California Commercial Truck Driving Rules

When you’re on the road every day with heavy 18-wheelers, it’s hard not to wonder if they have to follow the same rules as the rest of us. It’s especially worrying when you see these semi-trucks veering into other lanes, driving way too fast, or otherwise breaking the law.

However, these truckers are subject to many of the same rules as other drivers, among other rules. They’re expected to take certain care because of their trucks, so you should be able to drive without fear on the road. When they follow the required laws, you shouldn’t have to worry about a dangerous driver.

Truck Driving Licenses

When someone decides to drive for a living, they’re usually expected to pass certain tests and complete certain training before they’re able to do so. You’re expected to be especially qualified for your job, so why shouldn’t they be?

That means that every truck driver you see on the road should have their Commercial Driver License, or CDL. This license means that they’re qualified to drive these massive trucks. If they don’t have this license, then they shouldn’t be behind the wheel of a semi-truck. Since a tractor trailer is so difficult to handle, especially in emergency situations, it’s vital that they’re prepared.

Staying Safe on the Highway

When they’re on the road, truck drivers are supposed to be especially aware of the people around them and the current situation. If they’re not, things can turn deadly. These 18-wheelers are several times larger than most of the cars around them, so an accident can be devastating.

As such, they’re subjected to certain restrictions that other people may not be. For example, it’s recommended that you take a break every three hours or so, but these are suggestions for the average driver, not rules. Truck drivers, however, are usually required to take breaks every four to five hours.

They’ll also be expected to be far soberer on the road. In California, drivers will need to have a BAC of less than 0.08 percent to be considered under the limit. Truck drivers, however, must stay below 0.04 percent if they want to avoid an arrest.

Need Help After a Truck Crash?

Unfortunately, these rules for commercial truck drivers can’t prevent every accident. Sadly, you might have already experienced a serious truck crash, and now you’re suffering. Worse, you believe the other driver is at fault, which can be confusing.

In these cases, you’ll need a San Diego 18-wheeler crash lawyer on your side. Because they’re on the job and have different expectations and rules, it can be tough to figure out whether they were at fault or not. Fortunately, your attorney should know the rules of the road. They’ll be able to help you determine the cause of your accident and get compensation for your accident.

What is Boston’s Vision Zero Program?

Motor vehicle collisions are the number one cause of serious injuries and death in Boston. As such, the city has implemented a program known as Vision Zero in order to reduce and eliminate these types of accidents from occurring. Below, we examine the purpose of Vision Zero and the current efforts being taken to accomplish its goals.

The Purpose of Vision Zero

Developed by the Boston Transportation Department, Vision Zero has a goal of eliminating the number of traffic accidents that cause serious injury and death by 2030. With over 20 fatalities and 200 serious accidents annually, the mayor’s office understands that there are steps that can be taken to improve the safety of the roads that Bostonians travel on every day.

Citing the number of drivers who speed, and the congestion of the roads themselves, this program is taking an inside look into the cause of these serious accidents so that the number of fatalities decreases exponentially in the coming years.

Problem Areas in Boston

So far in 2018, from January 1st until the writing of this article, there have been more than 3,200 crashes involving motor vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians alike. Seven of these accidents resulted in death, five of which were pedestrian accidents.

What’s more, back in 2016 there were nearly 900 pedestrian accidents, and with the efforts of Vision Zero, this number has been reduced by almost half since the beginning of 2018. Similarly, in 2017, there were 3,368 total car accidents that required Boston Emergency Medical Services, and this year, there have only been 2,241.

There is no denying, based on the data above, that the Vision Zero program has already been a success. But since Vision Zero aims to eliminate these injuries and fatalities, their work isn’t done just yet.

Current Efforts

Many efforts have been taken to reduce the number of traffic accidents across the city. Perhaps you’ve noticed that the default speed limit in Boston has been reduced to 25 mph? This reduction has minimized the number of speed-related deaths and injuries, and will likely continue to do so in the future.

Boston has also implemented the Neighborhood Slow Streets Program which is geared towards keeping the residential streets and neighborhoods as safe as possible. Neighborhoods apply to be apart of the program and Vision Zero begins not one street at a time, but one zone at a time.

