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Law Offices of Fernando Vargas
Law Offices of Fernando Vargas

Truck and Bus Accident Trial Lawyer

 Truck and Bus Accident Trial LawyerWhether driving in the city or on the highway, no one can escape sharing the road with a large commercial truck or bus. When large trucks and buses are involved in collisions, the damages and injuries that result can be much worse than an automobile accident.

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of a truck or bus accident, it is important that you choose an attorney who thoroughly understands California’s laws and statutes regarding truck and bus accidents. California Truck and Bus Accident Lawyer Fernando D. Vargas is an experienced trial lawyer who, since 1987, has effectively litigated thousands of personal injury cases throughout the Inland Empire and the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino with an emphasis in the cities of Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, Claremont, Montclair, Upland, Ontario, Chino, Fontana, Riverside, and San Bernardino. The Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas, which is located in the city of Rancho Cucamonga, has recovered millions of dollars in personal injury verdicts and settlements for their clients.

Large Commercial Truck and Bus Accident Statistics

Large commercial trucks are also known as “18 wheelers”, “big rigs,” “semi-trucks,” “tractors,” and “tractor trailers.” Large commercial trucks are typically 53 feet long, but can be up to 75 feet in length, and can weigh up to 80,000 pounds.

According to the United States Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were more than 10.6 million large commercial trucks and over 764,000 buses registered in the United States in 2012. This includes all trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 10,000 pounds and many different kinds of buses designed to carry more than 10 passengers (excluding the driver), such as school buses, intercity buses, and transit buses.

Data from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that accidents involving large trucks caused 3,944 deaths in 2012 and 3,964 in 2013. Of these fatalities, the majority were not truck occupants but the occupants of other vehicles struck by the trucks or otherwise involved in the accidents, plus pedestrians or other non-occupants. For example, in 2013, 691 truck drivers were killed. Of these fatal driver accidents, only 264 also involved other vehicles, yet a total of 2,834 vehicle occupants and 439 non-occupants were killed.

Causes of Large Commercial Truck and Bus Accidents

Causes of Large Commercial Truck and Bus Accidents 

The cause of accidents involving large commercial trucks and buses are varied. Many times, large commercial truck and bus accidents are caused by the negligence of the driver or the truck or bus company. Some large commercial truck or bus driver’s negligence may include:

  1. Driver fatigue due to long drives and lack of sleep
  2. Speeding
  3. Inadequately trained drivers
  4. Defective trailer hitch
  5. Maintenance and repair failures
  6. Violations of safety procedures
  7. Following too closely
  8. Misjudgment of distance between other vehicles
  9. False assumption of other driver’s actions
  10. Illegal maneuvers
  11. Inadequate evasive action
  12. Inattentive driving
  13. Distracted driving
  14. Unsafe lane changes
  15. Failing to yield the right of way
  16. Aggressive driving
  17. Brake failure
  18. Improperly loaded or overloaded trailers
  19. Failure to adequately secure cargo
  20. Rushed delivery deadlines due to unreasonable demands placed on drivers to deliver goods quickly
  21. Failure to follow U.S. safety regulations
  22. Lack of familiarity with the large commercial truck or bus
  23. Lack of familiarity with the road
  24. Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs


Laws that Govern Large Commercial Trucks and Buses

truckLaws that Govern Large Commercial Trucks and Buses 

The United States government has written rules and regulations regarding the operation of large commercial trucks and buses. FMCSA §§ 392.1 -392.9(a) lists the rules and regulations that must be instructed and complied with by each and every officer, agent, representative, and employee that is responsible for the management, maintenance, operation, or driving of commercial motor vehicles, or the hiring, supervising, training, assigning, or dispatching of drivers. Some of these rules and regulations include issues regarding driver fatigue, speeding, securement of cargo, use of electronic devices, and driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

Driver Fatigue 

Driver fatigue is a major cause for accidents involving large commercial trucks and buses. Long driving hours with little sleep can highly impair a driver’s judgment and/ or cause the driver to fall asleep at the wheel, resulting in a collision. FMCSA §392.3 prohibits ill or fatigue drivers from operating a commercial motor vehicle if their ability to drive safely is impaired. A driver of a large commercial truck or bus has a duty to pull over if he/she is ill, fatigued, or otherwise impaired.

