Liability Explained by our Portland Trucking Accident Lawyer: Know Trucking Company Liability for Unrealistic Delivery Schedules
Very few if any truck drivers work for themselves. Most truck drivers work for companies. Some of these companies are the largest companies in the United States. Other companies may be smaller. But whether it is a big company or little company, all companies must have high insurance limits in case of a personal injury accident involving one of their commercial vehicles. This makes especially trucking company liability an important issue in an Oregon 18 wheeler wreck. There are many ways that this could be established. One of the most difficult ways is through hours of service violations and unrealistic delivery schedules caused by the trucking company itself. Our Portland trucking accident lawyer explains trucking company liability for unrealistic delivery schedules and how companies may be required to pay victims for their losses.
The first important aspect to realize is that trucking company liability for a truck driver’s action is not unique. Under English common law, which United States law is based off of, there has always been a doctrine of master-servant liability. That is, when an employee caused personal injuries or damages while within the scope of his or her employment, the employer will be liable. This is a part of agency law where the company would be liable for the employee’s actions. It is a for of vicarious liability, a doctrine that imputes the actions of one person or another. But more specifically with employer-employee relationships, it is known as respondeat superior.
Hours of Service Under the FMCSA
The hours of service regulations are those promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These regulations set limits on how much and how often a truck driver may operate a motor vehicle. This includes creating a 24-hour shift clock with 14 hours on call and 10 hours off duty, a maximum of 11 hours driving, and no more than 8 hours of straight driving. This includes truckers in Oregon. A violation of the hours of service regulation could result in liability against a truck driver and trucking company.
Purpose of FMCSA Regulations
The purpose of the FMCSA regulations is to keep fatigued or tired truck drivers off the road. This is because fatigue can be dangerous, especially for truck drivers who work long hours to make more deliveries. In fact, some truck drivers may load up on caffeine and even illegal trucks like cocaine just to stay awake so they can drive longer. The FMCSA regulations help to prevent truck drivers from forcing themselves to stay awake to deliver cargo. This helps to prevent serious or fatal Portland trucking accidents.
Trucking Companies Cannot Require Violations of the HOS With Unrealistic Delivery Schedules
A trucking company is prohibited from creating an unrealistic delivery schedule that would otherwise violate HOS rules and regulations. This is prohibited under section 395.3 of the FMCSA regulations, which provided under subdivision (b) that “[n]o motor carrier shall permit or require a driver of a property-carrying commercial motor vehicle to drive . . . for any period” that violates the hours of service regulations.
If a trucking companies does require a truck driver to do that and the truck driver causes a serious Oregon trucking accident resulting in catastrophic personal injuries, the truck driver and trucking company may be liable for the crash and the trucking company may also have separate liability for creating an unrealistic delivery schedule. This allows victims two avenues for proving liability.
Hurt in a Trucking Wreck? Ask our Portland Trucking Accident Lawyer for Help
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of a trucking accident or collision contact the Oregon Truck Accident Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles, St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Trucking accident cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.
Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.