Antelope Truck Accident Lawyer
I'm Ed Smith, an Antelope road accident lawyer serving car crash victims in Antelope and Northern California. In this post, I will talk about accidents involving trucks and how an auto accident lawyer like me can help.
Truck accidents are often deadly, with one such example being a recent incident where a FedEx tractor-trailer collided with a tour bus on Interstate 5 (I-5) in Orland. The crash was so severe that ten people lost their lives and thirty-nine others suffered serious injuries. Investigators determined that the FedEx truck operator made an unsafe turning movement while driving south on the freeway, which caused the FedEx big rig to travel across the grass median at a “shallow angle” and hit the tour bus, in addition to a sedan.Devastating Truck Accidents
The difference in size and weight between an 18-wheeler and most commuter vehicles like sedans, pickup trucks, SUVs, etc. is so vast that when a big rig hits one of these smaller vehicles, the occupants in the smaller vehicles are at risk of suffering horrific bodily injuries that may affect them for the rest of their lives.Holding the Negligent Driver Responsible
Were you involved in a car crash in Antelope, CA that was caused by the negligence of a truck driver? If you or a family member was hit by an 18-wheeler and suffered serious injuries, then you can take legal action through a truck accident injury claim. Depending on the circumstances of your particular case, you may be able to file a claim against not just the operator of the truck, but multiple parties, including:
- The employer of the negligent truck operator
- Inspectors of commercial vehicles
- The insurance company of the commercial truck company
- The manufacturer of the big rig
You may be asking yourself, “If I was hit by a negligent truck operator or was involved in a multi-vehicle crash, how can I sue their employer?” Well, this is an aspect of truck accident claims that is unique. You can hold the truck operator’s employer responsible under a doctrine is known as respondeat superior. Basically, this is a fancy legal term meaning that when there is an employer-employee relationship, the employer can be held financially liable for the driver’s careless actions when those actions are committed while they are operating within the scope of their employment duties.Commercial Trucking Companies Violations
An effective way to establish liability is by showing a violation of a state or federal regulation. This is because regulatory violations substantiate a claim that a big rig operator or commercial trucking company was negligent in their duties and put other individuals at risk.
The commercial trucking industry is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Some of the key regulations that are violated quite often include hours of service regulations that restrict the number of hours a big rig operator can be on the road or freeway without taking a break. For example, there is a regulation requiring that big rig operators not sleep in their parked big rigs. In addition, a big rig operator that goes three or more hours over the established driving time limit can be held liable for an egregious regulatory violation.
The FMCSA also put in place restrictions on big rig operators using cell phones while driving. The regulation restricts a commercial big rig operator from using a hand-held cell phone while operating the vehicle, truck, or bus. When a big rig operator violates this regulation, they can be subjected to a large monetary fine and the loss of their commercial driver’s license. The same goes for a trucking company that allows drivers to use cell phones while operating a vehicle. In addition to federal regulations, there are state regulations that truck companies and operators must follow. For example, the California Department of Transportation has passed regulations governing cargo weight limits based on the number of axles, type of cargo and type of tires on a big rig.Taking Your Case All the Way to Trial
The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits ultimately get resolved out of court through a settlement. However, you can never guarantee that a case will settle and big trucking companies will do everything they can to reduce or deny your claim. That is why you need an attorney on your side who is not afraid to take your case to trial, if necessary, and present the facts to a judge and jury.
Find out why auto accidents are worth pursuing by watching this video from my channel:Antelope Truck Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, an Antelope truck accident lawyer. I have been serving the Antelope and Northern California community since 1982, helping injured people recover from accidents. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a car crash in Antelope due to the negligence of another party, please call me today for free and friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.
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Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 10.4.19]