I still remember my accident like it was yesterday. One minute I was driving my daughter to school and the next I was waking up in a hospital bed. It was frustrating to deal with the emotional trauma of forgetting an entire week of my life, in addition to stressing about my small child. Fortunately, we were both able to recover, but it wasn't easy walking dealing with the medical bills that accompanied the accident. I found myself struggling with things as simple as answering the phone, because I was nervous about dealing with another insurance adjuster. Fortunately, by working with a lawyer, I was able to make sense of my situation. I know that you can overcome difficult challenges too, which is why I shared my story on this website.
Commercial truckers are required to follow state and federal safety regulations in order to operate. If you were involved in an accident with a commercial truck because the trucker or the trucking company did not follow those regulations, you can take legal action. Before taking action, here is what you need to know.
What Are the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, is responsible for regulating trucking within the United States. The agency has established a number of regulations that are necessary for safe operating of commercial vehicles.
The regulations dictate every aspect of operating a vehicle, including how long a driver is allowed to drive, how often a vehicle must be inspected, and how a driver is allowed to operate in hazardous conditions.
If a driver failed to follow any of the regulations, this can help to prove the negligence portion of your case against the trucker and the trucking company.
How Do You Prove a Violation?
Depending on the circumstances of your case, proving the trucker and trucking company violated a regulation potentially could be challenging. How cooperative the company is willing to be and whether or not the records are still available plays a huge part in proving your case.
What records you need from the trucker and trucking company depends on what caused the accident. For instance, if your accident was the result of the trucker being fatigued, you can obtain his or her logs that show how long the trucker operated the vehicle.
Drivers are required to take a 30-minute break within the first eight hours of driving and are given rest periods. If the driver in your case failed to follow this rule, his or her actions would be considered negligent.
How Is the Trucking Company Responsible?
Even if the driver is who actually caused the car accident in which you were injured, the trucking company can also be responsible. The company has the responsibility of ensuring that the FMCSA's regulations are followed. If they are not, the company is as legally responsible as the driver.
For instance, the company is tasked with tracking how long drivers are on the road. If the company failed to notify the driver that a break was required, both are responsible for the accident.
Trucking accidents are complicated and can sometimes involve pursuing damages against more than just the driver. To ensure that you have thoroughly assessed your case, work with a trucking accident attorney. Click here for more information.