As a result of the devastating consequences of a large truck accident, seeking compensation from the applicable insurance company is complicated. Truck companies, truck drivers, and their insurance companies will fight aggressively to defend against a claim because the stakes are high.
If you or a family member has been injured in a truck accident, it is significantly important to seek the legal advice of an attorney who has experience handling truck accident cases. The intricacies of these accident cases require in-depth knowledge of the rules and regulations that govern the freight industry, which a proficient personal injury attorney will understand how to navigate.
The Law Offices of Attorney Justin H. King is highly regarded in the field of truck accident cases. The award-winning law firm has helped clients recover financial compensation despite facing various difficulties in their claim. With an established reputation of successful cases, the Law Offices of Attorney Justin H. King is equipped with the tools needed to go against truck companies, drivers, and their aggressive insurance companies. After an accident, you will need the support of a compassionate attorney who will advocate on your behalf. Consider scheduling a no-obligation consultation with the law firm today.
Understanding Comparative Negligence in Semi-Truck Accidents
Often not understood by drivers in the Inland Empire, in California truck accidents, the principle of “Comparative Negligence” is applied. Simply put, California has established that many auto and trucking accidents are not caused by a single driver, but rather can be contributed to by many different drivers. This principle aims to assign a percentage of fault for the accident to each involved party. The horrifying truth that many accident victims learn quickly is that their claim and potential settlement can quickly be reduced based on their involvement in the incident. This is why it is so important to seek an experienced truck accident attorney right away. The insurance companies understand comparative negligence and will use it to reduce your claim. A simple statement you make to a representative of the trucking company or their insurance or legal team can have dramatic implications.
The Laws That Govern the Freight Industry
Lawmakers are aware of the dangers large commercial vehicles pose when sharing the road with regular passenger vehicles. As a result of the large size and weight of these vehicles, any mistake or careless action can lead to catastrophic injuries. Consequently, government agencies have enforced unique laws that attempt to regulate the daily operation of large commercial vehicles.
Nearly every aspect of the freight industry is subject to regulation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA. Since its inception, the agency’s sole purpose has been to supervise the trucking industry. While many laws have been passed to increase roadway safety for truck drivers and regular commuters alike, truck accidents continue to occur at increasing rates.
A few examples of the rules and regulations that govern the trucking industry are:
A Driver’s Hours of Service – For many years, truck driver fatigue has been a controversial issue in the trucking industry. The FMCSA works diligently to curb the issue of tired drivers through laws referred to as Hours of Service. These laws specifically state the duration for which drivers can operate their large commercial vehicles.
The Commercial Driver’s License – There are several established rules that determine who is eligible to obtain a commercial driver’s license, or CDL. The rules also indicate how a person can obtain such a license. For instance, in order to obtain a CDL, applicants must pass skill and written knowledge examinations. Moreover, individuals who hold a license will need to ensure the vehicle meets specific guidelines, such as weight limitations.
Size and Weight Restrictions – In an attempt to save money, trucking companies will unsafely overload the truck’s cargo. The FMCSA has placed rules that specifically indicate the maximum amount of weight a truck’s trailer can contain when driving on public roads. It should be noted that these rules can change if the truck is operated across state lines or remain within the state’s boundaries.
Driving While Under the Influence – The FMCSA has defined clear guidelines for the testing of drug and alcohol consumption, which serve to create a substance free transportation agency. The guidelines that have been placed are clear on who will need to undergo testing, when a test should be taken, and the consequences of a failed examination. The agency’s rules also work to protect a truck driver’s sensitive information when taking the test.