The Law Offices of Mark A. Doughty represents people injured in truck accidents along roads and highways throughout California, and even out of state in some instances. In a collision between a semi-truck and a passenger vehicle of any size, the occupants of the passenger vehicle are not likely to fare well. The heavy weight of a truck requires increased distance and reaction time for the truck driver to maneuver or stop, as well as adding tremendous force to even a low-speed impact. In combination with negligent driving or poorly maintained equipment, the truck becomes a potential instrument of death and destruction.
Impact of Federal Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration promulgates a host of regulations covering every aspect of the trucking industry, from loading trucks and maintaining equipment to driver rest periods. The Administration further requires detailed records to be kept by drivers and trucking companies to ensure compliance with the regulations. In the event of an accident, driver and company logbooks and other documents can be obtained to determine if the driver or company were negligent in their operation, and if such negligence caused or contributed to the accident. Your Sacramento injury lawyer may need to hire forensic experts to examine the documents to see if they were altered or prepared in a way to conceal negligence on the part of the driver or trucking company.
Truck driver negligence is a leading cause of trucking accidents and collisions with other automobiles. Truck drivers are under pressure to reach their destination as soon as possible. This time pressure can lead to excessive speeding and overly-aggressive or reckless driving. Driver fatigue becomes an issue as well, as drivers may not take necessary rest periods in an attempt to reach their destination faster. Finally, an inexperienced or untrained driver may not have enough time behind the wheel to know how to operate the truck under various road and weather conditions.
Given the amount of time commercial trucks spend on the road, their brakes and other critical systems must be constantly inspected and maintained to make sure they are in good working order. If not properly maintained, they may fail at a critical moment, with disastrous consequences. Fire extinguishers and other safety equipment should also be present in the vehicle, yet often this equipment is either absent or not properly maintained. Finally, the loading of cargo onto the truck must be done in the correct manner in order to ensure load balance and safe handling of the vehicle. These factors may be the responsibility of the driver in combination with mechanics and other employees of the trucking company. Determining the proper responsible parties in an accident injury in Sacramento is essential to obtaining a successful recovery that compensates the accident victim for the losses inflicted.
Whether the issue is driver negligence or equipment failure, the trucking company will in most instances bear some portion of legal and financial responsibility for the accident. Our firm is experienced in bringing claims against drivers and their employers and working with insurance companies to obtain a fair settlement or satisfactory judgment in court. If you have been injured in a collision involving a semi-truck, tractor-trailer, or other big rig, contact the Law Offices of Mark A. Doughty for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.