For instance, 5 zones are being addressed in 2018 including Washington-Harvard-Norwell, and Dorchester Unified Neighborhood-East among others. The idea is to calm traffic by reducing the speed limit to 20 mph, installing speed humps, improving sign and pavement markings, and daylighting.

Having a vehicle in such a busy city can be a burden, which is why many residents are taking to biking to get to work, run errands or catch the train. But Boston roads simply aren’t the safest for bicyclists, which is why Vision Zero has made implementing up to six feet wide bike lanes on the city’s roads. The bike lanes separate bike traffic from vehicle traffic by using flex posts and buffered lanes that are up to two feet wide.

These are just a few of the efforts the Vision Zero program has made to improve the safety for all Bostonians, and you can expect to see more improvements as we move closer to 2030.

Get in Touch with a Boston Car Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in an auto wreck, or if you’ve lost someone to a motor vehicle collision, working with a Boston auto accident lawyer could be in your best interest.

Not only will the information regarding your accident be used to help Vision Zero be a success, but you can obtain the compensation your family needs to rebuild your lives following the serious car crash that you were involved in.

When Someone Carelessly Kills Your Loved One, You Can Fight Back

Losing a loved one in an accident involving carelessness is one of life’s worst tragedies. It’s so upsetting because it was a needless death. Your family member might have enjoyed many more years, if not for the negligent party’s disregard for the safety of others and for the sanctity of life.

So, what do you do when someone has caused you to love a beloved family member? You can fight back, by filing a wrongful death case. Wrongful death cases are difficult and complicated, so read on for more information on the process.

What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit is when you sue the party responsible for causing your loved one’s death. Not every person who causes another’s death will be held criminally responsible, so filing a wrongful death suit can allow you to receive some justice for your loved one.

Also, wrongful death suits award you a monetary payment, which is intended to compensate the family of the deceased for the suffering and monetary losses the death has caused them.

What Types of Damages are Common in Wrongful Death Cases?

There are several reasons that the family of a wrongful death victim will choose to file a wrongful death suit. One, the family may want justice for their loved one for what happened to them. Two, the family probably wants to keep the negligent party from hurting anyone else ever again. Three, they need compensation for financial losses.

When the court rules that the family has “won” the lawsuit, they will be awarded an amount in damages. You can be awarded compensation for the following damages in wrongful death cases:

  • Pain and suffering of the deceased prior to death
  • All related medical expenses
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Grief and mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of the deceased person’s income
  • Any other financial losses

Are You Considering Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Chicago?

If your family member has been killed because of the negligence of another person, you should hold that person legally responsible. Sometimes winning a wrongful death case is the only way to receive justice for your family member. Working with a lawyer is usually a good idea, as these cases can be difficult to win on your own.

Calling a wrongful death attorney in Chicago can make it more likely that you will win your family the compensation they deserve.

Are Traffic Tickets Considered Criminal Offenses?

Traffic rules are meant to maintain order on the roads and keep the public safe. Enforcers keep a watchful eye on motorists and other road users. If any violates the rules, then they will be given a notice in the form of a traffic ticket. This could be a moving violation such as speeding or a non-moving violation such as parking in a restricted area.

The ticket looks different from state to state, but it will usually will contain the same information: the type of offense, the date and time it happened, the location of the incident, and the name of the issuing officer. So are traffic tickets considered criminal offenses?

What is a Criminal Offense?

Crime is a loaded word. People tend to have a lot of assumptions about it. The legal definition can be slightly different in various places, but it is generally considered as an unlawful act that is punishable through the state. However, not everything unlawful is automatically a criminal act. It must be so harmful that the public is put in danger because of it. Common examples are murder, theft, and rape. Another way to differentiate crimes from other unlawful acts is that it results in the restriction of liberty. In other words, it usually results in imprisonment of varying lengths.  

Severity of Traffic Violations

Most traffic tickets are given out for minor infractions. For example, someone who parked his car in a restricted area may have violated a rule and inconvenienced others, but the act did not really put anyone in harm’s way. As such, it is not considered a crime. The typical penalty would be a reasonable fine given the nature of the violation.

