Sacramento Personal Injury

Call Toll Free:

1-888-954-7312

FREE Online Consultation Form

Sacramento Personal Injury Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer Sacramento Personal Injury Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney FAQs Sacramento Injury Legal Links FREE Consultation with a Sacramento Injury Lawyer Contact Sacramento Injury Attorney

Sacramento Truck Injury Lawyer | Sacramento Semi Truck Injury Accident Attorney

Every year, nearly 500,000 large trucks (tractor-trailers or "semis") are involved in traffic accidents in the United States. Approximately 5,000 of these accidents involving semi trailer trucks result in fatalities. In fact, one out of every eight traffic fatalities is caused by a collision with a large truck. Not surprisingly, most of the deaths and injuries involve the passengers of the vehicles struck by tractor-trailers. Truck drivers typically escaped unscathed.

An accident with a semi-truck involves unique issues, which are not ordinarily found in a typical car accident. For example:

  • There are usually at least two insurance policies covering the accident.
  • An accident with one tractor-trailer could bring in as many as 9 defendants and therefore 9 different insurance policies.
  • A truck driver has a higher standard of care than most.
  • There is automatic liability for some accidents under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
  • Negligent hiring may impose punitive damages on an employer.
  • Deliberate use of unsafe equipment may substantially increase your award.
  • A trucking company may not blame someone else for the accident if it operates under a “public franchise.”
  • There are specific rules on how to load a truck so its contents will not fall off.
  • A truck has only 10 minutes to set out emergency signals after it becomes disabled.
  • The Federal government requires tractor-trailer and other large truck operators to acquire a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and undergo limited drug and alcohol testing. However, many truck safety advocates question the effectiveness of the licensing and testing program.

A more pressing matter, according to safety experts, is truck driver fatigue. New rules implemented by The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in 2003 allow drivers to drive 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off-duty. Also, drivers may not drive beyond the 14th hour after coming on-duty, following 10 hours off-duty. Similar to existing rules, drivers may not drive after being on-duty for 60 hours in a seven-consecutive-day period or 70 hours in an eight-consecutive-day period. This on-duty cycle may be restarted whenever a driver takes at least 34 consecutive hours off-duty.

Short-haul truck drivers--those drivers who routinely return to their place of dispatch after each duty tour and then are released from duty--may have an increased on-duty period of 16 hours once during any seven-consecutive-day period. The 16-hour exception takes into consideration legitimate business needs without jeopardizing safety. FMCSA estimates that without the extra two on-duty hours, the industry would be required to hire at least 48,000 new drivers, actually reducing crash-reduction benefits.

The current rule allows 10 hours of driving within a 15-hour on-duty period after eight hours of off-duty time. Also, drivers may not drive after their 15th hour on duty in a workday or after 60 hours on-duty in seven consecutive days or 70 hours on-duty in eight consecutive days.

The FMCSA estimates the new rule will save up to 75 lives and prevent as many as 1,326 fatigue-related crashes annually. There were an estimated 4,902 truck-related fatalities in traffic crashes in 2002.

With the pressure to deliver their loads, however, drivers often continue when prudence suggests otherwise. In a recent survey, 20% of long-haul truck drivers admitted to falling asleep at the wheel within the past month.

If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in an accident involving a tractor-trailer or other large truck, it is important to consider your legal options. Contact the Anderson & Johnson for a free consultation.



If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident it is important to protect your legal rights.

Call Us Toll-Free:
1-888-954-7312

Click here to fill out our online consultation form.

Anderson & Johnson, LLP
855 Howe Avenue, Suite 6  |  Sacramento, CA 95825
Telephone: 916-922-9902