Truck Accident

Truck Accident Cases: Separating the Myths from the Facts

by Staff Blogger | May 13th, 2024

Truck accidents are a tragic reality on California’s roads, often leading to devastating consequences for those involved. In 2021, the state had the second-highest number of deaths due to large truck crashes, with 437 fatalities.

Semi-truck accident cases can be complex, with several myths about liability and insurance making it hard to understand your rights and compensation options. Knowing the facts and working with a California truck accident lawyer from Berg Injury Lawyers can help you receive fair damages to pay for your injuries.

Common Myths about Truck Accident Cases

There are several myths about truck accident cases, especially when figuring out who’s to blame and how to get compensated. Here are a few of those common myths, along with the facts behind them:

“Truck Accidents Are Caused by Driver Negligence.”

Around 87% of large truck crashes in the U.S. are attributed to driver error, such as inattention or fatigue. However, these accidents also occur due to elements outside the driver’s control, such as vehicle issues (10%) like defective brakes or tires and environmental dangers (3%) like dangerous weather conditions.

For instance, in 2021, detached tires from a semi-truck bounced over the median on the I-10 near Cabazon and landed on a Subaru, seriously injuring both passengers inside.

In another example, high winds near West Sacramento toppled a semi-truck, causing it to fall over and slide across the road. While no other vehicles were involved, this demonstrates how environmental factors can contribute to a crash.

“Trucking Companies Always Prioritize Profits Over Safety.”

Some trucking companies prioritize profits over safety. This can manifest as inadequate vehicle maintenance, insufficient driver training, or extended working hours beyond legal limits.

While some trucking companies may prioritize profits, many focus on safety, investing in training, maintenance, and technology. This commitment to safety is guided by federal and state regulations such as the following:

  • Hours-of-Service: California adheres to federal Hours-of-Service regulations but also includes exceptions for drivers operating solely within the state. For instance, intrastate drivers can split their required 10 hours off-duty into two periods, with one period being at least seven consecutive hours in the sleeper berth.
  • Cargo Loading Procedures: Trucking companies must follow rigorous standards for cargo loading, including weight distribution across all axles to prevent tipping and ensure stability.
  • Training Requirements: California mandates truck driver training that includes successful completion of the federal Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) from a registered provider and at least 15 hours of behind-the-wheel training for an original Class A or B CDL, upgrading a Class B CDL to Class A, or obtaining specific endorsements.

“Getting Compensation After a Truck Accident is Straightforward.”

Many believe seeking compensation after a truck accident will lead to a quick and easy financial recovery. However, the process is complex and can involve many parties, including the truck driver, the trucking company, and insurance companies. In addition, all of these parties will likely have legal representation of their own. 

The trucking industry’s strict regulations further complicate claims, making it challenging to get a fair settlement without specialized knowledge. Commercial trucks, for instance, require millions in insurance coverage, which can affect a possible settlement in a collision. Determining which insurance limit applies in your case and collecting the right evidence to prove your damages requires the help of a skilled attorney.

The Role of Legal Representation

Given these complexities, seeking legal representation is crucial for anyone involved in a truck accident. Our truck accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers have the experience to investigate the incident thoroughly, gather evidence, and hold negligent parties accountable.

We can use the following strategies to help you receive the compensation you deserve:

  • Leveraging accident statistics to strengthen your case.
  • Incorporating expert perspectives for a well-supported claim.
  • Understanding and applying relevant regulations to highlight any violations.
  • Analyzing driver logs for evidence of fatigue or non-compliance.
  • Using black box data from the truck to establish fault and detail the events leading up to the accident.
  • Reviewing medical records to document the extent of your injuries and their impact on your life.

Let Us Get You Fair Compensation

Truck accidents are often shrouded in myths and misconceptions, making it essential to separate fact from fiction when pursuing legal recourse. At Berg Injury Lawyers, we understand the complexities of truck accident cases and are dedicated to confidently helping victims navigate the legal process.

With our experienced team of attorneys, we provide personalized attention and advocacy to help our clients receive the compensation they deserve. If you were injured in a truck accident, contact Berg Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation.

