What trucking regulations can affect a claim?
All interstate motor carriers are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This federal agency has rules that all motor carriers must abide by. There are many rules under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's purview that affect claims against 18-wheeler drivers.
Hours of service:
One area of regulation is the hours of service of drivers. Drivers of 18-wheelers are only allowed to drive so many hours without taking a rest. Many collisions with 18-wheelers results from driver fatigue. These drivers typically will exceed the amount of hours that they are allowed to drive in a given day. This results in fatigue which results in poor judgment and slow reaction time to incidents on the roadway.
Whenever you're involved with a collision with an 18-wheeler, you will want to see how long the driver had been driving before the wreck occurred. You can discover this by getting a hold of the driver's logs. These logs are commonly inaccurate so you will want to compare the logs against the destinations the driver has driven to and the amount of time it would take realistically for the driver to cover that distance. You can also compare that against a driver's cellphone records.
Cell phone usage:
All federal motor carriers are prohibited from using a cellphone while driving. Using his cellphone can be more dangerous than driving when intoxicated. You'll always want to see if the driver was using his cellphone at or around the time that the collision occurred. This can make your case on the liability side by showing that the driving was driving while distracted.
Truck drivers are also required to be physically fit to drive their trucks. They have to be cleared by a doctor in order to drive their vehicle. If they do not have that medical clearance then they are not allowed to drive their truck. You always want to make sure that the driver has that medical clearance to drive that vehicle.