What Are Federal Trucking Laws?
Truck accidents often result in serious, sometimes fatal, injuries for victims. When drivers of large tractor-trailers cause accidents, victims are left with exorbitant medical costs and critical injuries. For those reasons and more, it’s important to stay aware of federal trucking laws.
As an example, laws prevent companies from hiring unqualified drivers and maintaining inadequate vehicle care. In these cases, victims may have legal recourse when reckless acts resulting in accidents cause serious injury.
If you’ve sustained injuries in a truck accident in Arizona, contact the Phoenix auto accident attorneys at ELG. Our team of Arizona accident lawyers is here to help.
Do Truck Drivers Follow Federal Law or State Law?
Authorities with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) create special regulations for the commercial trucking industry. The regulations apply to all trucking companies and drivers across the country. However, truck drivers and their contracted companies must follow both federal law and the law for their specific state.
What Are the Laws for Truck Companies?
Generally, the laws for trucking companies and their drivers fall under three main areas:
- Driver requirements: First, all commercial truck drivers must have a valid Class C driver’s license. To qualify for the license, a truck driver submits to pre-hiring drug tests, random testing, testing after accidents, and even testing if their employer has reasonable cause. Furthermore, drivers must have physical and mental qualifications for the job, and they have to pass background checks.
- Hours of service regulations: These service restrictions state how long a truck driver can operate a vehicle before taking a mandatory rest break. Most states stipulate that commercial drivers cannot exceed more than 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off-duty.
- Cargo securement: Trucking companies must comply with cargo rules. The securement rules make cargo safer while in transit. These securement laws tell drivers and their companies how to tie, harness, or restrain cargo. Rules may differ according to the type of cargo. Per Arizona truck regulations, big rigs must be properly loaded.
What Happens When Trucking Companies Break the Law?
Trucking companies and their drivers must obey federal and state trucking laws at all times. When drivers break the law either accidentally or intentionally and cause car accidents, they and their company could be liable for damages.
Many times, trucking companies hold liability for serious accidents. For example, in order to boost profits and fulfill deadlines, companies may force drivers to ignore federally mandated guidelines. A trucking company would almost certainly be liable for damages in that case. Victims who sustain injuries in these types of accidents can file a claim against a driver’s company to secure compensation.
Truck Accident Lawyer in Arizona
If you’re injured or your vehicle is damaged in a truck accident, contact our Phoenix truck accident attorneys at ELG. Due to the nature of truck accidents and the negligent actions of many truck companies, victims must safeguard their legal rights after serious truck accidents in Arizona. Call us at (623) 877-3600 for a free consultation and legal representation from our compassionate, knowledgeable attorneys today.