San Francisco Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck injury accident cases differ from auto accident cases in many ways. An attorney with experience in truck accident cases will be better able to develop the important evidence to obtain a full recovery of damages. The San Francisco truck accident lawyers at Callaway & Wolf have the knowledge and experience to handle your case. Below are some of the unique aspects of truck accident cases.
Causes of Truck Accidents with Pedestrians
In accidents in which cars or pedestrians are struck by large trucks, the physics of a very massive vehicle striking a person or passenger car mean that the impact force is much more than normal, resulting in greater injuries. Even a very low-speed impact from a very heavy vehicle can cause severe damage. The extra mass in trucks also makes them much slower to stop than a passenger car. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) require tractor-trailer trucks to be able to stop within 335 feet from a speed of 60 M.P.H. This is much longer than the average stopping speed for a passenger car.
The heavier a truck is, the longer its stopping distance will be. Thus, to avoid injury accidents, trucks need to allow significantly longer following distances. Particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area, where freeways are crowded, though, many truck injury accidents result from truck drivers failing to allow enough distance between their vehicles and traffic ahead.
Additional Factors in Trucking Collisions
In addition to long stopping distances, large trucks have massive blind spots, further increasing the number of truck injury accidents. Another factor in many injury truck accidents is driver fatigue. In a truck injury case, investigation into the driver’s schedule and time behind the wheel can be important in proving negligence. There are Federal rules governing the time that long-haul truck drivers may work. These rules restrict the hours of work, limiting time on the road, and mandating a certain amount of rest within any 24-hour period.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has compiled Heavy Truck Research here.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Rules for Truckers
Specifically, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s rules limit commercial motor vehicle drivers to 11 cumulative hours driving in a 14-hour period, after which drivers must have a rest period of at least10 consecutive hours. Drivers working in “daily operation” cannot work more than 70 hours within any 8-day period. In a truck accident case where driver fatigue is a suspected factor, it is important to obtain the 24-hour logbook, showing all the driver’s work and rest times. Federal law requires drivers to keep the logs, which can be subpoenaed or obtained by a document request in legal discovery.
Fortunately, regulations also require operators of large trucks to carry ample insurance, never less than $1,000,000, and often far more. Thus, recovery is rarely limited by inadequate insurance, as it can be in injury accidents involving cars.
What’s the Statute of Limitations in California for Truck Accidents?
In general, the statute of limitations in California for filing a case for injuries caused by an truck accident is two years from the date of the injury. In cases where the truck was owned or operated by a public entity, such as a the state, a city or county, a formal written claim must be filed with the appropriate public entity within six months of the date of the incident.
Contact one of our Truck Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you know has been hurt in a semi-truck accident you should contact an experienced attorney at Callaway & Wolf, so an investigation can be conducted immediately, evidence can be secured and documented, and witnesses can be located.
Our San Francisco big rig accident attorneys have experience handling truck injury cases and are here to answer any questions you may have. Contact us for a free consultation about your case online, or call 415-541-0300.