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Dallas Truck Accident Attorney

Trucking accidents, with their inherent dangers, have become all too common. They frequently result in personal injuries or death. Companies that make use of commercial trucks must abide by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (49 C.F.R. §§ 350-399) and regulations by the U.S. Department of Transportation. In Texas, even more stringent regulations have been enacted beyond the federal ones.

These tougher rules circumscribe the limits that determine negligence, how much responsibility belongs to the driver and mechanic. This is how negligence is determined in personal injury negotiation or during litigation. Many of these regulations involve drug-testing before and during employment, and immediately upon any accident. Other regulations prohibit the driver from driving while fatigued, ill, or while texting or using a phone, and also require routine vehicle inspections, and the maintenance of detailed driving logs.

Drivers who operate an 18-wheeler or tractor-trailer must abide by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. According to such law, truck drivers who carry property have several restrictions imposed upon them. Out of concerns for their safety and the safety of other drivers, they are limited to: how many hours they may drive and the weight of the vehicle (which may pose the risk of more serious injuries in the event of an accident). These restrictions are even more stringent for truck drivers who transport passengers (49 C.F.R. 395.5). The aforementioned regulations are guidelines that attorneys consider to determine whether an accident victim has a valid cause of action under a negligence theory against a truck driver or operator.

Shortening of Trucking Work Hours Considered of Primary Importance 

As of 2013, The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced new hours-of-service rules for truck drivers, limiting the average work week for truck drivers to 70 hours (from 82 hours) to ensure that all truck operators have sufficient rest. This is because chronic fatigue has been, and continues to be, a high-risk factor for crashes, as well as for the development of serious health conditions in drivers. It is estimated that these new safety regulations save 19 lives annually, as well as preventing 1400 crashes and preventing 560 injuries during each subsequent year.

The changes made also increased break times to 30 minutes per 8-hour shift. Nonetheless, truck drivers maintain an 11-hour daily driving limit and a 14-hour work day. Clearly, more rested drivers would be safer drivers, but companies are reluctant to cut drivers' hours, fearing such cuts would damage their bottom lines. The government's solution has been to raise the amounts of fines charged for violations, making it financially worthwhile for trucking companies to conform to safety standards. The maximum fine for serious violations of hours of service, for example, has recently jumped from $11,000 to $16,000.

If you are involved in a vehicular or pedestrian accident with a large truck, the risk of serious injury or death is much greater than with a smaller, lighter weight, more easily maneuverable vehicle. If you have been personally injured in an accident in Texas involving an 18-wheeler or tractor-trailer, it is essential that you have a powerful law firm at your side during your legal battle to obtain just compensation. The talented and experienced personal injury attorneys at Sawicki Law are more than capable of providing you with excellent representation so that your case has the best outcome possible and you receive substantial compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any residual disability.




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6116 North Central Expwy. Ste. 1400, Dallas, TX 75206 | Phone: 888-468-8844 | Alt Phone: 214-468-8844