Every commercial truck in California must follow federal and state guidelines that govern virtually every aspect of the business, from qualifications for drivers to how often the trucks must be checked for maintenance. How many hours at a time the driver may be on the road and the legal relationship between the driver and trucking company are all determined by these regulations, which are intended to make the road safer for all motorists. When these rules are breached, there may be a legal presumption that the driver or trucking company is legally responsible for the accident.
The interaction of state and federal laws is complex. If you have been injured in a truck accident, it is important to select a Los Angeles personal injury attorney who has experience litigating truck accidents. Your attorney’s knowledge and understanding of commercial trucking regulations can be the key to winning your case.
Who can drive a commercial truck in California?
California requires drivers of large trucks to hold a special license known as a commercial driver’s license (CDL). CDLs are issued for specific classes that are based on the size of vehicles and their purposes.
To obtain a CDL, drivers must go through extensive testing. Candidates for certain CDL classes, as well as novice drivers, must meet a minimum number of hours of behind-the-wheel training to be eligible for the test. They must also prove their identity, citizenship, and where they live. Anyone holding a California CDL can be disqualified based on out-of-state CDL suspensions, criminal convictions, serious traffic offenses, or violation of equipment regulations. Even convictions for offenses while driving their personal vehicles can lead to a driver’s CDL disqualification.
If a driver violates these requirements, in some cases they may be personally liable for accidents, but often it is the trucking companies that are vicariously liable. A truck accident lawyer in Los Angeles looks at many factors to determine who may be held legally responsible for the damages that result from a serious accident.
Safety-related restrictions for truck drivers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enacted regulations that apply to all truck drivers and trucking companies in the United States. These rules are intended to reduce risk to motorists and hold unsafe trucking companies responsible for the harm that they cause.
Some of the regulations that often play a role in truck accident litigation include:
Los Angeles truck accident lawyers consider these and other laws when determining where fault for a crash lies.
Speak with a Los Angeles truck accident lawyer
Truck accident lawsuits are more complicated than typical car accidents, but they also involve more serious injuries, so there usually greater damages to recover. Make a difficult time easier by teaming with an experienced truck accident attorney who understands the legal and factual nuances of the trucking industry.
At Salamati Law, we are committed to helping those injured in Southern California truck accidents fight for full compensation for their injuries. Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.