Previously, we began looking at the so-called Hours of Service rules, which are administered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The Hours of Service rules are an important area to consider for those pursuing a personal injury claim following a truck accident. In any personal injury claim, motorists are required to provide evidence for four basic elements: duty; breach; causation; and harm
Essentially, what must be proven in any personal injury claim based on negligence, regardless of the circumstances, is that the defendant failed to abide by an established legal duty, and that this breach of duty was the “proximate cause” for the plaintiff’s injuries. Depending on the circumstances of the case, there can be a variety of factors which make up a plaintiff’s allegations of breach of duty, including violations of federal regulations.
When it comes to the Hours of Service rules, both truck drivers and their employers have legal duties. For drivers, there is the legal duty to follow the rules and to track this compliance according to the required method. Sometimes truckers attempt to alter records in an effort to avoid penalties and liability. An experienced attorney can help identify noncompliance. For trucking employers, there is the duty to ensure drivers are properly trained on their obligations under federal law, and that they are compliant with the rules on an ongoing basis.
A truck driver who has been neglecting his or her duty to follow the Hours of Service rules, or an employer which has been overlooking this neglect or failing to monitor its employees’ compliance with the rules, deserves to be held accountable. Working with an experienced attorney can help ensure a truck accident victim has the best possible opportunity to hold all liable parties accountable.