Cases involving large commercial trucks often involve issues of driver or company compliance with federal regulations. Auto accidents involving large commercial vehicles often include issues of driver fatigue and its contribution to the wreck. Additionally, federal law also regulates the maintenance of a driver's daily logs. Often, cases are determined by violation of these federal laws—commonly, the issue is whether a driver working longer than legally allowed caused the accident owing to this violation and whether the logs were altered. Cases involving semi-trucks and commercial vehicles can be complicated and difficult. It is important you find a lawyer who can help navigate the case intricacies so they can properly advocate for your claim. Members of Goodnow|McKay are experienced with these claims and are here to help. We are committed to helping our clients recover fair compensation. We are often able to negotiate reasonable settlements with the responsible insurance companies, but we are willing to fight for our clients through trial if necessary.
Important Rules and Potential Violations:
Federal laws regulate commercial interstate trucking cases. Two of the most important laws regulate the amount of time a driver can stay on the road and the responsibilities of the driver's log.
Important to note is the 11/14 hour rule which provides an interstate driver can only work 14 hours between rest periods of 10 consecutive hours. Of the 14 hours of work the driver may only be on the road a total of 11 hours. A driver cannot drive after being on-duty for sixty hours in a consecutive seven-day period. If the vehicles are operated seven days a week, this period is extended to 70 hours in eight days.
Additionally, federal laws require that drivers maintain a daily log that records the driver's actions. These logs are subject to substantial regulation, as they are the primary source of information for a trucker's compliance with federal regulations.
Frequently the issues litigated in a commercial trucking accident are whether a driver complied with the time restrictions for being on the road, if the driver was fatigued, if this fatigue caused the subject crash, and if the logs of the driver's compliance with federal law were properly maintained or falsified.
AZDOT has provided statistics for commercial and semi-truck-related crashes in 2017:
The data reveals that issues involving semi-trucks and other large, oversized commercial vehicles are prevalent. As previously discussed, many of these vehicles are oversized, incredibly heavy, difficult to control, travel at a high rate of speed around commuter traffic, and are often driven by individuals not in the best state of mind. These factors combine to create cases with potentially massive or fatal injuries to the public.
Members of Goodnow|McKay are vigilant in research and advocacy on behalf of accident victims. Please see the linked articles below related to semi-truck and commercial vehicle crashes:
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Chris Goodnow is licensed in Arizona. Justin McKay is licensed in Arizona. Matters in other areas are handled by licensed attorneys employed, associated, or co-counseled with Goodnow|McKay.