San Francisco Truck Accident Lawyers

Truck accidents can be among the most devastating vehicle collisions there are. Fortunately, the San Francisco truck accident lawyers of Cutter Law P.C. know how to help after a heavy commercial trucking vehicle has injured you in an accident. We'll help you figure out what damages you might receive should you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit.

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    San Francisco and California Trucking Laws

    Negligent large commercial vehicle drivers make it challenging to navigate California’s roads safely. Driving safely on California roads is only possible when truck drivers obey the state’s many trucking regulations. Not only must commercial truckers obey the laws of California, but they must also follow federal laws enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

    Further, the municipal codes of San Francisco feature additional regulations for truckers that limit the weight, size, and load of their vehicles. Vehicle weight restrictions for San Francisco keep streets safe and prohibit actions like parking or driving on certain roads in the city.

    To determine the status of a vehicle, you’ll consult California Vehicle Code Section 260, which defines a commercial vehicle as one that drivers primarily use for the transportation of property. The state doesn’t consider vanpool vehicles, passenger vehicles, and house cars commercial vehicles.

    The FMCSA offers California-specific trucking regulations that drivers must obey, and the agency also publishes federal rules in its U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

    Golden Gate Bridge and Traffic

    San Francisco Roadways Are Official Trucking Routes

    According to the trucking networks on California State Highways, some of the busiest roadways in San Francisco also operate as official Caltrans trucking routes. Information from Caltrans indicates that California legal trucks have access to the entire highway system throughout the state, except for a select handful of roads where they can’t safely travel.

    In San Francisco, all freeways are open to trucks, except for Route 85 near San Jose and Route 580, which runs through Oakland. The prohibition on trucks traveling through Route 580 may change when route 880 experiences a severe traffic jam. Most trucks will travel on Interstate 80, Interstate 580, and Highway 152 from east to west or west to east into the area.

    Inside San Francisco, a complex network of roads makes it difficult for large tractor-trailers to drive on city streets. However, several major highways and interstates across the city. You’ll see trucks traveling on Interstate 280, the 101, Interstate 80, Interstate 380, Route 82, and Route 1, as well as some of the most significant avenues within the city.

    The San Francisco Mass Transit Authority and its Municipal Transportation Agency occasionally publish maps that indicate San Francisco Street Restrictions. Those restrictions prohibit different types of vehicles from using certain roads, like those that weigh more than a certain number of tons (between three and nine) and carry a certain number of passengers.

    How Our San Francisco Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help You

    A crash with a tractor-trailer may cause catastrophic damage to your vehicle, as well as to the driver and passengers. One of the best calls you can make after an accident is to a truck accident lawyer at Cutter Law. A lawyer will help you determine the best options you have for filing a truck accident lawsuit.

    The process will begin with an investigation into the following:

    • Driver Qualification:  Form 49 CFR 391 lists the minimum requirements for commercial motor vehicle drivers. The driver qualification file checklist includes forms like Pre-Employment Drug and Alcohol Documents, an Entry-Level Driver Training Certificate, and the Driver’s Certification of Violations.
    • Electronic Logging Device: An electronic logging device will synchronize with a vehicle’s engine and automatically record driving time. Knowledge of driving time helps keep an accurate tally of data like the driver’s service hours (HOS).
    • Maintenance Records: A proper truck inspection requires form CHP 108 from the Department of California Highway Patrol. The safety inspection checks things like the hydraulic braking system, the emergency stopping system, the vehicle’s fire extinguishers, and its windshield wipers.
    • Driver History: Obtaining a driving record for a California driver means submitting a Request for Record Information (INF 70) to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. An attorney is one of the only individuals allowed to request another person’s driving record in California.

    Not only will your lawyer act as an advocate for your interests, but they will also act as your negotiator with the motor carrier, truck driver, or insurance company.

    Your lawyer will also speak with any accident investigators involved in the case. Working with a dedicated and experienced firm like Cutter Law P.C. means having a legal representative who is compassionate and available whenever you need help but who is also ready to fight the good fight in court.

    semi-truck on golden gate bridge

    San Francisco Truck Accident Statute Of Limitations

    Like virtually every civil action, truck accident lawsuits have a statute of limitations. After the statute of limitations expires, you can no longer file a lawsuit against the other driver, motor carrier, or insurance company. California Code of Civil Procedure section 338 gives victims three years to file their case in The Superior Court of California for the County of San Francisco.

