Since commercial trucks such as semis and big rigs are considerably bigger than a typical personal vehicle, when things go wrong, the injuries and damage they can inflict on another vehicle can be extensive and in some cases, even catastrophic. Although truck drivers must obey the same laws that the drivers of personal vehicles do, they are also required to follow some additional federal and state regulations, too.
For instance, there are regulations in place that state how long the driver of a truck is allowed to be on the road without stopping to rest and take a break. Known as the “hours of service,” these laws are designed to keep the driver from becoming overly tired and falling asleep at the wheel or being so tired he or she fails to react to an issue on the road that could cause an accident. While the hours that a driver has to rest can vary depending on what type of service he or she is providing, the law typically requires that drivers rest from 10 to 12 hours between driving shifts.
If you are involved in an accident that involves a semi or other type of large commercial vehicle and the driver has failed to follow the hours of service law, this not only may affect his or her ability to keep a commercial license, but could make him or her responsible for any injuries you receive due to truck driver fatigue. Interestingly, the company that he or she works for could potentially be held responsible for the accident as well.
Individuals who have been involved in an accident involving a commercial truck may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and could find it beneficial to learn more about their valuable legal rights.
Source: FindLaw, “Truck Accident Law: What You Need to Know,” accessed May. 18, 2015