Representing Clients Throughout California
As commercial vehicle operators, truck drivers have a responsibility to act in a reasonably safe manner in order to protect those around them. Likewise, trucking companies owe a duty of care to ordinary individuals to ensure that their drivers abide by this responsibility. If you were injured or your loved one was killed in a truck accident, Alpine Law Group can help you fight for a fair recovery.
Browse our website to learn more about our practice areas, or contact us at (866) 773-0222 for a free consultation with our compassionate and experienced Irvine lawyer.
Who Is Liable In Truck Accident Cases?
In contrast to other types of motor vehicle accident cases, such as car accident and motorcycle accident claims, truck accident cases tend to be very complex due to the number of potentially liable parties involved. When an accident occurs, it may seem obvious at first that the truck driver is responsible. After all, if a truck driver causes an accident because he is texting while driving or operating his vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, isn’t he clearly liable?
In fact, the answer isn’t so simple. While a truck driver may be liable—at least partially—for an accident, he or she is also an employee of the trucking company that owns and/or leases the vehicle. Employers in California (and throughout the U.S.) are generally liable for the conduct of their employees when the employees are working.
Additionally, various other factors may be at play, meaning various other third parties may be partially or wholly liable for an accident. A truck tire may have a manufacturing defect, causing it to blow out on the highway, leading to the truck driver losing control. Another driver directly in front of a large truck may swerve to avoid an object in the road, resulting in a chain reaction that leads to an accident.
In short, any of the following parties (and more) may be liable for a truck accident:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The company that owns/leases the vehicle
- The person or company responsible for truck maintenance
- The manufacturer of a defective truck part
- The entity responsible for the truck’s design (if defective)
- The party responsible for roadway construction/design
- A third-party driver At Alpine Law Group, our attorneys understand what it takes to prove liability in a semi-truck accident. We can help you gather all the necessary evidence and strategize a plan that ensures you recover maximum compensation.
Truck Driver Regulations
Because of the serious risk semi-trucks pose to the other drivers on the road in the event of an accident, truck drivers are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA regulates many aspects of the trucking industry, including when and how long a trucker can be on the road. This rule is called the hours of service regulations, and according to this rule truck drivers can:
- Work up to 14-hours in a day, however, three of these hours must be used for rest or meal breaks, which means truckers can only drive for 11 hours.
- After the 14-hour workday is over, drivers must rest for at least 10 hours.
- Must take days off work at regular intervals. If a trucking company is open seven days a week a driver is only allowed to work 70 hours in an eight-day period before taking at least 34 consecutive hours off. If a trucking company is open less than seven days a week then a driver is only allowed to work 60 hours in a seven-day period before taking 34 hours off.
It is not uncommon for truckers to break these rules, either by their own negligence or under the pressure of the company they work for. In rarer circumstances, the hours of service regulations are modified by the FMCSA in times of national emergencies, such as in the recent COVID-19 crisis. No matter the case, the result is the same, more tired truck drivers and more accidents. If you have been injured in a truck accident our firm is ready to help you today!
Types Of Truck Accidents In California
Every year, thousands of people are injured or killed on California’s highways and roads, and many of these accidents involve large semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and delivery vehicles. For those involved in large truck collisions, the resulting consequences are typically immense. Victims are very likely to suffer severe, catastrophic injuries and/or death.
Common types of truck accidents include:
- Rollover Accidents
- Jackknife Accidents
- Tire Blowouts
- Wide Turns
- Rear-End Collisions
- Under-Ride Accidents
- Improperly Loaded Cargo
- Head-On Collisions
- Blind-Spot Accidents
- T-Bone Accidents
Because semi-trucks are so much larger and heavier than other vehicles, drivers require special licensing and training to operate them. If you were seriously injured in a truck-related vehicle accident, then the responsible parties ought to be held responsible and you ought to recover full compensation. Give our Irvine truck accident lawyers a call at (866) 773-0222 or contact us online to get started on your claim today!
Trust Our Firm To Fight For You & Your Family
Truck accident claims are incredibly complex. When you are already dealing with the aftermath of the accident—making sure you receive adequate medical treatment, going to rehabilitation therapy, and taking time off work to heal and recover—you don’t have time to navigate the legal process as well.