The violation of federal safety regulations and other traffic laws can directly result in the serious injury or death of members of the public who drive or ride as passengers on public roads, streets, and highways. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has already shut down numerous truck and bus companies in the first half of 2014 for violations of federal regulations necessary for the safe operation of trucking or busing activities.
In April, the administration closed down two Massachusetts bus companies, one for falsifying duty records and violating hours of operation regulations, and the other for frequent and ongoing speeding and other traffic violations. A Texas trucking company was shut down in the same month for a variety of violations, including failure to monitor drivers for controlled substance abuse, proper inspection, repair, and maintenance of vehicles, and drivers’ traffic law violations. In June, the FMCSA shut down a Minnesota bus company for its failure to ensure that its drivers were qualified and licensed according to applicable regulations and for allowing drivers to work beyond federal hours of service limitations.
These are only a few examples of the numerous shutdowns of bus and trucking companies that have occurred as of July 2014 in states across the country, including Iowa, Georgia, South Carolina, and the three states mentioned above.
Who is responsible when someone is injured or killed in a car, truck, or bus accident that involves the violation of federal safety regulations or other traffic laws? Depending upon the circumstances of the particular case, the bus or truck companies as well as their drivers may be held liable for injuries or deaths that result from violations of such regulations and rules.
The Killino Firm’s injury lawyers, personal-injury lawyers, car-accident lawyers, auto-accident lawyers, truck-accident lawyers, motorcycle-accident lawyers, brain-injury lawyers, and wrongful-death lawyers have extensive experience with truck and vehicle accidents of any kind, including those involving injuries caused by the violation of traffic and safety regulations or other negligence of a driver or driver’s employer. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car, truck, or other vehicle accident, contact the Killino Firm for expert and experienced assistance with your case.
Legal Liability for Accident Injuries Caused by Violations of Safety and Traffic Regulations
The failure of a driver or bus or truck company to comply with federal and other regulations related to traffic safety and the safe operation of trucking and bus companies may result in the liability of drivers as well as the companies that employ them in a negligence action brought to recover damages for injuries sustained by a plaintiff as a result of such violations. If such violations lead to someone’s death, the survivors of the victim may be able to recover compensation through the institution of a wrongful death action against the same defendants.
Violation of Federal Safety and Other Regulations as Negligence per se
When the negligence of a driver of a car, bus, or truck is determined to have been a cause of a plaintiff’s accident injuries, the driver may be found liable in a negligence action for the legally compensable damages suffered by the plaintiff as a result. Generally, in order to recover damages in a negligence action, a plaintiff must prove both that a defendant had a duty to take reasonable care for the safety of the plaintiff and that the defendant breached that duty of care. When a defendant-driver is shown to have violated traffic or other applicable safety regulations, the violation may be found to constitute negligence per se. This means that the proof of the violation itself is considered to satisfy the plaintiff’s requirement of proving a duty of care and breach of that duty on the part of a defendant, so that the plaintiff need only establish the remaining elements of injury, causation, and damages.
Thus, in an accident involving a driver’s violation of traffic or other applicable regulations, a defendant-driver of a truck, bus, or car may be found liable for injuries sustained by a plaintiff in the accident if the plaintiff can establish that it is more likely than not that his or her injuries were caused by the defendant’s violation of such regulations.
Liability of Trucking or Bus Companies
When the employee of a truck or bus company is found to have negligently caused a plaintiff’s accident injuries, the company may be held vicariously (indirectly) liable for the injuries caused by the negligence of its employee during the employee’s engagement in employment duties. If the company was negligent in its screening, hiring, training, or retaining of the employee, the company may be found directly liable for the injuries caused to a plaintiff by the negligence of the company’s employee.
The violation of federal regulations by a trucking or bus company, itself, may also result in direct liability of the company for a plaintiff’s accident injuries if the violations are determined to have been a cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
Liability for Wrongful Death
The violation of federal and other traffic regulations by a driver of a car, bus, or truck, or by a company that employs a driver, may also result in someone’s wrongful death. When an accident victim dies in an accident or suffers injuries that lead to the victim’s death, the survivors of the victim may bring a wrongful death action against any driver or company whose violation of federal regulations or other traffic laws (or other acts of negligence) are determined to have been a cause of the victim’s injuries and resulting death. Such actions are generally allowed to be brought by immediate family members, such as spouses or parents of minor children.
Obtain Expert Assistance from The Killino Firm
The Killino Firm’s highly-regarded team of injury attorneys, personal-injury attorneys, car-accident attorneys, auto-accident attorneys, truck-accident attorneys, motorcycle-accident attorneys, brain-injury attorneys, and wrongful-death attorneys can help you obtain justice from those responsible for your injuries or a loved one’s death caused by the violation of traffic and safety regulations or someone’s negligence.