Halpert, Weston & Sawusch have decades of experience representing individuals who have suffered serious injury or even death in collisions with commercial motor vehicles-usually a semi-tractor trailer combination.
“Commercial motor vehicles” is a term most often associated with semi-tractor trailers that we encounter every day on the public highways and roads across the state and nation. It is also a term that applies to garbage trucks, cement trucks, vehicles carrying goods for hire, and even buses and other motor vehicles transporting people for hire.
Virtually all commercial motor vehicles are regulated in their operation and use by Federal and State laws. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act and attendant Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations govern almost all commercial motor vehicles that operate on the public highways and roads in the State of Michigan and in other states. In addition, the State of Michigan has enacted the Motor Carrier Act that compliments and, in some places, adds to, the requirements imposed by the Federal Acts and Regulations.
Commercial motor vehicles, such as semi tractor trailers, buses, and other carriers transporting goods or people present an increased risk of harm to the public because of sheer size and/or because of what these vehicles are transporting. The Federal and State laws governing these vehicles are thus elaborate, thorough and demanding in order to protect the public.
Federal and State Motor Carrier Acts and Regulations impose strict requirements on a wide array of topics affecting the public safety such as:
- Demanding extensive training and qualification requirements to be met before an individual is allowed to operate a commercial motor vehicle-including special license and fitness rules.
- Limitations on hours of operation by a driver within specified time periods to prevent dangerous driver fatigue.
- Higher standards of competence and knowledge of safe driving rules than those that apply to a non-commercial vehicle driver.
- Strict vehicle and equipment safety maintenance, fitness, and inspections before each use, completed by the operator and the driver.
- Strict regulations of hazardous material transportation and delivery, with a broad definition of what constitutes hazardous materials. This includes special training by those who are involved in the packaging, transportation, loading and unloading of these materials.
- Thorough driver supervision, monitoring, training, re-training to insure that unfit drivers are not allowed in the cockpit.
Elevated minimum liability and property damage insurance coverage on operations, owners and drivers engaged in intrastate operations, and even higher minimum liability limits for those engaged in interstate commerce.
The attorneys at Halpert, Weston & Sawusch have devoted immense numbers of hours mastering the statutory and regulatory schemes governing the trucking industry in the State of Michigan and nationally. We employ nationally known and respected experts in many aspects of the trucking industry. These experts are helpful to establish the negligence of the at-fault driver, operator, or owner who deviates from safety standards and regulations and cause serious injury or death.
Our attorneys have demonstrated legal excellence and personal care in working for the financial and emotional recovery of our clients. We are proud of the outcomes we have achieved for people whose lives have been shattered by negligent trucking practices and acts.