As an experienced Washington DC trucking accident attorney, our legal team at Cohen and Cohen, P.C. has represented personal injury victims for more than 20 years. We understand the laws pertaining to the commercial trucking industry, and how to leverage that knowledge to your benefit.
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident with a trucker who violated the law, the driver and his or her company may be held liable for any personal injuries that you have suffered. Every case is unique and should be discussed with an experienced attorney before you pursue litigation, but you may find the following information about trucking laws helpful.
Five Trucking Laws that can Affect Your Personal Injury Case
1. Hours of Service Limitations. The hours of service regulations for commercial drivers are intended to make sure drivers are adequately rested while on the road.
- Maximum Hour Driving Limit: after a certain number of hours, the driver is not permitted to drive.
- Rest Breaks: mandatory rest breaks determine for how long they must rest, and how often they have to take a rest break.
- Sleeper Berth Provision: Drivers who sleep in their truck’s sleeper berth must rest there a set number of hours.
If your trucking accident attorney in Washington DC can prove that the trucker did not have the minimum amount of required rest at the time of the accident, it may strengthen your case.
2. Commercial Vehicle Size and Weight Standards
- Commercial vehicles are subject to height and weight restrictions, which vary according to what kind of road they’re traveling on.
- If a truck weighs more than the maximum allowed, the driver may have difficulty stopping in time or maintaining control of the vehicle in turns, at high or normal speeds, or on slick roads.
- Vehicles that violate the size restriction can be a hazard when crossing beneath overpasses or on roads too narrow for their width.
3. Commercial Driver’s License and Qualifications
- Commercial truckers are required to have a current and valid commercial driver’s license. To receive and maintain a commercial driver’s license, the trucker must pass a specialized written and driving test in addition to an eyesight test that non-commercial drivers must also pass.
- Drivers can be disqualified from holding a commercial driver’s license if they are convicted of a “major violation” which includes a conviction of being under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, leaving the scene of an accident, and many other offenses.
If a trucker does not have a current and valid commercial driver’s license while driving commercially, he or she is in violation of the law. If a trucking accident attorney Washington DC victims hire can prove that the trucker was driving illegally, this might affect the outcome of a personal injury case.
4. Brake Systems
Commercial vehicles of a certain weight and size are required to have certain operable brake systems, and those brake systems must meet certain standards. If they do not meet these requirements, the truck is considered unsafe to drive. A Washington DC trucking accident attorney may request an inspection of the truck involved in the accident to determine if it was in proper working order.
5. City Ordinances
Some cities and regions have restrictions on commercial trucks when it comes to traveling on their roads. This can include:
- weight restrictions
- lane restrictions
- road access restrictions.
If a commercial vehicle was in a location they were not supposed to be, and was involved in an accident that resulted in a personal injury, this could affect the outcome of a trial or settlement.
Cohen and Cohen: An Experienced Washington DC Trucking Accident Attorney
The legal team of Cohen and Cohen has represented more than 10,000 personal injury victims. If you need a Washington DC trucking accident attorney who is familiar with motor vehicle and commercial trucking laws, contact us for a free consultation to discuss your personal injury case.