Trucking companies often violate FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) regulations, and when they do, they greatly increase the risks of a truck-related accident.
Some of these violations may seem relatively minor on the surface and others seem flat-out deceptive, however all of them can result in accidents causing severe injuries or even deaths.
The Rafi Law Firm will be standing by if you or someone close to you has been seriously hurt or killed in a trucking accident that can be attributed to an FMCSA violation. You’ll work with an Atlanta truck accident lawyer who will passionately fight for your rights and will work to make those responsible for your suffering pay dearly.
Schedule a free case review by calling (404) 800-9933 or by contacting us online. Here are just a few of the FMCSA violations that trucking companies commit on a regular basis.
1. Employing drivers with the wrong driver’s license class (or, more seriously, a suspended license)
Any kind of careless mistake regarding licensing can cost a trucking company a great deal of money and might have severe implications for others. The company has a duty to employ drivers with the proper commercial driver’s license (CDL) for the commercial vehicle they’re operating.
There are three types of CDLs: Class A, Class B and Class C.
- Class A – This license allows a driver to operate any combination of vehicles that have two or more axles, as well as a GCWR (gross combination weight rating) of 26,001 pounds or heavier. This includes vehicles such as semi-trucks, livestock carriers, flatbed trucks, and others.
- Class B – A Class B license holder is allowed to drive “straight” commercial vehicles that weigh 26,000 pounds or more. Examples include delivery trucks and dump trucks. If they’re towing another vehicle, it can’t weigh more than 10,000 pounds.
- Class C – Drivers must have a Class C license to operate a vehicle designed to carry 16 people or more, such as a bus, or if the vehicle is transporting placardable quantities of hazardous materials.
The penalties for allowing a driver to operate a commercial vehicle without the proper license or allowing them to drive if they don’t have a CDL or if their license is suspended can be anywhere from $5,000 to over $30,000 per violation.
2. Failing to post daily records of drivers’ duty statuses
Trucking companies must post the duty status of each driver once every 24 hours. Failure to do so can result in fines ranging over $1,000 per day.
3. Failing to properly train drivers on appropriate safety precautions
Companies must take time to properly train their drivers on how to operate their rigs in the safest possible manner.
For example, drivers must adjust their mirrors before starting their trucks and must check their blind spots on a regular basis. They must always be on the lookout for possible road hazards and always be aware of other motorists on the road.
If they encounter severe weather, they must either slow down or pull off of the road. They must also slow down when approaching sharp turns or steep hills.
4. Falsifying driver’s log books and other records
There are some violations that could possibly fall under the category of an “honest mistake,” such as a company allowing a driver to operate a truck without the correct type of license if the company believed the driver was properly licensed. Others, such as deliberately falsifying records, are anything but an honest mistake.
Drivers sometimes falsify their log books after violating FMCSA rules by being behind the wheel for too long. Companies may also falsify other types of information in an attempt to avoid liability when an accident occurs.
If an employee or a company knowingly provides false information, they could be subject to a fine of as much as $13,385 per violation.
Hurt in a truck accident that wasn’t your fault? FMCSA violations could be to blame.
If you’ve suffered a severe injury in a truck accident caused by an FMCSA violation, you may be able to obtain substantial compensation. This money could go toward paying your medical bills, covering your lost wages, and paying for the care needed to treat any mental or emotional trauma you’re experiencing.
The attorneys with the Rafi Law Firm have the skill and experience it takes to help you get what you deserve. Please get in touch with us as soon as you can to learn more about how we may be able to help. You can use our online contact form or give us a call at (404) 800-9933.