In Texas, federal laws still apply whenever an accident involves an 18-wheeler. These vehicles are typically owned by a trucking company. However, some small business owners may have a privately owned rig used for deliveries. Regardless of who owns the vehicle, certain regulations and standards must be met at all times. The following are details about what to expect when a victim works with a law attorney in San Antonio to file an accident claim.

The On the Scene Investigation

The initial assessment done by the law enforcement officers determines which party was at-fault for the accident. They identify all parties that were involved and record whether or not they were transported to the hospital. They acquire statements from witnesses that saw the accident occur. Once they gather this information, the officers file an accident report. If the 18-wheeler driver is at fault, the vehicle is impounded and the FMCSA takes over the investigation.

Compliance with FMCSA Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration imposes regulations on all drivers who operate 18-wheelers. These regulations identify the appropriate amount of hours in which a driver can operate the vehicle before a rest period–which is typically around twelve hours. The driver must take an eight-hour rest before they get behind the wheel again. An investigator assigned to the case by this agency collects the driver’s log to ensure that they complied with these regulations.

Chemical Testing for the Driver

All 18-wheeler drivers are required to submit to testing for drugs and alcohol. If these substances are found, the driver is charged with a DUI. They are also assessed for over-the-counter stimulants. If they find these substances and the driver is impaired, he or she can be charged with exhausted driving.

Identifying the Exact Defendant for the Victim’s Claim

In these cases, the driver of the 18-wheeler along with their company are defendants in a lawsuit. However, if the driver owns their vehicle, they are the only defendant listed.

In Texas, federal laws are utilized the enforce regulations for 18-wheeler drivers. These laws impose strict penalties for violating federal regulations. If the driver has violated these regulations, they are at fault and liable for all damages.