Alabama laws and federal laws are an important part of big rig safety. When a semi truck driver, or a trucking company fails to follow state and federal standards set by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, serious and fatal accidents can happen. The victims of those accidents will then have strong causes of action to pursue financial compensation and justice in court.
Here are some of the most important legal standards that truck drivers and their employers need to adhere to:
— Commercial truck drivers’ licenses: Anyone who operates an 18-wheeler, semi truck or other large vehicle will need to have a commercial drivers’ license. Drivers who cause accidents without a license will face stiff consequences in court, and so will their employers.
— Adequate rest: Truck drivers can only spend a certain number of hours behind the wheel before they need to take rest. That rest time needs to be recorded in a special driving log. Evidence of not taking enough rest can be used against drivers and their employers in a truck accident personal injury action.
— Weight limitations: Trucks have weight limitations regarding what they can haul. Certain trucks have different load capacities. Overloading trucks can result in serious and fatal accidents, and this is often something that truck accident lawyers will look for when trying to determine how a truck crash may have occurred.
— Mechanical condition: It is important to keep trucks in sound working order. Special laws are in place that regulate the maintenance and mechanical standards that truck drivers and their employers need to maintain.
There are a lot more laws and regulations that apply to truck drivers, but the above are some of the most important. If you or a loved one was injured in a semi truck crash, you may want to contact a personal injury lawyer who can review and evaluate whether you can pursue a legal claim for financial compensation in an Alabama civil court.
Source: FindLaw, “Truck Accident Law: What You Need to Know,” accessed Jan. 19, 2017