    One of the most important reasons to contact a lawyer is the ability of your lawyer to get all the paperwork completed on time and before the statute of limitations expires for your truck accident lawsuit. Preserve your right to receive compensation for your accident as a San Francisco truck accident victim by working with the legal team at Cutter Law P.C.

    What damages can I get for a truck accident in California?

    The court may award you different types of damages based on the particulars of your case. Your compensation will likely differ from other truck accident victims.

    Here are common types of damages in a San Francisco truck accident case:

    • Assistive services
    • Emotional distress
    • Lost wages
    • Medical bills
    • Pain and suffering
    • Property damage

    One of the vital considerations is that of future losses. Has your accident changed your life irrevocably? What will the future hold for you regarding your employment, medical treatments, and general quality of life? Your legal team at Cutter Law P.C. will spend time looking at every facet of your case so they can fight for the best settlement possible.

    What damages can I get for a truck accident in California?

    The court may award you different types of damages based on the particulars of your case. Your compensation will likely differ from other truck accident victims.

    Here are common types of damages in a San Francisco truck accident case:

    • Assistive services
    • Emotional distress
    • Lost wages
    • Medical bills
    • Pain and suffering
    • Property damage

    One of the vital considerations is that of future losses. Has your accident changed your life irrevocably? What will the future hold for you regarding your employment, medical treatments, and general quality of life? Your legal team at Cutter Law P.C. will spend time looking at every facet of your case so they can fight for the best settlement possible.

    City traffic - San Francisco

    Who is liable for a truck accident in San Francisco?

    The truck driver might not be the only party liable for a truck accident in San Francisco. Not only can the truck driver be at fault for the accident, but the lawsuit may also list entities like the driver’s employer or trucking company.

    Driver liabilities in a truck accident may include the following:

    Hours of service requirements reside in California Vehicle Code Section 34501.2 and Part 395 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

    Here are some of the possible liabilities when a motor carrier is at fault.

    In addition to the truck driver and their employer or motor carrier, your lawsuit could include other liable parties like the truck manufacturer that hit you, the mechanic who worked on the vehicle, or the cargo owner in the truck.

    Types of Tractor-Trailer Accidents

    The FMCSA indicates that large truck vehicle crashes are complex events that include multiple vehicles. It might not be immediately apparent as to the ultimate cause of the accident. Fatigue, driving while intoxicated, and speeding are the most common reasons for crashes.

    Other common causes of truck crashes include the following.

    • Blind spots
    • Brake failures
    • Negligence
    • Truck rollovers
    • Wide turns

    Preventing Truck Accidents

    Defensive driving may help you avoid a truck accident, but there are many ways that truck drivers can maintain a safe presence on the road, too. Keeping safe driving habits and learning how to avoid problems like rollovers, distracted driving, and driving while intoxicated can make the roads a safer place to move.

    Here are some of the tasks truck drivers should undertake to maintain a safe driving record:

    • Abide by hours of service (HOS) regulations
    • Avoid the use of cell phones while driving
    • Maintain mental and physical health as a driver
    • Pay attention to emergency declarations
    • Take driver safety education classes
    • Understand cargo regulations and limits

    According to statistics gathered for the Large Truck Crash Causation Study, truck accidents resulted in fatalities 23 percent of the time, and 63 percent of crashes happened in urban areas like San Francisco.

    Unfortunately, recent data from the FMCSA indicates that truck fatalities have significantly increased in the past few years, which means every driver must remain vigilant, whether they’re driving a small passenger car or a heavy tractor-trailer.

    Contact our San Francisco truck accident lawyers today

    If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident in San Francisco, we want to offer our assistance as skilled personal injury lawyers who are ready to fight at your side at every step in your journey to justice. Our past case results speak for themselves.

    Please get in touch with us today for a free consultation. We’ll help you figure out the best course of action after your truck accident in San Francisco. We’ll get you the help you need when you need it most.

    Schedule A Free Case Review

    Our Office Location

    Bay Area Office
    Cutter Law P.C.
    1999 Harrison Street Suite 1400
    Oakland, CA 94612

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