Trucking companies and owner-operators are legally required to follow Federal, state, and local trucking regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These regulations are referred to as Hours-of-Service (HOS), and they mandate drivers to take a 30-minute break after driving for eight hours without interruption.
If a driver violates these rules and causes an accident due to fatigue, the victim can sue them for non-compliance. Moreover, trucking companies can be forced to pay punitive damages for failing to stop drivers from driving past the maximum permissible driving time.
In this post, we’ll dive deeper into hours-of-service violations and punitive damages in Nevada. With this information, you’ll know when and how to exercise your legal rights by hiring an experienced Nevada truck accident lawyer following an accident.
Understanding HOS Violations and Punitive Damages for Truckers in Nevada
Punitive damages refer to the amount guilty defendants (truck drivers/companies) have to pay truck accident victims for lost earnings, hospital bills, pain and suffering, and even funeral expenses in the event of wrongful death.
However, punitive damage amounts are much higher than the victim’s expenses since they’re not only designed to compensate the injured for their losses. Instead, their main purpose is to punish the wrongdoer for negligence and unacceptable level of misconduct.
In other words, punitive damages for HOS violations send a message to other drivers and trucking companies looking to engage in non-compliant cargo hauling practices.
HOS Rules Truck Drivers Must Follow to Prevent Violations and Potential Punitive Damages Following an Accident
Apart from the 30-minute break rule, the following are other essential rules truckers must follow to avoid HOS violations and the consequent punitive damages:
§ 60/70-Hour Rule
The 60/70-Hour Rule mandates drivers to restrict their trips to 60 hours in seven consecutive days or 70 hours in eight consecutive days. Drivers must be off duty for at least 34 hours before hauling cargo again after 60/70 hours.
§ 14-Hour Rule
The 140-Hour Rule mandates drivers not to drive after they’ve been on duty for 14 hours (including 30-minute breaks) after spending two hours off duty.
§ 11-Hour Rule
The 11-Hour Rule mandates drivers to stop driving after 11 hours in a 14-hour shift after 10 consecutive hours spent off duty.
Contact a Nevada Truck Accident Lawyer Right Away!
If you’ve been a victim of a truck accident caused by HOS violations in Nevada, an experienced truck accident attorney can help you file a civil lawsuit for punitive damages for personal injuries, lost wages, and other expenses.
At Bourassa Law Group, our capable Nevada truck accident lawyers have the expertise and resources to litigate cases in which the at-fault truck driver was found violating HOS regulations at the time the accident occurred.
So, give us a call at (800)870-8910 for a free consultation to learn about our legal services, and let us help you get the compensation you deserve.
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