In addition, FMCSA has regulations regarding the number of hours a driver of a large commercial motor vehicle may drive at any given time. These regulations vary depending on whether the driver is operating a property-carrying or passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle.

If a driver of a large commercial truck or bus violated this rule and fell asleep at the wheel and subsequently got into an accident, the driver and the truck or bus company could be held liable for all injuries caused by that accident.

Speeding 

Speeding is another major cause for accidents involving large commercial trucks and buses. FMCSA § 392.6 prohibits truck and bus drivers from traveling faster than the legal speed limit.

If a driver of a large commercial truck or bus violated this rule and drove at a speed in excess of the posted speed limit and subsequently got into an accident, the driver and the truck or bus company could be held liable for all injuries caused by that accident.

Failure to inspect cargo or cargo securement devices 

Large commercial trucks and buses often carry a large quantity of cargo. FMCSA §392.9 requires large truck and bus drivers to not operate their commercial motor vehicles unless it has been inspected and determined that all of the cargo is properly distributed and secured on the vehicle.

If a driver of a large commercial truck or bus violated this rule and failed to safely secure the cargo being carried and that cargo spilled on the road, causing an accident, the driver and the truck or bus company could be held liable for all injuries caused by that accident.

Texting and Use of Hand-Held Mobile Telephones 

Although the state of California has banned all drivers from both using a hand-held mobile telephone and texting while driving, not every state has followed suit. In fact, many states do not have any bans regarding hand-held mobile telephones. Drivers of large commercial trucks and buses who regularly cross state lines may not know each state’s rules or regulations regarding the use of hand-held mobile telephones. Therefore, the federal government set rules and regulations for all drivers of large commercial trucks and buses concerning these issues. FMCSA §392.80 and §392.82 make it illegal for any driver of a commercial motor vehicle to text or use a hand-held mobile telephone while operating a commercial motor vehicle.

If a driver of a large commercial truck or bus violated this rule and used a hand-held mobile telephone or texted while driving, and subsequently caused an accident, the driver and the truck or bus company could be held liable for all injuries caused by that accident.

Driving under the Influence of Alcohol and/or other Drugs 

Driving a large commercial truck or bus when under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is illegal. §392.6 specifically prohibits any driver of a large commercial truck or bus to operate the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. This includes illegal, prescription, and over-the-counter medications that can affect the driver’s ability to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle.

If a driver of a large commercial truck or bus violated this rule and drove their commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and subsequently caused an accident, the driver and the trucking or bus company could be held liable for all injuries caused by that accident.


Large Commercial Trucks and Buses from other States and Countries

Large Commercial Trucks and Buses from other States and Countries 

Large commercial trucks and buses travel throughout the United States. Therefore, it is not uncommon for many of the trucks on California’s roads and highways to originate from another state. Out of state trucking and bus companies sometimes give collision victims the run around and many times fail to view the victim’s injuries as being serious until the victim hires a personal injury lawyer.

In addition to the estimated 11.4 million large trucks and buses registered in the United States, there are also many large trucks from foreign countries that are allowed on U.S. roads and highways. Large commercial trucks from Mexico or Canada travel on U.S. roads and highways to deliver products from their country into the United States. In addition, buses from Mexico or Canada often carry U.S. citizens and foreign visitors into the United States. If an accident were to occur with one of these foreign trucks or buses, many questions may be asked, including:

  1. Are foreign trucks and buses required to meet the same safety regulations as U.S. trucks and buses?
  2. Can foreign truck or bus companies be held liable for not following the same U.S. safety standards?
  3. What legal recourse do I have for injuries caused by a foreign truck or bus?
  4. Are foreign truck or bus companies required to keep documentation concerning service and maintenance performed on their vehicles?
  5. How can I obtain documents from a foreign truck or bus company?

For these reasons, it is critical that you hire a California Truck and Bus Accident Attorney who has the experience and expertise necessary to investigate and litigate accidents involving large commercial trucks or buses from out of state or foreign countries. Fernando D. Vargas understands the laws of California as well as interstate and foreign travel and will be able to successfully investigate your collision and obtain all documents necessary to prove your case. In addition, Fernando D. Vargas is fluent in Spanish and will be able to effectively communicate with all Spanish-speaking truck and bus companies, drivers, and witnesses.


