Intrastate Trucking Regs
Located in Elkins, Wolfe Law Firm provides full-service representation in personal injury law. Our office has obtained substantial verdicts and settlements for victims injured in preventable truck accidents. We have extensive knowledge of the various state laws governing intrastate trucking and skillfully pursue your claim against multiple parties.
Truck Accident Dangers
Trucks and tractor-trailers are the only means of transporting large quantities of goods and services within the state. The trucking industry provides more than 35,000 jobs in West Virginia, 1 out of 16 in the state. But the enormity of these vehicles, and the cargo they carry, account for some of the most harrowing injuries and deaths on the road. Although they occur less frequently, truck accidents can cause more damage. As a result, the Legislature has enacted state rules and regulations to protect against liability for injury or death caused by negligent drivers. These laws govern the intrastate trucking industry and refer to their operation as “motor carriers.”
Truck Accidents Caused by Negligence
Truck accidents usually involve more than one vehicle and at least one at-fault driver. At-fault drivers are liable for any injuries caused by their negligence. Despite the strict rules governing intrastate trucking, careless conduct by drivers is still a threat. Truck drivers are especially prone to unintentional but preventable accidents resulting in injury. These crashes may be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Runaway trailers
- Rollovers, jackknifes
- Intoxication, speeding
- Improper cargo loading
- Spilled cargo or gas leak
- Driver fatigue, distraction
- Product or premises liability
- Inadequate safety inspection
West Virginia Intrastate Truck Drivers
All drivers must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate a truck. Drivers must be at least 18 years old to obtain an intrastate CDL, which limits transit to places within West Virginia. Drivers must be 21 to operate trucks in interstate commerce. In order to obtain or maintain a CDL, drivers must show proof of the following:
- Identity, residence
- Medical certification
- Vision, background check
- Pass CDL knowledge exams
- Complete CDL road skills test
- Virginia license or CDL permit for 30 days
- Two-part driver’s license knowledge exam
- Graduate from CDL driver education program
Those who pass the required testing will obtain a non-renewable CDL instruction permit that expires in one year. They may then apply for a Virginia CDL valid for 8 years. The requirements to maintain a CDL are more stringent. The legal limit for alcohol, for example, is .04% rather than the .08% required to arrest other drivers for DUI. Commercial drivers must also obtain separate permits to escort drivers, haul material, and overload cargo using the truck.
Commercial Carrier Liability
West Virginia law incorporates some Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, which require insurance sufficient to cover liability for bodily injury or death caused in an accident. Some notable exceptions to federal law are West Virginia’s maximum driving hours, which do not apply to intrastate truckers carrying farm supplies, so long as the driver remains within 100 miles of the supply source. State laws also lower the minimum age to obtain a CDL and require that intrastate wrecker trucks be equipped with a first aid kit. However, commercial carriers remain liable for the negligent acts of their drivers. This means that injured victims may recover from multiple parties, including those responsible for truck operation and their respective insurers.
Seek Experienced Legal Counsel in Elkins
If you were injured in a truck accident, contact an experienced West Virginia truck accident lawyer at Wolfe Law Firm today. Truck accidents require immediate action to preserve the victim’s right to relief. Wolfe Law Firm has recovered substantial compensation for individuals and families throughout West Virginia. We are committed to maximizing your recovery from all liable parties and insurers so that you can recover in peace. Call (877) 637-5756 for a free consultation or contact us online.