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Truck Accidents

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 22, 2015

In California, we share our roadways with commercial trucks on a daily basis. Because commercial trucks are so massive in size, when they are involved in accidents, people are often seriously injured or even killed.

A commercial tractor-trailer can weigh over 80,000 pounds while the average passenger car weighs more than a ton-and-a-half.

Nationwide, there are approximately 500,000 trucking accidents a year that result in 100,000 injuries and 10,000 deaths. As a result, the trucking industry is heavily regulated. In California, the trucking industry is regulated by The California Department of Public Safety, as well as Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

The trucking industry regulates such things as: how many hours a driver may drive at a time, how much sleep a driver must have, the type of cargo a truck can carry, the weight of the cargo, and how a truck may be loaded.

For example, interstate drivers are not permitted to drive more than 12 hours at a stretch or drive after having worked 15 hours after only 8 hours of rest. Also, a driver in California must be at least 18 years old to drive a commercial truck and 21 years old to transport hazardous materials.

Trucking accident cases also have many different potential causes. Some of the most common causes are listed below:

  • Oversized trucks
  • Overloaded trucks
  • Lack of adequate driver training
  • Speeding or driving at unsafe speeds for conditions
  • Fatigued drivers
  • Poorly maintained truck brake systems
  • Failure to comply with FMCSA truck inspection laws
  • Failure to yield
  • Aggressive driving behavior
  • Driving while ability impaired
  • Dangerous or reckless driver still working despite history of accidents

In order to recover for your injuries in a trucking accident, you must be able to prove that the driver or trucking company was negligent or reckless in the accident. Determining liability can be complicated and it may not immediately be evident who was at fault and why.

After a trucking accident, trucking companies will often send representatives to the accident scene to talk to accident victims immediately. The trucking company attorneys are there to defend their interests, not those of the victims.

In order to make sure your legal rights are fully protected, you need a personal injury attorney on your side. You need to make sure you understand that the representatives from the company do not represent you. You should not give them any kind of statement or sign anything without consulting with an attorney.

It is especially important that you do not sign a medical release before you have gone to see a doctor and a personal injury lawyer.

If you have been injured in a trucking accident, San Diego personal injury lawyer Allan S. Field has the experience and expertise required to make sure your legal rights are protected. Contact Allan S. Field to discuss your potential case issues and options.