Truck drivers in Tennessee are legally bound to follow strict state and federal regulations. Below are descriptions of just a few of the state laws associated with the trucking industry, including how they impact truck accident injury claims:
- Vehicle size and weight – No commercial vehicle in Tennessee may weigh more than 80,000 pounds. A violation of this rule is considered a Class C misdemeanor. Trucks must be eight feet or less in width and 13 feet, six inches or shorter in height.
- Commercial drivers’ licenses – Tennessee law regulates the issuance of commercial drivers’ licenses (CDLs). Employers must ensure that all drivers maintain up-to-date commercial licenses. Truck drivers must also hold a valid medical card stating that he or she who possesses the card is medically capable of driving a tractor-trailer.
- Hours of service – Various federal and state laws regulate the number of hours a truck driver can operate a rig within a 24-hour and/or eight-day period. Trucking companies must keep meticulous records of all employees’ service hours.
- Liability – A truck driver or trucking company could be held liable for injuries in an accident a driver causes if state or federal regulations were disobeyed or not enforced. A person who is injured in a truck collision could use a violation as evidence of negligence on the part of the driver or the company.
As with any other type of personal injury claim, proving negligence in a trucking accident involves a victim proving that the defendant owed and then breached a legal duty of care and that the breach directly caused the accident in question. Truck companies and drivers have a legal duty to follow regulations that are set in place with the safety of all travelers in mind. Overloading cargo, failing to maintain proper certification, exceeding the number of hours allotted for a shift, or ignoring speed limits or other traffic laws are all clear breaches of that duty of care.
For more information on trucking regulations in Tennessee and how they might affect your personal injury claim, speak with an experienced truck accident attorney today. Call Massengill, Caldwell & Coughlin, P.C. at 423-797-6022 to schedule your free initial consultation, or contact us online.