What Are the Most Used Truck Routes in California?

by Staff Blogger | April 1st, 2024

Trucking routes are the arteries of California’s economy, facilitating the movement of goods essential to the state’s commerce. These include minerals, agricultural products, and rubber, which comprise 35% of interstate tonnage. 

Trucks move goods from the bustling ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to the agricultural heartlands of the Central Valley. However, with this high transport level come risks like traffic congestion, road maintenance, and accidents.

Knowing California’s most-used truck routes can help you avoid a collision and understand the risks you might face on heavily driven corridors. If you’re involved in a crash with a semi-truck, a California truck accident lawyer from Berg Injury Lawyers can protect your rights and help you seek compensation.

Major Truck Routes in California

The value of goods traveling from California to other U.S. states is expected to increase by 95% between 2023 and 2050, equalling $1.742 trillion. To support this commerce, California has an extensive network of highways, interstates, and corridors that serve as lifelines for the transportation industry. These major roadways include:

  • Interstate 5 (I-5): This major north-south route runs the length of California, connecting major urban areas such as San Diego, Los Angeles, and Sacramento. It is crucial for transporting goods between the agricultural Central Valley and other parts of the state, as well as to and from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, two of the busiest ports in the United States.
  • Interstate 10 (I-10): Running from Santa Monica through Los Angeles to the Arizona state line, I-10 is key for east-west transportation within Southern California. It links the Greater Los Angeles area with inland regions and is vital for distributing goods from the coastal ports inland.
  • U.S. Route 101 (US-101): This route runs through California from Los Angeles to the Oregon border, serving key coastal communities and industries. It is important for moving goods within the state, especially for the wine and agricultural products of the Central Coast regions.
  • Interstate 40 (I-40): Starting in Barstow and heading east out of California, I-40 is a primary route for goods traveling between Southern California and the rest of the United States. It is a critical link for transporting products from the West Coast to central and eastern markets.
  • State Route 99 (SR-99): Running through the Central Valley, SR-99 connects agricultural communities and cities like Bakersfield, Fresno, and Modesto. This route is essential for transporting California’s agricultural products to markets and distribution centers.
  • Interstate 80 (I-80): Connecting San Francisco to the Nevada state line, I-80 is a vital transcontinental corridor for goods moving in and out of the San Francisco Bay Area, including technology products and imports from the Port of Oakland.

Safety Considerations when Driving with Trucks

While these truck routes are essential for sustaining California’s commerce, they also present various challenges and safety considerations for drivers. As you travel along these corridors, be aware of the following:

  • Traffic Congestion: Traffic congestion in urban centers and key corridors, such as in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, can impact driver safety. The dense traffic, often mixed with large trucks, creates unpredictable conditions, increasing collision risks.

Congestion can also lead to longer travel times and heightened stress, which can cause aggressive driving and more accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration cites traffic congestion as a leading cause of aggressive driving, like speeding, which killed 12,330 people in the U.S. in 2021.

  • Maintenance: Poor road maintenance and infrastructure needing repair can lead to hazardous driving conditions for all drivers. Issues such as potholes, cracks, and uneven road surfaces can cause vehicle damage and contribute to accidents.
  • Accident Risks: Heavy truck traffic, congested roads, and poorly maintained infrastructure can increase the likelihood of traffic accidents. These risks are heightened in areas with large commercial traffic volumes, particularly near ports, distribution centers, and major freight corridors.

Protect Your Rights in a Crash

If you’re involved in a collision in California, an experienced personal injury law firm can help you understand your rights and get fair compensation. Whether due to a semi-truck driver’s negligence, poor road conditions, or an accident in congested traffic, we can help you gather evidence, determine who’s at fault, and file a compensation claim from the liable party’s insurance company.

Contact us today for a no-obligation, free consultation where we can review your case and explain your legal options.

