Semi-truck accidents can be devastating, leading to life-altering injuries, significant property damage, and even fatalities. Truck accident victims are often overwhelmed and not sure what to do next. However, there are three semi-truck accident laws that can help you understand your rights after this type of crash. Our Arizona semi-truck accident attorney is also an excellent source of information, and we offer free consultations so you can learn more about your rights.
Hours of Service Regulations
Arizona observes the federal Hours of Service (HOS) regulations that govern commercial truck drivers. These federal regulations, set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), dictate the maximum hours a truck driver can operate their vehicle within specific timeframes. If a driver violates these regulations or their employer orders them to ignore them, these parties could be held liable in a truck accident lawsuit.
14-Hour Driving Window
Commercial truck drivers can drive up to 14 consecutive hours per day. Within this span, they can drive up to 11 hours if they’ve had at least ten straight hours of off-duty time.
11-Hour Drive Time Limit
Commercial operators cannot exceed 11 total driving hours within any continuous 14-hour period. Once they’ve reached 11 hours, they must take at least 10 hours off-duty before the 14-hour driving window resets.
30-Minute Break Requirement
Commercial vehicle drivers must take a 30-minute off-duty rest break if they drive more than eight consecutive hours following their last off-duty period. This mandatory break can consist of any combination of mealtime, sleeper-berth time, or other off-duty intervals.
60/70-Hour Weekly Limit
Commercial drivers may not work beyond 60 hours in a seven-day workweek or 70 hours in an eight-day workweek. To reset their weekly work hours, drivers must take a continuous off-duty break of at least 34 hours.
Trucking Weight Limits
Exceeding weight limits can lead to compromised vehicle stability, decreased maneuverability, and longer stopping distances. Like many states, Arizona enforces strict weight limits on commercial trucks to mitigate the associated risks of overloading:
- Maximum weight for single-axle vehicles is 20,000 pounds
- Weight limit for tandem axle vehicles is 34,000 pounds
- Maximum weight for vehicles with five or more axles is 80,000 pounds
If trucks exceed this weight limit, it puts everyone on the road at an increased risk of an accident.
Arizona’s Comparative Fault System for Truck Accidents
It is important to note that in Arizona, an injury victim who is partly to blame for an accident can still seek compensation through a truck accident claim. Arizona’s comparative fault system for truck accidents allows injured parties to seek compensation if they are up to 99 percent at fault for the accident. However, in such a case, the injury victim’s monetary award will be reduced in proportion to their share of responsibility. For instance, a person seeking $100,000 in injuries who is found to be 20 percent to blame for an accident can receive up to $80,000.
How an Attorney Can Help After a Semi-Truck Accident
Semi-truck accident lawsuits are often difficult to navigate without the proper knowledge, training, and resources. Plus, hiring a semi-truck accident lawyer could provide an answer to the common question: what is the average settlement for a semi-truck accident? An experienced truck accident attorney can help by:
- Compiling and examining evidence
- Determining liability
- Assessing injuries
- Negotiating a settlement
Contact Our Arizona Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you were hurt in a semi-truck accident, you need effective legal representation to seek compensation. At Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer, we can advocate for your rights and pursue financial relief. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.