Richmond FMCSA Regulations Violations Attorney
When a trucker’s violations of federal law results in accidents and injuries in Virginia
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) lays out rules and regulations for commercial vehicle drivers and their employers. These regulations are designed with the intent of improving safety for both truckers and everyone sharing the road with them. Violations of these rules can lead to severe and catastrophic truck crashes, as well as put truck drivers and/or their employers in positions of liability and negligence when innocent people suffer injury.
When truckers or trucking companies violate FMCSA regulations, whether through negligence or recklessness, and cause serious crashes, they must be held accountable for their actions. The Richmond-based truck accident attorneys at Phelan Petty have decades of combined experience defending the rights of Virginia victims injured in accidents through no fault of their own. We can help you, too.
Who is subject to FMCSA regulations?
In general, anyone who holds a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and who operates a commercial motor vehicle for interstate travel must adhere to FMCSA regulations. Many FMCSA rules apply to intrastate travel as well.
What are FMCSA rules and regulations?
You can find a thorough and complete list of the FMCSA regulations on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s website. The rules encompass the following issues around the trucking industry:
- Trucking company responsibilities
- Driver responsibilities
- Drug and alcohol testing
- Hazardous materials
- Hours of service (HOS)
- Traffic violations
- Driver training and qualifications
- Employee safety and health
Because of the size and weight of commercial trucks and vehicles, it is vital that truck drivers and their employers follow FMCSA rules to the letter. Any violation of these regulations could cause a future accident resulting in catastrophic injuries or even wrongful death.
What are the most common FMCSA regulation violations?
The FMCSA performs roadside inspections to ensure commercial motor vehicles are in compliance with federal regulations. When inspectors find violations, trucks and other commercial vehicles should be given Out-of-Service orders until the violation is corrected.
The FMCSA also provides a Motor Carrier Safety Planner with the most common violations associated with driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). These include:
- Moving violations, like speeding, tailgating, or failure to yield
- Failure to use a seat belt
- Using a cellphone while operating a CMV
- Allowing unauthorized passengers on board the CMV
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while in possession of intoxicating beverage
- Failure to secure equipment or vehicle load
- Failure to conduct pre-trip inspection
- Failure to place or improper placement of warning devices
One of the most important FMSCA requirements is Hours of Service, or HOS.
What is the Hours of Service rule in trucking?
Hours of Service (HOS) is a vital rule in the trucking industry, as it specifies the number of hours a trucker is allowed to be behind the wheel. Fatigued and drowsy truck drivers can cause devastating accidents, and HOS regulations specify rest periods to allow them to stay safe, awake, and alert. HOS refers to the maximum amount of time drivers may stay on duty, as well as the number and length of rest periods to which they are entitled.
Following is a summary of federal HOS regulations:
Drivers carrying cargo
Truck drivers carrying property and cargo:
- May drive 11 hours maximum after 10 consecutive hours off-duty
- Cannot drive more than 14 hours consecutively after 10 hours off-duty
- May drive only if eight hours or less have passed since their last break or non-driving period of 30 consecutive minutes
Further, the 60/70 rule dictates that truckers may not operate their CMV if they have been on duty 60/70 hours in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver can restart this timeframe after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
Drivers carrying passengers
Bus or van drivers carrying passengers:
- May drive a maximum of 10 hours after 8 consecutive hours off-duty
- Cannot drive more than 15 hours consecutively after 8 hours off-duty
- May not drive after being on duty for 60/70 hours over 7/8 days
Drivers of CMVs may extend their driving limits and windows in cases of adverse weather conditions; there are also exceptions for short-haul truckers.
How do I know an FMSCA violation caused my Richmond truck accident?
Truckers and CMV drivers are required to keep records to prove things like HOS and required maintenance, as well as other FMSCA regulations. However, in efforts to cut corners or rush deliveries, some companies or drivers may falsify or hide these records in an attempt to hide violations.
Here at Phelan Petty, when we take your case, we immediately begin an investigation into your accident, searching for and requesting evidence like:
- Logbooks and records
- Electronic logging devices
- Cellphone data
- GPS records
- Pre- and post-trip inspection reports
- Bills of loading and receipts
Any or all of this information can help us build a case that shows non-compliance of FMSCA rules and regulations.
How can a Richmond truck accident attorney help me with my injury case?
If you or a loved one suffered injury in a truck crash due to FMSCA violations, the personal injury lawyers at Phelan Petty can help. Injuries from truck accidents tend to be serious with long-lasting physical and financial impact, and we will work to secure the compensation to which you are entitled when another’s negligence causes you harm.
We fight for compensation for losses and damages related to your accident, including:
- Your lost income and future earning potential
- Cost of your current and expected future medical treatment
- Likelihood of fully recovering from your injuries
- Your pain, suffering, and other non-economic damages
Our legal team ensures the right people are held accountable for your injuries, whether it is the truck driver, the trucking company, or multiple parties.
Richmond FMSCA regulations violations crash attorney
At Phelan Petty, our attorneys have a thorough understanding of FMSCA rules and regulations in the commercial trucking industry. When a driver or company violates those rules and you suffer injury, we will protect your rights and work to secure compensation on your behalf. Contact us in Richmond today so we can begin building a strong case for you today. To schedule a free consultation, please call 804-298-7968 or fill out our contact form. Serving Virginia.