Not wearing a seatbelt while driving is another good example, as is having defective vehicle equipment. A motorist may also get a ticket for driving without a license, registration, or insurance. They often result in fines and license suspensions.

On the other hand, there are major traffic violations that merit greater attention and stiffer penalties. These include driving at a reckless pace that is way over the speed limit. This type of behavior is extremely dangerous. It disregards the safety of other road users and can very well lead of accidents if unpunished. It can be considered a criminal offense and could lead to jail time.

The same is true for drunk driving, if the motorist registers a BAC that is above the tolerable limit. Signs of heavy intoxication may also lead to a DUI charge, even if the blood alcohol level is below the limit.

If you are facing a traffic ticket, you can choose to pay the fine or fight it in court. Get the help of attorneys at Hersem Law for a higher chance of success.



Punishments for Cell Phone Tickets in NY

It is never a good idea to use a cell phone while driving.  Whether you are talking or texting, there are penalties. While safety is one concern, also consider punishments for cell phone tickets in NY.  

Adults and Cell Phone Tickets

Some people believe only teens and young adults engage in distracted driving, but adults often do it, too.  If this is your first offense, expect to pay between $50 and $200 in fines. In addition to the fine, expect a surcharge.  This can range up to $93.

Like most driving offenses, subsequent offenses will cost more.  If your second conviction occurs within 18 months, the fine can be up to $250.  A third offense can cost you up to $450.

Convictions will also result in driver violation points on your driver’s license.  

Young People and Cell Phone Tickets

A young person is not as experienced at driving as an older driver.  The penalties for cell phone use are more severe for individuals with learner’s permits and junior licenses.

Your first conviction will result in losing your permit or license for 120 days.  If your permit or license is eventually restored, and you receive a second conviction, it will be revoked for at least a year.

Lawyers in NYC

New York State is serious about cell phone use while driving.  Considering the traffic conditions and pedestrians, it can be much more serious in the city than in rural areas.  If you have made the mistake of using a cell phone while behind the wheel, get in touch with a traffic ticket lawyer in New York City as soon as you receive a ticket.

It can be difficult to manage your everyday life when you lose your driving privileges.  However, you should also consider the potential consequences of distracted driving due to cell phones.  When you text or talk, your driving does not have your undivided attention. You could cause an accident, hit pedestrians, or drive off the road.

If you are lucky, you have not caused any harm with distracted driving.  With help from a lawyer, you can start to make changes in your driving habits.  Your lawyer will take all the facts into consideration, so you can look forward to driving again.

Driving and Your Future

In New York City and throughout the state, call a traffic ticket lawyer immediately if you receive a ticket for using your cell phone.  You will know your rights and your obligations.

Teen drivers and adults alike should make safe driving their #1 priority.  Think of everything you learned in your Driver’s Education class, whether it was recently or many years ago.  There is no one, regardless of age, for whom cell phone use is safe or legal. Even adults who have been driving for decades cannot afford to take risks.

Your future and your life can depend on avoiding cell phone use while driving.  It can affect other people’s futures and lives, too. If you have received a ticket, call a lawyer for advice and assistance.

What Causes Rollover Accidents?

A car accident is serious enough, but yours might have been a step further. You were in a rollover accident, and you were badly enough. You’ll need help to recover from such serious injuries, which can be expensive and painful.

You’ll need to fight back to get your compensation, but you’ll also need to find who’s responsible for your injuries. To do that, you’ll need to find what caused your accident. Unfortunately, rollover accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, which means that the person who actually caused your crash might not be the one responsible for the accident.

It can be complex and difficult to find the person responsible. By looking at the cause of the accident, however, you can expect to find the cause and the liable party for your claim.  

“Untripped” Accidents

Some accidents aren’t directly caused by another driver. These “untripped” accidents are often the cause of dangerous road conditions, which can leave you seriously injured. But, who’s responsible for injuries like this?

In some cases, you may need to sue the Department of Transportation. They’re responsible for keeping our roads safe, and they might not have properly done their jobs. While some road conditions can’t be helped, they might have been careless in the design or creation of the road.

