Understanding Trucking Regulations and Truck Accident Liability

Trucking Regulations

It’s no surprise that large trucks cause major damage in accidents.  Many truck accidents are a direct result of negligence from the truck driver. Like car accidents, most truck accidents are preventable.  Truck drivers have a set of trucking regulations they must follow. These are referred as Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. These trucking regulations are in place to help prevent truck accidents from happening. Unfortunately, there are still California truck accidents weekly. In fact, California sees almost 120 fatal truck accidents per year. Additionally there are thousands more truck accidents that cause severe injuries to both parties involved.

Understanding Trucking Regulations

California truck drivers  follow different laws depending on if they are driving intrastate (within California state lines) or if they are driving interstate (crossing state lines). California truck driving regulations vary slightly from Federal regulations. Specifically the time drivers are allowed to drive vary between California and Federal regulations.

California Regulations are as follows: 

  • Truck drivers are required to be off duty for at least 10 consecutive hours after driving more than 12 hours.
  • Drivers have a driving allowance of 80 hours in any given 8 day period.
  • After 16 hours of work (driving or not), truckers must stop driving for at least 10 hours.

Federal Regulations are as follows: 

  • Drivers may be on duty for up to 14 consecutive hours as long as they’ve been off-duty for at least 10 consecutive hours. This 14-hour window begins as soon as the driver starts work, no matter if they’re driving or not.
  • During their given 14-hour work window, drivers can only be driving  for up to 11 hours.
  • Truckers must take a break of at least 30 minutes after 8 or more hours since their last break of similar length.
  • Drivers can work for up to 70 hours in any given 8 day period.

If you or someone you love has been involved in a truck accident you should contact a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Vititoe Law Group is a group of Truck Accident Lawyers with 30 years of experience. We dedicate ourselves to our clients and getting them the the justice they deserve when in a truck accident.

Definition of a “Truck” in California

In California many people believe truck accident is an accident only involving vehicles like semi-trucks and trailers. Although this is true, many other vehicles are considered trucks. According to the California Department of Transportation, a commercial vehicle is any vehicle “used or maintained for the transportation of persons for hire, compensation, or profit.” Also, a “vehicle designed, used, or maintained primarily for the transportation of property.”

Commercial vehicles are as follows: 

  • Semi Trucks
  • Trailers
  • Delivery vehicle and mail trucks (Fed-Ex, UPS, USPS, Etc.)
  • Construction vehicles
  • Utility vehicles
  • Moving trucks
  • Tanker trucks
  • Cement trucks
  • Garbage trucks
  • Logging trucks

Because there is a wide variety of vehicles on the road considered commercial trucks, the liable parties in a truck accident can vary. If you have any questions about truck accident liability, an experienced truck accident attorney, like the ones at Vititoe Law group, will help you identify parties can can be held liable. Keep reading for more information on truck accident liability.

Who is Liable in a California Truck Accident?

Multiple parties may be held liable in a California truck accident. Truck accidents in California  are more complex than car accidents. Determining who is liable for the truck accident can take some work. Hiring a California truck accident lawyer can help bring justice for you after a truck accident.

The following are parties that may be responsible for a California truck accident: 

The Trucking Company.

Trucking companies in California may share liability with their drivers. They have a duty of care to their drivers, and if they do not practice their duty of care, they may be liable for a trucking accident.

The Truck Driver.

The truck driver often times is at least liable for some of the accident. A truck accident must be able to handle driving challenges as they arise. Truckers are responsible to knowing their limits and not pushing their driving hours. Additionally, distracted driving is often a cause in a California trucking accident. If an accident occurs because of distracted driving or simply ignoring the laws of the road, the driver will be responsible.

The Loading Company.

Sometimes a trucking company hires a third party loading company load their delivery. Usually a truck is properly loaded. However, in some cases, the loading company may place the cargo dangerously, increasing the risk of collision.

The Truck Manufacturer.

All trucks are at risk to manufacturer defects. Typically these defects are detected through substantial tests. But defects may go unnoticed.   Consequently, if a truck manufacturer releases a vehicle with defects that ultimately cause accidents, they may be held liable in the accident. Additionally, they may be liable if they fail to notify truck owners about defects.

Consulting with a California Truck Accident Lawyer 

Vititoe Law Group is a leading group of Westlake Village Car Accident Attorneys. A nationally recognized law firm in Westlake Village, CA. Focusing on personal injury, car accident, bus accident, truck accident and brain injury cases.

We would love to discuss your car accident with you. Our team of California Car Accident lawyers are a trustworthy team of lawyers that truly care about your case.

James W. Vititoe has settlements resulting in over $1 Billion dollars.

Offering free consultations, Vititoe Law Group can help you. Let us evaluate your truck accident case. Contact us today.



By |2023-01-22T07:44:05-08:00January 10th, 2023|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Understanding Trucking Regulations and Truck Accident Liability

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