Federal Laws and How They Can Affect Your Trucking Accident Injury Claim
Without trucking, modern life could not exist. Trucking touches every aspect of our lives, therefore, it needs to be strictly regulated – something the government does. Unfortunately, these federal laws can be confusing, potentially leading to mistakes with personal injury claims. Here’s what you need to know about federal laws and how they can affect your trucking injury claim.
Federal Trucking Laws
Because of the critical importance of the trucking industry to every facet of life in America, the federal government heavily regulates the industry, as well as all other forms of commercial transportation. These rules and regulations are incredibly complex, meaning they can easily confuse the untrained person who is injured as a result of a trucking accident. These laws are overseen by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), an agency responsible for the devising and overseeing of laws, regulations, and rules that govern the trucking industry. Here are some of the myriad of federal trucking regulations.
Hours of Service and Log Book Rules
The FMCSA regulates strict hours of operation for truck drivers. These regulations concern the number of hours that can be driven in one shift, as well as the number of hours a driver can work in a given time-frame. These laws ensure drivers are less likely to be involved in accidents due to fatigue.
- Drivers can only drive up to 11 hours within a consecutive 14-hour window. Additionally, a driver may just drive for this long provided they were off for 10 straight hours preceding this window. This 14-hour window begins as soon as the driver does any form of work, even if it does not include driving.
- Governmental regulations also state that truck drivers cannot drive after they have reached 60 hours of time on-duty in the previous seven days, or 70 hours of time on-duty in the last eight days.
Compliance with these regulations requires all hours being tracked by drivers via log books. These books previously were kept manually, on paper, but as of December 2017, federal rules require all drivers to use electronic logging devices to track their time.
Special Training and Physical Requirements
Truck drivers are required to undergo specialized training to be eligible to drive legally. Also, drivers must undergo a physical examination every two years to ensure they still meet the federal requirements for health and fitness. Failing this test would render them ineligible to continue driving.
FMCSA passed comprehensive regulations in 2004 to ensure cargo is more secure and that loads are less likely to become loose or fall off of trucks. These regulations make express note of how cargo should be tied down and which securing devices are required.
Federal Trucking Regulations Can Affect Your Trucking Accident Injury Claim
Federal trucking rules and regulations are complex and confusing. Additionally, they can alter the course of a trucking accident personal injury claim. Because of the confusion surrounding these laws, it is essential that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney right away.
Thomas J. Henry is Texas’ largest personal injury firm, serving our injured clients nationwide. If you suffer injuries in a trucking accident, you deserve proper compensation for all damages sustained, including payment of all medical bills, lost wages, and compensation for your pain and suffering. Our expert lawyers can assist you through the entire legal process from start to finish, getting you full compensation for your injuries. Call our personal injury team today at 361-221-5053.