Trucking Accident Lawyer
There used to be a fun bumper sticker that said – If You Bought It, A Truck Brought It. And that is a very true statement. The American Trucking Association provides the following information:
$738.9 billion in gross freight revenues (primary shipments only) from trucking, representing 81.5% of the nation’s freight bill in 2016.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) promulgates the national standards for commercial tractor-trailer units operating on the highways and byways of America. And those regulations are extensive and relate to the drivers of the vehicles, the operations and maintenance of the vehicles, and the container units, i.e., intermodals, which are delivered by sea, rail and commercial vehicles. These are all things that a trucking accident lawyer Delray Beach, FL residents rely on can explain.
Training and obtaining a commercial driver license (CDL) must be done in compliance with both FMCSA standards as well the standards set by the state in which the driver resides. Drivers must submit to regular medical exams as well as drug and alcohol testing. Rest breaks and sleep time are regulated for each driver as well. Logbooks record each driver’s route and hours spent behind the wheel and must be kept accurately or a driver can face monetary penalties and suspension of their CDL. Drivers may pull one or several trailer units behind them. Both the federal and state government play a role in regulating the operation of these multi-trailer units on the roadways.
Tractors and trailers used in commercial transportation are also heavily regulated by the FMCSA. The government sets standards to ensure a minimum level of maintenance is being done by the individual or company owner of the vehicle. The government also regulates the weight each trailer is allowed to transport and the length and height of the combined vehicle. Most drivers will be at least somewhat familiar with commercial inspection stations, DOT law enforcement vehicles, and weigh stations.
Further regulations are applicable to the intermodal units themselves. It is important that these containers be free from damage so that they sit properly on the trailer frame. Placing the unit onto the trailer frame must be done correctly to protect against load shifting or container tipping. An attorney working on a personal injury matter involving a tractor-trailer will look at all of these elements while evaluating and building a case for mediation or trial.
One should also keep in mind societal trends. As the current thought process in society is that easing some of these more rigorous regulations will promote economic expansion, it is critical to employ an attorney who has not only trial experience, but the requisite research skills necessary to navigate the ever-changing regulatory landscape. It is worth noting that the FMCSA is scheduled to roll-out new standards for the commercial trucking industry in 2020.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at The Law Offices of Eric H. Luckman, P.A. for their insight into trucking accidents and injuries.