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Truck Accident Litigation - Baumgartner Law Firm
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Commercial trucks are necessary to transport many of the products and goods that consumers use on a daily basis. Unfortunately, big rigs can cause accidents on the roadways and when they do, there are often serious injuries, damages, and fatalities. Big rigs, also known as 18-wheelers, are extremely heavy and can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. In order to prevent accidents and injuries, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces compliance with trucking regulations.
Commercial Truck Regulations
Commercial truck regulations are in place to help reduce the risk of accidents and injuries on the roadways. Failure to comply with these regulations could result in fines or the removal of trucks from the road. Both state and federal laws are designed to keep big rigs as safe as possible and avoid collisions and breakdowns. While the FMCSA enforces these laws, sometimes the evidence of a violation is not clear until after a crash has taken place.
Regulations fall under some general categories including driver responsibilities, operation, truck maintenance, and insurance. Drivers must have their commercial driver’s license (CDL) and must be at least 21 years old to drive a big rig. They are also required to speak and understand the English language. During operation, drivers cannot use drugs or alcohol and they must pass a periodic medical examination.
Drivers must log their driving time and are not allowed to drive for long periods of time without resting. Vehicles must be properly maintained and are required to be inspected. Trucks must be in safe working condition in order to take to the roads. Operators and trucking companies must carry insurance. The required liability minimums are higher than those of passenger vehicles.
Even with strict regulations in place, truck accidents still occur on a regular basis. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents are human error and mechanical failure. Drivers can become fatigued and drive while they are drowsy. This can cause them to fall asleep behind the wheel and veer into oncoming traffic or plow into the vehicles in front of them.
The most common causes of truck accidents are speeding, failure to yield, improper lane changes, and failure to obey a traffic signal or sign. These errors might be caused by driving while drowsy, driving while intoxicated, and distracted driving. After an accident, law enforcement and others will investigate to determine the cause of the accident as well as the factors that contributed to it.
When a truck driver or company is found to have violated regulations, it may be considered negligent and responsible for the resulting injuries and damages. The victim may be entitled to compensation for damages that include medical costs, money for lost wages and pain and suffering, and more. The negligent party must compensate the injured party for any damages that happened as a result of the accident. If you or a loved one was hurt in a commercial vehicle collision, contact Baumgartner Law Firm to discuss your case today (281) 587-1111.