For example, they might have designed the road in a way that makes it drain improperly. So, the road is wet, causing you to hydroplane, lose control of the car, and ultimately, to roll over. Other defects, like dangerous curbs, can also cause these dangerous accidents. While a slippery road might not be the Department of Transportation’s responsibility, their job is to make the road as safe as possible.

The Driver Might be Responsible

In many cases, however, the rollover was caused by driver errors. When another driver isn’t paying attention, speeds, or drives intoxicated, they put drivers like you in direct danger. You might have been hit by one of these drivers, for example, causing you to lose control and roll over.

In these cases, the person responsible might be more obvious. If another driver directly caused your accident, they’ll be the one responsible for your compensation. Remember, though, that there are exceptions to this.

For example, the other driver might have been at work during the accident. In this case, you might need to file a claim against their employer, not against them.  

Seek Compensation after a Rollover Accident

Unfortunately, a rollover accident can leave you in a desperate situation. You’re injured, you’re drowning in expenses, and you’re juggling a court claim with everything else. You’re feeling overwhelmed, and you’ll need to know if you’re even eligible to file an injury claim.

That’s where a lawyer can step in. You’ll need help after your rollover accident, and a lawyer can help you with that. You’ll need help juggling your recovery and your case, and a lawyer can take over many of the responsibilities you were left with.

If you were injured by a rollover accident, you’ll need compensation, and you’ll need help finding the person responsible for your injuries. So, call a lawyer before you begin and get the help you need to succeed.

Can Manufacturers be Sued for Defective Products?

Defective products are something companies churn out every now and then. Even established manufacturers could be guilty of rolling out products into the market that are not fit for consumer usage. Thankfully, some manufacturers are proactive enough to realize early that they made a blunder and should recall their products, making sure product users are not affected much. However, there are instances when it gets a bit too late. What if you are at the receiving end of a defective product? Can manufacturers be sued for defective products? And what are your legal resorts if you were injured by a defective product? Let’s find out.

A Brief Intro to a Recall

Before we delve further into the topic, let’s understand ‘recall’ a bit. A recall is basically a manufacturer issuing a request to buyers to return a defective or potentially unsafe product. The defects could not just potentially harm consumers but also put the maker at the risk of legal action. In some cases, manufacturers recall their bad products by themselves or after a regulatory board, such as the FDA in America, requests the producer to do so. If a company, after becoming aware of its product’s defect, doesn’t issue a recall voluntarily and continues selling the product, a government agency could issue the recall on its own.

Product Defect Types

There are primarily three product defect categories to know: design defect, manufacturing defect, and marketing defect.

Design defect, as the name indicates, pertains to the product’s design. A manufacturing defect is a defect that that occurred during the production of a product, which is the stage after design. A marketing defect is a product not having adequate usage instructions or warning labels that bring to light the risks associated with using the product.

Knowing the exact nature of the defect is important since that helps determine whether the manufacturer could be directly blamed or if there are other parties that need to be made accountable too.

Recalls and Manufacturer Liability

A recall doesn’t necessarily mean the manufacturer becomes liable. In the court of law, the plaintiff should still present evidence that the defect actually caused injury. The plaintiff would invariably need the services of a product liability attorney to establish the various elements attached to the claim.

Also, it doesn’t mean legal action cannot be taken against a manufacturer if it issues a recall by itself. The liable manufacturer would, in fact, still have to legally compensate for damages and injuries caused by the product malfunction. But if the manufacturer manages to prove that the plaintiff received recall notice directly and the recall warned the plaintiff of the product’s defect, potential hazards, and safety concerns, proving manufacturer liability toward injuries would become difficult. Kindly note, the recall should have been “direct” and not directed toward all consumers.



How the Texas Criminal Courts Work

Criminal court is the last place most of think we will ever end up. Still, it is a part of our judiciary system, and understanding how it all works can only benefit us whether or not we are a part of any criminal activity, witness any breach of the law, or know of anyone otherwise involved. Below we take a closer look at how the Texas criminal courts work.

