Federal Trucking Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) governs all trucking companies, their employees, and vehicles that operate transportation services for people or property in interstate commerce. Thus, all trucks that move between states must comply with federal regulations to ensure the safety of the roads for motorists and pedestrians. When drivers or their employers fail to adhere to federal safety guidelines, serious harm can result. The truck accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon can assist Miami residents and others who have been hurt by careless drivers or companies. We can investigate whether any safety measures were lacking and try to make sure that the proper individuals or entities are held responsible.Pursuing Damages from Trucking Companies for Failing to Follow Federal Regulations
Interstate truck drivers, trucking companies, and all others who are involved in this industry are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which sets the FMCSR. These regulations impose specific requirements regarding all aspects of trucking operations, including:
- Designations for when vehicles should be kept out of service;
- When inspections should take place, both daily and annually, and what should be included in such inspections;
- Proper loading protocols for cargo to avoid spills, or items blowing, shifting, or falling from the truck;
- Accident report content and retention requirements;
- Compliance with state trucking regulations;
- Stipulations regarding lights and reflectors, as well as the use of safety signs for a stopped vehicle; and
- How drivers should maneuver in certain complex situations, including crossing railroad tracks or inclement weather.
When companies or their drivers ignore federal mandated safety precautions, major accidents can result that leave victims physically and financially devastated. To pursue compensation for injuries sustained in a truck crash, a victim must show that the defendant acted negligently. Negligence is generally found when a person or entity breaches a duty owed to someone else to act as a reasonable and prudent person or entity would have behaved under similar circumstances. This lack of care must have caused an accident from which damages arose. Once negligence is shown, victims may be able to recover damages for past and future medical expenses, property damage, and lost income or earning capacity, as well as pain and suffering.
For instance, if someone is hurt because a truck’s cargo was loaded improperly, in violation of the FMCSR, a shipper that is responsible for loading that cargo can potentially be held responsible for the damages that resulted. The FMCSR is a source of guidance for the accepted standard of reasonable care to be used in a big rig accident case.
Many parties, often with their own agendas, may be involved in the aftermath of a truck crash. With so many competing interests, sometimes spoliation of evidence occurs. This is when a potential defendant intentionally alters, destroys, or loses evidence to thwart legal liability. Because of this potential for misconduct, it is important to consult with a seasoned attorney as soon as possible following an accident.Contact a Big Rig Accident Lawyer in the Miami Area
When truckers or their employers cause crashes by not following federal safety regulations, they should be held liable for their actions. Based in the Miami area, the knowledgeable motor vehicle collision attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon are dedicated to making sure that people hurt in a truck crash pursue proper compensation from the at-fault parties. Call (877) 499-4878 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We represent injured individuals throughout South Florida, including in Fort Lauderdale and other cities across Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, and Broward Counties.