Sacramento Truck Accident Lawyer
500 Capitol Mall, Suite 2350
Sacramento, California 95814
The Doan Law Firm of Sacramento represents the victims, and families of
truck accident injuries.
Most of the time, big trucks and other vehicles manage to share the highway
without incident. If this is not the case and an accident occurs, that
accident is often the result of negligence on the part of the trucking
company, the truck driver, or both the company and the driver.
The “Rules of the Road” are the same for both cars and trucks
The State of California defines a commercial vehicle to be any vehicle
that is … “used or maintained for the transportation of persons
for hire, compensation, or profit … [or] designed, used, or maintained
primarily for the transportation of property…” By these definitions,
commercial vehicles can range from a minivan used by a local florist to
deliver flowers to large tractor-trailer trucks that deliver freight to
and from the Ports of San Francisco and Oakland.
Any operator (driver or owner) of a vehicle that uses the highways of California
is expected to follow the same set of traffic laws as any other driver.
These rules include the posted speed limits, proper lane usage, obeying
traffic signals and, of course, not driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
Commercial vehicles must also obey additional rules that, among other things,
limit the number of hours a driver can work or the type and frequency
of vehicle safety inspections. In many cases, there are separate rules
that may be enforced by either the state or federal Departments of Transportation.
If a truck is involved in an accident and is found to be in violation
of either state or federal law, it usually means that the truck driver
and/or the driver’s employer will be held responsible for that accident
and will held liable for any resulting damages.
Time limits and California truck accidents
The California Code of Civil Procedure requires that anyone who was the
victim of an accidental injury, or the legal representative of a victim
who is unable to file a lawsuit because of age or catastrophic injury,
must file such a lawsuit within two years of the date on which the injury
occurred. If this two-year deadline has expired, and no lawsuit has been
filed, the accident victim will be forever barred from pursuing an injury
claim in a California court.
Accidents involving a government-owned truck in California
While most truck accidents will involve privately-owned (non-government)
vehicles, there are times when an injury is due to an accident involving
a truck or some other vehicle that is owned and operated by the State
of California or by a local government agency. If this is indeed the case
with your injury, you must keep in mind that the process of recovering
damages if a state or local government agency is radically different from
the process involving a private business.
Under the provisions of the California Tort Claims Act, anyone who suffers
an injury where a government agency or an employee of such an agency may
be at fault must first file a claim for damages with the California’s
Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board. In this claim you will
be required to submit essentially all the information that would be necessary
to file a lawsuit against any private citizen or business. However, state
law requires that you submit your claim within six months of the date
of your accident. If you miss this deadline, even if only by one day,
you will lose the right to later file a lawsuit against the government
Once the Government Claims Board has all its required information, it has
45 days in which to approve (which is unlikely) or deny (which is more
likely) your claim. If you feel that their settlement offer is unfair,
or if they reject your claim, only then are you allowed to file a civil lawsuit.