COVID-19 has impacted virtually all aspects of our lives. The Centers for Disease Control reports that coronavirus infections in the U.S. have exceeded 3 million people and the numbers are growing. The nation has put in place many emergency responses to address this health emergency. One of the emergency responses put in place was a relaxation of hours of service laws for the trucking industry to ensure that emergency supplies and equipment could be transported quickly and freely.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has extended the relaxation of hours of service laws for truckers who are delivering essential medical and sanitary equipment. It isn’t clear yet whether the emergency order will be extended beyond July 14, but the order could have an impact on truck accident claims for those who were hurt in a crash during the coronavirus pandemic. If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident recently, you may have many questions and concerns. The Doyle Law Firm is a truck accident law firm in Terrebonne Parish Louisiana that works with individuals who have been hurt in these types of crashes. We understand trucking law and changing regulations and we fight for the rights of the injured. The trucking industry makes billions of dollars each year; truck companies and drivers have a responsibility to be safe and to protect themselves and others on the road. The Doyle Law Firm can investigate your case, review your truck accident report, determine if the trucking company or driver broke the law, and assist you with taking steps to protect your rights and taking steps to seek compensation for your injuries and losses.
COVID-19 Federal Hours of Service Laws
Federal hours of service laws are truck regulations put in place to prevent fatigued driving. Truck drivers are generally required to limit how long they can operate a motor vehicle in a given day. They must take regular breaks and must log their hours. However, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic there was concern about the timely transport of personal protective equipment for doctors, crucial testing supplies, and crucial supplies needed for sanitation. As a result, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration relaxed some of its hours of service laws for truckers delivering and transporting essential equipment. The order only applies to truckers delivering livestock and livestock feed, medical supplies and supplies needed for testing, diagnosis and the treatment of coronavirus, and sanitary supplies like masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap, and disinfectant. Trucks must be predominantly delivering these supplies to qualify and there are still limitations on what truckers can and cannot do under the relaxed orders.
For example, drivers are still not permitted to drive a truck while fatigued. If a driver is found to be operating a vehicle while impaired due to fatigue or illness, the driver and truck company can still be held accountable for an accident caused and be held liable for any injuries. Truck companies also have a responsibility to not permit their drivers to operate a truck while fatigued. This means that truck companies still need to consider the reasonableness of the schedules they are providing their truckers and ensuring that truckers get proper rest. If a driver asks to take a rest break, the truck company is required to provide it. At the end of the day, truck drivers and truck companies are still required to operate their vehicles safely.
If you or someone you love was hurt in a truck accident in Terrebonne Parish Louisiana and you have questions about the next steps you should take, consider reaching out to the Doyle Law Firm. The Doyle Law Firm is a truck accident law firm that may be able to assist you with seeking compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. We are here to help.
Injured in a Truck Accident? We Can Help
Truck accident claims can be more complicated than passenger vehicle claims. The trucking industry is regulated by strict federal and local laws. Hiring a truck accident lawyer with the familiarity of these laws and the ability to fight to help you get the settlement you may deserve is important. Truck accidents can also result in more serious injuries which might result in more substantial settlements for victims and families. Finally, truck accident claims can involve multiple parties, including drivers, shipping companies, and more. If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident, you may only have a limited amount of time to make a claim under the law. Reach out to the Doyle Law Firm, a truck accident law firm in Terrebonne Parish Louisiana today or connect with our lawyers by reaching out to USAttorneys.com.