When you or a loved one is injured in a trucking accident and you hire Guest and Gray Law Firm, P.C., our experienced team of personal injury lawyers begin working on your case immediately. We look at every possible avenue to prove that the trucking company and their driver negligently caused the accident and your injuries. One of those ways is to look into the FMCSA BASIC scores of the at-fault trucking company to determine whether or not they have a history of negligent behavior.
WHAT IS THE FMCSA BASIC PROGRAM?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Compliance, Safety, and Accountability program continuously gathers and updates data regarding seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories, or BASICs. For each category listed, the trucking company receives a score that ranks them against other carriers in the industry. Each of these scores can then be used by trucking companies, law enforcement agencies to determine the overall safety compliance of an individual trucking company.
If you are involved in a crash with a commercial vehicle, our lawyers will be very interested in that carrier’s BASIC scores, as it will be relevant additional evidence of the driver’s or trucking company’s negligence. To learn more about how one or more of the seven BASICs may affect your personal injury case, contact the personal injury law firm of Guest and Gray Law Firm, P.C. at (972) 564-4644.
THE SEVEN FMCSA BASIC CATEGORIES
As mentioned above, there are seven basic categories that FMCSA gathers information on trucking companies to determine their compliance with safety standards. These scores help law enforcement agencies and the trucking companies to ensure safety compliance. The FMCSA BASICs are:
- Unsafe driving: This looks at speeding, reckless driving, improper lane changes, seatbelt, and other traffic violations of the motor carrier.
- Crash indicator: This looks at the rates of the trucking company’s history of crashes.
- Hours-of-service compliance, which ranks a carrier based on violations of hour-of-service regulations, including logbook. This is a major factor in safety compliance.
- Vehicle maintenance, which ranks carriers based on maintenance violations such as brakes, lights, defects, and failure to make repairs.
- Controlled substances/alcohol, which looks at the instances of drivers being charged with the use or possession of alcohol or controlled substances while driving.
- Hazardous materials compliance, which rank carriers regarding improper packaging or warnings and leaking containers.
- Driver fitness, which rates trucking companies for drivers having valid licenses and being physically and medically capable of operating a commercial vehicle. This is another major factor. If the trucking company hires a negligent driver, the trucking company will score lower overall.
Each trucking company is given a percentile between 0 and 100 for each category. A higher percentile score is bad for the carrier. Scoring in the lower 50th percentile means that they are better than 49 percent of other carrier in a given category or overall. Higher does not always mean “good”. Here, it means bad.
A bad score may be relevant to your personal injury case if you need to prove that a driver or trucking company was negligent in some way. For instance, a trucking company with a higher crash indicator percentile will have been part of more crashes and more serious crashes. This is relevant to show that the carrier responsible for your injuries has a history of poor performance and negligence which could play into negligent hiring or retaining of a truck driver or that they were out of compliance in driver safety training, etc.. A high percentile may be used to demonstrate that the trucking company does not monitor its truckers for alcohol or drug abuse or keeps truckers with known driving deficiencies.
Injured in a Trucking Accident in the Forney or Rockwall area? Call Guest and Gray Today!
If you were involved in an accident caused by a trucker’s or trucking company’s negligence, do not hesitate to call our Forney and Rockwall area truck accident lawyers at Guest and Gray Law Firm, P.C. to learn more about your rights. Through a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit, we can help you seek compensation for your:
- Medical costs
- Loss of earning capacity
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Physical limitations
At Guest and Gray Law Firm, our goal is to create the strongest possible case for you and your injured loved ones to obtain the maximum recovery possible. Do not hesitate, call today! (972) 564-4644. Consultations are free and we take all Forney and Rockwall area trucking accident cases on contingency basis meaning you pay nothing unless we win your case!