Federal Trucking Regulations
Commercial trucks pose a significant risk of harm to people traveling near them on roads and highways, in part due to their massive size. As such, to mitigate the danger of catastrophic accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration developed federal trucking regulations that commercial truck drivers must comply with when operating their vehicles. Not all drivers uphold their duties, however, and when a driver deviates from the obligations imposed by the regulations, any resulting accidents can often bear devastating results. If you or someone you love suffered injuries in an accident caused by a commercial truck, it is prudent to meet with legal counsel to understand what damages you may be able to pursue in a civil lawsuit. Eric Beasley is a Nashville truck accident lawyer who seeks to hold commercial trucking companies and drivers accountable when they harm others in collisions. Attorney Beasley assists injured parties in trucking accident cases in Middle Tennessee, and he will work diligently to help you in your pursuit of damages.Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations (FMCSA Regulations) apply to all non-exempt commercial trucks that travel over state lines, such as semi-trailer trucks traveling to or through Nashville from Kentucky, Georgia or Arkansas. These federal trucking regulations not only impose duties on the drivers of commercial trucks, but also on anyone who hires or supervises the drivers, as well as the companies that own the trucks. Specifically, the FMCSA Regulations dictate the hours per day a driver is permitted to operate a truck without taking a break, and the maximum hours per week a driver can operate a truck. The FMCSA Regulations also set forth licensing and medical requirements to ensure a person is fit to drive, and prohibit drivers from engaging in unsafe driving, like failing to adhere to state motor vehicle laws or driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The FMCSA Regulations also establish rules for what materials and maximum cargo weight commercial trucks can transport. Finally, the FMCSA Regulations require regular inspections and maintenance of trucks.Proving Liability for an Accident Caused by a Violation of FMCSA Regulations
Many trucking accidents arise out of careless violations of the federal trucking regulations. As such, in most lawsuits in which a plaintiff seeks compensation for injuries caused by a truck accident, the plaintiff will allege negligence claims against the driver or trucking company. Under Tennessee law, to establish negligence, a plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, but that the defendant breached the duty owed, and the breach proximately caused the plaintiff’s harm. Although, in most cases, the standard of care is the reasonable person standard, which is the care an ordinary person would exercise under similar circumstances, when a regulation or statute sets forth a code of conduct, the regulation or statute can be used to define the standard of care, and a violation of the standard may constitute negligence as a matter of law. Thus, if a truck driver or trucking company that employs a truck driver violates the FMCSA regulations, they may be liable for negligence as a matter of law, also known as negligence per se. Notably, even if a plaintiff can prove a defendant violated the FMCSA regulations, he or she must still establish causation and actual harm to recover damages.Speak with an Experienced Nashville Attorney
Commercial truck drivers have a responsibility to drive in a safe manner, which includes abiding by federal safety regulations, and when they fail to uphold their responsibilities, they should be held liable for any harm they cause. If you sustained injuries in an accident caused by a commercial truck, you should speak with a lawyer to discuss your rights. Attorney Eric Beasley is committed to helping people in Tennessee seek compensation for harm caused by trucking collisions. Mr. Beasley’s office is located in Goodlettsville, and he represents people in trucking accident cases in Nashville, Hendersonville, Lebanon, Goodlettsville, and Murfreesboro. Mr. Beasley also assists parties in lawsuits in cities in Rutherford, Davidson, Williamson, Sumner, Wilson, and Robertson Counties, and throughout Middle Tennessee. You can reach Mr. Beasley at (800) 431-2768 or through the form online to set up a consultation.