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To combat the rising number of accidents involving trucks and truckers, the US Congress passed the Motor Carrier Act in 1935. Sadly, like most laws, this law is not perfect. Many commercial license owners face serious criminal charges every year due to the violation of this law in multiple ways. However, it is, to date, the most effective framework that keeps the truck drivers safe on the roads.
What are the laws and regulations that enforce the safety of truck and bus drivers in the state?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) laid down by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), the framework exists to reduce and prevent bus and truck accidents and injuries. It requires all commercial drivers to have only one commercial driving license that the state or administration can disqualify based on the actions of the commercial driver. As is with most commercial vehicles, the truck driver’s legal obligations in the liability dispute cases are confusing for those involved in an accident. As a result, making wrongful death claims and severe injury claims are often challenging for the victims.
The FMCSR applies to all truckers across the fifty states, including Maryland. The state of Maryland has adopted a few FMCSR regulations with minor changes in Parts 382, 390-393, and 395-399. For example – for farmers transporting their produce within 150-miles of their farm using truck is subject to Part 391 exception. These minor changes and limitations can change the way your truck accident looks right now. They can become the difference between a happy and long carrier as a commercial driver, and spending your savings on penalties and legal fees.
When you find yourself in the middle of an accident, the first feeling is that of confusion and fear. At Maryland Car Accident Firm, the lawyers understand how harrowing it can be for a commercial truck or bus driver to be involved in a motor vehicle accident. Any accident usually includes massive damage to your vehicle or the other party concerned, hefty bills to pay and penalties, confusion regarding the liability of the accident and confusion about filing insurance claims, especially when a commercial vehicle is in question. All of these show how necessary it is to have a responsible and experienced Maryland car accident attorney on your speed dial when you are at work.
What factors influence the liability of the driver?
We have already given you a peek into the complexities of truck accident law in Maryland, so here’s a list of the factors that the state or accuser can use to prove the liability of the driver –
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs or driving while impaired (DWI)
- Any disregard for the weather conditions and traffic signs or other traffic laws
- An accident involving rear-ending (struck from behind)
How can a commercial license holder get additional tickets after an accident?
Almost all truck drivers in Maryland fall under the federal jurisdiction. Federal laws and regulations (FMCSR) apply to all commercial drivers (truck and bus) in the state. According to these regulations, all commercial drivers must have the following items –
- The licensing requirement for driving the commercial vehicle.
- Limits and details of the consecutive hours the driver can operate the vehicle without rest.
- The weight and size of the freight, and limitations of the routes.
- Details about the insurance minimums.
What does every commercial driver in Maryland need in the case of an accident?
Every experienced Maryland accident lawyer will tell you that you need to keep these following items handy, irrespective of where you are in the state.
The license, registration and insurance documents
The state of Maryland has made it mandatory for all commercial drivers to keep their vehicle registration, commercial driving license, and minimum insurance in their car, van or truck at all times. Even while driving within the state, it is compulsory to carry these items. Most drivers are aware of the license and registration requirements, but they do not know that they have to carry their insurance documents too. If you do not have the inconspicuous little slip of paper the auto insurance company gives in exchange for your yearly renewal, you might be looking at a ticketable offense. Even when you have been in an automobile accident, the officer can give you an additional ticket for not carrying the right documents. Needless to say, when you are facing DUI or reckless driving charges, you don’t need another ticket making your situation worse.
A picture of the accident scene
Almost every person has a mobile phone with a camera. In case you find yourself in a motor vehicle accident, whip out your cellphone and start taking pictures. Recording video is also helpful in providing evidence to support your claims. However, always remember to stay in a safe place before clicking the images.
Additionally, ensure that the people in the other vehicle are alright. Step away from the traffic and click as many pictures of the impact site, wounds, and people involved and the debris as you can. In most cases, the paint, plastic, glass and other debris can tell an honest account of the crash. The scattering of the debris at the crash site can help in supporting your claims in the long run. Acquiring picture and video evidence is instrumental during filing insurance claims.
The contact of your accident attorney
After you have been in a crash and the EMT has taken a close look at your wounds, call your accident lawyer. The hours after an accident can be jarring. Speaking with your expert accident attorney can help you collect all the proof and information you need to strengthen your case. The first consultation with an attorney is usually free, so you should find the contact details of your local Maryland accident lawyers before the need is upon you.
Having an experienced accident attorney can change the outcome of your truck accident court case. If you are living in danger of the revocation of your commercial driving license, you should consult a legal professional immediately. The laws and regulations that apply to Commercial driving licenses can be quite complicated and confusing. So, always ensure that you are working with someone with enough experience in the field.