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The Legal Challenges of Modern Truck Drivers: An Overview

Truckers face a range of challenges, not the least of which is finding places to park their rigs. Legal necessities for attending court for a lawsuit involve depositions, testimony and attending long court sessions. Sometimes these cases drag on for months, and verdicts are often appealed.
According to a post at hg.org, many states have different laws about truck driver liability, cargo limits and increased legal red tape for crossing international borders of Mexico and Canada. Being involved in an accident in another state can make drivers feel like foreigners who don’t understand anything about the process.
Accidents in other states than their own often have different laws and requirements — even different regulations about their ability to receive compensation for an injury. Truck drivers have an image of relaxed affability, but that’s put to the test in today’s environment of strict regulations and monitoring.

How Truck Driving Has Changed
Truck drivers today often deal with more paperwork than the average lawyer or accountant. According to a post at trucker.com, the ELD mandate for installation of electronic logging devices might relieve some of the paperwork of writing down your log schedule. However, many truckers haven’t installed them yet as the deadline fast approaches.
Attorneys can use ELDs to investigate trucker actions and itineraries to detect non-compliance with regulations. Generally, attorneys look for evidence that truckers drove too many hours and became fatigued. Fatigue is a common cause of truck accidents, and the right evidence would convince a jury of driver negligence.
Arguing that projected savings of fuel and paperwork are illusory, most drivers feel that the cost of the device negates any efficiency savings. New laws and regulations constantly challenge truckers who seldom went to college. Although proficient with CB radios, scanners and radar detectors many truck drivers become lost when dealing with complex computer tech.
According to an article posted at theatlantic.com, the whole culture, duties and reputations of truck drivers have changed since the 1970s. Drivers were more respected as “knights of the road” and earned a high comparative income. Drivers had great autonomy in planning their routes and picking up return loads.
In today’s high-tech environment, employers often “promote” employees to independent contractors. Drivers find their take-home pay cut dramatically after paying all the deductions for lease payments, insurance, fuel and other important deductions. Sometimes, drivers owe the company money instead of getting paid for a week’s work.
Forty years ago, truck drivers earned the salary equivalent of $110,000 per year in today’s money. Most drivers struggle along on an average salary of $40,000 today, and the legal, financial and recordkeeping requirements take almost as much time and attention as driving.
Other Legal Challenges for Truckers
Insurance doesn’t cover everything that drivers face, and claims are frequently denied that any reasonable person would expect to be covered. Insurance adjusters look hard for reasons to deny each claim. Truckers frequently find out that they’re not covered for cargo loss by theft in various jurisdictions. Understanding the legal subtleties of foreign country insurance regulations would challenge the average U.S. lawyer. It creates an impossible situation for truck drivers with only a high school education.
Work permits and licenses are required for many truck drivers who don’t meet all the qualifications of driving a commercial truck in a different state. Some states require work permits for typical drivers’ tasks like helping unload the cargo. These legal problems are so binding and severe that some companies change drivers at state borders.
Legal Interactions that Help Truck Drivers
Most legalities make life harder for truckers. However, hiring a good lawyer provides great benefits if you have an accident or run afoul of some legal regulation. A Jacksonville truck accident lawyer will handle your case with professionalism, legal knowledge and years of experience.

Author: Early in his journalism career, Kerry L. Tucker had a revelation: there were not enough experts reporting on law issues. Legal matters are part of daily life. Yet, there seems to be a general aversion towards them. One of the main reasons for this is that the convoluted legal language is difficult for many people to follow. Therefore, he decided to change how the law is perceived by the public. Throughout his career, he met with many people who shared their personal stories with him. Some of these hit him harder. One of the cases that stayed with him and influenced his future career development was a car accident case involving a child. From then on, he decided to zero in on car accident lawsuits.

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