You may have found yourself driving cautiously around a large tractor-trailer. All truckers are supposed to follow federal trucking laws in Indianapolis but this does not always happen. Ask a seasoned truck accident attorney for help if you were hurt due to another driver’s negligence.
In order to make a recovery for a truck accident, a lawyer must first prove liability, which means the other party must be at fault for causing the accident. They do not need to be 100% at fault but they must be the predominant cause of the accident. Once liability is established, then an injured individual must prove damages. If there is no liability, then there is no recovery from a truck accident. Once liability has been established, a lawyer must then prove negligence, which refers to acting in a manner which a reasonably safe person would not.
Several individuals or entities could be at fault for a crash in Indianapolis, including any entity that violated federal trucking laws. If a plaintiff is partially at fault for the accident but the trucker is predominantly at fault, the plaintiff could still be entitled to a civil recovery, although the recovery will be reduced by a percentage of their fault. This is called contributory negligence. As long as the truck driver or company is over 50% at fault, a plaintiff’s own individual fault will not prevent them from making a recovery.
Because these vehicles are used for commercial purposes, and they can pose a safety risk while on the road, the government has an interest in regulating the trucking industry. The United States federal government, as well as state and local governments, have implemented rules which govern trucks.
The trucking industry is a profit-driven venture and is known to cut corners in order to maximize profit. This can put other people on the road – as well as the truck drivers themselves – at risk and is another reason that the government imposes regulations.
The federal trucking laws establish minimum safety requirements. Typically, most trucking companies will use the federal guidelines and operate within their restrictions. However, simply operating within these guidelines does not ensure safe operation of a truck. The industry, as well as safety advocates, can give input to the federal government when new regulations are being considered. The trucking industry has an interest in maintaining their competitive business model but society also has an interest in maintaining safe roads. Both constituencies can impact the final regulations set forth by the federal government.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration receives input from many different interested parties. The trucking industry has an interest in creating regulations which benefit them, while safety advocates have an interest in ensuring that trucks do not pose an additional danger to the public. As has been the case for many years, any regulation is subject to a period of comment and review before the agency adopts final regulations.
The FMCSA has implemented dozens of regulations which apply to over-the-road truck drivers. One of the most important ones is the rule concerning the amount of time a driver is allowed to spend operating the truck before having to take a break. These hour-of-service regulations are hotly debated every time the agency revisits the regulations.
Even though the FMCSRs apply to individual truck drivers, the companies for which they work are also responsible for maintaining enforcement of the regulations. Trucking companies have an affirmative duty to monitor their drivers for compliance with the Regulations. In addition to a driver in Indianapolis being penalized for violating the regulations, a trucking company can likewise receive a violation based on its failure to monitor and enforce their employees’ driving regulations.
The legal team at McCready Law has ways of determining if a driver broke federal trucking laws in Indianapolis. This could be powerful evidence of negligence in your personal injury case. For more information, please call and ask us for a free consultation.