Did A Truck Driver Break The Law?
An accident involving a tractor-trailer truck is different from handling an automobile accident. A commercial truck (semitruck or tractor-trailer truck) is a far larger and heavier vehicle and is far more likely to cause catastrophic injuries or death than an automobile.
For these reasons the federal government has made it a privilege to drive commercial trucks, and with that privilege comes numerous rules and regulations that truck drivers must follow. It is our knowledge of these federal guidelines that has taught us that many truck accidents are caused by truckers failing to adhere to these rules.
Our insight into these laws helps us to determine what was the cause of the truck accident and who was responsible from the driver to his employer, shipper and packer, and empowers us to recover the best possible outcomes for our clients.
Some examples of regulations truck drivers and their employers are required to follow include:
- TRAINING. Truck drivers are required to have a specialized license and specialized training.
- LIMITED HOURS. Truck drivers are limited to a certain number of hours they may drive per day. Driver fatigue is a major cause of trucking accidents.
- SAFETY PROCEDURES. The materials in the trailer of the semitruck or tractor-trailer must be safely packed and secured to prevent shifting, which can cause a jackknifing accident.
- REGULAR DRIVING RECORD CHECKS. A company that employs truck drivers must conduct regular inquiries into a truck driver’s driving record, monitor whether he is driving safely on the road, look into his health to ensure he is fit to drive, make sure he has no known substance or alcohol abuse issues, and inquire of his former employer to determine if they know of issues that make him unfit to drive.
- REVIEW DRIVING LOGS. The company must review his driving logs to see if the hours he or she drives are consistent with federal guidelines and the miles actually traveled over the time period listed, to ensure safe driving.
- EXTREME WEATHER CONDITIONS. During rain or snow, a truck driver must use extreme caution while driving to prevent an accident.
Under some circumstances, failure to follow these rules may allow a jury to award an injured party punitive damages.
Our ability to identify issues like these helps us to achieve better verdicts and settlements than lawyers who do not understand the specialized laws that govern these cases. If you would like a free consultation with an Ohio attorney, call us today. We have several offices in Mentor and other locations. If so requested, we will come to your home or hospital to help you recover the justice you deserve.