The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) creates and establishes regulations for the trucking industry, for both truck drivers and trucking companies. Any large commercial motor vehicle must follow these federal regulations that attempt to ensure the safety of truck drivers and other motorists on the roadways.
Unfortunately, some truck drivers and trucking companies fail to follow these guidelines and regulations in their hasty attempt to maximize profit. In some cases, the only way to determine whether or not a trucking accident was the result of the failure to follow FMCSA regulations is through an investigation.
If you have suffered injuries as a result of a truck accident, learn how a Tampa truck accident lawyer can help. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 630-9229 for assistance in determining the cause of the accident and who has the legal responsibility to compensate you for your injuries and losses.
Reasons Why a Tampa Truck Accident Could Have Occurred
If you have suffered injuries as a result of an accident involving a large commercial truck, the actual cause of the accident must be determined. While this can be easily identifiable in passenger vehicle accidents and large trucking accidents, these instances can determine if the truck driver or trucking company failed to follow any FMCSA regulations that ultimately caused your injuries and losses.
Some of the information and evidence that an investigation provides in a trucking accident includes the following:
- Truck Operating License. The truck driver should have a valid and non-expired commercial driver’s license (CDL) as required under FMCSA, Title 49, part 383. If the truck driver did not have a valid CDL, the trucking company may be liable for the accident for negligent hiring practices.
- Truck Driver’s Physical Health. A truck driver is to receive the required and mandatory health assessment every two years. If not, it is possible that the trucking company knew that the truck driver failed to complete this assessment or did not require that the employee take the exam.
- Hours of Service. If the truck driver adhered to the specific regulations regarding rest and break times required in the federal hours of service regulations, then it is possible that they could have felt fatigued. If the truck driver did not log all of their time stopped between driving shifts or the trucking company did not have any communication with the truck driver, then this could violate hours of service regulations as required by the FMCSA.
- Cargo Loading. Sometimes, the cargo in the trailer loaded was not appropriately and safely according to FMCSA regulations. For example, tie-downs and straps might not have been securely fastened. The trucking company may not have authorized the cargo loading or failed to provide instruction or training regarding the proper way to load cargo.
- Manufacturing Defect. Sometimes equipment does not work properly. Maybe there was a recall notice on a part of the commercial truck. The trucking company and/or truck driver perhaps did not follow guidelines and conduct timely inspections or replace or repair all malfunctioning or defective parts, which could have caused the accident.
- Negligent Driving. The truck driver may have negligently operated the commercial truck, including failing to follow roadway signs, speeding, driving while fatigued, driving while distracted, or driving while intoxicated. The guidelines regarding alcohol consumption and driving a commercial vehicle can be much stricter than those established by the states. Even though Florida Statute § 316.193 says the BAC limit when driving is 0.08, the FMSCA says truck drivers that have a 0.04 blood alcohol concentration or consumed any type of alcohol within four hours of their driving shift are in violation of FMCSA regulations, as per 49 CFR § 382.201 and 49 CFR § 382.207.
- Negligent Supervision. It is possible for the trucking company to not conduct a thorough background check into the history and experience of the truck driver. This may include prior DUI convictions, driving record, and any arrests. The trucking company could not have provided adequate safety training and other training regarding the securement of cargo.
These are just some of the instances that an investigation can review in order to build a personal injury case that results in compensation for injuries and losses. If you have suffered any injuries from a trucking accident, learn how a Tampa truck accident lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help you determine the cause of your trucking accident, and therefore which entity (or entities) may have a legal liability to compensate you for your injuries and losses.
For a free legal consultation with a truck accidents lawyer serving Tampa, call (800) 630-9229
Determination of Liability
After determining the cause of the trucking accident, a victim of a trucking accident must then have a determination of liability. Once this occurs, a victim will understand which party has the legal responsibility to pay for their medical bills, lost wages, loss of future wages, future expected medical bills, property damage, psychological trauma, and pain and suffering. Some of the parties that may have responsibility for a trucking accident include:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company that employs the truck driver
- The trucking maintenance company (if different than the trucking company)
- The cargo loading company (if different than the trucking company)
- The leaseholder of the truck (if different than the trucking company)
- The manufacturer of a defective truck part or component (if the trucking accident resulting from a manufacturing defect or design flaw)
Tampa Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me (800) 630-9229
Consider How a Tampa Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries resulting from an accident involving a large commercial truck in the state of Florida, Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help you pursue compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact our legal team at (800) 630-9229 to learn how a Tampa truck accident lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and how this accident happened.