Can Large Trucks Drive in the Left Lane in California?

by Staff | March 13th, 2024

In the U.S., the left lane is the passing lane or the “fast” lane. Drivers typically use the left lane to pass other vehicles. In California, lanes are numbered from left to right, with the number “one” lane being the leftmost lane. Drivers of standard passenger vehicles are advised to stay in the far-right lane when moving slower than other vehicles and to use the left lane for passing slow moving traffic.

Considering their relatively slow speeds, you may be wondering if semi-trucks can use the left lane. Read on to discover what the law says about large trucks driving in the left lane in California and learn about the potential risks and dangers.


Legislation regarding driving in the left lane in the U.S. varies by state. Four categories exist:

  • “Keep right” states: Driving in the left lane is prohibited except for passing or turning left.
  • “Yield” states: Driving in the left lane is tolerated, but drivers must yield and move to the right lane if they are blocking traffic.
  • “Keep right when slower” states: These states follow the recommendations outlined in the Uniform Vehicle Code. According to UVC 11-1205, while drivers can cruise in the left lane, they should keep right if they are slower than the current traffic speed (regardless of the speed limit).
  • Permissive states: Driving in the left lane is allowed without restrictions.

According to the California Vehicle Code (CVC 21654(a)), the Golden State follows UVC recommendations, making it a “Keep right when slower” state. Left-lane driving is generally legal as long as the driver doesn’t impede traffic.


The California Vehicle Code oversees numerous commercial vehicle laws and regulations, including those governing semi-trucks. One of California’s most critical laws that semi-trucks and other large vehicles must follow is vehicle-specific speed limits.

According to CVC 22406, large trucks (also referred to as motortrucks) are among the six categories of vehicles prohibited from exceeding 55 miles per hour on a highway.

Other vehicles may use the left lane to drive at speeds up to 65 mph (CVC 22349) or 70 mph (CVC 22356), depending on the posted speed limit.

In practice, these speed limits mean trucks are not legally allowed to exceed 55 mph anywhere on the highway. Therefore, they would be highly likely to impede traffic behind them if they switched to the left lane.

Another law (CVC 21655) stipulates that any vehicle subjected to the speed limits of CVC 22406, like semi-trucks, must stay within designated slow vehicle lanes at all times unless turning left or preparing to enter or exit the highway.

  • 2-lane and 3-lane highways: The designated slow vehicle lane is the rightmost lane.
  • Highways with 4 or more lanes: The designated slow vehicle lanes are the two rightmost lanes.


Some highway sections may feature truck-only lanes, reserving traffic for large commercial vehicles and prohibiting passenger cars from driving on them. Drivers can easily recognize these lanes by looking for the white signs stating TRUCK LANE, TRUCK TRAFFIC, or Trucks/All Trailers in black text.

The end of the truck-only lane zone is marked by another sign: END TRUCK LANE RESTRICTIONS.

You can find examples of truck-only lanes at the following locations:

  • At the I-5 / SR 99 junction in Kern County (southbound only)
  • At the I-5 / SR 14 junctions in LA County (northbound and southbound)


According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) data, there were 168,320 truck crashes in the U.S. in 2022. 13,603 of these crashes happened in California, which is more crashes than in any other state besides Texas. And when semi-trucks cause crashes, 83% of the time the person injured is someone other than the truck driver.

Not only is it illegal for a truck to leave its designated lanes, but California’s 55 mph speed limit on large trucks prevents them from legally reaching the speeds necessary to pass vehicles on the highway. Driving in the left lane would impede traffic flow, create congestion, and significantly increase the risk of causing accidents. Moving any faster would constitute speeding, further increasing the potential risks.

Potential risks associated with trucks in the left lane include:

  • Trucks occupying the left lane may not reach sufficient speeds to pass vehicles on the right, impeding traffic flow. Traffic congestion increases the risk of rear-end accidents.
  • Vehicles behind a truck changing lanes may brake suddenly, significantly increasing the risk of rear-end accidents.
  • Vehicles flowing in and out of the truck’s blind zone as it switches lanes may be side-swiped or struck.

Roughly a third of all truck crashes result in an injury.  


