If you or a loved one have been injured in a commercial truck accident, contact our Birmingham truck accident lawyers Belt, Bruner & Barnett P.C. for help. Our team of skilled Alabama injury attorneys has over 65 years of collective experience handling personal injury cases, including those involving truck accidents, and they can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Because of the danger large commercial trucks pose to other drivers on the road, the trucking industry is subject to an extensive set of state and federal safety regulations. Truck drivers and trucking companies engaged in interstate commerce must comply with these standards to ensure the safe and professional operation of commercial trucks. When commercial drivers or trucking companies disregard safety regulations, the results can be catastrophic.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a federal agency responsible for helping to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses. FMCSA sets and enforces a vast array of safety truck driver training requirements with which drivers and companies must comply.
FMCSA restricts the hours a truck driver may spend behind the wheel in a given day or work week to keep fatigued drivers off the road and promote public safety. The existing hours of service rules are:
Truck drivers must keep track of their time and duty status using logbooks. Part of that requirement is making sure that logbooks reflect an accurate and complete record of the driver’s activities for each 24-hour period. Logbooks can be inspected by state or federal agencies at any time. Unfortunately, violations of the hours of service regulations are not uncommon. In fact, one of the most common violations among truck drivers in 2015 was the failure to properly log their duty status. In addition, there were 136,585 hours of service violations in 2015.
Pursuant to FMCSA regulations, truck drivers and trucking companies are responsible for making sure that their vehicles and equipment are in proper working order, regularly inspected, repaired, and maintained. Truck drivers and trucking companies must also maintain accurate maintenance records and comply with cargo securement regulations.
Under federal regulations, commercial truck drivers must meet the following qualifications:
Alabama sets its own regulations for commercial trucks operating within the state and has adopted most of the FMCSA standards. The Alabama Public Safety Commission and the Alabama Department of Public Safety work in cooperation with the FMCSA to regulate and enforce safety standards for the commercial trucking industry.
To operate a vehicle with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) exceeding 26,000 pounds, designed to transport 16 or more passengers, or is used to carry hazardous materials in Alabama, drivers must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). To be eligible for a CDL in Alabama, drivers must be at least 18 years old, pass a vision exam, and obtain a DOT medical certificate. Applicants must also take and pass a written knowledge exam and a driving test.
If you have suffered an injury in an accident involving a large commercial truck (18-wheeler, tractor-trailer, big rig, semi, tanker or dump truck) in Alabama, the Birmingham truck accident attorneys of Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C., are here to help you determine your legal options. We are committed to helping accident victims throughout Alabama obtain justice for their injuries and we will fight to secure the maximum compensation possible in your case. Our successful track record in personal injury cases includes numerous recoveries in excess of $1 million.
Let us put our extensive knowledge of federal and state trucking regulations, trial skills, and resources to work for you. Call us today at 205-933-1500 for a free consultation.
We’ve successfully represented clients who have suffered many types of injuries, and we’ll do our best to pursue maximum compensation for your losses. We will deliver the attention you deserve and take care of all the details of your case so you can focus on recovery.Read More Reviews
It’s been three years, and during that time they have been in touch with me every step of the way. I can’t thank this firm enough.
I would certainly recommend Belt, Bruner & Barnett, P.C., because of their knowledge and expertise. They’re wonderful to work with.
He [Keith Belt] worked relentlessly and went above and beyond the call of duty. He’s just an incredible man and an incredible attorney.