Commercial trucks are common on California roadways since 50 percent of the country’s container-cargo goods enter the U.S. through the state’s three major ports. Although this is positive for commerce, it increases the risk of devastating accidents, and while every truck driver must carry a commercial driver’s license that ensures an elevated competence level behind the wheel, human and mechanical errors still occur.

When you are injured in a truck crash, you may face extensive rehabilitation, making it impossible to work to support your family. When you are not responsible for causing the collision, you may be frustrated. We hear you. Our skilled attorneys are dedicated to listening to your story and getting you the compensation you need. A Folsom truck accident lawyer is waiting for your call.

Federal Insurance Rules

Federal law requires trucking companies to carry a minimum amount of accident insurance. Under the US Code of Federal Regulations § 387.9, interstate carriers must be insured for at least $750,000 in liability and at least $5 million when transporting hazardous materials. Insurers are notorious for denying claims or offering less than adequate settlements. Our skilled attorneys in Folsom have decades of combined experience negotiating with insurers after a truck crash and meeting them in court when a settlement offer is stingy.

How Do Tractor-Trailer Collisions Occur?

Truckers must abide by federal and California safety rules enacted to reduce accidents because of carelessness and negligence. Some activities truckers may engage in that could lead to an accident include:

  • Texting
  • Eating and drinking
  • Taking pills to stay awake
  • Speeding
  • Driving to the point of exhaustion

Trucking companies that push drivers to exceed the driving limits set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) can also be liable for accidents. The FMCSA requires most cargo-carrying commercial drivers working more than eight hours to take one 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift.

California’s Wage Order 9-2001 guarantees all transportation industry employees a break of at least 30 minutes when they work more than five hours a day and a second meal break when they work more than 10 hours a day. They also receive 10-minute rest breaks for every four hours worked.

However, in 2021, the Ninth Circuit Court sided with FMCSA and excluded truckers from breaks more liberal than the FMCSA’s determination. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 2785 v. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, F.3d, 2021 WL 139728 (9th Cir. 2021).

The ruling means an attorney trying to prove the trucker who caused a wreck was overtired and failed to comply with the FMCSA’s standard. Our hardworking lawyers in Folsom understand that each tractor-trailer accident case is unique, and we want you to tell us about yours. We limit our client load to devote the time needed for a win by researching and relying on relevant federal or state laws.

Assembling Evidence for a Personal Injury Case

Commercial trucks are generally equipped with black boxes similar to those used on airplanes. Some semis also use onboard cameras. Our Folsom attorneys can build cases against a negligent trucker who caused a crash using evidence stored in these black boxes, maintenance records, the operator’s driving record, and proof of whether the driver’s CDL license is valid.

The trucking company could be liable under the doctrine of vicarious liability, which makes the employer responsible for the driver’s actions when performing a work-related duty.

A Truck Accident Attorney in Folsom Could Fight for You

The trucking industry is regulated under state and federal laws with a focus on safety since an accident can involve multiple vehicles and severe injuries. Truck drivers must carry commercial licenses and rest regularly. Although owners must carry substantial liability insurance, filing a personal injury lawsuit is also an option if injuries will impact you for a lifetime.

When you are hurt in a wreck with a tractor-trailer, contact us. We will get to know you, review your case, and fight to preserve your legal rights. A Folsom truck accident lawyer is waiting for your call.