How the Criminal Courts Work in Texas

As is the case in many other states, the state of Texas criminal courts system is made up of a group of courts with different responsibilities working together. To make sense of it all, we will first look at the structure of the courts’ systems, and then at the judicial limitations of each type of court within that system.

The Structure of the Texas Court Systems

The two main groups of courts in Texas include the federal and the Texas state courts system. As far as the Texas state courts are concerned, there is the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. There are different kinds of courts within the Court of Criminal Appeals there is a structure of the Texas Courts of Appeals which includes the Texas district and county courts. The county courts include the Texas justice and municipal courts.

The Judicial Limitations of the Texas Criminal Courts

Currently, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals number 14 in total as they cover the same number of districts (one court per district). With the exception of death penalty cases, all criminal and civil court cases that are appealed are done through one of the 14 criminal appeals courts in the relevant district. Within these 14 districts, there is a total of 420 district trial courts which consider both criminal and civil cases.

In addition to district courts, there is also the Texas County Courts which includes the Texas Justice Courts and Texas Municipal Courts. The Justice Court is essentially a small claims court which hears criminal cases with misdemeanor fines, as well as civil cases not exceeding US$10,000 in fines and some designated functions. The Municipal Court is a local trial court involving fines only criminal cases, a limited number of civil cases, and municipal ordinance violation cases.

Often, the Constitutional and Statutory Trial Courts at the state level handle the largest number of cases. The Constitutional Trial Courts handle appeals cases from the lower courts, including those dealing with misdemeanor cases involving jail time or fines in excess of US$500, as well as cases for juveniles, and civil actions from US$200.00 to US$10,000. Statutory Trial Courts, on the other hand, handles a wide range of appellate, civil, and criminal cases that arise. Importantly, there is a jurisdictional limit of US$1,000,000 in the County Courts in Cameron County.

Contact Us Today for Quality Legal Representation

Admittedly, even with the information above, interpretation of state laws (criminal and otherwise) and navigating the associate court system can prove to be difficult without the assistance of trained legal professionals. Thankfully, we can help. We have a team of competent lawyers for criminal defense in Fort Worth, Texas. If you or your loved ones live in or around the Fort Worth, Texas area and have a criminal case pending, then contact our offices and team of lawyers today. You may contact us via email, telephone, or any of the other official contact information on this site. We are waiting to hear from you!



Accident Types Seen in Injury Claims

There are many different ways you can be injured in this world. You could fall down a set of stairs, slip on a spill, or be involved in a vehicle wreck. No matter what type of injury you’ve sustained there are some common types of accidents that lead to injury claims.

It’s these types of accidents that seem to involve another person’s negligence as a contributing factor as to the cause of the accident. If you’re thinking about filing a personal injury claim for an accident you’ve been hurt in, you may want to speak with accident and injury lawyers.

They can better advise you as to whether your accident qualifies you to file a claim, and they will be able to give you an idea of what your claim is worth. They can also walk you through the process of filing an injury claim. Below, see the accident types that are often seen in injury claims.

Common Personal Injury Case Types

Car Accidents – Auto wrecks cause a vast majority of injuries in this country. Although many safety measures have been put in place to make cars and roads safer, we still continue to see car accident injuries every day.

Most auto wrecks are caused by human error. That means that if all drivers took driving seriously there would be a lot less people hurt out there. The fact is, many people are reckless and careless when they drive, and it’s those negligent people who can be held accountable when they injure others.

Truck Accidents – Similar to auto wrecks, truck crashes are common causes of injuries. Truck accidents are a little different because there’s often a trucking company who could also be responsible for an injured party’s losses if it’s discovered they were somewhat involved in the accident.

Truckers may feel pressure to drive too many hours, or they may not have received proper training, making the trucking company also to blame for an accident.

Motorcycle Wrecks – Motorcycle injuries can be caused by a variety of reasons, but often because other drivers are distracted. They don’t notice motorcyclists because they aren’t paying attention to the road.

Medical Malpractice – It’s unthinkable to imagine a doctor or medical professional that doesn’t take your health seriously. For the most part medical practitioners care a great deal for their patients, and they do everything possible to improve their health, not harm them.

