How Are Federal Regulations Related To My Truck Accident?

Columbus, OH Attorney Mike Christensen Explains

Columbus, OH Attorney Mike Christensen not only knows the state laws that truck drivers and trucking companies need to follow-he also knows the federal regulations that apply to the trucking industry. These regulations are set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), part of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Some of the regulations that can be a factor in truck accident cases involve:

If you've been injured in a truck accident, Michael D. Christensen Law Offices will conduct an investigation to see if the trucking company followed these regulations to the letter. If regulations were broken, it could help us prove negligence. Contact us for a free evaluation of your case.

Why could hours of service be important to my truck accident case?

Hours-of-service regulations are designed to reduce driver fatigue and prevent drowsy driving. These regulations limit the number of hours a driver can operate a truck. There are both daily and weekly limits.

Under the regulations, a truck driver may drive a maximum of 11 hours each day. The driver must spend the next 10 hours off of the road until he or she can drive again.

A driver who violates these regulations may have been drowsy at the time of the accident. We will review all logs, both paper and electronic, to try to determine if regulations were followed.

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Could my truck accident have been related to weight limits?

Possibly. Federal weight limits for large trucks are designed to protect roads and bridges, prevent loss of cargo and keep driving safe. Trucks that drive on interstate highways can have a maximum gross vehicle weight of 80,000 pounds.

When trucks exceed this weight limit, they can be harder to stop or turn. This can lead to a rollover or jackknifing.

We will conduct a thorough investigation to determine if the truck in your accident was within legal weight limits. If weight limits were exceeded, it could mean the trucking company was negligent.

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How does inspection, maintenance and repair relate to my truck accident case?

FMCSA regulations set inspection standards for the trucks a company owns and operates. The company is also required to document all inspections, maintenance and repairs of trucks. These regulations are designed to keep the trucks safe to drive.

But trucking companies don't always follow these regulations. Putting trucks that aren't safe to drive on the road greatly increases the risk of an accident in which people are injured.

Companies that don't follow these regulations are not acting responsibly. If you're hurt in an accident, we will review all truck company records for the inspection, maintenance and repairs of the truck that hit you.

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What kind of alcohol and drug testing of drivers is related to my truck accident?

Drunk or drugged driving is very dangerous, especially when the driver is behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer. Most drivers are in violation of OVI laws in Ohio if they have a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher. (OVI is operating a vehicle under the influence.)

But commercial truck drivers are held to a stricter standard. They are in violation of OVI laws if they have a blood alcohol content of 0.04 or higher.

FMCSA regulations require truck companies to conduct alcohol and drug testing of their drivers at the time of their hiring, after they are involved in an accident and whenever the company suspects alcohol or drug use. The company is also required to conduct random alcohol and drug testing of their drivers. Failure to follow these regulations could indicate negligence if the accident was related to drunk or drugged driving.

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