State and federal laws strictly regulate the trucking industry. Failure to comply with these can lead to legal consequences. Trucking companies are required to adhere to various regulations to ensure the safety of both drivers and the general public. These cover aspects such as permits, wage requirements, payment, and workers’ compensation.
At Zanes Law, we understand that navigating state and federal trucking laws can easily become overwhelming for those unfamiliar with the industry. Our Phoenix truck accident lawyers review the main rules that apply to Arizona trucking companies. Call us for a free consultation to learn how these impact your case.
Trucking Permit Requirements
Obtaining the right trucking permit is crucial when transporting oversized or very heavy loads. The process also involves carefully planning your route, with which the trucking company should assist.
Different types of permits that you may need include:
- Class A permit: This is required if the load is nonreducible, has a specific description, and falls within certain size and weight limits.
- Class C permit: If the load exceeds these criteria, you should seek a Class C permit. These are usually issued within 48 hours and are valid for four working days. The fees vary between $30 and $100.
- Single trip permits: If the vehicle is not properly registered in Arizona, you may need single trip permits or fuel permits. These allow a nonresident owner, operator, or driver to conduct operations through the state for a specific trip.
If you were in an accident with an overloaded truck, a personal injury lawyer in Phoenix, AZ, will help determine if the driver had the proper permit.
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Meeting Arizona Wage Requirements
According to the Davis-Bacon laws, workers must receive their full wages on a weekly basis. Truck drivers fall under these laws only during specific times and are not covered outside the specified activities.
Truck drivers are covered by Davis-Bacon laws while spending time:
- Loading and unloading on-site
- Moving materials between a facility considered part of the work site and the project site
Prompt Payment Requirements
Prime contractors must ensure timely compensation to subcontractors, with a seven-day window from the receipt of payment from the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). In addition, subcontractors should settle dues with tier subcontractors within the same seven-day timeframe.
The absence of retention by ADOT for prime contractors sets it apart from many other public agencies across the nation. However, the flexibility for retainage lies within the individual contract terms. Prime contractors may impose retention on subcontractors if stipulated in the agreement.
Any retention held during the project must be disbursed along with the final payment. A prime contractor is barred from retaining funds for reasons unrelated to the ongoing project. ADOT diligently monitors prompt payments, encouraging subcontractors and truckers to report any payment delays through the designated reporting systems.
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Understanding the Difference Between Owner-Operator and Subcontractor
Understanding the classification of owner-operator truckers in relation to subcontractor status can be challenging. To clarify, if the contractor rents trucks and employs drivers directly, it does not qualify as a subcontract. Similarly, if the contractor lists rented trucks with owner-operators on their payroll, it remains non-subcontracted.
However, a subcontract is necessary if the contractor rents a truck from another company, which pays the operator directly. In such cases, certified payrolls become mandatory.
If a subcontractor owns trucks and their drivers are on their payroll, no additional steps are needed. Yet, if the subcontractor rents trucks from another company, resulting in a second-tier subcontract, all relevant subcontracting and certified payroll regulations apply. Notably, owner-operators must submit a subcontract request form confirming their status.
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Workers’ Compensation Regulations in Arizona
Trucking companies in the state must provide workers’ compensation insurance to cover medical expenses and lost wages for employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. Arizona follows a no-fault system, meaning that regardless of who is responsible for the accident, employees are entitled to compensation.
However, the laws can be intricate, particularly in the context of trucking, where factors such as interstate commerce may come into play. The truck driver’s status may also come into question, as independent contractors, who are prevalent in the trucking industry, might have different considerations compared to company-employed drivers.
Independent contractors may need to navigate a distinct set of rules and regulations, impacting their eligibility for certain workers’ compensation benefits. A workers’ compensation lawyer in Arizona can help you better understand if and how this insurance policy applies to you.
A Truck Accident Attorney in Arizona Can Explain How Relevant Laws Impact Your Case
Given the complex nature of trucking accidents, which often involve multiple parties and intricate legal considerations, having a knowledgeable attorney by your side is crucial for the success of your case. In Arizona, factors such as wage requirements, permit regulations, and nuances in workers’ compensation statutes may all play a role in determining liability and compensation.
A skilled attorney can navigate these complexities, explaining how each legal facet applies to your unique situation. At Zanes Law, we believe in empowering our clients with the information they need to be in control of their cases. Contact us today to discuss the details of your claim.