Truck accidents often cause severe, life-threatening injuries. If you or one of your family members are involved in a truck accident, contact the California truck accident lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers for a free consultation today. We can help you hold the trucking company accountable and get the compensation you deserve.

Originally published March 28, 2022.

The Most Important Evidence to Gather After a Truck Accident

by Staff Blogger | February 19th, 2024

Accidents with semi-trucks are among the most severe you can experience. These large trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and cause catastrophic damage to your vehicle and to your physical health.

Collecting the right evidence after a large truck crash can help you prove fault and hold the trucking company responsible for your damages. This can include pictures, black box data, and witness testimony that supports your claim.

Learn the most important evidence to gather for your truck accident case and how our California truck accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers can use our resources and legal skills to help you collect it.

What Kinds of Evidence Do I Need?

After a truck accident, there are several pieces of evidence to collect that can help support your claim. Here’s a comprehensive list of what to gather with the help of your attorney:

  • Accident report. Obtain a copy of the police report from the accident. This report provides an objective account of the accident, including details about the parties involved, like the trucking company, driver’s name, and license plate. It may also contain the officer’s conclusion about who is at fault. Request the report by filling out the California Highway Patrol Collision Request form.
  • Detailed photographs. Capture clear images of the accident scene using your phone or a camera, emphasizing the size and positioning of the semi-truck. Include photos of the truck’s license plate, company name, and visible damage to its cargo or trailer. You can also photograph the tire marks, road conditions, and traffic signs, which can show how the accident occurred.
  • Witness information. Collect witness contact information, such as name, address, and phone number or email. Write it down or put it in your phone with their permission. Ask if they noticed anything specific about the truck’s operation, such as erratic driving, speeding, or cargo issues. This testimony can support your claim and provide insight into what caused the crash.
  • Medical documentation. Gather all documents related to your medical treatment after the crash. This includes hospital invoices, medical reports, X-rays, MRI scans, and prescriptions. These records connect your injuries to the accident, prove their severity, and provide a clear picture of your medical condition. Request your records through the hospital’s medical records department and your primary care physician, then share them with your lawyer.
  • Dashcam and surveillance footage. If available, obtain all footage of the accident, including dashcam footage, traffic camera, or surveillance video. These may have captured the truck’s movements before the accident, helping prove liability.

With the help of your attorney, contact local law enforcement agencies, nearby businesses with surveillance cameras, and relevant highway authorities to request all footage of the accident.

  • Black box data. Secure the semi-truck’s black box or Event Data Recorder (EDR) data from the vehicle. This data contains critical information, including speed, braking, and acceleration, that can help reconstruct the events leading to the accident and determine causation.

Your attorney can contact the trucking company or file a Motion to Preserve evidence to access and protect this information.

  • Electronic hour log records. Acquire the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) records as soon as possible from the truck. These records help assess compliance with hours-of-service regulations and identify potential driver fatigue issues that may have contributed to the accident.

Your lawyer can request these from the trucking company as part of your claim.

  • Trucking company information. Gather information about the trucking company, including insurance details and a history of safety violations. This can be important for understanding broader issues like company negligence or systemic safety failures.

Your legal team can communicate with the trucking company to collect this information during the investigation process.

  • Cargo records. Request information about the cargo the truck was carrying. Overloading or improper loading can contribute to accidents, affecting liability and the seriousness of your injuries.

Your attorney can obtain cargo records by contacting the trucking company’s records department or through legal discovery processes, including subpoenas and requests for the production of documents.

Evidence Gathering Tips

When gathering evidence for your case, you must move quickly to collect relevant documents, footage, and records. Our skilled attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers can walk you through the evidence-gathering process and help you secure all relevant information.

Here are a few tips for gathering effective evidence:

  • Act promptly. Begin gathering evidence as soon as possible. Memories fade, and physical evidence can deteriorate over time.
  • Document everything. Keep a detailed record of events, conversations, and any relevant information. Make a digital copy of paper records and save them in a secure, cloud-based file you can easily access when needed.
  • Communicate with legal professionals. Consult with an attorney early in the process. They can guide you in evidence collection, ensuring you gather information vital to your case.
  • Preserve the evidence chain. Maintain a clear and documented chain of custody for physical evidence by recording each instance of possession and handling. This helps protect its integrity and admissibility in court.

