Trucking Laws


The laws that apply to a commercial vehicle case are different from those that apply to an automobile wreck case. Generally, there are three sets of laws and regulations that can apply in a commercial vehicle case: (1) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR); (2) state regulations governing the operation of commercial vehicles; and (3) state laws regulating the operation of any vehicle.
 
FMCSR - Commercial vehicles engaged in interstate commerce are governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). The FMCSR create a uniform standard of conduct to promote safe travel on interstate highways. The FMCSR do not apply to ordinary motorists because they only govern the operation of a commercial vehicle. The FMCSR are complex and are continually being changed. Your attorney must have a working understanding of these regulations in order to properly prosecute your case.
 
STATE COMMERCIAL VEHICLE LAWS - Some states have commercial vehicle codes and laws that govern the operation of commercial vehicles within its borders. FMCSR § 392.2 states that "every commercial motor vehicle must be operated in accordance with the laws, ordinances, and regulations of the jurisdiction in which it is being operated," unless the FMCSR provide a higher standard. Therefore, state laws governing the operation of commercial vehicles may apply unless the FMCSR impose a higher standard. These regulations do not apply to ordinary motorists.
 
STATE VEHICLE LAWS - All states have vehicle codes and laws regulating the operation of any vehicle. These laws apply to commercial drivers even if that driver is not from that particular state. FMCSR § 392.2 states that "every commercial motor vehicle must be operated in accordance with the laws, ordinances, and regulations of the jurisdiction in which it is being operated," unless the FMCSR provide a higher standard. Therefore, state laws governing the operation of vehicles apply unless the FMCSR imposes a higher standard. These regulations also apply to ordinary motorists.
 
Since laws and regulations governing the safe driving of a commercial vehicle create the duties, obligations and requirements necessary to establish fault, it is imperative to identify which of these laws and regulations apply to your case. Our attorneys have written a comprehensive litigation manual on how to uses these laws in a commercial vehicle case. Our experience can help you level the playing field with the other side. For a free copy of our manual, click the following link: Order Litigaiton Manual.  Please also visit "Federal Trucking Laws" and "State Trucking Laws" by cliking on the links in the "Related Content" box to the right.

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