Our Los Angeles Commercial Drivers Accident Lawyer Can Help You
The City of Los Angeles is the most populous city in the U.S. state of California. With roughly 3.9 million residents within the city limits as of 2020, Los Angeles is the second-most populous city in the United States, behind only New York City; it is the commercial, financial, and cultural center of the Southern California region. If you’ve been in a commercial driver’s accident in Los Angeles, our experienced Los Angeles commercial drivers accident lawyer at Pacific Attorney Group can help. Contact us for a free consultation.
Commercial driver accidents in Los Angeles can involve various types of commercial vehicles, including delivery trucks, buses, taxis, and semi-trucks. These types of accidents can have severe consequences due to the large size and weight of commercial vehicles, as well as the potential for hazardous materials involved in some commercial transport. Commercial drivers are held to higher standards than non-commercial drivers due to the nature of their jobs and the potential risks involved.
Commercial Driver Regulations in Los Angeles
In Los Angeles, commercial drivers are subject to both federal and state regulations, including:
- Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Requirements: Commercial drivers in Los Angeles must obtain a CDL, which requires passing knowledge and skills tests, as well as meeting certain medical requirements.
To obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in Los Angeles, a driver must meet certain requirements, including:
- Age: The driver must be at least 21 years old to operate a commercial vehicle across state lines, or 18 years old to operate within the state of California.
- Valid driver’s license: The driver must have a valid driver’s license issued by the state of California.
- Medical certification: The driver must pass a medical examination and obtain a medical certification from a certified medical examiner.
- Knowledge and skills tests: The driver must pass knowledge and skills tests specific to the type of commercial vehicle they plan to operate.
- Clean driving record: The driver must have a clean driving record with no serious traffic violations.
- Background check: The driver must pass a background check, including a criminal history check and a driving record check.
- English language proficiency: The driver must be proficient in speaking and understanding English.
- Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the number of hours a commercial driver can operate a vehicle, including mandatory rest breaks and limitations on consecutive driving hours.
- Drug and Alcohol Testing: Commercial drivers in Los Angeles are subject to pre-employment drug and alcohol testing, as well as random testing during their employment.
- Vehicle Maintenance and Inspections: Commercial drivers and their employers are responsible for ensuring their vehicles are properly maintained and inspected regularly to prevent accidents.
- Commercial Carrier Insurance Requirements: Federal and state laws require commercial carriers to carry a minimum amount of insurance coverage to compensate victims in the event of an accident.
Why Do Commercial Driver Accidents Happen in LA?
There are several reasons why commercial driver accidents happen in Los Angeles, including:
- Fatigue: Commercial drivers often work long hours and may not get enough rest, which can lead to driver fatigue and increase the risk of accidents.
- Distracted Driving: Commercial drivers may be distracted by cell phones, GPS systems, or other devices while driving, which can cause them to lose focus on the road.
- Inexperience: Some commercial drivers may not have enough experience on the road, which can lead to errors and accidents.
- Speeding: Commercial drivers may be under pressure to meet tight schedules and deadlines, which can lead to speeding and reckless driving.
- Poor Vehicle Maintenance: Commercial vehicles require regular maintenance to ensure they are safe to operate on the road. Failure to properly maintain these vehicles can lead to accidents.
- Improper Loading: Improperly loaded cargo can cause a commercial vehicle to become unbalanced, making it difficult for the driver to control the vehicle and increasing the risk of accidents.
- Driving Under the Influence: Commercial drivers may be more likely to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which can impair their driving ability and increase the risk of accidents.
Factors contributing to commercial driver accidents
Several factors can contribute to commercial driver accidents, including:
Fatigue: Long hours on the road and irregular work schedules can lead to driver fatigue, impairing alertness and reaction times.
Distracted Driving: Engaging in activities such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, or using electronic devices while driving can divert the driver’s attention, increasing the risk of an accident.
Impaired Driving: Operating a commercial vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or certain medications can impair judgment, coordination, and reaction time.
Speeding: Excessive speed reduces the driver’s ability to react to road conditions, increases the stopping distance, and makes it more difficult to maintain control of the vehicle.
Inadequate Training: Insufficient training in handling commercial vehicles, understanding traffic laws, and defensive driving techniques can contribute to accidents.
Equipment Failure: Mechanical failures, such as faulty brakes, tire blowouts, or steering malfunctions, can result in loss of control and accidents.
Improper Loading: Incorrectly loaded or unsecured cargo can shift during transit, affecting the vehicle’s stability and potentially causing accidents.
Weather Conditions: Adverse weather conditions, such as rain, snow, ice, or fog, can create hazardous driving conditions that increase the risk of accidents.
Poor Maintenance: Inadequate vehicle maintenance, including failure to inspect, repair, or replace worn-out parts, can lead to equipment failure and accidents.
Commercial drivers and their employers need to prioritize safety, adhere to regulations, and implement measures to mitigate these factors and ensure the well-being of both drivers and other road users.
Who is Liable?
Liability in commercial driver accidents depends on several factors, including the cause of the accident, the actions of the commercial driver, and whether the driver was working at the time of the accident. In general, the commercial driver and their employer may be liable for damages if the driver was negligent, reckless, or violated regulations related to commercial driving.
Other parties, such as the manufacturer of a defective vehicle or a third-party contractor responsible for maintenance, may also be liable in certain situations. An experienced commercial driver accident lawyer can help determine liability and pursue compensation for damages.
It is highly recommended to contact a commercial driver accident lawyer in Los Angeles after a crash. A lawyer can investigate the accident and help determine who was at fault, as well as assess the damages and pursue compensation on your behalf. Commercial driver accidents can be complex, and having an experienced lawyer on your side can help ensure that your legal rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Contact Los Angeles Commercial Drivers Accident Lawyer at Pacific Attorney Group for a Free Consultation
The Pacific Attorney Group has years of experience in handling personal injury cases, including commercial driver accidents. Our Los Angeles Commercial Drivers Accident Lawyer has the necessary knowledge and skills to investigate the cause of your accident, determine liability, and fight for fair compensation for your damages. We have a track record of successful settlements and verdicts, and we are dedicated to providing personalized and compassionate representation to our clients.
Our experienced attorneys can investigate the accident, identifying all potentially responsible parties. We will help you get the compensation you deserve by calculating all the economic and non-economic aspects. Contact us today for a free consultation.