Federal Trucking Regulations
When a truck driver drives in interstate commerce, he or she is subject not only to state laws but also to the federal trucking regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). If an interstate truck driver violates a federal trucking regulation, and an accident results, the consequences may be devastating to those in smaller vehicles or pedestrians nearby. People in the Los Angeles area who have been involved in a truck accident can consult the lawyers at Sharifi Firm. We are experienced in these types of cases and can recognize a violation of a federal trucking regulation.Holding a Driver or Company Liable for Violating a Federal Trucking Regulation
In most cases, a big rig crash is the result of negligence. The victim usually tries to prove the duty of the truck driver towards him or her, a breach of the duty, causation, and actual damages. Often, the federal trucking regulations describe a truck driver's duty of due care in certain circumstances. When the trucker violates a regulation, the violation likely constitutes a breach of duty. If the injuries that result are of the type that the regulation was designed to prevent, the doctrine of negligence per se (negligence as a matter of law) may apply.
Federal trucking regulations cover truck drivers' hours of service, log book requirements, restrictions on using alcohol or drugs, methods of securing cargo, and processes by which a truck is to be inspected or sent for maintenance. Among other things, drivers must log their hours routinely. This allows employers to be sure that a driver is following the federal and state hours of service rules. A logbook can be important evidence in a personal injury claim. It often can be used to prove either that the truck driver violated the hours of service rules and was negligent or that the trucking company looked the other way or improperly supervised the truck driver by ignoring hours of service violations or falsehoods in the log book.
Trucking companies usually carry greater insurance coverage than their drivers. Sometimes their negligence in supervising or hiring truckers is a cause of an accident, making them directly liable. Among other duties, trucking companies must make sure that the drivers they trust with their commercial vehicles are competent to handle them. Under federal law, they must conduct background checks of their job applicants. In some cases, trucking companies are negligent in carrying out this duty or simply conduct no background check at all. For example, if a company sees that a driver has multiple DUIs, this should be a red flag to the company. If a trucking company chooses to hire such an applicant anyway, it may become accountable to anyone whom the driver harms.
If you are able to prove that a violation of federal trucking regulations caused your injuries, you may be able to recover many forms of compensation, such as mental anguish, out-of-pocket costs, property damage, lost income, medical bills, and pain and suffering.Pursue a Truck Accident Claim with the Assistance of a Los Angeles Lawyer
If you have been hurt by a negligent driver or trucking company in Los Angeles or the surrounding cities, the motor vehicle collision attorneys at Sharifi Firm may be able to guide you through the process of asserting your rights. We also represent injured individuals elsewhere in Southern California, such as in San Bernardino, Temecula, Riverside, and Rancho Cucamonga. Contact us at 1-866-422-7222 or via our online form to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.