Injuries from Large Commercial Truck or Bus Accidents

Injuries from Large Commercial Truck or Bus Accidents 

When a large commercial truck or bus is involved in a collision, the injuries can be catastrophic and sometimes fatal. Such injuries may include:

  • Fractures
  • Internal bleeding
  • Injury to internal organs
  • Head injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Paraplegia and Quadriplegia
  • Burns
  • Amputations or Dismemberment
  • Disfigurement, scarring
  • Decapitation
  • Death

Sometimes injuries result from being exposed to hazardous materials being carried on a large commercial truck. Injuries from exposure to hazardous materials may result in:

  • Respiratory injuries
  • Chemical burns
  • Loss of vision

In order to prove your damages, your injuries must be linked directly to the accident or exposure to the hazardous materials. Victims of large commercial truck or bus accidents must prove the following:

  1.  the driver of the large commercial truck or bus, or its company, was negligent,
  2. the driver’s and/or company’s negligence was a cause of the accident, and
  3. the accident was a contributing cause of your injuries and damages.

It is important that you choose a California Truck and Buss Accident lawyer that is experienced in personal injury law. Your lawyer will use his skill and expertise to prove your injuries in order to obtain the maximum compensation allowed by law, including:

  • Medical bills in the past and in the future
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earnings and earning capacity
  • Assistive devices and transportation
  • Loss of household services
  • Property loss (damage to your vehicle)
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Disfigurement
  • Inability to perform certain functions
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium (marital support and services)
  • Funeral and burial expenses


Determining who is at Fault for Large Commercial Truck and Bus Accidents

Determining who is at Fault for Large Commercial Truck and Bus Accidents 

To receive compensation for your injuries, it is critical that you hire a California Truck and Bus Accident Attorney. Your attorney will investigate your case to establish that the accident was caused by the negligence of the driver of the large commercial truck or bus or by its company. Negligence is defined as a failure to exercise the care that a reasonably prudent (careful) person or company would do under the same or similar circumstances.

When you hire the Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas for your commercial truck or bus accident case, Fernando D. Vargas will personally investigate all the facts of your case, obtain police reports, and interview witnesses regarding what they saw and heard. In addition, Mr. Vargas will hire a professional photographer to obtain photographic evidence of the accident scene and injuries to your person and property. Mr. Vargas will also hire a team of expert witnesses, including trucking, medical, economic, and accident reconstruction specialists, in order to prove fault and damages for your case.


Free Consultation! 

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in an accident involving a truck or a bus due to the negligence of another, the Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas can help. Mr. Vargas has the skill, expertise, and experience necessary to successfully litigate your truck or bus accident case.

In addition, attorney Vargas has a team of experts that will work with him to prove your injuries and damages in order to get you the maximum compensation you deserve. During your free consultation, Mr. Vargas will personally discuss the facts of your case, review the details about your injuries, and advise you about your rights.

Since 1987, California Truck and Bus Accident Attorney Fernando D. Vargas has successfully litigated thousands of personal injury cases throughout the Inland Empire and the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino with an emphasis in the cities of Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, Claremont, Montclair, Upland, Ontario, Chino, Fontana, Riverside, and San Bernardino. During your free consultation, Mr. Vargas will personally discuss the facts of your case, review the injuries, and advise you about your rights.

No Recovery, No Fee! 

Truck and bus accident cases can be expensive to litigate. However, the Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas, which is located in the city of Rancho Cucamonga, takes all of the firm’s truck and bus accident  cases on a “contingency fee” basis. This means that you will pay nothing up front and Mr. Vargas will advance all money necessary to prepare your case for either settlement or trial. If Mr. Vargas is unsuccessful in resolving your case, you pay absolutely nothing.  The Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas, which is fully staffed with bi-lingual personnel that are fluent in Spanish, has successfully championed the rights of personal injury victims by wining millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for their clients since its foundation in 1995.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a truck or a bus, it is vital that you consult with a reputable and experienced California Truck and Bus Accident Trial Lawyer. Call the Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909 / 982-0707 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. If your injuries prevent you from coming to our Rancho Cucamonga office, we can arrange to visit you at your home or the hospital to ensure the timely investigation of your claim. 

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