Common FMCSA Violations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides regulations to govern the operation of commercial motor vehicles in the United States. These rules are in place to ensure the safety of both the trucking industry professionals and the everyday road user.

Unfortunately, violations of these regulations are not uncommon and can lead to serious accidents, resulting in personal injuries or worse. When involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle, understanding the common FMCSA violations can significantly impact the outcome of a personal injury claim, giving you an idea of what to look for.

Some of the most common violations include:

  • Hours of Service Violations: To combat driver fatigue, the FMCSA limits the number of hours a driver can operate a vehicle without taking a break. Violations occur when drivers exceed these limits, often under pressure to meet delivery deadlines.
  • Improper Loading: Overloading or improperly securing cargo can lead to loss of vehicle control and subsequent accidents.
  • Lack of Maintenance: Failure to perform regular vehicle inspections and maintenance can lead to critical mechanical failures on the road.
  • Driving Under the Influence: Operating a commercial vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not only illegal but highly dangerous.
  • Licensing Violations: All commercial vehicle drivers must hold a valid Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Driving without proper licensing is a serious offense.

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Causes of FMCSA Violations

The causes behind these violations often boil down to a few key factors:

  • Pressure from Employers: Trucking companies sometimes prioritize profits over safety, pressuring drivers to ignore regulations.
  • Lack of Training: Inadequate training can lead drivers to commit violations unwittingly.
  • Carelessness: Some violations stem from a driver’s disregard for safety regulations and responsible driving practices.

Understanding and addressing the root causes of FMCSA violations is essential to improving road safety for both commercial drivers and the general public.

Impact on Liability in Personal Injury Claims

When a truck driver violates FMCSA regulations and is involved in an accident, the question of liability becomes intertwined with these violations. Demonstrating that a violation occurred and directly contributed to the accident can significantly strengthen a personal injury claim. In such cases, both the truck driver and their employer can be held liable for damages.

For instance, if an accident was caused by a driver exceeding their Hours of Service, resulting in fatigue-related errors, this violation can be used to demonstrate negligence. Similarly, if improper loading caused a truck to overturn and collide with another vehicle, both the driver and their employer could be held responsible for failing to adhere to FMCSA loading regulations.

How a Lawyer Can Help after a Trucking Accident

If you’ve been in an accident with a trucker who violated FMCSA regulations, a personal injury lawyer specializing in truck accidents can be invaluable. Here’s how:

  • Expertise in FMCSA Regulations: Lawyers experienced in this field are well-versed in FMCSA rules and can quickly identify violations that may impact your case.
  • Investigation and Evidence Gathering: Attorneys can conduct thorough investigations to gather evidence of FMCSA violations, including driver logs, vehicle maintenance records, and cargo loading documentation.
  • Navigating the Claims Process: They can guide you through the complex claims process, ensuring you meet all legal requirements and deadlines.
  • Maximizing Your Compensation: By establishing the link between FMCSA violations and the accident, lawyers can help you secure the compensation you deserve for your injuries, lost wages, and other damages.

If you’ve been involved in an accident with a negligent truck driver, we can help. Contact our truck accident attorneys in Las Vegas today to schedule a free consultation.

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