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How Do Federal Trucking Regulations Impact Your Big Truck Injury Case?

September 1, 2023

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The United States federal government recognizes that large trucks can pose a serious risk to other road users. Thus, Washington has provided strict regulations for truck drivers and trucking companies. Despite these laws, collisions between trucks and other vehicles still happen. Such high-impact crashes often cause severe injuries and even deaths. In these situations, our Cleveland big truck accident lawyers will bring you justice. We help investigate accidents and gather strong evidence to support your case. Securing successful outcomes for our clients is our only mission.

Trucks Must Follow Federal Trucking Regulations

Federal trucking regulations provide a detailed list of rules that govern interstate trucking. Trucks must follow these regulations to avoid accidents and hefty fines. If companies and drivers violate federal laws and an accident occurs, the victims may be entitled to substantial compensation.

Here are some examples of trucking regulations:

Driver Qualifications

Trucking companies are responsible for training their drivers and ensuring they know how to operate their vehicles safely. A nationwide shortage of experienced drivers means new truck drivers may soon get behind the wheel. Should companies fail to provide these new drivers with adequate training, they may be putting the public at risk.

Hours of Service Regulations

Truckers often push themselves too hard to meet tight deadlines. This prioritization of speed ahead of self-care can result in physical and mental exhaustion and poor decision-making. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enforces Hours of Service regulations to prevent this.

Drivers are only allowed 11 hours daily to operate trucks and must rest for 34 hours within six to eight days. They must also take a 30-minute break after driving for eight consecutive hours.

Alcohol and Drug Testing

Truck drivers must undergo regular alcohol and drug testing to prevent intoxicated driving. Some truck drivers use narcotics to stay awake during long stretches of driving without rest. It is not difficult to imagine the impact such choices could have on road safety.

Inspection and Maintenance

Trucks have many parts that require regular inspections and maintenance. Unfortunately, trucking companies often overlook safety to maximize profits. This neglect may result in rapid wear and tear, leading to catastrophic collisions.

Weight and Size Limits

As part of an especially bad accident, trucks can roll over. This type of accident can occur when the truck is too heavy, and the driver is making a quick turn. To mitigate this risk, federal regulations prohibit trucks from carrying more than 80,000 pounds. Truck drivers must pull into weigh stations regularly during trips to prove they are complying with cargo weight regulations.

Common Injuries Caused by Big Truck Accidents

Truck accidents can result in severe injuries, especially to those involved in the crash who are driving smaller cars. Common truck accident injuries can include:

  • Head and Brain Injuries: Traumatic brain injuries (TBI), concussions, and head lacerations are common. TBI symptoms include headaches, memory issues, and mood problems.
  • Back and Neck Injuries: Survivors can suffer muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries, as well as damage to spinal discs. These injuries can lead to pain and reduced mobility.
  • Broken Bones: Fractures can require surgeries and leave lasting effects on the body. Open fractures pierce the skin, increasing risks like infections.
  • Lacerations: Sharp objects, set in motion by an impact between vehicles, can cause deep cuts and disfigurement, especially on the face.
  • Burns: Fires and explosions can cause severe burns that may require surgery and potentially lead to life-threatening complications.
  • Spinal Injuries: Injuries to the spinal cord can drastically impact the lives of victims, often leading to paralysis and loss of bodily functions.
  • Wrongful Death: Fatalities caused by truck accidents can lead to wrongful death claims, which financially compensate families for various losses related to the incident.

Determining Responsibility for a Truck Accident

Determining blame in accidents involving big rig trucks can be complicated. Often, multiple parties are involved. When this happens, you might need to hire a team of Cleveland big truck accident lawyers to help you navigate the legal process.

Here are some of the potential parties that could be responsible in your case:

Truck Driver

Most times, the truck driver is at least somewhat responsible when an accident occurs. The driver might have used their phone while driving or rushed to meet a deadline. Sometimes, the driver might have been exhausted because their employer gave them an unreasonable deadline. Some drivers even drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Trucking Company

Trucking companies often force drivers to meet unrealistic deadlines and often try to save money by taking shortcuts. Instead of doing what's right and following the law, companies might skip inspecting a truck before it leaves their facility. This negligence can easily lead to accidents.

Manufacturer

As with any consumer product, the manufacturer could be responsible if a truck accident occurs due to a defective part in the vehicle itself. Defects such as faulty tires or braking systems that don’t work properly can easily lead to an accident.

Cargo Loaders

Trucking companies often outsource their loading operations to other companies as a cost-reduction measure. However, properly and safely loading a truck is crucial. The cargo must be securely loaded to maintain the balance throughout the truck during the journey. Incorrect loading could lead to cargo shifting, loss of control by the driver, and ultimately cause the truck to tip over.

Experienced Cleveland Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help You

Fighting for justice and compensation in these types of cases can be complex. This is especially true when dealing with insurance companies and legal proceedings.

By reaching out to Cleveland big truck accident lawyers, Cleveland residents can rest easy knowing we will be on the scene promptly. Our law firm can uncover the root cause of your accident and identify those responsible. We'll also assist you in getting the necessary medical care while fighting for fair compensation. Contact us today to begin your journey towards justice.

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