How Trucking Safety Regulations May Affect Your Case
Truck collisions are often devastating, especially when a big rig hits a smaller passenger vehicle. If you or your loved one suffered a truck crash, a truck accident attorney will first check whether the driver was observing all safety regulations. The answer may impact the outcome of your claim and the size of your settlement.
Trucking Regulations in Florida and Personal Injury Cases
Florida truckers must abide by certain regulations. If you believe the driver or trucking company may have violated safety standards, this will play a major role in determining liability. Here are a few key trucking safety guidelines that may impact your case.
Many trucking accidents are due to driver fatigue, which causes drowsiness and lack of concentration. To combat this deadly trend, Florida regulates truckers’ work hours.
Specifically, truckers carrying cargo may drive up to 11 hours a day, or 10 hours a day with passengers. Semi-truck drivers have a daily limit of 12 hours on the road. Truckers must log driving hours to confirm they’re following these regulations.
If a trucker exceeded their work hours limit at the time of the accident, both the driver and the trucking company may face liability.
An overloaded or improperly loaded truck is hard to control, especially in bad road conditions. That’s why Florida imposes limits on vehicle and cargo weight to prevent deadly accidents. For instance, semi-trucks on the interstate must adhere to a weight limit of 80,000 pounds and follow certain sizing rules.
If the truck involved in your accident outstripped the weight limit, whoever is responsible for the overloading may be liable.
Large commercial vehicles take a lot of wear and tear. Whoever owns the truck is responsible for keeping the vehicle in working and road-safe condition, including regular inspections and maintenance.
Suppose your accident happened because of a mechanical defect like a steering issue. In that case, the trucking or vehicle maintenance company may carry liability if they knew (or should have known) about the malfunction but allowed the vehicle to continue operating without fixing it.
Alcohol and Drug Use
Per the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, operating a commercial truck with a BAC of 0.04% or above is illegal. Additionally, a trucker can’t drive under the influence of controlled substances or drowsiness-inducing prescription medications.
A trucking company must test its drivers for drug use when hiring them and then again randomly from time to time or when an employee is under reasonable suspicion. In addition to the driver’s liability, the trucking company may be liable if it fails to conduct regular drug and alcohol testing.
Who Is Responsible After a Florida Truck Accident?
A truck accident case is usually more complex than a standard car accident because several parties may share responsibility. That’s why it’s vital to work with an experienced truck accident attorney who knows how to navigate such cases, gather relevant evidence to establish liability, and negotiate with insurance companies.
The parties responsible for covering your damages may include:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The truck owner (if the trucking company uses third-party vehicles)
- The vehicle manufacturer
- The service responsible for loading cargo or truck maintenance
Call Leaser Law Firm: Truck Accident Lawyers in Plantation, FL
Did you suffer a truck collision in Broward County? Contact a truck accident law firm. With 1000+ personal injury and wrongful death cases successfully resolved, our experienced truck accident attorneys have the right skill set to handle your claim.