Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Recovery for Heavy Truck Crashes
Commercial vehicle accidents tend to be catastrophic. A small, light car is no match for a larger, heavier truck. Typically, the occupants of the smaller automobile sustain the worst injuries.
The Rudman Law Firm, APC exclusively handles injury claims in Southern California. With more than 75 years of combined experience, our lawyers have the substantial knowledge and polished trial skills to effectively advocate for the rights of commercial vehicle crash victims. Our attorneys handle traffic accident claims involving 18-wheelers, delivery vans, garbage trucks, construction equipment and passenger buses. Our lawyers are equipped with the knowledge and determination to recover the maximum possible award through a verdict or settlement.
Hours of Service Violations
Fatigued drivers are often not as alert and may fall asleep at the wheel. This is dangerous under any circumstances, but a driver of a large, heavy commercial vehicle puts the public at even greater risk.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) imposes hours of service (HOS) rules on commercial vehicle drivers. The HOS regulations cap the number of hours a driver can drive and work in a day and workweek and mandate rest periods. HOS applies to all types of commercial vehicles, including tractor-trailers, buses and delivery trucks. Drivers and their employers are subject to fines for noncompliance. Drivers also risk losing their commercial vehicle endorsement.
Truck Driving Distractions
Driving a tractor-trailer, a bus or other type of commercial vehicle requires absolute concentration. One moment of distraction can result in tragedy. Yet, drivers are often distracted by using cell phones, reading GPS systems and eating while driving. These distractions take a driver’s eyes off the road, hands off the wheel and mind off the task of driving.
Commercial vehicle drivers are subject to strict restrictions limiting their use of cell phones. Drivers are not permitted to text while driving, which includes email, instant messaging and Internet surfing. The rule also prohibits pressing more than one button to make a call or hang up or moving out of a seated, fastened position to reach the phone. Drivers are allowed to use hands-free communication.
Unfortunately, some drivers ignore anti-texting rules anyway. The problem is compounded by the extensive hours long-haul drivers must spend on the road and away from family. Employers often pressure delivery and service drivers to remain in contact with customers between calls.
Investigating Tractor-Trailer Accidents
Our attorneys promptly and thoroughly investigate your accident. We consult with experts to piece together the events that occurred just prior to and during the accident. We review information from the electronic data recorder, known as the black box, to learn details about speed, steering, braking and angle of the crash. We obtain phone records and hours of service logs to determine whether distraction or sleeplessness played a part.
Our team also looks at the corporate policies and actions that may have contributed to the accident, including whether the truck was improperly loaded, the vehicle was in poor repair or there was a systemic pattern of regulatory noncompliance at the truck corporation.
Learn More About Pursuing Damages in a Semi Claim
The Rudman Law Firm, APC regularly handles challenging traffic accident cases involving commercial vehicles. Schedule your complimentary personal injury claim evaluation with our knowledgeable lawyers by calling our Encino office at (818) 769-6969 or by calling us toll free at (844) 478-3626 / (844) 4RUDMAN. We take your case on contingency.