Commercial truck drivers and their employers are required to obey certain hours-of-service (HOS) regulations in order to prevent truck driver fatigue. Truck drivers who violate the HOS regulations may be subject to fines, civil penalties, and even criminal penalties.
If you have been injured by a truck driver who violated the hours-of-service laws, you may be able to hold the truck driver and his or her trucking company liable for any resulting injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
The Chicago trucking attorneys at Cogan & Power, P.C. focus on representing the victims of commercial trucking accidents, including those caused as a result of HOS violations or truck driver fatigue. Our unique legal team of Chicago trucking attorneys includes a nationally recognized member of the prestigious Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America and two former defense attorneys. Because we take a collaborative approach to legal representation, our clients receive the legal skill and knowledge of all our trucking attorneys and not just one attorney.
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.
May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
Drivers using the sleeper berth provision 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 carriers who violate the HOS regulations face serious penalties, including the following:
Drivers may be placed out-of-service roadside until the driver has accumulated enough off-duty time to be back in compliance.
State and local enforcement officials may assess fines.
FMCSA may levy civil penalties on driver or carrier, 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.
Federal criminal penalties can be brought against carriers who knowingly and willfully allow or require HOS violations, or drivers who knowingly and willfully violate the HOS regulations.
At Cogan & Power, our Chicago trucking attorneys take great pride in our record of successful verdicts and settlements, including a $13 million verdict in a trucking accident case, as well as the enduring relationships we have developed with our clients.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident caused by an hour of service violation, contact the skilled Chicago trucking accident attorneys at Cogan & Power for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights following a commercial trucking accident. If you cannot come to our offices in downtown Chicago, we will come to you. And because we take cases on a contingency basis, you will not pay any fee unless we get you compensation.