The drivers and companies that operate those big 18-wheelers on Texas highways must adhere to the regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Along with commonsense rules like a ban on alcohol for working truck drivers, FMCSA regulations also address specific issues related to the dangers of operating an 18-wheeler.
Unfortunately, many truck drivers and trucking companies disregard the safety rules to save time and to maximize profits. That disregard places other drivers, their passengers, and pedestrians in Texas at risk. Disregarding the safety rules predictably leads to serious truck accidents with catastrophic injuries.
If you have been injured in an accident with an 18-wheeler in Texas – or if you’re injured that way in the future – schedule a consultation at once to discuss your rights and options with San Antonio truck accident lawyer Matthew S. Norris.
What Are the FMCSA Rules for 18-Wheelers?
A large percentage of truck accidents involve a failure to comply with FMCSA regulations in one of these three areas:
- driver training and qualifications
- hours and rest breaks
- weight, cargo, and maintenance
When there’s a shortage of qualified truck drivers, some companies have put less-than-qualified drivers behind the wheel. Trucking companies must ensure that the drivers they hire are trained, carry a current commercial driver’s license, and have a clean driving record for at least the last three years.
What Other FMCSA Violations Constitute Negligence?
FMCSA regulations prohibit truck drivers from working more than eleven hours a day or seventy hours a week. Truck drivers cannot drive for more than eight hours without taking a thirty-minute break. Fatigue is the number one cause of truck accidents, and a violation of the rules regarding hours and breaks is a central element in many truck accident cases.
The FMCSA establishes and enforces strict rules for securing cargo. The regulations require that “Cargo must be firmly immobilized or secured on or within a vehicle.” The driver and trucking company are responsible to ensure that cargo is secured and that a truck will be safe on the road. If a truck’s cargo is unbalanced or otherwise improperly loaded, the truck can literally tip over if the driver has to negotiate a sharp turn.
If you are injured in a Texas truck accident, San Antonio personal injury lawyer Matthew S. Norris will determine if FMCSA regulations were violated by the truck driver or the trucking company. Clear evidence of a violation gives considerable support to your personal injury claim and may generate a quick and reasonable settlement offer.
Schedule a No-Cost Consultation to Learn More
Your truck accident attorney will scrutinize driver log books, weigh station records, and maintenance records as well as any eyewitness statements or video of the truck accident that injured you. Most truck accident injury claims are settled out-of-court, but if no reasonable settlement offer is made, personal injury attorney in San Antonio Matthew S. Norris will take your case to trial and aggressively advocate for the compensation – and for the justice – you need and deserve.
We are happy to provide your first legal consultation with no cost or obligation. If we handle your truck accident injury claim, you pay no attorney’s fee until and unless we recover compensation on your behalf. Call the Law Office of Matthew S. Norris at 210-549-7633 to learn more or to schedule your first consultation.