Nevertheless, doctors are humans and they are capable of mistakes. Worse than just a simple mistake, they can also be capable of negligence. If you were harmed because of substandard medical treatment, you may be able to file a claim against the doctor that harmed you.

Product Liability – We all buy and use products every day and we trust the makers of those products to create something safe and useful. We also trust the labels on the food and devices that we use, because if mislabeled we could be harmed.

If a product does not meet the safety standards, either because of poor design, manufacturing, or labeling, you may be able to sue the manufacturer of the product.

Wrongful Death – The death of a loved one is always difficult to bear but your grief can be magnified if you discover that their death could have been averted if not for another person’s careless behavior. If your loved one died in an accident and negligence has been proven to be the cause, you can seek justice and damages for your family.

Compensation for a wrongful death claim is meant to help you recover the losses you’ve sustained because of the unexpected death of your loved one.

Premises Liability – All property owners have a duty to maintain safe premises for guests and visitors. If there are hazards on their property that could harm someone, they are responsible for securing those hazards or placing warnings around the dangerous area.

If these property owners fail to take your safety seriously, they can be held responsible legally for your injuries and financial losses.

Fault in Commercial Trucking Wrecks

When you suffer serious injuries after being involved in a collision with a tractor-trailer, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your losses, particularly if your wreck was caused by the negligent actions of another.

There are a number of different entities who could have contributed to the cause of your accident, all of which should be held accountable for their actions. Continue reading to learn more about some of the parties who are most commonly found liable for the damage caused in a trucking accident.

When the Trucker is Liable

More often than not, the driver of the big rig that struck you will be found culpable for your losses. This will typically be due to the trucker engaging in unsafe driving practices such as the following:

  • Distracted driving – This occurs when the driver of a motor vehicle is distracted by something other than the road. This could include changing the radio station, texting or using a cell phone, using a navigation system, reaching for a beverage, or any other distraction.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol – When someone gets behind the wheel after consuming enough alcohol to impair their driving, or takes illicit drugs of any kind, they should not be operating a vehicle. Not only can they cause serious accidents, but those who drive while under the influence are subject to criminal charges.
  • Aggressive driving – If a driver is weaving in and out of traffic without using a turn signal, failing to stop at red lights or stop signs, following too closely, exhibiting signs of road rage, or cutting other drivers off they are considered to be driving aggressively and increase the risk of collisions occurring due to these driving patterns.
  • Fatigued driving – Any driver who is too tired to operate a vehicle safely, but does so anyway can be cited for driving while fatigued.

In some cases, the aforementioned types of driving are not just the responsibility of the truck driver, but rather the trucking company who employs the trucker. Read on to learn more about how trucking companies could be partially responsible for causing your accident and subsequent injuries.

Trucking Company Violations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides regulations that must be followed by all trucking companies across the United States. These regulations often include a mandatory number of days off for truck drivers and a specific number of hours they need to have off between shifts.

This is usually no more than seven consecutive days of work and a minimum of 13 hours off between shifts. When a trucking company violates the regulations, they can be found partially liable for your losses if the truck driver was driving while fatigued after being overscheduled or driving aggressively in order to meet the trucking companies unrealistic deadlines.

Other Parties that May be to Blame

Apart from the truck driver and the trucking company that employs them, anyone else involved in the safety and maintenance of the tractor trailer itself could have a claim brought against them if their irresponsible actions caused the truck to be unsafe.

This could include but is not limited to cargo loaders, safety inspectors, vehicle parts manufacturers, technicians, the owner of the truck, and/or any independent contractors who might’ve been involved in shipments, receiving or otherwise working with the company.

Speak with a Seasoned Truck Accident Lawyer

If you’ve endured catastrophic injuries after being involved in a crash with an 18-wheeler but you aren’t sure where to turn, a lawyer for truck accidents can help you. Your attorney will conduct a thorough investigation to determine who should be held accountable for your damages.

Any respectable law firm will even offer you a complimentary case review before taking on your case so that you have a better idea of what’s to come should you choose to proceed with a personal injury claim against the at-fault party.