Violation of Trucking Industry Regulations Provide the Basis of Liability in Many Trucking Cases
This is Part 2 of our series of blogs discussing ten facts about semi-truck accidents in Georgia that are important to know if you or a loved one is injured in a Georgia trucking accident. The trucking industry is closely regulated by both the federal government and the State of Georgia because of the potential danger to others who must share the roadways with these massive motor vehicles. Because trucking regulations designed to reduce the risk of Atlanta semi-truck accidents can have a real economic cost to commercial carriers and drivers with a commercial driver’s license, those in the trucking industry have a strong economic incentive to cut corners or ignore these regulations to increase their bottom line. We have provided some key facts about trucking industry regulations relevant to many trucking accident claims.
What regulations govern liability in a Georgia trucking accident?
Depending on the specific circumstances of your Georgia big-rig accident, Georgia state law or federal regulations may be relevant to your personal injury claim. If the truck was engaged in interstate commerce, the primary source of regulations that may be relevant in a trucking case are the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). These regulations are far too voluminous to reproduce here as they are hundreds of pages in length. “Interstate” trucking refers to those who operate tractor-trailers across state lines, which makes the motor carrier subject to federal regulations. If a carrier and semi-truck operate exclusively within Georgia, this is referred to as “intrastate” trucking. Commercial carriers as well as the owner-operators of semi-trucks are subject to Georgia Intrastate Motor Carrier regulations when they engage in intrastate trucking.
What types of hazards are trucking industry regulations designed to eliminate?
The scope of regulations promulgated by state and federal trucking authorities cover a wide spectrum of safety issues that may prove important in semi-truck accident litigation, such as:
- Pre-employment background checks and employment screening
- Chemical testing for drugs and alcohol
- Limits on hours of service to prevent fatigue-based collisions
- Mandatory rules about vehicle inspection and maintenance
- Standards for installation of safety equipment
- Maximum size and weight requirements
- Rules regarding proper securing of loads
- Qualification requirements for medical fitness
- Standards covering proper supervision and training
While this is not a complete list of the types of trucking regulations that may serve as a basis for liability in a semi-truck accident case, these are some of the most common types of regulations that those in the trucking industry violate. Although commercial carriers and drivers can face serious penalties and even be required to remove a driver/vehicle from service for violations, there are many trucking accident legal claims directly based on these types of regulatory violations.
How does a Georgia semi-truck accident law firm develop evidence of a commercial carrier or commercial driver’s non-compliance with trucking regulations?
Every trucking case lawsuit involves a discovery phase that provides the opportunity to employ legal tools to obtain information, documents, physical evidence and depositions which can be used to uncover potential regulatory violations. Our experienced Georgia truck accident attorneys can work closely with trucking industry experts to analyze documents, crash accident investigative reports, physical evidence like skid marks and/or vehicle damage, personnel records, safety compliance and maintenance records, driver log books and other evidence to prove violations of trucking industry safety regulations.
If you or your loved one is injured in a Georgia big rig collision, our experienced trucking accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
No matter where you are located our Georgia truck accident attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.