Semi-trucks spend thousands of hours on the road. And it’s not uncommon for a truck to travel well over one million miles before it gets replaced. Each of those miles involves a truck driver who is human—and is capable of making mistakes. Unfortunately, any error by a truck driver can mean the difference between life and death. If you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident in the Buford area, you have rights. You need to talk to a Buford truck accident lawyer.
John Foy & Associates can get you the help you need. We have over 20 years of experience dealing with state and federal laws that affect truck accidents and victims—and we can put that knowledge to work for you. We offer a free consultation to get you the answers you need. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What do I need to know about my truck accident claim?
Truck accidents are unique because they are often very serious. They are also distinctive because of the specific rules and regulations that apply to truckers and the trucks themselves. For example, every trucking company must deal with:
- Cargo limitations
- Height restrictions
- Driving time rules
All of these regulations must be followed to legally operate these vehicles. Failing to comply with any one of them is not only unsafe, but it could also lead to legal liability for truckers and their employers. But that doesn’t mean that every driver—or company—follows every rule all of the time. In fact, violations of these rules are often a factor in truck accidents. That means your claim may be much stronger than you think it is. A good lawyer will launch a full investigation of the circumstances surrounding the accident and help you determine if there was any failure to follow these regulations.
How are truck drivers restricted in their driving times?
Federal law sets out precise maximum driving times for truckers. These times also vary depending on the type of “cargo” they are hauling. The following rules are just a sample of the many federal regulations that apply to drivers hauling cargo:
- A driver cannot start a new shift without taking at least 10 consecutive hours off duty.
- Drivers are not allowed to work more than 14 hours in any one shift, and only 11 of those hours can be specifically for driving time.
- To continue to drive, a trucker must have a break of either half an hour of sleeping or off-duty time every eight hours.
- Drivers cannot work over 70 hours for eight consecutive days if they are operating a motor carrier every day of the week.
Regulations that apply to those carrying passengers are even more restrictive. For example, passenger drivers are not permitted to drive more than ten hours at a time.
The Georgia laws affecting these hours vary slightly. For instance, drivers can drive up to 12 hours as long as the driver has not been on duty for more than 16 hours. Drivers are also allowed to drive up 80 hours in eight consecutive days. These laws only apply to truckers that drive within the State of Georgia.
Federal and state law use these restrictions because they recognize that driving while fatigued is extremely dangerous. Even when a driver is complying these regulations, he or she should still stop and rest if they are tired and unable to focus on the road properly.
How is cargo and size for trucks restricted?
The items being hauled must also stay under specified maximum limits. Some of the restrictions will vary depending on the type of material. However, most trucks in the Buford area will need to meet the following regulations:
- The overall dimensions of the truck or cargo cannot be wider than eight and a half feet. It cannot be any taller than 13 feet, 6 inches. And it must be less than 100 feet long.
- Trucks cannot exceed 80,000 pounds.
Some trucks can exceed these limitations, but they are required to get a permit. Even if they have permission, where they can actually travel may be restricted to specific locations.
Why do trucking regulations matter for me as a passenger vehicle driver in Buford?
Although it may seem like these regulations have no effect on you, they actually can have a significant impact on your truck accident case.
To prove legal liability in a truck accident case, you must show that the truck driver breached their “duty of care” to you, as another driver on the road. One of the easiest ways to do this is to show that the driver or the trucking company was not following the federal or state laws that apply to it.
This concept is commonly known as “negligence per se.” It essentially means that if a driver was not following the rules of the road as they would apply to him or her, then that driver is almost always considered negligent. Negligent is a legal term that means essentially the same thing as being careless or reckless. That is, it is almost automatically considered careless or reckless behavior to ignore the state and federal regulations that apply to truckers and trucking companies.
You should keep in mind that even though a truck driver may not be following the rules of the road, you must still prove to the insurance company they were the ones who caused the damage you suffered. But you don’t have to do this on your own. A good lawyer will not only help you prove your case, they will handle the negotiations and get you the highest amount of money possible.
Talk to a Buford Truck Accident Lawyer for Free
Never try to take on a truck accident case by yourself. These cases are so complex that even many attorneys don’t accept them. At John Foy & Associates, we have spent more than 20 years becoming one of the most respected truck accident law firms in the state—and we always side with the victim. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.