Commercial trucking is one of the most important services in the United States and is responsible for the majority of our goods being moved across the country. In fact, the commercial trucking industry is worth over $700 billion, which is a great indication of how important, and how ubiquitous, this service is. This means that each time a driver heads out onto a highway or commercial route, they will be encountering semi-trucks and 18-wheelers quite a bit. The size difference between a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle is significant, and this difference is one of the reasons that accidents between these two different types of vehicles can be catastrophic.
One of the biggest risks for a commercial driver is the fatigue that comes with long hours on the road, which is why there are federal laws that limit the number of hours a driver is legally able to drive in any given period of time. Unfortunately, drivers may either disregard these restrictions or may succumb to fatigue even while staying in the guidelines.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a fatigued truck driver, you have legal options for seeking compensation for your injuries and suffering. When you are working with a commercial insurance company, you will quickly realize that the process is much more complex than a passenger vehicle insurance policy, meaning that you will benefit greatly from the help of an experienced personal injury and truck accident attorney in San Diego. Contact us now to schedule an initial consultation to learn more about how we can assist you in this process.
Fatigued Truck Drivers
Commercial truck drivers are held to much more strict standards than passenger vehicle operators, starting with a specialized driver’s license known as a Commercial Driver’s License, or CDL. A CDL requires the driver to maintain a rigorous standard of safety while they are operating their vehicles, in addition to requiring that the bearer of this license has an in-depth understanding of weight limits, loading practices, hazardous waste handling, and more.
In addition to regulations about weight, material, and the size of a truck that a CDL driver is allowed to operate with, there are many strict guidelines about the hours that a truck driver is able to operate in a certain period of time. These are set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and are known as the Summary of Hours of Service Regulations. In order to prove adherence to these regulations, each truck driver is required to maintain a log of their hours of operation each day.
In some instances, a fatigued truck driver may simply admit that they fell asleep at the wheel whether or not they were within their legal driving limits. In other cases, we will need to examine their driving log in order to determine how long they had been driving, whether or not they were adhering to these regulations, and whether or not there is any indication that they were overtired or otherwise operating in an unsafe manner.
Filing Claims With a Commercial Insurance Company
Since there are so many additional regulations for commercial trucking than there is for operating a passenger vehicle, the insurance policies that cover these drivers are more complicated as well. In many cases, the policies are in excess of $1 million in order to cover the possibility of significant damage and harm in an accident. While this means that there is a much higher policy limit that you will be able to seek damages against, it also means that the filing process and the claims investigation will be very complex and overwhelming for someone who is not familiar with these claims.
Contact Us As Soon As Possible
When you work with a San Diego truck accident lawyer, you will be able to focus on recovery with the confidence that there is an experienced attorney representing your case every step of the way. We have a history of success with commercial trucking accidents that will be a major asset to your own case. Instead of needing to learn about CDL regulations, commercial insurance, trucking guidelines, and all of the other details of this specific industry, allow us to help you navigate these steps.
Contact us now to learn about our previous cases that may resemble your own so that you can get a better idea of what to expect. At the start of this process, we understand that you may feel overwhelmed about the upcoming steps you will need to take, but it is one of our top priorities to ease your worries and help you realize that this will be a manageable process with the help of the right legal team.