In our experience, trucking accidents are some of the most horrific and complicated accidents that occur on California highways. Most of these accidents involve multiple vehicles and road jams that can last for hours and sometimes days. Those impacted can go well beyond merely the passengers in the vehicles involved in a collision.
Negligent actors involved in trucking accidents can include the semi-truck operators, the transportation companies, and even the contracting manufacturers who are responsible for preparing transit loads. There is a wide variety of issues that can go wrong when truck drivers lose control and loads shift in the back.
To make matters worse, most accidents occur at increased rates of speed involving vehicles that are clearly no physical match for an 18-wheeler. Experienced truck accident attorneys understand this dilemma when handling a big-rig collision claim, and they always investigate the accident diligently looking for all negligent parties who can be pursued for damages.
All truck accidents are investigated by the California DOT or the local jurisdiction police departments where the accident occurs. Many times, there are multiple agencies that step into action as soon as possible following the fact.
While the information found by the government agencies can establish solid facts in the case, many times a California truck accident attorney can investigate the accident for evidence that may have been missed by the oversight agencies or evidence that could help show direct negligence and injuries, as a result.
Trucking Industry Regulations
There are federal regulations set in place to ensure truck drivers, as well as other motorists on the road, stay safe. The main regulations for trucks and truck drivers include:
Weight restrictions: There are weight restrictions for trucking companies when it comes to the amount of cargo any given truck can carry. The actual weight will vary depending on the size and weight of the truck and cargo. Many times, trucking companies will overload trucks with extra cargo for convenience.
Hours of service: Truck drivers are limited by FMCSA regulations to the number of hours/days they can consecutively drive and the number and length of breaks they are required to take. Fatigue driving, especially within the trucking industry, is one of the most common causes of these accidents when these regulations are not followed.
Maintenance checks: There is a certain number of maintenance and inspection checks that trucking companies must adhere to with their vehicles. Unfortunately, these checks are sometimes disregarded by transportation companies for convenience
In most instances, trucking companies are held liable for accidents that involve breaking federal regulations. However, in some instances, the truck driver could be held liable. For example, this would be the case if a driver logged a break that he didn’t take in order to get to his destination quicker. In other cases, the company may insist that the driver skip a break or drive past regulated hours.
Contact a California Truck Accident Attorney
Never attempt handling a truck accident claim personally. They are often complicated legal issues and typically strongly defended. Always call an experienced comprehensive personal injury attorney like the legal professionals at Fowler | Helsel | Vogt for solid personal representation and maximum compensation. We will work to investigate the cause of the trucking accident, who or what is at fault, and the amount of compensation any injured parties need to heal.
Contact our firm at (559) 900-1280 for a no-fee consultation.