Since commercial trucks that include 18 wheelers are several times larger than an average car or SUV, an accident can be potentially more dangerous, where injuries and long-term damage can be disastrous. There are several things you need to know if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a truck.
Federal and state regulations
According to Las Vegas, Nevada truck accident lawyers, there are several state and federal laws that regulate trucking companies, truck drivers, and truck accidents. Trucking companies are required to meet the standards set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and regulations in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. If the truck driver or trucking company did not follow the regulations that resulted in your accident, you have the right to sue the driver and the company for compensation.
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Commercial driver licensing
To begin with, all drivers of 18-wheelers, big rigs, and other commercial vehicles are required to hold a CDL or Commercial Driver’s License and comply with the state’s statutes on commercial licensing. If the driver does not possess a proper license, this could have an impact on your lawsuit against the driver and employer.
Maximum payload and hours of operation
There are stipulated hours known as ‘hours of service’ which commercial truck drivers are permitted to drive without taking a break. In addition, every type of commercial truck has a maximum payload determined by its size. Overloading is often a major cause for accidents. Therefore, the contents of the truck and the weight can play a major role in the investigation into your accident according to Las Vegas truck accident attorneys. Generally, single axle trucks have a maximum payload of 20,000 while double axle trucks are permitted up to 34,000 pounds.
Product liability claims
Another important aspect when it comes to commercial truck regulations is quality control. This relates to both manufacturing and repairs where any fault in a component such as the vehicle’s air brake systems or improper repairs can allow you to make a product liability claim against the manufacturer, supplier, and repair shop.
Several trucks that carry hazardous material need to conform to safety regulations developed by the Office of Hazardous Materials Safety (OHMS). If you are injured in an accident with a truck that did not follow the guidelines you ought to consult a truck accident lawyer right away to protect your rights and pursue a claim against the driver, the trucking company, and any other party involved.
The trucking company can be held liable for damages but you will need to prove that the truck driver and other parties involved were negligent and caused the accident. The trucking company may be liable for damages based on the theory that the onus is on the employer when accidents are caused by an employee during the regular course of business.
This is known as vicarious liability and is one of the common ways that trucking companies are held liable for damages. There are several ways in which truck drivers and their employers can be held liable for your injuries. All you need is to consult with a focused and solid Las Vegas, NV truck accident lawyer as soon as possible before the deadline to file a lawsuit.
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