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Statute of Limitations for Truck Accident Injury LawsuitsStatute of Limitations refers to the law the limits the amount of time within which a victim involved in a car accident may bring about legal proceedings. In the state of California, an individual has TWO YEARS in which to file a lawsuit for their damages resulting in a car accident.
Truck Licenses:Driving a large truck, semi-truck or other commercial motor vehicle requires a specialized knowledge beyond a normal vehicle. It is no surprise than that California and Federal Laws require truck drivers to carry special licensing. This special license is referred to as a CDL, or a Commercial Drivers License. A commercial vehicle is defined as vehicles that:
- Have gross vehicle weight rating (commonly known as GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more.
- Are combination vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or more.
- Tows another motor vehicle with a GVWR of 10,001 lbs. or more.
- Tow more than one vehicle or a trailer bus.
- Has three or more axles (excludes three axle vehicles weighing 6,000 pounds or less gross).
- Is intended, used, or sustained to hold more than 10 passengers counting the driver (hire or profit) or is used by any nonprofit organization or assembly.
- Necessitates hazardous material placards or is carrying material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR part 73.*
- Transports hazardous wastes (Health and Safety Code §§25115 and 25117).
Financial Responsibility / Insurance RequirementsThe Department of Motor Vehicles requires special insurance guidelines for truck drivers. Proof of insurance must be exhibited prior to even taking a CDL exam. All truck drivers must adhere to the following minimum regulations:
- $300,000 combined single limit when the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating less than 10,000 lbs.
- $750,000 combined single limit when the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating more than 10,001 lbs.
- For the transportation of petroleum products: $500,000 for injury or death (1 person), $1,000,000 for injury or death (2 or more persons), $200,000 for property damage or $1,200,000 combined single limit.
- For the transportation of oil, hazardous materials or waste: Combined single limit of $1,000,000
- For the transportation of hazardous substances, compressed or liquefied compressed gas, portable tanks, or hopper-type vehicles with capacities exceeding 3,500 gallons, Division 1.1, 1.2 or 1.3 explosives, poison gas, radioactive materials: Combined single limit of $5,000,000
- The federal government requires trucks commuting in interstate commerce (across state lines) to carry $750,000 of bodily and property coverage.
- A party was careless, and that carelessness was the direct and proximate cause of the car crash
- The car crash caused some sort of physical or property damage
- The careless party is responsible for the damages
- The negligent hiring of the company employing the driver. We will look at the driver’s record, experience, skill, and expectations.
- Negligence of the driver (i.e. drugs, alcohol, insufficient sleep / drowsiness)
- Negligence of the company, such as was the truck loaded unsuitably or not in accordance with the laws.
- Manufacturing defect of the Truck due to the negligence of the Truck Manufacturer, brake manufacturer, tire manufacturer etc.
- Third party fault such as a truck leasing company