Large commercial trucks such as semis, tractor-trailers, tanker trucks, and dump trucks pose a significant risk of serious injury to the public at large. In fact, data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that there were approximately 111,000 people hurt in accidents involving large trucks in 2014 alone. In order to combat the dangers posed by these vehicles, the federal government regulates the trucking industry very closely, from establishing physical fitness requirements for drivers to requiring that trucks’ trailers have reflective material or illuminated lights on them so that they are visible at night.
FMCSR Violations and Negligence Per Se
Generally speaking, when a person is injured in an accident, he or she must establish that the other party was negligent is some way in order to recover. Doing so often requires victims to point to specific acts that would be considered negligent, which is this context means “something that a reasonable person would not do.” So, for example, if you were struck by a driver that was trying to tie his or her shoelaces while on the interstate, it is very likely that you would be able to recover, as most people would likely agree that a reasonable person would not do that.
Using a legal doctrine known as “negligence per se,” however, it may be possible to sidestep the question of “reasonableness” altogether. Negligence per se establishes that a person was negligent as a matter of law if it can be shown that he or she violated a safety rule that was designed to protect the general public and that that violation caused the accident. In the context of a truck accident case, there are many safety rules that a driver or trucking company may violate that could cause an accident, including the following:
- Driving for a longer period of time in a given day than is allowed (11 hours, currently)
- Failing to conduct a pre-trip inspection
- Driving on a suspended commercial driver’s license (CDL)
- Driving a vehicle that exceeds weight regulations
- Failing to conduct the required background checks on drivers
Of course, in order to know that a violation has occurred, one must be familiar with the regulations to begin with. For this reason, anyone injured in a truck accident should contact an attorney who has experience litigating commercial truck accident cases.
Call a Car Accident Attorney in Albuquerque Today to Discuss Your Case
If you have been injured in a wreck with a large commercial truck, you should call an attorney as soon as you can. To schedule a free consultation with Albuquerque car accident lawyer Salim A. Khayoumi, call our office today at 505-333-8613 or contact us online.