Laws can determine trucking company or driver liability

Written on behalf of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP

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Commercial trucking is a vital component of a thriving economy, and there are more big trucks on California’s roadways than ever before. Trucks require more room to maneuver and more time to stop when traveling at highway speeds than passenger vehicles. This can make safely sharing the road challenging. The team at often represent clients who sustained injuries in an accident involving a semi-truck.

According to FindLaw, the federal and state laws that regulate the trucking industry can determine who is liable in a collision involving a commercial truck. If the driver or company ignored any of these laws, the court might rule against them in a trial on the grounds of negligence:

  • Regulated breaks – “Hours of service” is the amount of time an operator may drive without resting or taking a break. Failing to comply may result in driver fatigue or distracted driving.
  • Commercial driver’s license – Drivers of commercial vehicles must have a proper license, which indicates they have completed the appropriate training necessary for operating a big truck safely. Trucking companies that hire operators without a CDL may be liable if the driver is in an accident.
  • Quality control – Trucks must comply with regulated manufacturing and repair laws. If the log shows proper maintenance, but a defective component caused the accident, you may have grounds for a product liability suit against the manufacturer.
  • Maximum weight limits – The size of a truck determines how much weight it can legally haul. An overloaded truck is dangerous and could contribute to an accident.

Reducing collisions and avoiding accidents requires that commercial and passenger vehicles share roads responsibly. If there is a crash and your injuries are a result of negligence on the part of the truck operator or company, you may have grounds for a claim. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.  

Jeffrey R. Smith

Jeffrey R. Smith

Managing Partner

Robert B. Waldsmith

Robert J. Waldsmith

Partner, 1999

William B. Smith

William B. Smith

Partner, 1978

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