Truck Accidents

If you've been harmed by a negligent truck driver, our experienced team is ready to fight for the compensation you deserve.

Sacramento Truck Accident Attorney

When a Truck Accident Causes Injuries, We’re Here to Protect Your Right to Compensation

When truck accidents happen, everyone involved is a risk of serious injury and even death. The huge size and weight difference between big rigs and passenger vehicles (not to mention motorcycles, bicyclists, or even pedestrians) put the rest of us at a disadvantage. Victims may face heavy expenses and disruptions to their lives.

For anyone who’s been hurt in a truck accident that was not their fault, you likely have a legal solution. The attorneys at Del Rio & Caraway, P.C. can help you determine the value of your case and pursue the compensation you truly deserve. Especially if you’re fighting against a big company, you may not receive a fair settlement offer unless you retain a skilled attorney. We are not afraid to push a case to litigation if that’s what it takes. Reach out to our dedicated team to learn what we can do for you.

Del Rio & Caraway, P.C. is available 24/7 at (916) 229-6755. We are proud to help truck accident victims in and around Sacramento.

Trucking Accident Statistics

Though large trucks only account for a small percentage of vehicles on the road, they travel around 140 billion miles crisscrossing the U.S. each year. Heavy trucks make up nearly half the commercial traffic in our nation. Therefore, it’s hardly a surprise than a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) survey of fatal accidents in one year found that large trucks accounted for 9% of the vehicles involved. In 2018, the last year for which we have full data, a total of 4,136 people were killed in crashes with large trucks. This is a 31% increase over the decade before. If truck accidents continue their upward trend, more and more Americans will be at risk of serious injury or premature fatality.

Federal Trucking Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a United States government agency responsible for regulating and providing safety oversight of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). The FMCSA's regulations are designed to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.

Here are some key FMCSA regulations related to truck accidents:

  • Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations: The FMCSA limits property-carrying drivers to 11 hours of driving after 10 consecutive hours off duty and passenger-carrying drivers to 10 hours after 8 consecutive hours off duty. Drivers must take a 30-minute break after 8 hours of driving without interruption. Additionally, property-carrying drivers can only be on duty for 60/70 hours in 7/8 consecutive days, with a restart option after 34 hours off duty.
  • Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs): The FMCSA mandates the use of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) for commercial drivers who need to prepare hours-of-service (HOS) records. ELDs ensure accurate recording of driving hours and help prevent tampering. This regulation aims to improve compliance with HOS rules and enhance road safety.
  • Driver Qualifications: Drivers must have a valid Commercial Driver's License (CDL) appropriate for the type of vehicle they operate. Additionally, they must pass a physical examination conducted by a certified medical examiner to ensure they are physically fit to drive a commercial motor vehicle safely.
  • Vehicle Maintenance and Inspections: Drivers and carriers are required to perform regular inspections, repairs, and maintenance to ensure vehicles are safe to operate. Pre-trip and post-trip inspections must be conducted to identify and report any defects or deficiencies. An annual inspection by a qualified inspector is also mandatory to comply with FMCSA standards.
  • Drug and Alcohol Testing: Drivers must pass a drug test before employment and are subject to random drug and alcohol testing during their employment. Additionally, post-accident testing is required for drivers involved in certain types of accidents. These measures help ensure that drivers are not impaired while operating commercial vehicles.
  • Load Securement: Cargo must be properly secured to prevent shifting or falling during transport, as specified by FMCSA regulations. Drivers are required to inspect the load and securement devices within the first 50 miles of a trip and re-inspect as necessary. Proper load securement is crucial for preventing accidents caused by shifting cargo.
  • Safety Management and Controls: The FMCSA conducts safety audits and compliance reviews of motor carriers to ensure adherence to safety regulations. The Safety Measurement System (SMS) is used to assess carrier performance based on data from inspections, crash reports, and investigations. Carriers with poor safety performance may face interventions from the FMCSA.
  • Reporting and Recordkeeping: Motor carriers must maintain an accident register and report certain types of accidents to the FMCSA. Additionally, they are required to retain records of driver hours, vehicle maintenance, inspections, and other compliance-related documents for specified periods. Proper reporting and recordkeeping ensure accountability and compliance with regulations.
  • Compliance and Penalties: The FMCSA can impose fines, penalties, and out-of-service orders on drivers and carriers that violate regulations. Regular compliance reviews are conducted to ensure adherence to FMCSA regulations. Non-compliance can result in severe penalties and suspension of a carrier's operating authority.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Before you can take any steps to obtain compensation for your losses after a truck accident, you need to know who was at fault. Sometimes, the cause is not what it first appeared to be. In this case, having a skilled investigative team can be essential to building a foundation for your claim.

Truck accidents may be caused by:

  • Fatigued drivers
  • Poorly loaded or overloaded trailers
  • Cell phone use
  • Poor road conditions
  • Inadequate driver training
  • Insufficient maintenance
  • Defective parts
  • Mechanical failures

The trucking industry is heavily regulated by the government; however, trucking companies often pressure drivers to meet high quotas with strict deadlines. With the often short turnarounds between long trips, big trucks may only get cursory maintenance that can miss indicators of impending failures. A mistake at any stage can turn serious in the wrong circumstances.

Potential Liable Parties in Truck Accidents

Most truck drivers are employed by a company, but some own their rigs and work as freelancers. This is just one detail you’ll need to investigate before you can determine who is at fault in an accident. You could be able to bring a complaint against:

  • A freelance trucker whose negligence caused an accident.
  • A trucking company that employed the driver at the time of the accident, provided the driver was on the clock.
  • A truck manufacturer that designed an unsafe vehicle or used faulty parts when making the truck.
  • A third-party maintenance company that failed to notice issues like underinflated tires or about-to-fail brakes.
  • Another driver whose actions caused the trucker to lose control.

It’s possible more than one party shares fault in an accident, as serious crashes may be caused by a chain of failures rather than one catastrophic mistake. If there are multiple parties you can recover from, you could be able to receive more compensation.

Injuries Caused by Truck Accidents

Some victims of truck accidents find themselves facing catastrophic injuries that will require lifelong care and accommodations. For these victims, winning fair compensation is especially important. Not only may they have to leave their jobs (and lose their health insurance), but their families may also have to make significant adjustments to their lives. In this situation, having financial support can be essential to receiving treatment and supporting your family.

Truck accidents can result in serious injuries including:

The settlement you deserve after such an injury is typically much larger than the amount an insurer will offer you. At Del Rio & Caraway, P.C., our team has connections to top medical experts who can look at your medical records and current expenses to determine how your losses may extend into the future. Most initial settlements don’t include this calculation, but for anyone with a lasting injury, it's extremely important to have support moving forward.

Contact Del Rio & Caraway, P.C. at (916) 229-6755 for a free consultation. Our Sacramento truck accident attorneys are here to fight for you.

How Our Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help

You may have many things on your mind if you or a loved one have been involved in a truck accident. This is understandable—but it’s important to not let your right to fair compensation get pushed to the side. Our team at Del Rio & Caraway, P.C. can provide the passionate representation and extensive support you need at this time. With over 50 years of combined experience during which we’ve taken many cases to trial, our attorneys have honed their skills to better help clients. We’re in this because we care—so let us care for you.

  • Truck Accident $5,000,000
  • Truck Accident $1,000,000

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