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Trucking Regulations

Experienced Tacoma Attorneys Explain State and Federal Trucking Laws

What you need to know following a commercial truck accident in Washington

Because of the heightened danger that comes with the size of commercial trucks and their often hazardous cargoes, state and federal authorities have enacted additional laws and regulations to govern commercial transport. Licensing is more stringent for semi-truck drivers, and trucks themselves must have operating permits. Of course, all the regulation in the world will not prevent poor outcomes if the regulations lack oversight. Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler PLLC presents this brief explanation of trucking regulations and the authorities that monitor compliance.

Federal regulations for interstate trucking

The U.S. Constitution allows Congress to regulate interstate commerce. Congress has also authorized the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to write and enforce regulations for:

  • Drivers
  • Vehicles
  • Hazardous materials
  • Companies engaged in interstate trucking

For example, the requirements for obtaining a license to drive a semi are much more stringent than those for obtaining a regular driver license. Additionally, federal laws dictate the maximum number of hours an operator may be on the road without a break (known as Hours-of-Service Regulations) and require drivers and trucking companies to keep a log detailing that data. Federal laws also dictate the level of maintenance performed on large trucks and the rules for the relevant recordkeeping. This information can be the key to proving liability in your truck accident involving impaired driving, faulty maintenance or a product defect.

Washington State regulations designed to prevent accidents and save lives

Washington also exercises jurisdiction over commercial transport within the state’s borders, permitting some exceptions to federal trucking laws and imposing specific state standards in other areas. For example, for intrastate operations, Washington allows individuals 18 years of age and older (rather than 21 and over) to obtain a license to drive a large vehicle. Washington has instituted many safety requirements including those involving:

  • Drug tests
  • Hay bale securement
  • Fruit bin load securement
  • Chains
  • Hazardous material transport

The Washington State Patrol’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Bureau is the enforcement body for state truck regulations.

Contact our Tacoma truck accident attorneys for answers about federal and state trucking laws

If you or someone you know was injured in an accident with a commercial truck, uncovering a violation of state or federal regulations may help establish negligence. The seasoned truck accident attorneys at Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler PLLC can evaluate your case for free and initiate a full investigation. To schedule a consultation, call us at 253-383-5388 or contact our office online.

Are You a Victim of the MultiCare-Good Samaritan Hospital Hepatitis C Exposure?
Our firm is actively taking on representation of clients who were patients at MultieCare-Good Samaritan Hospital and were exposed to Hepatitis C and perhaps other diseases. We are investigating the actions of MultiCare and its employees as well as the MultiCare system itself that led to this crisis occurring.

If you have information about this incident, or previous incidences of MultiCare employees misusing narcotic medications intended for patients, or if you have legal questions about this matter and your rights, our lawyers are available to assist you at 253-383-5388.
Case Results
  • "Client was disabled from working in prior profession after sustaining a severe closed head injury and brain trauma in an automobile accident on Interstate 5. $7,845,000. "

  • "Pedestrian client was struck by semi-truck, and the trailer wheels rolled over client’s body causing severe injury. $1,145,000. "

  • "Client was involved in a head-on collision when a bus crossed the center line. Client suffered a severe closed head injury preventing him from returning to his previous employment. $884,998. "

  • "Client was involved in serious head-on collision with uninsured motorist while on-the-job, resulting in physical injury and posttraumatic stress disorder. Client can no longer work as a commercial truck driver. $708,000. "

  • "Client was a rear seat passenger in a vehicle that was involved in an automobile accident. Client was severely injured as the result of a defective seatbelt, while the other three occupants of the vehicle sustained only minor injuries. $650,000. "

  • "Client was killed in automobile accident caused by defendant’s failure to yield the right-of-way. $650,000. "

  • "Minor client was on his way to school and was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street in a marked crosswalk. Defendant driver had pulled into oncoming lane to pass another vehicle and struck client, causing serious injuries. $500,000. "

  • "Client was killed as a result of an in-cab fuel tank, which caught fire after an automobile accident. $350,000. "

  • "Client riding a bicycle was struck by a motorist who failed to yield the right-of-way. Client sustained numerous injuries, including a closed head injury. $120,000. "

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Awards and Affiliations
  • "I have been a client of Dan Kyler’s since 1996. Having had numerous car accidents, I rely upon Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler to help me through them. The most obscure questions have been answered and help is given on all levels. Thanks."

  • "John Wilson demonstrated his professionalism by keeping us current on our case, explaining our options, giving us realistic expectations and demonstrating the highest level of ethics and integrity beyond reproach. We have the highest confidence that we were well represented."

  • "Dan Hannula’s hard work helped to settle my auto accident case. "

  • "Having a motorcycle accident was bad enough, let alone dealing with insurance companies. John Wilson and his staff made everything easy to understand and hassle free. "

  • "I am extremely satisfied with the service I experienced with this firm and I would recommend them to anyone that needs legal representation. Michael Fisher and his staff are great people. "

  • "Vern Harkins perseverance and hard work made it possible to get the maximum settlement from the insurance company. I know he had my interest in mind as demonstrated by his actions. "

  • "The office staff were courteous, pleasant and kept me informed as to what was going on throughout the whole ordeal. "

  • "Molly Crowley is a very professional and knowledgeable lawyer. I felt I was very well represented!! "

  • "Molly Crowley was knowledgeable, kept me informed every step of the way and just did a great job! "

  • "We got a fair settlement and were treated with respect and dignity throughout the whole process. -Blake W. "

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