When an 80,000 lbs. truck collides with a passenger vehicle, the results can often be catastrophic. These kinds of accidents can seriously injure the people involved, causing injuries such as spinal injury, paralysis, traumatic brain injury, burns, loss of limbs, disfigurement, or even death. Due to the inherently dangerous nature of trucking, the industry is heavily regulated by state and federal laws and regulations. Among the types of things regulated are the amount of time a driver may drive, the weight of the vehicles, the types of materials that may be hauled, and the conditions under which the drivers may operate their vehicles. One such regulation is a rule promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 49 C.F.R. § 392.14, which reads:
“Extreme caution in the operation of a commercial motor vehicle shall be exercised when hazardous conditions, such as those caused by snow, ice, sleet, fog, mist, rain, dust, or smoke, adversely affect visibility or traction. Speed shall be reduced when such conditions exist. If conditions become sufficiently dangerous, the operation of the commercial motor vehicle shall be discontinued and shall not be resumed until the commercial motor vehicle can be safely operated. Whenever compliance with the foregoing provisions of this rule increases hazard to passengers, the commercial motor vehicle may be operated to the nearest point at which the safety of passengers is assured”
What this means is that drivers of commercial motor vehicles are required by federal law to exercise a higher standard of care than that which is required under standard theories of negligence. Under standard negligence principles, a person must exercise the same amount of care as a “reasonable person would;” this regulation operates to impose a higher standard of care of drivers of commercial vehicles in hazardous situations. What this means to a potential plaintiff is that it makes it easier to show that the driver did not meet that standard of care while driving, thus making recovery more likely.
Contact a Fayette County trucking accident attorney for a free consultation
If you have been injured in a trucking accident, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. In order to determine whether you have a case, it is important to have the circumstances of the incident that led to your injuries reviewed by an experienced trucking accident attorney. To schedule a free consultation, call the Law Offices of Shane Smith and Associates today at (770) 487-8999.