Work With an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney from Berg Injury Lawyers

Collecting the right evidence after a serious truck accident can help you win the compensation you deserve. Our team at Berg Injury Lawyers has over four decades of experience with personal injury cases. We know what evidence to look for and how to obtain it for your claim.

Contact us today for a free consultation. We can review your medical records and the evidence you collected and start investigating your claim to get you a fair settlement.

Liability When Improper Lane Changes Cause Truck Accidents

by Staff Blogger | February 7th, 2024

According to California Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 22107, drivers must confirm that moving from one lane to another is safe and warn nearby road users sufficiently. The at-fault party may be liable for property damages and other injuries if an accident occurs.

Occasionally, it may be challenging to identify the at-fault party. At first glance, the driver changing lanes is the most likely culprit. However, it is possible that both drivers were merging into the same lane simultaneously. In these cases, blind spots or wide turns can cause an accident rather than a lane change.

Whatever the situation, if someone you know gets injured in an improper lane change accident involving a truck, they may be able to recover damages with the help of an attorney. If you live in the Modesto area or anywhere in Northern California, a Modesto personal injury lawyer from our team can help.

In this article, we’ll provide information that may help victims understand improper lane changes, what causes them, and how to pursue compensation.

What Is an Improper Lane Change in California?

The law referenced above governs unsafe movements by vehicles between lanes. Under the law, each driver is responsible for ensuring that any steering or merging maneuvers they perform do not endanger other drivers or pedestrians.

Simply put, it is illegal in California to change lanes without taking necessary precautions.

Motorists can receive tickets for this traffic violation and may have to pay fines and court fees if convicted. Even worse, if the driver caused harm to another person, they may have to compensate the victim for their injuries.

What Constitutes Improper Lane Change in California? 

Although every motorist should know the law and the dangers of unsafe road practices, what factors might cause them to change lanes improperly?

  • Not Signaling Before Leaving Their Lanes
    Failure to signal before turning puts other drivers at risk since they’ll have no way of adjusting their driving to accommodate them as they change lanes.
  • Not Warning Other Motorists Before Merging Left or Right
    Signaling is not enough to adequately warn other motorists before changing lanes. Motorists need ample time to react to potential hazards. It may take up to a second or more for another driver to register the movement and apply their brakes. Truck drivers must allow adequate time for others to notice them and their intentions before executing the lane change.
  • Failing To Check That They Have Enough Room Before Changing Lanes
    Depending on the vehicle’s size, the driver may need a little or a lot of space to change lanes.
  • Abruptly Slowing Down After Entering a New Lane
    Other drivers may not anticipate that you plan to slow down after changing lanes. They may maintain their current speed and end up crashing into you.
  • Making Accidental Lane Changes Due to Distraction or Exhaustion
    Drivers may unwittingly drift into nearby lanes because they are too tired or distracted to concentrate on their steering.
  • Signaling Too Late
    It makes no sense for a truck driver to signal when the other car is already ahead of their taillights. Thus, the other driver will not see the warning.
  • Swerving Between Lanes or Lane Hopping
    As a rule, drivers should stay in one lane as much as possible. If drivers constantly hop from one lane to another, their risk of causing an accident increases.

How Do Lane Changes Affect Truck Accident Liability?

Insurance adjusters will consider improper lane changes and other traffic offenses when determining whether to approve or deny a claim. For example, if a driver was driving under the influence, they can still claim damages if another driver improperly merged into their lane.

A capable, experienced truck accident lawyer is the best person to handle these complex accident analyses. Rather than denying that Driver A was under the influence, an attorney’s goal in such a case would be to prove that the second driver was still to blame for the accident.

It is also possible for both drivers to share the blame, and both claim damages in California.

Do I Need a Truck Accident Lawyer for My Claim?

