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Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorneys > Blog > Truck Accidents > What are FMCSA Regulations and How Could They Affect My Truck Accident Claim?

What are FMCSA Regulations and How Could They Affect My Truck Accident Claim?

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The federal government relegates the commercial trucking industry closely, requiring regular vehicle inspections, mandating drug testing, and dictating licensing requirements. Drivers and companies that fail to abide by these rules not only put other motorists at risk, but can be held liable for their actions.

What is the FMCSA? 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a federal agency that is responsible for regulating the commercial trucking industry in the U.S. The agency puts rules and regulations in place to help reduce truck accidents and injuries and to generally make sharing the roads with commercial vehicles as safe as possible. Unfortunately, not all drivers and trucking companies comply with these regulations, which can have devastating consequences for anyone else on the road.

What Do the FMCSA’s Regulations Cover? 

The FMCSA’s regulations cover all aspects of the trucking industry by:

  • Listing the qualifications that truck drivers must possess to obtain a commercial license;
  • Controlling how often commercial vehicles must be inspected;
  • Setting limits on the amount of time that a driver can operate a commercial vehicle in a given seven day period;
  • Putting strict logging requirements in place to ensure that drivers don’t violate the hours of service rules; and
  • Ordering trucking companies to regularly and randomly conduct drug and alcohol testing of their drivers.

These regulations govern not only truck drivers, but also their employers, so individuals and companies that fail to abide by these rules can be held liable if their actions (or inaction) resulted in a truck accident.

How Trucking Regulations Could Affect Your Legal Claim 

While the FMCSA is allowed to bring enforcement actions against trucking companies and drivers that violate its rules and policies, this is not the only consequence for failing to abide by federal regulations. When an accident victim files a legal claim against a trucking company, he or she will need to prove liability and damages before being able to recover compensation for accident-related losses. Having evidence of a FMCSA violation can go a long way towards establishing liability.

Basically, if a driver or company failed to follow a regulation and caused an accident as a result, then a claimant can prove that the at-fault party’s actions were negligent. For instance, truck drivers are only allowed to spend a certain amount of time on the road. A driver who violated this rule, fell asleep at the wheel and caused an accident, could then be held liable for his or her negligence in failing to comply with federal law. Once this has been established, the victim need only demonstrate damages, or how much he or she suffered financially as a result of the accident.

Give Our Fort Lauderdale Truck Accident Attorneys a Call 

If you or a loved one were involved in a truck accident, the experienced Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyers at Boone & Davis are here to help. Call us at 954-566-9919 or send us an online message to get started on your case. We can walk you through what you’ll need to prove to file a successful claim and can begin investigating the cause of your crash.

Sources: 

fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-service/summary-hours-service-regulations

fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/passenger-safety/inspection-repair-and-maintenance-motor-carriers-passengers-part-396

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