 60/70 hours in a 7/8 consecutive day period. The purpose is to combat fatigue and prevent falling asleep at the wheel.
- Alcohol use – a truck driver cannot have a BAC over 0.0, and actually most not consume any alcohol at least 4 hours before start a shift.
- Inclement weather – truck drivers must use “extreme caution” and slow down to the point were travel can be safely made during inclement weather such as dust storms, heavy rain, fog, or other conditions. A truck driver must stop if safe travel cannot be made and may only resume when it is safe again.
- Securing cargo – FMCSA regulations require truck drivers to check before starting a delivery, after 50 miles, and after 150 miles or three hours. The purpose is to make sure all secure straps are not damaged and working, and to make sure cargo has not shifted, and
- Many other mechanical requirements and upkeep.
Were You Injured by a Truck Driver? Ask our New Mexico Trucking Accident Lawyer if you Have Rights To Compensation
Often times FMCSA violations are not obvious. However, when a victim is hurt in a trucking accident where a driver violated FMCSA regulations, a victim and his or her family may be entitled to compensation under New Mexico law. Ask us to investigate what caused your 18 wheeler wreck injuries by scheduling your FREE appointment with our lawyers at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. by dialing (505) 883-5000.
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. 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.