What Makes Trucking Accident Cases Different from Ordinary Car Accident Cases?
Posted on February 2nd, 2015 by Zane Cagle
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XZ7B_DqBQ4[/embedyt]
Trucking cases are different than most ordinary car accident cases because the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has set regulations (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations FMCSR) for commercial carriers. These regulations control and govern how common carriers and trucking companies operate their business. Because trucking companies and common carriers transport for profit and that is their business, the federal and state governments put stricter rules on these companies. These rules include ‘hours-of-service” that regulate how many hours a driver can operate a truck. Regulations relating to the way in which they load and secure their loads as well as regulations relating to the keeping of logbooks. There are also rules and regulations regarding the maintenance and repair of the trucks that ordinary drivers of other kinds of vehicles on the road are not mandated to do.
Finding the Right Trucking Accident Attorney
It is important to have an attorney that has handled a trucking case before. Many of these documents that trucking companies are required to save in order to meet these regulations are only required to be saved for a certain amount of time. Usually that time limit can be between 60 to 180 days. Obviously, if those documents show that the trucking company did something wrong, they want to get rid of those documents. Therefore, it is important that an attorney requests and informs the company that those documents must be saved or evidence that you need to support your case can be lost forever. Therefore, it is important that you get an attorney that is familiar with trucking regulations and all aspects of trucking cases.
Often, in handling trucking cases, we find that the drivers are running over the time limit for driving. And, there are certain regulations which the Federal government set forth regarding time limits a commercial driver can drive. The reason for many of these Federal regulations is to improve matters of safety. Often when driving a truck for 14-16 hours straight, a driver experiences sleep deprivation. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation is as bad, if not worse than driving a vehicle while intoxicated. Meaning that the drivers have slower reaction time, are less attentive, and make mistakes which cause crashes. The only way you can prove this is through documentation. Drivers are required to keep log books of their hours of service and the hours they drive. They get a bill-of-ladings which are slips of where they drop off goods, so that allows you to be able to go back and re-create where the truck has been.
Also, different trucking companies have their trucks outfitted with GPS tracking and other programs that track where the truck actually goes. It is important to track the geographical location of the truck in contrast to the driver’s logbooks, because often truck drivers will keep two different logbooks, one for the Department of Transportation and then the real or actual logbook. Showing that the truck driver is running over hours of service is obviously advantageous to your claim because if he or she had been driving the recommended hours, they might not have even been in that location for the crash.
If You Are Involved in a Truck Accident
If you have been involved in a truck accident, you may have been seriously injured and need a truck accident attorney. At The Cagle Law Firm, we have handled many truck accident cases and we know they are drastically different than many other kinds of vehicle crashes.