Motor vehicle collisions are the most common and dangerous form of accident in California and throughout the United States. A wide variety of vehicles use our city streets and highways every hour of every day. The popularity of our roadways means that accidents arise with surprising frequency, often with serious results. Trucking crashes in particular usually have significant consequences for those involved. Eighteen-wheel semi trucks are found all over our roadways, and virtually every time that they are involved in an accident there are serious injuries and significant property damage.
Unfortunately, there are many occasions when the truck accident was caused, at least in part, by mistakes made by the truck driver and the company for which he or she works. The typical commercial truck weight 80,000 pounds when loaded compared to the 3,000 pounds of an average automobile. The weight and size difference mean that when a passenger car is hit by a truck there are significant consequences. Truck drivers and their companies are well aware of the risks that their vehicles pose to others on the road, and so it remains vital for those individuals to do everything reasonable to prevent truck accidents. Trucking companies are required to abide by various federal and state regulations. For example, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations law dictates specific rules that must be abided by those vehicles engaged in interstate traffic. These laws requires vehicles to pass inspection tests, have well-trained drivers, and meet a variety of other obligations. Unfortunately, these rules are violated consistently, leading to deadly accidents.
With respect to state laws, California’s Code of Regulations has an extensive list of statutes and regulations that govern the operation of commercial vehicles such as trucks. Again, it is unfortunate, but some truckers fail to abide by rules, including those spelled out by the state of California. Because the demands on truckers to haul large payloads over longer and more frequent routes have become more commonplace, there is a particular danger from truckers who are operating their vehicles while suffering from fatigue. California Code of Regulations Title 13 Section 1212 specifically addresses the need for truckers and other commercial vehicle operators to get adequate rest. Under this rule a driver may not drive or be permitted to drive:
(A) More than 12 hours in the aggregate for bus drivers and 14 hours for truck drivers following eight consecutive hours off duty for bus drivers and ten consecutive hours off duty for truck drivers; or
(B) After the driver has been on duty 15 hours following eight consecutive hours off duty for bus drivers and after the end of the 16th hour after coming on duty, following ten consecutive hours off duty, for truck drivers.
Regardless of the circumstances leading up to a trucking accident, the most important thing for victims after suffering harm such a collision is to ensure that their well-being is taken care of. That means making sure that one is safe and receives all the medical treatment needed to recover as much as possible. However, it is also important not to forget the legal issues related to these accidents. It is critical that all victims of trucking accidents have access to the long-term resources they will need. If a loved one is killed in one of these collisions, the surviving family members will need a wide range of support. When the accident is at least partially caused by the negligence of an involved truck, then it is important that the negligent party pay their fair share to provide for the victims.
Our California trucking accident lawyer is open to helping all those who find themselves in these situations. We can help families recover as much as possible following these tragedies by seeking redress for the financial, emotional, physical, and social losses that they suffered in the accident. It is crucial to act in a prudent fashion to ensure that time limits do not expire on the legal claim. Please take the time to touch base with our office. We will be able to listen to your story and provide you with the guidance you need to ensure that your legal rights are protected. Feel free to contact us today at (800) 427-7020 or (415) 397-1130. We can also be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can send a message instantly via our online contact form.