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Truck Accident Attorneys in California

LEGAL HELP FOR CALIFORNIA TRUCKING ACCIDENT INJURY VICTIMS

California is home to more than 38 million people and is the third largest state in area in the United States. Thousands of miles of roadways cross through the state, connecting large population areas from Southern California to the Bay Area and everywhere in between. These heavily populated zones in the Sunshine State are frequented by commercial trucks transporting goods — the vast majority of goods in California are transported via trucks. Unfortunately, in 2014, California had the second most fatal trucking accidents in the United States.

There were 300 fatalities in crashes involving large trucks in California in 2014. Sadly, most trucking accidents that leave people with serious injuries could have been prevented in the first place. Devastating injuries and wrongful deaths occur when truck drivers and trucking companies violate laws and regulations that are there to keep you and your loved ones safe on the road.

When the unthinkable happens, you need a law firm that is ready to serve your best interest and meet with you in a timely manner. Our experienced team of attorneys is available 24/7, nights and weekends to hear your case. We can visit you at your home, workplace, or hospital in California to help evaluate your claim.

We understand the difficulties that come with severe injuries resulting from accidents involving tractor-trailers or other commercial vehicles. That is why we can advance your court costs and litigation expenses, advance you money for living and medical expenses (interest free), and charge you nothing unless we win your case. Our team of experienced trucking accident attorneys will fight tirelessly on your behalf, and we believe you deserve to be taken care of while you recover from your injuries and the legal process unfolds.

THE LEGAL RESOURCES NEEDED TO WIN YOUR CALIFORNIA TRUCKING ACCIDENT CASE

In order to successfully take on the largest trucking companies in the nation, you need a firm with the necessary resources to do so. Thomas J. Henry ensures your case is handled with care from intake to resolution. The firm’s resources and decades of experience allow us to assist you efficiently and effectively every step of the way.

  • Mobility
    • Our California injury attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends. Clients can access our experienced team of lawyers at anytime from anywhere in the world. We can visit you wherever you reside through jet services if you cannot make it to one of our offices. Distance is never an issue because our attorneys have access to your files through satellite and cutting-edge mobile technologies, allowing them to hold meetings, draft and review files from anywhere. We make sure you have an advocate fighting on your behalf throughout the entire process, no matter where you live in California. We can come to your home, office, or visit you at the hospital.
  • Technology
    • Thomas J. Henry operates with state-of-the-art technology in an environment conducive to efficient and effective legal representation. No punches are held and no exceptions are made when it comes to using top-of-the-line case management, client interaction, and information security technologies when representing our clients. From the first time a new client meets at our office (or we visit them in California), a case profile is created and active in our modern computer system — accessible from anywhere in the country. Security and accessibility are of the utmost importance, and the ability to expedite case information to clients and legal professionals at the click of a mouse helps keep you informed with the most up-to-date information possible.
  • Experts
    • Our firm employs a multitude of trucking expert witnesses from across the world for every California trucking accident case. Experts can provide invaluable reports and testimony for judges, attorneys, lawyers, law firms, and government agencies in Federal and State court trials and arbitration. Having the right expert for the case is often vital in advancing your case. Experts can shine light on important aspects and details of a trucking accident, and Thomas J. Henry has spent years selecting only the best experts through thorough examining and questioning. Trucking accident experts can include:
      • Accident reconstructionists
      • Forensic engineers
      • Hazardous materials experts
      • Human factors forensic science experts
      • Doctors, surgeons, physical therapists, and other medical professionals
      • Transportation safety specialists

COMMON CALIFORNIA TRUCKING VIOLATIONS

Due to their large size and massive weight, accidents involving large trucks oftentimes cause injuries more serious than a regular car accident. Tractor-trailers in the United States can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, or 40 tons (an average car weighs around two tons).

When a truck driver violates a traffic law, accidents resulting in severe injury or death can occur. Common violations that cause commercial vehicle accidents include:

  1. Speeding
    • Perhaps the most common violation, speeding was a contributing factor in at least 30 percent of annual fatal crash totals between 2003 and 2012.
  2. Following too closely
  3. Improper turning
  4. Distracted driving
  5. Improper loading
  6. Driving while impaired
  7. Parking on the shoulder
  8. Driving while fatigued
    • Driving on four or five hours of sleep drastically increases the chances of being involved in a crash. Twenty percent of fatal accidents involve a drowsy driver.
  9. Failure to maintain vehicle
    • Large truck operators and the companies that own them are required to properly maintain their vehicle. Even the smallest mechanical issue can turn deadly for other drivers with a 40-ton tractor-trailer driving at 70 mph.
  10. Improper lane changing

WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER BEING INVOLVED IN A TRUCKING ACCIDENT?

Your safety and well-being are paramount following a trucking accident. Your rights as a victim of a trucking accident are also important, and there are steps you can follow to help preserve those rights. We understand that truck crashes can be shocking and overwhelming. That’s why your choice matters when it comes to choosing a trucking injury attorney. Our team of lawyers will advocate for your financial and physical well-being throughout the process.

