Using Industry Standards in a Truck Accident Case

Traffic on highway - looking through rear view mirror concept for Industry Standard in a Truck Accident Case.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) were established in 2000 to regulate the trucking industry. These laws apply to all commercial trucking companies and truck drivers in the US and are intended to promote safety on US highways. Unfortunately, many trucking companies and truck drivers fail to comply with these laws. When their failure to follow the law results in serious and catastrophic injuries or death, a skilled truck accident lawyer can use industry standards to show how the truck driver and trucking companies were negligent and hold them accountable for the harm they caused.

If you or someone you love was injured in a truck accident, call the personal injury lawyers at Muth Law, P.C., today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss the laws that apply, your next steps, and how we can help.

Who Is Covered by the FMCSR?

The FMCSR applies to commercial truck drivers, employers, and carriers. In Michigan, a commercial truck driver is required to carry a Commercial driver’s License (CDL), which authorizes them to operate:

  • Vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 pounds;
  • Semi-trucks pulling trailers weighing more than 10,000 pounds or with a combined weight of more than 26,000 pounds;
  • Vehicles designed to transport 16 people or more; and
  • Vehicles transporting hazardous materials.

A vehicle that falls into one of these categories is considered a commercial truck, and the driver must carry a CDL.

There are three types of CDL:

  1. Group A drivers can operate vehicles weighing 26,000 pounds or more or towing a trailer that weighs more than 10,000 pounds.
  2. Group B drivers can operate vehicles weighing 26,000 pounds or more or towing another vehicle or trailer weighing less than 10,000 pounds.
  3. Group C drivers can operate vehicles that weigh less than 26,000 pounds, are towing another trailer, or are designed to transport 16 passengers or more.

How Are Industry Standards Used in a Truck Accident Case?

The FMCSR established several regulations to promote the safety of commercial truck drivers and other motorists on the road. These safety rules include:

  • Hours of Service regulations that limit the number of hours a truck driver can work over a given period of time;
  • Record-keeping regulations;
  • Regulations for drug and alcohol testing;
  • Pre-trip inspection checklists;
  • Weight limits;
  • Regulations for properly securing cargo; and
  • Requirements to make semi-trucks more visible at night and in low-visibility conditions.

If you were hurt in a Michigan truck accident, your lawyer can prove negligence by showing that the truck driver or their employer violated these rules.

Filing a Claim Against a Truck Driver or Trucking Company

When you are involved in an accident with a commercial truck, the driver’s employer and their insurance company will handle the accident claim. To level the playing field, you need an experienced Michigan truck accident injury attorney on your side.

Because Michigan is a no-fault state, you will first need to file a claim with your insurance company. After you have filed a claim with your own insurance carrier, you can pursue your claim against the truck driver, their employer, and other companies that had a role in causing the accident that led to your injuries.

To recover financial compensation, you will need to prove that the truck driver and trucking company were negligent. One way to do this is by showing that the trucking company put you and other drivers at risk by disobeying industry standards.

To prove your case, you must show that the failure to follow the rules caused the accident in your case. For example, if the truck driver fell asleep at the wheel, you could prove negligence by showing that the truck driver did not follow the FMCSR regarding how many hours they were allowed to drive before taking a break.

Once you prove that the truck driver and trucking company were negligent, you are entitled to recover compensation for:

  • Past and future medical expenses;
  • Lost wages;
  • Loss of earning capacity;
  • Miscellaneous expenses;
  • Pain and suffering; and
  • Mental anguish.

Contact the Experienced Truck Accident Injury Lawyers at Muth Law, P.C. Today

Muth Law has decades of experience helping the families of people who were injured in trucking accidents. Let us take the legal and financial worries off of your plate so you can concentrate on what matters most: your health and your family.

To learn more, call (734) 481-8800 or contact us online today to schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your truck accident injury claim and how we can help.

Categories: Trucking Accidents