The astronomical size and weight of large commercial trucks carrying substantial amounts of cargo can easily cause serious accidents on the roadways. If you suffered injuries or a loved one died as a result of an accident involving a commercial truck, consider calling our team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 235-0444 to learn more about how a San Francisco truck accident lawyer can help you ensure your legal rights remain protected and help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Federal Regulations in the Trucking Industry
The trucking industry remains heavily regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is a division of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). These regulations impact any truck driver operating any type of commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Failure to follow regulations may result in federal and state penalties. The federal regulations that impact truck drivers and commercial trucking companies include the following:
- Operating License: Every truck driver must apply and receive a commercial driver’s license (CDL) under FMCSA title 49, section 383.
- Physical Health: All truck drivers must receive a health assessment every two years.
- Service Hours: There are very specific and detailed Hours of Service Regulations required of truck drivers that indicate how many hours of rest a truck driver must have before operating a commercial truck again. These hours are typically logged on an Electronic Logging Device in order to ensure compliance.
- Cargo Loading: Cargo loading remains one of the most serious of all issues regarding safety in the trucking industry. If the cargo is unsecured or loaded improperly, it can easily shift during transportation, causing accidents on the roadway.
- Driving While Intoxicated: The FMCSA has strict guidelines regarding truck drivers and the use of alcohol and drugs. If a truck driver has had any kind of drugs or alcohol within 8 hours of their driving shift starting, they will remain in violation of the established guidelines.
For a free legal consultation with a truck accidents lawyer serving San Francisco, call 800-630-9229
Determination of Liability in the Trucking Accident
The most important aspect of a trucking accident claim is the determination of liability and responsibility. Once this determination occurs, a victim will know who they have the right to file a claim against to receive compensation for their medical bills, loss of wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. Some of the parties that may be responsible for a trucking accident include the following:
- The trucking company
- The truck driver
- The truck maintenance company
- The cargo loading company
- The leaseholder of the truck
- The manufacturer of a defective truck part or component
In some cases, a victim will have the legal right to pursue a claim against more than one of these entities for any injuries or losses, depending on the facts and circumstances of the trucking accident.
In many cases, in order to develop a strong personal injury case (or product liability case if the accident was the result of a manufacturing defect), the victim will need to understand the full scope of the accident, which may involve an independent investigation and visit with expert witnesses. Some of the types of questions that will help a victim understand how to pursue a charge against an entity for the trucking accident may include the following.
Were all of the parts and components of the truck, including safety features, operable, and in good working order? If not, this might have caused or contributed to the accident.
If the truck driver operated the commercial truck in a negligent way, this could determine the cause of the accident and constitute a breach of their duty of care to other drivers. Negligent driving can include:
- Driving recklessly
- Driving while drowsy
- Driving while distracted
- Texting and driving
- Driving while intoxicated
Did the trucking company conduct a background investigation into the truck driver to determine if there were any charged for driving while intoxicated or other reckless actions? If an investigation finds that the truck driver had a poor driving record, the company might be liable. They also have to provide adequate training and ensure that the driver follows safety procedures.
Other important questions during the investigation process include:
- Did the cargo loading company (or the trucking company) load the cargo in an appropriate way according to required guidelines and secure the cargo appropriately?
- Did the logbook or the Electronic Logging Device of the commercial truck indicate that the truck driver appropriately stopped and rested for the required amounts of time?
- Did any cargo fall from the truck during the trucking accident?
This list of questions is merely a start to understanding the actual cause of the trucking accident, and who remains liable for a victim’s injuries and losses. Obtaining evidence following a trucking accident is extremely important. Learn how Ben Crump Law, PLLC can issue a spoliation letter on your behalf in order to ensure that all evidence related to the trucking accident remains preserved and is not destroyed by a truck driver or trucking company.
San Francisco Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me 800-630-9229
Consider Hiring a San Francisco Truck Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one suffered injuries, or if your loved one suffered death as a result of an accident involving a large commercial truck in San Francisco, you might be able to pursue justice as well as compensation for your injuries and losses.
We can help you meet the deadline to file personal injury claims in California, which is two years from the date of the accident, according to the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) § 335.1. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you do not have to pay us anything up front. We only take our fees from the settlement or judgment we win in your case.
Consider how a San Francisco truck accident lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help you understand your legal rights. Call us today at (800) 235-0444.