Some trucking companies allow and even encourage employees to operate business vehicles when they are exhausted. If these employees are involved in an accident in Las Vegas, victims may be able to hold the trucking company liable in personal injury lawsuits. Determining whether a company behaved negligently may involve a review of the company’s adherence to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Hours of Service Regulations.
Almost all commercial motor vehicle operators must comply with HOS Regulations. The HOS Regulations require that truck drivers’ workdays do not exceed 14 hours, and that they should only spend 11 hours in actual driving. In addition, drivers’ average work weeks are limited to a maximum of 70 hours. Those who reach this limit are only allowed to resume driving if they receive 34 consecutive hours of rest. These rest hours must include two or more nights that cover the hours of 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.
The American Bar Association also notes that victims of truck accidents can still obtain personal injury damages from a trucking company even if the company is free from direct negligence. For example, if a company’s delivery truck collides with a vehicle, any victims in that vehicle may have the right to initiate civil litigation against both the driver and the driver’s employer. Those victims would not need to prove the company behaved negligently in order to succeed in such a case, as such an action would be based on the trucking company’s responsibility for its drivers while they are acting on their employer’s behalf.