The California commercial trucking industry is a thriving and integral part of the state’s economy, delivering goods from diverse sectors. Generally, truckers are conscientious professionals, and they are regulated by state and federal laws to promote safe transport. Unfortunately, not everyone takes their duty of care as seriously as they should, and accidents still happen, resulting in devastating consequences.

Driving more hours than the law allows, overloading a trailer, or scrimping on a truck maintenance check are all actions that could support a negligence claim. When you are injured in an accident caused by a negligent truck driver, a Sacramento truck accident lawyer could hold the driver and, vicariously, the trucking company, liable for compensating you. Reach out to Erkel Law, P.C. to begin reviewing the details of your accident with a trusted personal injury attorney.

California Trucking Rules

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) oversees the trucking industry. The state of California also has its own additional rules on top of those enforced by the FMCSA. These include restrictions on the size and weight of commercial trucks that add to the wear and tear inflicted on the state’s roadways. To minimize road deterioration, the length of a truck with a trailer cannot exceed 65 feet, with limited exceptions. Truck weight is limited to 80,000 pounds, also with limited exceptions such as when transporting manufactured homes. Other federal and state requirements include:

  • Truckers must carry a commercial driver’s license (CDL)
  • Truckers must be at least 18 years old to drive commercial trucks within California’s border and 21 to drive interstate routes
  • Trucker electronic logs are required to document when and where stops are made, how frequent rest and meal breaks are taken, and inspection results
  • Truckers must follow inspection schedules
  • Truckers must abide by the FMCSA rules limiting how many hours they can drive per day and week

Violations of federal and state laws that lead to truck crashes are fuel for a Sacramento truck accident attorney to assemble a civil case based on negligence. An attorney could explore whether the trucking company employing the driver is also responsible through the doctrine of vicarious liability.

Truckers Must Carry Enhanced Insurance Under Federal Law

Fortunately, truckers and trucking companies must carry a lot more liability insurance than the minimum coverage traditional auto owners are expected to purchase. Under the US Code of Federal Regulations § 387.9, commercial truckers must be insured for a minimum of $750,000 in liability and $5 million if the cargo being hauled is hazardous. If an injured party’s calculable and subjective losses are more or if the insurance carrier refuses a fair settlement, an experienced truck accident attorney from Erkel Law, P.C. in Sacramento could appeal to a jury for fair compensation.

Statute of Limitations to File a Truck Wreck Claim

California limits the amount of time a person can take to file an injury lawsuit. This is because evidence and witnesses tend to become lost over time and citizens should not have to worry about being sued indefinitely. The California Code of Civil Procedure § 335.1 gives a person injured in a truck accident two years, with limited exceptions, to file a lawsuit seeking compensation from the responsible party for medical bills, lost wages, pain, loss of consortium, and other emotional trauma.

A trusted Sacramento commercial vehicle collision attorney could get to work quickly to ensure all time restraints and other requirements are met.

Let a Sacramento Truck Accident Attorney Fight for Your Well-Being

The vast majority of truckers responsibly and safely transport the goods Americans depend on from California across the nation. They know and follow the rules enacted by the FMCSA and the state. But occasionally, mistakes are made intentionally or carelessly, and a crash injures one or many others.

If this happens to you, your recovery time could be long and arduous. Your finances could become unstable if you cannot work during this time. You have bills to pay and a family to support. A Sacramento truck accident lawyer offers caring and competent legal help. Call Erkel Law, P.C. now to share your story.

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