As you well know the number of 18 wheeler trucks and commercial buses on our roads and highways in the Bay Area as well as across California is on the rise. And when 18-wheeler trucks or buses collide with passenger vehicles, the results are seldom minor and in most cases cause devastating personal injuries and/or wrongful deaths. If you have suffered a personal injury or a tragic loss as a result of a collision with a semi-tractor trailer, or a commercial bus, then you and your family may be entitled to damages. The awardable damages can include the cost of medical expenses, burial costs, mental anguish, pain and suffering, lost wages, bodily impairment, future damages, future cost, and property damage to your vehicle or personal property. In some cases, punitive damages are available.
This page provides important information if you or a loved one have been involved in an accident with a large commercial truck or bus. This page will touch on the issues that can arise on trucking cases and the types of damages you and/or your family may be entitled. Santa Clara County Lawyer, Geoffrey Nwosu, has helped victims and the families of victims in trucking and buss accidents for many years.
If you need advice on a trucking accident or just have questions as to your options, call our law office. To help make things easier and more convenient for you, we offer a complimentary initial consultation.
Safety on the highway is a priority for all of us. San Jose???s Geoffrey Nwosu has the experience you need for cases involving trucking safety and trucking accidents. Semi-truck and eighteen wheeler accidents present unique issues not necessarily associated with a typical motor vehicle accident. These differences include:
- Tractor maintenance
- Trailer maintenance
- Trucking Records and Logs
- Greater likelihood of serious injuries or deaths
- Negligent hiring and supervision claims
- Negligent maintenance claims
- Unique insurance coverage issues
- Governmental regulations
- Federal regulations
- State regulations
- Drug testing
Vehicular accidents involving large vehicles and trucks are on the rise due to the increase of semi-trucks and buses on our streets. Truck accidents often occur when trucks are traveling in an unsafe manner or are loaded in an unsafe manner, causing catastrophic injuries and wrongful deaths. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) was formed in the early 1980???s in an effort to curb the unacceptable number of fatal truck accidents occurring on highways in Texas and across the Nation. Laws were enacted to prohibit truck drivers from having more than one license. By 1992, truck drivers were required to meet minimum national standards in order to operate a tractor trailer. Once a driver met these standards, he can be issued a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Nowadays, in an attempt to reduce the number of truck accidents, especially accidents resulting in fatality, every truck driver needs to be certified and licensed in their State of principal residence. Also, driving records are stored in a centralized system that every state in the country is able to access. The new laws also required each state to adopt uniform testing standards for commercial drivers prior to being licensed. A CDL is required to operate the following vehicles:
any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the GVWR of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds; any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver; and any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
However, the following vehicle operators are NOT required to obtain a CDL:
- Farm equipment operators
- Vehicles used to transport farm products, equipment or supplies to and from a farm;
- Vehicles used within 150 air miles of a farm
- Vehicles not used in operations of a contract carrier
- Firefighting equipment operators, military vehicle operators, and recreational vehicle operators, if the vehicle is primarily used for personal use
For certain vehicles, special endorsements are required. There are five possible CDL endorsements and one restriction which require testing.
- Double/Triple Tractor Trailers
- Passenger Vehicles
- Tank Vehicles
- Semi-Trucks Carrying Hazardous Materials
- Combination Tank and Hazardous Materials
- Vehicles With Air Brakes
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act (FMCSA) considered the driving force behind the regulation of the trucking industry to reduce truck accidents, covers issues such as driver qualifications, emergency equipment, safe loading, alcohol and drug usage, and a number of other factors. Some of the most common causes of trucking accidents include:
- Driver inexperience
- Running off the road
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Aggressive driving behavior
- Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- Dangerous or reckless driving
- Mechanical failure
- Lack of training
- Overloaded trucks
- Oversized trucks
- Brake failure/defect
- Poor driving conditions
If you are injured or you or your family has suffered a loss in a trucking accident, do not turn to the defendant???s insurance company for help. The insurance company will attempt to settle your claim as quickly as possible before you have a chance to consult an experienced trucking accident attorney. You should never sign documents or agree to a settlement without first consulting an experienced San Jose truck accident lawyer.
Attorney Geoffrey Nwosu will aggressively protect your rights if you have been injured in a trucking accident. As a lawyer, he understands the unique legal and practical problems associated with 18 wheeler accidents, bus accidents, and other truck crashes and have experience dealing with the issues that arise in such cases. His goals include protecting the individual where litigation is necessary, but also providing resources to help educate the public when injuries are caused by the negligence or carelessness of trucking companies, in hopes of increasing road safety. Contact us today for further information at 408-912-5983. We offer complimentary initial consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, which means that there will be no attorney fees charged unless we successfully resolve your case and recover a monetary recovery for you and your family.