Trucking Companies Can Violate FMCSA Regulations
Commercial transportation is an important component of our economy. Each day, thousands of trucks travel across the country while transporting goods from one city to the next. In doing so, trucks fill up our roadways.
Trucks used in commercial transportation tend to be larger in size than almost all other vehicles on the road. They can be potentially more dangerous and cause more accidents if they’re careless.
In an effort to increase safety and reduce potential harm to drivers, the federal government created the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration1 (FMCSA). The FMCSA governs the trucking industry and implements regulations and safety guidelines for transportation companies and drivers. The results can be deadly whenever a truck driver, trucking company, or both, violate FMSCA guidelines.
The FMCSA seeks to enforce its regulations in order to maximize safe driving conditions for both the common driver as well as trucks transporting goods.
Commercial transportation business is just that — a business. There are instances in which trucking companies violate FMCSA regulations in an effort to save time, money, or both. These violations also occur whenever a truck driver takes matters into his or her own hands and violates FMSCA regulations.
The FMCSA seeks to strongly enforce its regulations. In fact, repeat violations can result in the violating company being shut down. Some common FMCSA violations include:
- Driving recklessly in dangerous weather
- Driver fatigue
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Operating unsafe vehicles
- Defective or worn tires and brakes
- Weight and cargo securement violations
Trucking Companies and Coercion
The FMCSA recently passed a final rule on coercion in an effort to reduce transportation companies’ influence on coercing drivers to violate safety regulations. In its final rule, the FMCSA stated that:
“Any time a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, freight-forwarder, or broker demands that a schedule be met, one that the driver says would be impossible without violating hours-of-service restrictions or other safety regulations, that is coercion.”
Coercive transportation companies are a risk to highway safety. Coercing drivers places other drivers at risk as it increases the potential for truck drivers to drive distracted or fatigued, drive recklessly, or create potentially unsafe driving conditions.
Damages in a Trucking Accident Case
FMCSA violations can result in serious or potentially dangerous car accidents. Transportation companies or truck drivers that violate FMCSA safety regulations and cause an accident are held liable. The FMCSA may require violators to pay significant fines. Moreover, Florida courts2 will likely allow for victims to recover damages for those costs and expenses resulting from the accident. Some examples of the potentially recoverable damages include:
- Medical bills
- Long-term medical care
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral expenses and loss of future income in cases of wrongful death
- Punitive Damages
How Can an Attorney Help?
After involvement in a truck accident, many victims are confused and uncertain about what to do next. Fortunately, the guidance and representation of a lawyer can help navigate the personal injury claims process and provide significant peace of mind. When you retain an attorney, he or she will thoroughly investigate your case in order to determine whether any evidence of negligence or noncompliance with federal regulations exists and build the strongest case possible. If the trucking company or truck driver admits fault, your lawyer will then negotiate attempt settlement offer that adequately compensates you for your losses. If the other party does not concede liability or refuses to make a reasonable settlement offer, your attorney will likely file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Call a Florida Truck Accident Lawyer Today for a Free Case Evaluation
Transportation companies and truck drivers that violate the safety regulations and guidelines set forth by the FMCSA should be held liable for their actions. As a victim, you may be entitled to recover compensation for those costs and expenses resulting from an accident caused by a violation. At the Dolman Law Group in Florida, our team of skilled and experienced personal injury attorneys will work diligently to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 727-451-6900 for a free consultation.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765