Commercial truckers and the companies that employ them are required to obey federal and state hours-of-service (HOS) regulations in order to prevent truck accidents due to driver fatigue. Truck drivers who violate the HOS regulations can be subject to fines, civil penalties, and even criminal penalties.
If you have been injured in a New Mexico trucking crash because of an hours-of-service violation, then you may be able to hold the truck driver and their trucking company liable for any injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages you suffered as a result, including punitive damages in certain cases.
The New Mexico trucking attorneys at The Dane Law Firm, P.C. focus on representing the victims of commercial trucking accidents, including those caused by hours-of-service violations or truck driver fatigue. Our unique New Mexico legal team includes a former trucking defense attorney who defended truck drivers and their employers in New Mexico commercial 18 wheeler accidents. If you or a loved one has been involved in a commercial trucking accident caused by hour of service regulation violations, please contact us to schedule a free consultation with our dedicated trucking accident attorney and begin the process of recovering. Because we work on a contingency basis, we will not collect any fees from you unless we recover compensation for you.
How Do I Know if I Am the Victim of an Hours-of-Service Violation?
Federal regulations require that interstate property-carrying commercial truck drivers and their employing trucking companies obey the following HOS regulations:
- Truck drivers may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty;
- Truck drivers may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off duty time does not extend the 14 hour limit;
- Truck drivers cannot drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver can only restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking at least 34 consecutive hours off duty; AND
- Drivers using a sleeper berth must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or a combination of the two;
Drivers or truck carriers (the companies that employ drivers) who violate the HOS regulations face serious penalties, including:
- Forcing drivers to remain out-of-service on the roadside until they accumulate enough off-duty time to be back in compliance;
- State and local law enforcement officials may assess fines;
- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) can order drivers or carriers to pay civil penalties ranging from $1,000 to $11,000 per violation depending on severity;
- The carrier’s safety rating can be downgraded for a pattern of violations; AND
- Prosecutors can bring criminal charges against carriers who knowingly and willfully allow or require HOS violations, or drivers who knowingly and willfully violate the HOS regulations.
Act Quickly to Protect Your Rights! If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident caused by an hour of service violation, contact the New Mexico trucking accident attorney at The Dane Law Firm for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights following a commercial trucking accident. If you cannot come to our offices in the Nob Hill area of Albuquerque, then we will come to you. We take New Mexico commercial trucking crash cases on a contingency basis, so you will not pay any fee unless we recover compensation for you.