Louisiana Truck Accident Attorney

Truck Safety: Federal Hours of Service RegulationThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the government body in charge of regulating commercial motor vehicles (CMV), which include tractor trailers. Among the thousands of regulations they impose on CMV are hours-of-service regulations (HOS), which place limits on when and how long drivers of CMV are allowed to drive. The FMCSA bases these regulations on scientific data that determines the amount of rest a truck driver should have in order to safely operate their vehicle. They work in conjunction with the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies and the National Institute for Occupational Safety. The goal of HOS regulations is to protect drivers and motorists from truck accidents that result from fatigue.

Most drivers must follow the HOS Regulations if they drive a commercial motor vehicle, or CMV. In general, a CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business and is involved in interstate commerce and fits any of these descriptions:
•    Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
•    Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
•    Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
•    Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
•    Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards
Even though 10,001 pounds may seem very heavy this will include many of the vehicles on the road today that transport goods.  The Cardone Law Firm knows how to apply these regulations and who must comply with them. These regulations can become an integral part of assessing your case. If the driver of the CMV is not in compliance with them then this can become useful in determining fault.

Hours-of-service rules
The following federal regulations are in place for commercial vehicle drivers:
•    An 11-hour driving limit: For property-carrying drivers this stipulates that a driver may drive, at most, 11 hours following 10 consecutive hours of rest. For passenger-carrying drivers there is a ten hour driving limit in which a driver may drive a maximum of 10 hours after 8 consecutive hours off duty.
•    A 14-hour limit: Under this regulation a driver carrying property may not drive more than 14 consecutive hours after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off duty time does not extend the 14 hour period. For drivers carrying passengers the driver may not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours following 8 consecutive hours off duty. Off duty time is not included in the 15 hour period.
•    60/70-Hour On-Duty Limit: A driver may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 straight days. A driver is allowed to begin a new 7/8 consecutive day period only after 34 or more consecutive hours off duty. This must include two periods from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. home terminal time, and may only be used once per week, or 168 hours, measured from the beginning of the previous restart.
•    Sleeper Berths: Sleeper berth provisions comprise their own long list of regulations on CMV drivers. Drivers using a sleeper berth must take at least 8 hours in the sleeper berth, and may split the sleeper berth time into two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours. Drivers using sleeper berth provisions must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.
These regulations can become an integral part of assessing your case. The truck company will have attorneys on their side specifically skilled in the use of such regulations and how they come into play when there is an accident. The Cardone Law Firm has the resources and skill necessary to combat these other attorneys.

Despite the mandating of hours-of-service rules, thousands of people are injured or killed in Louisiana truck accidents each year. This is because truck drivers, despite regulations, face financial incentives to bend the rules in order to deliver their freight on time or ahead of schedule. As a result, they drive without adequate sleep and put everyone on the road at serious risk.

If you or a family member is the victim of a truck accident in Louisiana it is important to contact a truck accident lawyer right away. Your own insurance may not provide adequate coverage for the huge bills and loss of income that can result from a Louisiana truck accident. Truck companies’ insurers will pressure you to sign off on an inadequate settlement, often before you have had time to consult with an attorney. Do not let them bully you. Seek an experienced Louisiana truck accident attorney who will fight hard to protect you and your family. For a free consultation to discuss your legal needs, contact The Cardone Law Firm today. The legal professionals here understand what it takes to recover damages from truck accidents in Louisiana. Phone Cardone at 1-888-892-2736 or 1-504-522-3333 for a free in person consultation. He is direct, insightful, proactive, and passionate about his client’s cases.