State Trucking Regulations
Attorneys Helping Victims of Commercial Vehicle Accidents in Wheaton and Schaumburg
Illinois state law imposes strict rules and regulations for operating large trucks. When truck drivers fail to abide by these regulations, serious accidents and injuries can result. If you or someone close to you has been injured in an accident caused by a violation of state trucking regulations, we can help. At Therman Law Offices, our Wheaton and Schaumburg truck accident lawyers understand this complex area of law and can apply our knowledge to your case.
Truck Drivers Must Follow State Trucking Regulations
As background, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) administers federal trucking laws. To minimize the risk of accidents, the FMCSA has instituted a number of regulations, such as strict hours of service rules that combat fatigue by prohibiting truck drivers from driving beyond a certain number of hours in a day. In addition to the federal rules, commercial truck drivers are obligated to abide by state regulations. In Illinois, a number of state agencies create regulations that govern specific aspects of the intrastate trucking industry. Some common examples of trucks that only operate within the state include garbage trucks, local delivery trucks, dump trucks, water trucks, and fire trucks. These vehicles must adhere to Illinois state trucking regulations, which pertain to a variety of matters, such as:
- Trucking routes;
- Weight limits,
- Speed limits;
- Special drivers tests;
- Driving age (18 years of age for intrastate commercial trucking in Illinois, whereas it is 21 for interstate truckers under federal law);
- Hours of service regulations;
- Insurance requirements; and
- Vehicle inspection and maintenance requirements.
The list above is not exhaustive. Failing to comply with state trucking regulations can lead to hefty fines and other sanctions. In 2009, the Illinois Truck Enforcement Association was founded to support police officers in enforcing trucking laws.
Trucking regulations are designed to ensure the safe operation of large vehicles on the road. Violating these regulations can lead to devastating accidents. Truck drivers may be liable for the injuries of a victim when their negligence causes an accident. Negligence occurs when a truck driver fails to use reasonable care behind the wheel, thereby causing an accident and injuries. Reasonable care refers to the level of care that a prudent or sensible truck driver would have used in the same or a similar situation.
While some behaviors, such as excessive speeding, are obvious signs of negligence behind the wheel, defendants also can be held liable for failing to comply with more nuanced state trucking regulations. For example, if a local delivery truck driver overloads his truck with cargo and exceeds the legal weight limit, he would be liable for any accident that is directly caused by the overloaded truck. This is because a truck driver using reasonable care would not overload the truck, understanding the risk of harm associated with such conduct. In this situation, a violation of the state regulation could be the evidence that a plaintiff’s attorney needs to establish negligence.
If a truck driver’s negligence was the cause of a truck accident, a trucking company that employs that driver may be liable as well under the legal theory of “respondeat superior.” This doctrine holds an employer liable for an employee’s negligent conduct when that conduct takes place in the course and scope of employment. In other words, an employer may be liable when an employee acts carelessly on the job.
Contact a Trucking Accident Lawyer in Wheaton or Schaumburg
Truck accident claims can be fiercely contested. If your loved one or you were involved in a truck crash caused by a negligent driver, you have rights. At Therman Law Offices, our attorneys can analyze the facts of your case and help you understand your legal options. We are ready to advocate for people in the areas around Wheaton, Schaumburg, Bloomingdale, Roselle, Carol Stream, Glendale Heights, Lombard, Villa Park, Addison, and Elmhurst, among other cities. To discuss your truck accident case, call us today at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.