Springfield Truck Accident Attorneys
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If you were involved in a collision with a commercial truck, it is important that you immediately speak with a Springfield truck accident lawyer about your situation. If the driver or company that employed him/her was responsible for the accident in any way by failing to follow the FMCSA guidelines or by not exercising proper care and attention on the road, you could be entitled to compensation for your losses.
Common Causes of Trucking Accidents
Common causes of trucking accidents include:
- inexperienced drivers,
- exhausted drivers,
- trucks with defective parts and maintenance issues,
- and distracted drivers.
What Are Federal Trucking Regulations?
The federal government restricts the actions of commercial trucking companies and drivers because these vehicles are large, heavy, and can pose a danger to other drivers. Commercial trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds and have a wider turning radius and a bigger blind spot than conventional vehicles. The sheer size and bulk of these vehicles mean that they could put other cars at risk. To minimize this risk, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established several guidelines.
Among other stipulations, the FMCSA requires truck drivers and trucking companies to:
- Minimize the number of hours drivers may be on the road before taking a rest stop
- Ensure that all drivers receive the proper training and instruction
- Maintain high standards of care and safety for each vehicle
- Enforce a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to drugs and alcohol
- Keep loads under the maximum weight limit
How Do They Affect My Accident Case?
The purpose of the trucking regulations is primarily to protect the trucking company if their employees - truck drivers - are involved in an accident. For example, truck drivers are required by these regulations to remain drug- and alcohol-free while driving. If they get into an accident and are found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the driver is held liable rather than the trucking company. Our Springfield truck accident lawyers are well-educated in trucking laws and can help you with the complexities of this type of accident case.
Temporary Changes to Federal Hours-of-Service Regulations
In light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced in March that it would be temporarily suspending federal hours-of-service regulations for certain truck drivers. The suspension applies only to truck drivers transporting goods, supplies, and personnel needed in direct connection with COVID-19 testing, diagnosis, treatment, and response. This includes:
- truck drivers who are carrying medical supplies and testing equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and face masks, raw materials like paper or plastic, fuel, and other critical items.
- It also includes commercial vehicle operators transporting necessary personnel, including medical professionals, health care workers, and anyone else needed for the testing, diagnosis, or treatment of COVID-19 and individuals needed to assist in temporary housing and quarantine management.
As a result of the temporary hours-of-service regulation suspension, which was extended on September 11, 2020 affected truck drivers no longer:
- need to stop driving after 14 hours after coming on duty or after 11 consecutive hours in a 14-hour day.
- Similarly, they do not need to abide by the normal hours-of-service rule prohibiting drivers from driving more than 60 hours after 7 consecutive days or 70 hours after 8 consecutive days on duty.
While the purpose of the temporary suspension is ostensibly to allow truck drivers to deliver critical supplies and personnel to areas affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the potential for a greater number of fatigued truck drivers on the road also increases with less-restrictive regulations. Fatigued truck drivers are one of the leading causes of truck accidents.
Call today for your free case evaluation!
If you call Aaron Sachs & Associates, P.C., we can set you up with a free consultation at our office. This meeting will give you the chance to hear your legal options and advice on what steps to take next. Our team of Springfield truck accident lawyers has over 235 years of collective experience. Let us use this experience to serve you. Aaron Sachs & Associates, P.C. represents injured individuals throughout Springfield and Joplin.
Don't wait to get help! Call today to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team.
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