Truck Accident Advice from Attorneys in Sacramento
The most devastating motor vehicle accidents often involve an 18-wheeler, semi-truck or big rig, due to the tremendous weight and momentum involved in collisions. People in passenger cars do not stand much chance of avoiding personal injury during these impacts. At Mastagni Holstedt, A Professional Corporation, our Sacramento attorneys have the extensive regulatory knowledge necessary to bring lawsuits against commercial trucking companies and drivers. Our knowledge and experience are vital for recovering adequate compensation.
Trucking industry regulations
Proving regulatory violations is crucial in any truck accident case. Lawyers must prove negligence, and regulatory violations are the best way to show that a truck driver or commercial trucking company was negligent.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) heavily regulates the trucking industry. Drivers must keep driving hours logs and are subject to hours of service regulations that limit the amount of consecutive hours they can drive on the road. For example, new hours of service rules require that truck drivers do not rest in parked vehicles and that any driver who spends three or more hours beyond the driving time limit is guilty of an egregious violation. The FMSCA has strict performance criteria for devices and systems that secure cargo and must be able to withstand certain acceleration and deceleration rates. The California Department of Transportation (DOT) sets cargo weight limits based on a semi-truck’s number of axles, the type of cargo and the tire limitations listed by the manufacturer on tire sidewalls.
In 2011, the FMCSA released new rules for truck driver cell phone use. The rule prohibits commercial drivers from using hand-held cell phones while operating a truck or bus. Violators are subject to maximum federal civil fines of $2,750 for each cell phone violation and driver disqualification to operate a commercial vehicle, if convicted of multiple offenses. In addition, California must suspend the commercial driver’s license (CDL) after two or more serious traffic violations. Companies that allow drivers to use hand-held cell phones are subject to even greater maximum penalties of $11,000. Discovering these types of violations helps to build a strong case.
Seek legal help from an experienced law firm
If you suffered serious injury or a lost a loved one to wrongful death as a result of a truck accident, our experienced lawyers at Mastagni Holstedt, A Professional Corporation in Sacramento work diligently to help you recover compensation. Contact us online or call 916-446-4692 for a free consultation.