Federal regulations of the motor carrier industry, the trucking companies, is important in any truck accident claim. Each truck company that is considered a motor carrier under the law must company with certain safety standards. These standards deal with issues like driver license violation, insurance policy amounts, qualified drivers, improper use of vehicles, unsafe vehicles, failure to maintain the trucks, lack of inspections and many more. Each company gets a safety rating which is an attempt to monitor how adequate their safety controls are, how frequent they have violations, how severe the violations are, frequency of accident and other items dealing with safety. Much of this information is available to the public.
These standards focus on unsafe driving, fatigued driving, driver fitness, use of controlled substances and alcohol by impaired drivers, vehicle maintenance, and similar issues all of which are relevant to your claim.
You claim will involve not just the driver liability but the employers liability, lease liability, owner operator liability dealing with the truck company being liable for the drives fault. The company can also be held liable under a theory involved negligent hiring for having a driver that was incompetent. There are rules and guidelines involving backing such a truck, failure to maintain a proper lookout, following too closely, crossing traffic, stopping on the side of the roadway, maintaining proper stopping distances, nighttime driving, driving in the rain, as well as driving in a fog. A driver can not use alcohol within 4 hours of going on duty and may not possess alcohol with on duty. There are similar restrictions on controlled substances while on duty. There are requirements dealing with the maximum hours of services and the records that must be maintained. Federal regulations require insurance in place in the amount of at least $750,000 and a higher amount for certain types of loads.
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