Truck drivers, because of their responsibility of operating a commercial vehicle on a thoroughfare, are held to a very high standard of accountability when involved in a crash. Truck drivers must have specialized training and meet numerous requirements while operating their vehicle. They are held to rigid standards of defensive driving and must learn how to operate their rigs in all kinds of road conditions and weather. Commercial truck drivers must be 21 years of age, complete a medical exam, pass a safety exam, read and speak English and know how to load and unload their vehicle safely. Commercial truck drivers must also obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in their home state, and it must be the truck driver’s only license. Truck drivers are subjected to numerous inspections, certifications, and must pass random controlled substance and alcohol tests.
Fatigued Truck Drivers Major Factor in Trucking Accidents
Truck drivers are required by law to maintain accurate logbooks, keeping track of the number of hours spent on duty. Daily and weekly limits are set on the number of hours a truck driver can be on the highway because truck driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of trucking accidents. Mandatory break times per driving session, time-off periods, and a regulated sleep schedule are also established to reduce fatigue time to ensure driver safety.
Trucking Accidents and Victims’ Compensation
Federal laws require that all truck drivers and trucking companies carry a minimum level of accident insurance in the event they are involved in a trucking accident. Victims are entitled to fair compensation for their injuries and property loss sustained in a trucking accident. If you or a loved one have been injured in a trucking accident, you need to seek the legal advice of an experienced truck accident and injury attorney. Will Kurtz has been helping injured truck accident victims in St. Augustine receive the just compensation they deserve. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help identify which laws a driver or company have violated by obtaining evidence that proves a violation has occurred. Your attorney can obtain the driver’s logbook, perform an independent inspection of the vehicle for defects or mechanical issues, assess the vehicle damages and have access to various databases, checking that the truck driver’s permits and qualifications are up to date.
Trucking Company Requirements
Due to the laws and regulations governing trucking companies, truck drivers are sometimes less liable in an accident than the trucking companies themselves. Truck companies are required to closely monitor their employees’ hours of operation, physical fitness, licensing qualifications, and must participate in government-monitored programs to ensure that their truck drivers are not substance abusers of drugs or alcohol. Trucking companies must regularly inspect and repair their vehicles in accordance with federal standards and guidelines. Trucks must also be properly maintained in sound mechanical condition, be within certain weight-size limits, be properly marked with identification numbers, and carry proper permits.
Who’s to Blame in a Trucking Accident
Most trucking accidents that occur are the fault of the truck drivers themselves. According to the NTSB, 62% of all truck accidents are the result of truck driver error and driving management. When commercial trucks are involved in a crash, the accident is much more complicated than an automobile accident because several parties may be involved. The trucking company that owns the truck, and the company driver or independent truck driver hired to drive the rig; all might have responsibilities when accidents occur. The truck company might also be at fault in an accident when driver fatigue is involved. A commercial tire manufacturer could potentially be held accountable if a product defect can be proven to have contributed to the accident. Hiring an experienced truck accident attorney like Will Kurtz might make the difference in receiving fair and just compensation for your injuries. Will has the legal knowledge to investigate a serious truck accident and determine what damages should be sought. Don’t put your loved ones further at risk if they have been injured due to someone else’s careless mistakes.
Federal Regulations and the Trucking Industry
The United States trucking industry is today one of the most important and regulated industries in this country, transporting over 70% of our nation’s goods. As the economy strengthens and more goods and services are required to meet the increased demand, the trucking industry will be called upon to increase its role in providing for the needs of the country. Consequently, more trucks and commercial carriers being added to an already crowded transportation system means the increased potential of more accidents occurring, with more injuries and fatalities. Though crucial to the growth of our economy, this increased trucking capacity comes with a price. With more than 4,000 people involved in fatal trucking accidents each year, that number is expected to increase as more and more trucks enter our highways.
Department of Transportation
Federal standards and regulations can be found under title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Motor Carriers, parts 350-400. Most states, including Florida, have adopted the federal standards regarding the trucking industry and when accidents occur any violations of these rules makes a case of negligence easier to obtain. Will Kurtz is a knowledgeable and experienced truck accident attorney in St Augustine. If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck accident, give Will and his team a call at 904-674-3390. There are no fees or costs unless we win money for you. Our consultations and case evaluations are always free and our firm handles only injury and accident cases.