Sacramento Truck Accident Attorney

The most dangerous and devastating motor vehicle accidents on the roadways often involve big rig trucks. With trucks making up a large portion of vehicles on the roads, the danger of getting into a tragic crash increase exponentially. Without a doubt, these commercial trucks are the biggest vehicles on the highways.

When an accident involves a big rig there are often catastrophic and/or fatal injuries.

When you’re involved in a trucking accident, you’re not just dealing with the truck driver. Often times you’ll need to negotiate with the insurance company that employs the driver and the drivers own insurance company.

These insurance companies have the resource and will fight to deny your claim, because they do not represent you. Fairness is not a factor the insurance carrier cares about.

Its important you have adequate legal representation. The lawyers at Carter Wolden Curtis have years of experience representing both the insurance companies and victims involved in trucking accidents.

Rules of the road for California Truckers’

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), regulate and set rules to keep both truck drivers and other motorist on the road safe. When these rules and regulations are violated it puts everyone on the road at risk. Sometimes trucking companies prioritize profits over safety, incentivizing to work longer hours.

However, both the drivers and the companies are governed by the rules established by the FMCSA. For example, there are rules regulating how long a driver can be on the road without breaks. Unfortunately, these rules are often ignored.

Here’s a quick reference to the rules. For the full length and description of these rules, visit the FMCSA website.  

Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations
Property-Carrying Drivers
Passenger-Carrying Drivers

11-Hour Driving Limit

May drive a maximum of 11 hours after a consecutive hours off duty.

10-Hour Driving Limit

May drive a maximum of 10 hours after 8 consecutive hours off duty.

14-Hour Driving Limit

May not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty.

 Off-duty time does not extend 14-hour period.

15-Hour Limit

May not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following 8 consecutive hours off duty.

Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period.

60/70-Hour Limit

May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.

A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.

60/70-Hour Limit

May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.

Sleeper Berth Provision

Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.

Sleeper Berth Provision

Drivers using a sleeper berth must take at least 8 hours in the sleeper berth, and may split the sleeper berth time into two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours.

Rest Breaks

Drivers may drive only if 8 hours or less have passed since end of driver’s last off-duty or sleeper berth period of at least 30 minutes.

Does not apply to drivers using either of the short-haul exceptions in 395.1(e). [49 CFR 397.5 mandatory “in attendance” time may be included in break if no other duties performed]

Five Common Causes of Trucking Accidents


It is not uncommon for truck drivers to drive for a long period of time with very little rest in between hauls. This is due to the trucking companies’ owners unrealistic demand for delivery of goods to a destination within a short period of time. Therefore, truck divers find themselves under a lot of pressure to deliver goods fast and forgo sleep. This accumulated fatigue causes drivers to lose concentration and often times results in accidents.

Inclement Weather

Poor weather conditions affect even the best trained drivers.  Due to the heavy weight of big rig trucks, more precaution should be used during times of heavy rains, snow, high winds, and ice. Appropriate speeds are to be respected at these times to avoid skidding, pile ups, hydroplaning, or jackknifing.

Improper Cargo Loading

There are rules and guidelines truckers and cargo packing teams need to abide by for safety. Mistakes during loading of cargo can lead to improper balance and cause a truck to tip over causing catastrophic injuries.  

Equipment Failure / Poor Vehicle Maintenance

Poor or improper maintenance of trucks can lead to devasting accidents on the roadways. This maintenance issue may or may not fall on the truck driver. This negligence can also extend to the mechanic who made the repairs, the dealer who sold the truck, the truck manufacturer, and or the driver.

Driver Error

Although these truck drivers are trained professionals, they too are susceptible to making errors on the road which may lead to catastrophic injury or even death. Distracted driving, speeding, and not following FMCSA guidelines are a few of the errors that can be made by a truck driver.

Filing a Lawsuit

It is important you seek immediate legal advice no matter how severe or minimal your injuries may seem at first.  You have a limited about of time to file a lawsuit against the negligent party which cause your injuries.

It’s advised you speak to a reputable Sacramento trucking attorney before you speak to any claim’s adjuster, yours or otherwise.

Evidence Proving Your Case

Generally, trucking accidents occur because of distracted driving, fatigue, equipment failure, or speeding. The role of your attorney is to gather up all the evidence needed to prove your case. Such evidence broadly consists of:

Log books: Trucker drivers are required to keep log book logging all their breaks and routes. Nowadays the log books are electronic and hooked up to the trucks engine to automatically track a trucks drive time.  These log books hold vital information for your attorney to prove your case.

Event Data Recorder (EDR): Often referred to as a “Black Box”, is a device installed in some cars and trucks. This device records important information related to a motor vehicle accident. Used to determine vehicle speed, acceleration, deceleration, air bag deployment, and other information needed to prove your case.

Dash Cameras: In some cases, dash cameras are installed in both trucks and cars. Video from the dash cameras are used to determine fault.

Traffic Collision Report: This report is written up by the on the scene police officer. These reports documents parties involved in collision, parties’ statements, skid marks, debris from the accident, location of accident, and a brief description of what the officer observes during his or her time at the scene of the accident.

It is important to note that, your attorney also keeps track of your medical bills and records that documents your injuries. These records are critical to your case.

Carter Wolden Law Firm Is Here to Fight for You

For a free consultation on your trucking accident questions call the lawyers Carter Wolden Curtis Law Firm at (916) 567-567-1111. Email us at  or fill out the contact form so one of our trucking accident lawyers can reach out to you.