The San Jose metropolitan area is constantly buzzing with traffic. This certainly increases your chances of being involved in a car accident, but truck accidents may be more common than many people think. These wrecks often leave devastation in their wake, too. This is because semi-trucks and delivery trucks weigh so much that it takes a significant amount of time and distance to safely bring them to a stop. So, a trucker who is impaired, distracted, or fatigued could end up hitting the brakes too late to avoid a collision, thereby causing a truck accident that leaves innocent and unsuspecting motorists with serious, sometimes disabling or fatal injuries.
There are many causes of truck accidents, and many of them mirror those that result in everyday car accidents. But there might be more issues at play in your case depending on the facts at hand, and those matters could help support a personal injury claim that seeks to recover the damages you’ve suffered. So, let’s take a look at some of the more pertinent issues pertaining to truck accidents.
Hours of service regulations
Federal regulators have long recognized the dangers of fatigued truck driving. That is why they have implemented hours of service regulations aimed at limiting trucking hours and increases restfulness. These regulations limit driving hours to 60 hours in any seven-day period and 70 hours in any eight-day period. There are also mandatory rest periods, and a driver can only operate his or her truck for 11 hours during the 14-hour period after coming back on duty from a long rest.
A violation of an hours of service regulation can increase a trucker’s inattentiveness and tiredness. If this result in an injurious truck accident, then you can use that evidence to better position your personal injury claim against both a trucker and his or her employer.
Untreated medical conditions
As strange as it may sound, federal regulators don’t really police medical conditions that could affect an individual’s ability to drive a truck. Sure, there are some medical conditions that are automatically disqualifying, but for some medical conditions that can have a profound impact on driving ability, such as sleep apnea, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration really only states that the medical condition cannot affect the truckers ability to drive his or her rig. This can lead to an enforcement problem that puts others in danger, especially given that sleep apnea can cause up to 400 sleep disruptions a night, leading to severe fatigue.
Truck accident injuries can e severe, long-lasting, and costly. That’s why those who have been injured in a truck accident need to carefully consider whether legal action is right for them. Yet, even successfully suing a trucker and his or her insurance company may not lead to the full recovery of your damages. That’s because the limits on an individual’s policy may not cover the full judgment.
Fortunately, though, you might be able to reach a deeper pool of resources by pursuing a vicarious liability claim against the trucker’s employer. You can hold an employer liable for the actions of an employee if you’re able to prove certain things, such as that the trucker was on the clock and performing his or her assigned work duties when the accident occurred.
Given that truck companies and their insurance companies want to avoid liability as much as possible, though, you’ll want to be prepared to counter their aggressive defenses, which often include arguing that the trucker in question was engaging in some frolic or detour at the time of the accident by deviating from a work assignment in some fashion.
Get the aggressive and holistic representation you or your loved one needs
Truck accident cases can be complicated when you have multiple parties and multiple insurance companies involved. But you don’t have to risk getting confused in the process. Skilled legal teams like ours are adept at handling these kinds of cases, and our results speak for themselves. So if you or a loved one has been injured in one of these accidents, then you probably want to at least consider seeking out the strong advocacy you need on your side to increase your chances of achieving the positive outcome that you want.