Truck Accident Laws

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In order to increase the safety of trucks, to reduce instances of truck accidents, and to protect the interests of people who may be involved in any truck accident, many truck accident laws have been passed. The federal government has enacted laws to regulate the entire trucking industry. In addition to federal laws, many states also have laws that apply to truck accidents within their state boundaries.

If you have been involved in a truck accident, truck accident laws state that you shall be compensated by the negligent party who caused the truck accident. Federal laws mandate that truckers and trucking companies carry certain minimum amounts of liability, bodily injury, and property damage insurance coverage. These limits are much higher than what is required of other vehicles, because injuries and damage to property in a truck accident are far more severe than in other auto accidents. The insurance regulations are in place to protect the victims of truck accidents when those who are liable cannot afford to pay damages from their own pockets.

Working with a truck accident attorney will help you determine the most appropriate party to sue, as well as getting you the maximum amount of compensation possible. Truck accident lawyers use their skill and experience to help make your case run as smoothly and quickly as possible.

Various laws have been passed to regulate the conduct of trucks, their drivers, and trucking companies. Truck driver fatigue is the number one cause for truck accidents due to the error of the truck driver, followed closely by abuse of alcohol and other drugs. Laws regarding hours of service, and the maximum number of hours that a truck driver can drive his truck, have been established by the federal government, so as to reduce truck driver fatigue and lower the number of truck accidents. But many truckers disregard these laws, which ultimately results in truck accidents taking place and innocent people losing their lives.

Alcohol and other drugs: The alcohol laws in place for truck drivers are significantly more stringent than those for regular motorists. The legal blood alcohol level for a passenger car is .08%, whereas a commercial truck driver could not have consumed alcohol within 4 hours of going on duty.

Training: Each commercial truck driver must be trained and knowledgeable in man different aspects of commercial truck operations, maintenance and safety. Failure of the individual to receive the proper training can make the trucker a liability for the trucking firm, as well as a danger to the general public.

Loading: It is the truckers responsibility to ensure that the cargo is properly loaded and secured before a trip is made. The cargo should be inspected every 50 miles and again at 150 miles.

Truck accident laws protect the truckers and trucking companies also. The law states that in certain special cases, the truck driver cannot be held at fault for truck accidents. These involve jackknifing and turning accidents.

Jackknifing: Tractor trailers are prone to get into jackknifing accidents, where the trailers go into a spin and come to a 90-degree angle with the tractors when they finally stop. As per truck accident laws, just because a truck has jackknifed, it automatically cannot be presumed that the trucker is at fault. Many times truck drivers have to brake suddenly in order to avoid hitting a pedestrian or a stalled car, thus causing a jackknifing accident. In such situations, the law protects the truck driver from being held negligent in the truck accident.

Turning Accidents: Big trucks typically require two lanes of traffic in order to make a turn, because of their large size and length. In certain cases of turning accidents, truck accident laws protect the truck driver from being sued.

To prove liability in any truck accident, certain evidence is very crucial. One such evidence is the truck driver's log book, which can be used to establish if the truck driver or company was in violation of any hours of service rules or other laws. In any truck accident, trucking companies are required to keep the driver's log for a minimum period of six months after the accident. At the end of such period, the driver's log can be destroyed by the trucking company. If the log is a critical piece of evidence, then the plaintiff needs to get a court order to obtain the log and take immediate action before it can be destroyed.

For a complete and thorough understanding of truck accident laws, consult with a truck accident attorney. They can use their contacts and experience to obtain all of the necessary information you need to go forth with a claim.


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