Trucking Industry Regulations That Can Affect a Personal Injury Claim

The trucking industry is heavily regulated to ensure the safety of drivers, passengers, and other road users. These regulations play a significant role in personal injury claims involving truck accidents.

If you have been injured in a truck accident, it is crucial to have a Virginia personal injury attorney who understands how some of these regulations can impact a truck accident claim, like the lawyers from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp.

Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established strict guidelines known as Hours of Service regulations to prevent truck driver fatigue. These regulations dictate the maximum number of hours a truck driver can work and require mandatory rest periods. Violations of these regulations can contribute to driver fatigue and increase the risk of accidents. If it can be proven that the truck driver violated HOS regulations, it can significantly strengthen a truck accident injury claim.

Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate

The FMCSA has also implemented a rule requiring the use of Electronic Logging Devices in commercial trucks to record drivers’ hours of service accurately. These devices replace paper logs and help prevent drivers from falsifying their records. ELD data can be vital in personal injury claims to determine if the driver exceeded the allowed hours of service, potentially leading to driver fatigue.

Drug and Alcohol Testing

The FMCSA mandates regular drug and alcohol testing for commercial truck drivers. Trucking companies must implement comprehensive testing programs to ensure their drivers are not under the influence of substances that can impair their ability to operate a vehicle safely. If it can be demonstrated that the truck driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, it can have a major impact on the case.

Vehicle Maintenance Regulations

To ensure the safe operation of commercial trucks, the FMCSA has also established regulations regarding vehicle maintenance. Trucking companies are required to regularly inspect and maintain their vehicles, addressing any mechanical issues promptly. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in accidents caused by faulty brakes, worn-out tires, or other vehicle malfunctions that can result in liablity for the trucking company and/or any third-party vehicle repair company that may be involved.

Weight and Load Limitations

Trucks have specific weight and load limitations set by federal and state regulations. Overloaded or improperly loaded trucks can become unstable and difficult to control, increasing the risk of accidents. Violations of weight and load limitations can be crucial evidence in a truck accident claim, as it demonstrates negligence on the part of the trucking company or driver.

Driver Qualifications and Training

Truck drivers must meet certain qualifications and undergo specific training to operate commercial vehicles. These qualifications include having a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL) and obtaining appropriate endorsements for specialized vehicles or cargo. If it can be shown that the driver lacked the necessary qualifications or training, this evidence can be used to show liablity on the trucking company’s part.

Contact Our Virginia Personal Injury Law Firm

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a truck accident, our Virginia truck accident attorneys are available to discuss the circumstances of your case and what legal recourse you may have against those who may be responsible for the accident. Call Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to schedule a free case evaluation and find out how we can help.

For more information about truck accidents in Virginia, please download our free guide. Topics covered include common federal regulation violations, tactics used by trucking companies to deny or avoid injury claims, and the difference between commercial truck insurance and other vehicle insurance companies.