Following a California trucking accident, you should:

  • Stop after the crash and assess your health and the health of any passengers. Do not exit the vehicle before checking to make sure it is safe to do so.
  • If possible, make the accident scene visible to other drivers by turning hazard lights on or setting out road flares.
  • Notify the police of the accident and be sure to file a police report. If there are any injuries, make sure a paramedics team is sent to the scene as well.
  • Record accident facts and take pictures of the scene, your injuries, and any other accident factors. Speaking accurately and truthfully to the responding police officer but do not speculate about facts about the incident.
  • Gather names, addresses, and phone numbers of those involved in the trucking accident and any witnesses to the event. In addition, obtain the insurance information of all drivers involved in the wreck.
  • Seek medical attention, even if you aren’t entirely sure you have sustained an injury. It is better to err on the side of caution and receive a check-up from a physician following the wreck. Some injuries or pain will show up days after the accident.
  • Report the accident to your insurance company, and keep a log of any medical or crash-related expenses. Do not speak with other insurance companies (advise them to contact your injury attorney, if you have retained one).
  • Contact an experienced trucking accident attorney.

Attorneys at Thomas J. Henry will assist you with your trucking accident case, protecting your rights as a victim and making sure insurance companies act in your best interest. Our lawyers understand how important it is to acquire evidence immediately following a trucking accident. Available 24/7, nights and weekends, we are always available to answer your concerns and help you get through a very difficult time.

WHO CAN BE HELD LIABLE FOR MY TRUCKING ACCIDENT INJURIES?

Trucking accidents can be complex, and knowing who and where to sue can be a crucial aspect to the success of your case. These types of personal injury cases are complex because there are several different parties that may be at fault in the accident, including:

  • The commercial motor vehicle/truck driver
  • Trucking company
  • Commercial motor vehicle manufacturer

Thomas J. Henry has the knowledge and experience to make sure your case is handled correctly. Our experienced trucking attorney will make sure all the details of your trucking accident have been researched and discovered so you are in the best possible position to receive the compensation you deserve for your trucking accident injuries. For years, our firm has demonstrated how commercial motor vehicle operators and trucking companies across the United States have caused catastrophic injuries and deaths that were completely preventable.

FEDERAL TRUCKING GUIDELINES HELP PREVENT HIGHWAY ACCIDENTS

There are various federal trucking regulations and guidelines in place to help keep other drivers safe on the roadways. Problems occur when drivers and companies fail to comply with these rules, putting motorists at risk. Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations contains all of the rules and regulations pertaining to commercial motor vehicles and the people who operate them.

Commercial motor vehicle drivers are required to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). CDL holders are held to a higher standard and can lose their CDL certification by committing serious traffic violations. These are a few highlights of the requirements and regulations for commercial motor vehicle drivers:

  • Drivers must be 21 years of age or older to drive across state lines or operate a vehicle containing hazardous materials.
    • In California, drivers who have acquired their commercial learner’s permit can operate a truck within the state prior to the age of 21.
  • To be eligible for a CDL, drivers must have no prior disqualifying criminal offenses.
  • Prior to obtaining a CDL, drivers must test for and obtain a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) and hold it for 14 days.
  • In order to obtain a commercial learner’s permit, drivers must be cleared by a qualified medical examiner that they are physically able to operate a commercial vehicle.
  • For commercial motor vehicle operators, the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is .04, compared to .08 for regular drivers.
  • Truck drivers are banned from using handheld mobile phones while driving. Trucking companies are prohibited from allowing or requiring drivers to use handheld devices while driving.
  • Drivers are prohibited from holding a CDL issued by more than one state or jurisdiction.

HOURS OF SERVICE (HOS) REGULATIONS

Truck drivers are also required to abide by the hours of service regulations. These regulations are important in keeping drivers and other motorists safe. Drowsy driving is one of the most common causes of trucking accidents. A study conducted by the AAA Foundation revealed that driving on only four or five hours of sleep increased the risk of a crash as much as driving with a blood alcohol content between .12 and .15 (.04 is the legal BAC limit for truck drivers).

Property-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,

  • may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.
  • may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
  • Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.

Passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,

  • may drive a maximum of 10 hours after eight consecutive hours off duty.
  • may not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following eight consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period.
  • may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
  • Drivers using a sleeper berth provision must take at least eight hours in the sleeper berth, and may split the sleeper-berth time into two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours.

CALIFORNIA STATE TRUCKING REGULATIONS

  • Reduced speeds
    • A motor truck or truck tractor having three or more axles or any motor truck or truck tractor drawing any other vehicle are prohibited from traveling on a highway in excess of 55 miles per hour.

ECM AND GPS DEVICES: WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT TO MY TRUCK ACCIDENT CASE?

Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Electronic Control Modules (ECM) are present in many commercial motor vehicles in the United States. These devices record important information about the truck and the behaviors of the truck driver — data that can be invaluable to your trucking injury case. ECM and GPS devices record and track the movement of the truck, including the speed at which the truck was traveling prior to a collision, the driving habits of the operator, and which routes were taken before an accident.

Our experienced California injury attorneys will immediately file a lawsuit and restraining order to secure and obtain the data found on the ECM and GPS devices. In addition, we will obtain the truck driver’s required Federal Motor Carrier documents, which can also play a huge role in determining fault and negligence in your potential case.

CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED CALIFORNIA TRUCKING ACCIDENT ATTORNEY

For decades, Thomas J. Henry has helped injured victims throughout the nation stand up against some of the largest trucking companies in the world and obtain record-breaking verdicts. If you were injured in a trucking accident in California, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your case.

Disclaimer: Any summary, description, or paraphrase of a regulatory requirement on this site is intended to provide general guidance only.  Please consult the text of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for a full account of the applicable requirements.

HAVE YOU BEEN INJURED?

Contact Us for a FREE Case Review

877-969-8159 • info@tjhlaw.com

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