Q: Which laws are applicable to truck accident cases?
Just like any other vehicle accident case, truck collision litigation requires proof of liability. To win your truck accident case, your attorney must be prepared to provide proof of negligence under personal injury law.
However, violations of truck-specific regulations can be important evidence your lawyer may use to bolster your claim.
Traffic Law Violations
While it's possible to hold truck drivers and trucking companies liable for accidents, there really isn't “truck accident law.” Instead, an attorney must prove negligence, which may or may not involve violations of trucking-specific regulations. Evidence of a trucker’s violation of general traffic laws may be used to demonstrate negligence, such as:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Drowsy driving
The trucking industry is heavily regulated, with federal and state laws that dictate appropriate trucker and fleet transportation company behavior. Violation of these rules demonstrates that the trucking company has failed in its duty to keep the public safe.
There are a number of truck-specific regulations that may be cited as evidence of negligence in a truck accident case, including:
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Regulations. This set of laws applies to practically every aspect of large trucks, including the hours an operator may drive to commercial truck weight regulations. The FMCSA is important in truck accident cases because many of the mistakes truckers make are violations of these regulations. If an operator breaches FMCSA regulations, an attorney can cite this as evidence of his or her negligence.
- Texas Transportation Code. Most sections of the state’s transportation code apply to all types of motor vehicles, but the code also includes regulations specific to trucks. As noted above, violations of these laws may be used as proof of liability.
- Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Rules. This agency created specific rules regarding the registration and inspection of commercial trucks. TxDOT is also responsible for the licensing of truck drivers. If the fleet company or driver violates these regulations, this may also be used as proof of negligence.
You Need an Attorney
If you were injured in a truck accident, you need an attorney who knows how to prove trucking company negligence and help you receive the compensation you deserve. To learn more about what the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., can do for you, visit us on Facebook.