If you’ve been injured in a truck accident in Canton, Van Zandt, Mt. Pleasant, Jefferson, Paris, or Marshall, Texas, the Cooper Law Firm are truck accident lawyers familiar with hours of service laws and how these laws can impact your claim. When it comes to determining whether truck companies and their insurers will be responsible for your truck accident settlement, the biggest question is: “Who was at fault in my truck accident?” One of the ways your truck accident lawyer can determine who was at fault is by taking a look at whether your truck driver was in violation of federal hours of service laws. If a driver broke these laws, the truck driver, the truck company, or their insurers, may be responsible for paying your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages. Federal hours of service laws are designed to ensure that drivers are well-rested and focused. When drivers violate these laws, they can end up fatigued behind the wheel, posing a danger to themselves and others. The Cooper Law Firm are truck accident lawyers serving the areas of Canton, Van Zandt, Mt. Pleasant, Jefferson, Paris, and Marshall, Texas. Contact our firm today and we can open an investigation.
What are the Hour of Service Laws?
Truck drivers and truck companies are required to abide by strict hours of service laws set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These laws are designed to ensure that truck drivers are well-rested before they get behind the wheel. Tired drivers pose a hazard to themselves and others on the road. In fact, research has shown that tired drivers can be just as dangerous as drunk drivers. So, what are the federal hours of service laws?
- Truck drivers carrying goods must take at least a 10 hour break (be off duty for 10 hours) after driving an 11-hour shift. Drivers are limited to 11-hour shifts.
- Commercial drivers carrying passengers must take an 8 hour break (be off duty 8 hours) after driving 10-hours. Drivers are limited to 10-hour shifts.
- Truck drivers carrying goods must go off duty for at least 10 hours after being on duty for 14 hours. The moment a truck driver starts loading a truck or starts driving, the clock begins to tick. After 14 hours, regardless of what he or she has done (whether driving or loading the truck), he or she must take a 10-hour break.
- Truck drivers carrying passengers must go off duty after being on duty for 15 hours. Drivers must then take an eight hour break. Again, the clock begins to tick regardless of whether the driver is behind the wheel, loading passenger luggage, or taking tickets.
- Drivers are also required to take regular rest breaks.
Drivers are required to abide by these laws and are required to keep logs of the hours they work and of the hours they are off duty. However, sometimes companies might try to cut corners by pressuring drivers to work longer hours or by giving drivers unreasonable schedules. Drivers may sometimes falsify their logs or fail to take breaks. When this happens, they can endanger themselves or others by fatigued driving. The Cooper Law Firm are truck accident attorneys serving crash victims in Canton, Van Zandt, Mt. Pleasant, Jefferson, Paris, and Marshall, Texas. Our firm can take steps to determine whether a truck driver violated federal hours of service laws and fight to help truck accident victims get the compensation they may deserve.
How a Truck Accident Lawyer Can Determine Whether a Truck Driver Violated Hours of Service Laws
There are several ways the Cooper Law Firm can determine whether a truck driver violated hours of service laws. One way is by looking at the driver’s logs. Electronic logging can show where a truck driver may have exceeded legal limits. If a log has been falsified, however, your truck accident lawyer may need to dig deeper. The Cooper Law Firm can review shipping schedules, dates, and times, and cross-reference these with the truck’s driver’s logs. If there is a discrepancy, a violation could be proven. Another way the Cooper Law Firm can investigate the case is by looking into whether the company has a history of violations of federal hours of service laws. A company that has a history of these violations combined with an accident that shows signs that driver fatigue may have been an issue, could also result in a claim for victims and their families. The Cooper Law Firm can also look at the circumstances of the accident itself. Some accidents appear to be the result of driver inattention or fatigue.
If you’ve been in a truck accident in Canton, Van Zandt, Mt. Pleasant, Jefferson, Paris, and Marshall, Texas, the Cooper Law Firm can review your accident reports, investigate the truck company and drivers involved in your accident, and fight to help you get the best possible settlement permitted under the law. You may only have a limited amount of time to make a claim after a truck accident. Contact the Cooper Law Firm today to learn more.
Protecting Truck Accident Victims in Texas
The Cooper Law Firm are truck accident lawyers serving crash victims in Canton, Van Zandt, Mt. Pleasant, Jefferson, Paris, and Marshall, Texas. Federal hours of service laws are just one way in which truck drivers may be at fault for your accident. Truck companies are also required to properly maintain their vehicles, vet their drivers before hiring them, and properly load their vehicles in accordance with federal laws. If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident in Texas, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages. However, it is important to act quickly. The Cooper Law Firm can help you make a claim against the truck company’s insurance or against the negligent truck company itself. Learn more by contacting the Cooper Law Firm today.