Motor vehicle collisions involving tractor-trailers (semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, big rigs) frequently involve complex litigation issues. Commercial trucking cases are complicated by extensive trucking regulations, the vast resources of trucking companies and trucking industry practices of manipulating evidence.
Unique tractor-trailer accident risks
Approximately 340,000 commercial trucks per year are involved in collisions that result in more than 93,000 injured vehicle occupants based on data gathered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). However, the risk of catastrophic injuries and wrongful death in San Diego trucking accidents lie almost exclusively with occupants of the other vehicle because a fully loaded commercial truck can weigh 25 times more than passenger vehicle. Although trucking accidents claimed the lives of 3,400 people in 2010, 85 percent of those injured were occupants of other vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists or pedestrians according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
HOS rules aimed at preventing fatigue based trucking accidents
The FMCSA provides the majority of federal regulations that govern the trucking industry, including hours-of-service (HOS) rules that are designed to limit the risk of fatigue based trucking accidents. HOS rules impose a limit of eleven consecutive hours behind the wheel after ten hours off-duty and no more than 60/70 hours over a 6/7 consecutive day period. When a truck driver or commercial carrier (i.e. trucking company) chooses to disregard these anti-fatigue rules, the result can be horrific accidents resulting in permanent life-altering injuries and fatalities.
Diligently pursuing evidence to prove trucking company liability
Our San Diego tractor-trailer attorneys analyze a wide range of evidence when building a San Diego tractor-trailer accident case including:
- Black box data recorders
- Fuel and lodging receipts
- Email correspondence between the driver and trucking company
- GPS tracking data
- Trucking company business records
- Truck driver personnel records
We also take measures to prevent onboard data recorders from being erased if the trucking company tries to put the truck back in service while litigation is pending or ongoing. We offer a free consultation to explain your rights and assess your trucking accident claim so call us today at (619) 821-5648 or complete our case evaluation form.