Developing a case when you are injured in an accident involving a commercial vehicle means that you need to have at least a basic understanding of the laws and regulations that govern the operation of these vehicles. If you were injured in an accident with a semi truck, this quick primer will help you learn about some considerations that might apply to your case.
Truck Safety Regulations
People who drive semi trucks must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in order to legally drive these large vehicles. The State of Alabama recently lowered the minimum age to acquire a CDL from 21 years old to 18 years old. The licenses they hold must comply with the state statutes that govern these licenses. In many cases, the means having endorsements that allow them to drive certain vehicles or carry certain cargo, such as hazardous material.
The weight that a semi truck can carry and the way that trucks are maintained are also important. Each truck has a specific weight limit that it can carry. For example, a tandem axle truck can pull up to 34,000lbs while a single axle truck is limited to 20,000lbs. Overloading a truck or failing to maintain the truck and its components can lead to serious accidents that might cause catastrophic injuries.
Truck Drivers “Hours of Service”
A trucker’s hours of service is another consideration, as these are set depending on long-haul or short-haul operations and other calculations detailed in the Code of Federal Regulations. Hours spent driving, consecutive off-duty hours, and even sleeping hours are all watched closely. These guidelines are meant to help prevent trucker fatigue which can put the driver, as well as passengers and other motorists at greater risk of injury. Like most other federal trucking regulations, these are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT).
It is important for you to know about any laws or regulations that might apply to your case. Gathering evidence that proves the trucker, trucking company, repair shop or other liable party didn’t abide by the laws or regulations can have a big impact on your claim for compensation. The attorneys at Clay, Massey & Associates have decades of experience in personal injury law, including commercial truck accidents. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, call us today at 251-433-1000 to schedule a FREE consultation, or click the Live Chat link on our website.