The minimum qualifications for commercial motor vehicle drivers are established in 49 CFR 391 by the US Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Administration. Under these federal regulations, commercial motor vehicle drivers must:
- Be 21 years old
- Speak English
- Be physically able to safely operate a truck
- Have a valid Commercial Driver's License (CDL)
- Have never driven while intoxicated, under the influence of drugs, committed a felony, left an accident scene, or refused to take an alcohol test
Because large 18-wheelers generally cause more damage when involved in wrecks, their drivers are held to a higher standard than regular motorists. Unfortunately, many commercial trucking companies in Texas simply turn a blind eye to the federal semi-truck driver requirements, and serious accidents occur as a result.
Proof of Trucker Negligence Will Be Required
If you're injured in a Texas truck wreck with an unqualified driver, you'll need to do more than point fingers if you want to win your case.
One of the most critical pieces of evidence in any truck wreck case is the driver's qualification file. All motor carrier companies in the US are required by law to maintain an accurate record of their truckers' driving history. This is to ensure that all of their drivers are qualified to operate big 18-wheelers.
A driver's qualification file will contain the following information:
- The driver’s original application for employment
- A record of inquiries to and responses from the driver’s previous employers regarding driving history
- Any pre-employment moving violations report (MVR) for the driver
- A copy of the driver’s commercial driving license (CDL)
- A copy of the driver’s most recent annual review
- Any MVR related to the most recent annual review
- A certified list of moving violations and accidents caused by the driver
- The medical examiner’s certificate of physical qualification
If you've been hurt in an accident with an 18-wheeler and you suspect the driver wasn't qualified to be driving, you have a right to compensation. It's in your best interest to hire an attorney who will conduct a through investigation to determine if the truck driver was properly trained and licensed at the time of the accident.
If you need a Texas truck accident attorney, call the Anderson Law Firm at 817-294-1900 to set up a free case consultation.
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