Agoura Hills Truck Accident Attorneys
Some of the most devastating personal injury and fatality accidents on the streets and highways of California involve commercial vehicles and trucks. As traffic accident attorneys, we have seen an increasing number of truck drivers subjecting themselves to long hours on the road. Sometimes, drivers stay awake with the help of pills and amphetamines just to make their deadlines and quotas. Truck drivers are also notorious for falsifying their logs and weight reports, often with direct or implied encouragement from their employers. This reckless behavior by truckers and trucking companies is a serious danger to the public at large.
The Halpern Law Firm has been litigating truck accident cases for the past 40 years. We are ready to bring our decades of truck accident litigation experience to bear in pursuing your claims for damages after a California truck accident injury or wrongful death. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with an eighteen-wheeler, a semi-trailer, a tractor-trailer, or any other large truck or commercial vehicle, we are ready to help.
What Causes Truck Accidents?
At the Halpern Law Firm, we have been helping victims of truck crashes and other traffic accidents recover damages for their injuries for decades. We have seen all types of truck crashes, and we have seen just about every factor that can contribute to the likelihood of a truck accident. Depending on the cause of the accident, there may be a number of parties legally responsible for the damage caused.
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Aggressive driving. Truckers who speed or try to pass on the right in order to get ahead are likely to cause an accident.
- Intoxicated drivers. Like all drivers, truckers are known to consume alcohol or drugs before getting behind the wheel. When an intoxicated driver gets behind the wheel of a large truck, serious accidents are likely to occur.
- Overloads and unbalanced loads. Trucks need to be loaded a certain way to remain balanced. Trucks carrying too much weight and trucks that are loaded improperly are more likely to tip over or otherwise cause drivers to lose control.
- Driver fatigue. Drowsy driving is dangerous for any person. Due to the nature of the work, as we explain below, truck drivers are especially prone to driving without sufficient sleep.
- Lack of proper maintenance or safety equipment. Large trucks have a lot of important components, and they are subjected to a lot of wear and tear. Freight companies are responsible for ensuring that all vehicles in their fleet are properly maintained and kept up-to-date with modern safety features. Trucking companies that fail to keep their trucks in shape are liable for any damage caused.
- Defective truck parts. Sometimes, freight companies and drivers are not to blame when an accident occurs. If a large truck’s hitch, brakes, or other component fails unexpectedly, the vehicle or part manufacturer might be legally responsible for injuries and other damages.
Hours of Service Regulations and Truck Driver Fatigue
One of the biggest contributing factors to truck accidents is driver fatigue. Truckers work long, punishing hours, often driving for multiple days without sufficient rest stops. Overworked drivers may try to keep themselves awake through the use of prescription drugs, or may consume alcohol or other substances in an effort to stay awake and engaged. Drowsy and intoxicated truck drivers pose a serious, fatal danger to everyone else on the road.
In order to alleviate the problem posed by drowsy truck drivers, the federal government put rules in place that regulate the hours truck drivers are allowed to operate. Truck drivers can only drive a certain number of hours in a row without stopping, a certain number of hours in a day without taking a long break, and a certain number of days in a row without taking days off. Drivers who violate these rules by, for example, falsifying their hours, are subject to penalties and liability for any accidents they cause.
Unfortunately, many truck drivers are incentivized to ignore these hours of service (HOS) regulations by their employers. They may be encouraged to complete a certain number of deliveries in a period of time or to complete a given delivery within a certain time, which would not be possible when following the rules. Even without employer incentivization, many truckers simply feel the need to push themselves to get more work. Drivers who violate the rules, and freight companies that encourage their drivers to do so, must be held liable for any damage they cause in avoidable truck accidents.
Get Help from a Seasoned Southern California Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck crash in Southern California, the dedicated and talented truck crash legal team at the Halpern Law Firm is ready to fight for you. We work to get you the compensation you and your family deserve after a California truck accident. Call us at (818) 785-5999 today. These cases are handled on a contingency basis, meaning you won’t be charged any attorney’s fees unless we win.