Drivers of commercial trucks are required to follow all state traffic safety laws as well as the federal laws found in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Federal laws address a wide range of issues from suspension of a driver’s license for impaired driving, inspection requirements for trucks to record-keeping requirements for trucking companies.
Trucking laws affect your personal injury case in many important ways, so if you have been in a truck crash, it is important to hire a Long Beach truck accident lawyer who knows the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
How Can Trucking Laws Help Your Injury Case?
Proving negligence is one of the essential elements in making a personal injury claim. In order to collect compensation, an accident victim has to show someone else was negligent or unreasonably careless and that the carelessness led to the victim’s injuries. One of the most important ways trucking laws affect a personal injury case is by making it easier to prove a truck driver or trucking company was negligent.
Under California law, a violation of safety rules or laws can be considered negligence per se. This means the violation alone is sufficient to prove negligence.
Instead of having to bring in expert witnesses to explain why a truck driver or trucking company’s behavior was negligent, you can simply point to the violation of the safety law. This makes it much easier to settle with the driver’s insurance company or for a jury to determine you have successfully proved negligence, if the case goes to trial.
Trucking laws also affect your personal injury case by making sure there is enough insurance to pay for all of your damages. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations require most commercial trucks to carry a minimum of $750,000 in liability insurance coverage. If the truck carries hazardous materials, the minimum amount of insurance coverage required is $5 million. The fact that laws set such high minimum insurance requirements means there should be money available to compensate you even it there are serious injuries.
What Other Trucking Laws Affect Your Personal Injury Case?
Trucking laws cover a wide range of behaviors of trucking companies and truck drivers. The laws are all designed to reduce collision risks and make trucks and truck drivers safer. For example, some of the most important trucking laws relate to hours on duty. Under the hours on duty rules:
- A truck driver is allowed to drive no more than 11 hours per day, after 10 hours of rest.
- A trucker is allowed total on duty time of no more than 14 hours a day.
- After eight hours of driving, long-haul truckers must take at least a 30 minute rest break.
- Drivers have to take a 34-hour rest break after 60 hours on duty over seven days, or 70 hours on duty over eight days.
The hours on duty rule is a good example of one of the trucking laws that can help your injury case. The rule was designed to prevent drowsy driving. It is normally very difficult to prove a crash was caused by drowsy driving because it is hard to prove the driver was too tired to be behind the wheel. If, however, the truck driver involved in your crash had violated hours on duty rules, that will be revealed in his log book. Your attorney has the ability to subpoena that log book and review it’s contents. This will create a presumption of negligence.
Getting Help From a Long Beach Injury Lawyer Who Knows Trucking Laws
Your Injuries are Personal to Me
I represent truck accident victims throughout Long Beach, and the surrounding areas. I know the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations in detail and can determine if the truck driver who caused your injuries violated any trucking laws. I build strong truck accident cases that prove truck driver negligence.
Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks at 888-394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation. You are under no obligation and you will never pay any money unless you recover damages for your injuries. I offer bilingual services as part of my comprehensive approach to legal representation and I am available 24/7 to talk to you about your case.
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