Victims sometimes avoid securing legal representation due to the misconception that hiring a lawyer is too costly. However, that is not true at Berg Injury Lawyers. Victims get a free consultation and do not pay any attorney fees unless they win.

Another advantage of having our lawyers on your side is that you’ll leave the stress of the negotiations to us. You won’t have to spend time mastering any legal jargon or worry about the other party preying on your lack of legal experience.

Our lawyers fight hard for their clients. Remember, we do not get paid unless you win. We work hard to maximize the highest possible compensation for our clients’ damages in every case we build.

Liability can change significantly in truck accidents when improper lane changes are involved. Building a solid case to ensure the best possible outcome is essential, and Berg Injury Lawyers has the knowledge, experience, and skill to take on the big trucking companies.

By hiring capable injury attorney, victims can rest assured that their case is in good hands and focus on their recovery. Contact us for a free consultation to determine your eligibility for compensation.

Riding Through Fog and Mist: Understanding Trucking Accidents in Low Visibility 

by Staff Blogger | October 20th, 2023

Every driver is familiar with the worrying sensation of watching the world outside your car window blur into a cloud of fog and mist. Driving in low-visibility situations is problematic, but doing so while sharing the road with large commercial trucks can make it even worse.

Understanding Low Visibility

Low visibility refers to weather conditions that make it harder for drivers to navigate safely by reducing the distance they can see. Low visibility can be a factor in trucking accidents, and understanding the causes and effects is critical to preventing them.

Low Visibility Causes

  • Fog, heavy rain, wind-blown snow, dust, and smoke can reduce visibility.
  • The absence of a rear window and insufficient reflectors might increase the size of a truck’s blind area.
  • Other factors, like driver fatigue, can mitigate low visibility.

Approximately 38,700 car accidents occur annually due to fog alone, resulting in over 600 deaths and over 16,300 injuries. According to a study conducted in the Shanghai River-Crossing Tunnel, snowy or icy road conditions and rain considerably enhance the likelihood of a fatal or incapacitating injury in truck-involved crashes.

Accidents involving big trucks in limited visibility conditions can lead to serious injuries to everyone involved. Low-visibility accidents involving large trucks can even result in significant economic and societal ramifications, such as the costs of repairing and maintaining damaged vehicles and the disruptions resulting in supply chain delays.

Low Visibility Prevention and Mitigation

  • To help reduce accidents caused by fog or severe rain, truck companies and their drivers must obey federal standards on visibility.
  • The correct use of headlights and taillights can improve visibility.
  • Improved driver education and training, vehicle technology, and infrastructure can all contribute to reducing poor visibility incidents.

Filing a Trucking Accident Legal Claim

Making a legal claim after a trucking accident is complicated. The steps outlined below will assist you in understanding the process. With the right personal injury lawyer, Sacramento residents can rest assured that their case is handled empathetically and professionally.

1. Seek Medical Attention Right Away

The most important thing to focus on after a truck collision is your health and safety. Pursue medical assistance for any injuries, no matter how minor they appear to be. Your well-being comes first.

2. Investigation and Evidence Gathering

Gathering evidence is critical to developing a compelling case. Here’s what you should do:

  • Photograph the accident scene, including vehicle damage, road conditions, and any pertinent signage.
  • Collect witness accounts and contact information from people who witnessed the accident.
  • Obtain a copy of the police report, which provides essential information regarding the accident.
  • Keep any physical evidence, such as damaged vehicles or debris, should it be required for your case.

3. Request Compensation

  • Contact a skilled Sacramento truck accident lawyer to assist you in filing a claim.
  • Lawyers have extensive experience dealing with these situations and will guide you through the procedure.
  • Give your attorney all the evidence you have gathered to enable them to assess your case’s strength and determine the amount of compensation you are entitled to.

4. Taking Part in Settlement Negotiations

  • Your attorney will initiate negotiations with the insurance provider. 
  • An attorney will try to reach a reasonable settlement to cover your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and other related damages.
  • If negotiations fail, your lawyer will file a lawsuit on your behalf.

5. Filing a Lawsuit

  • Your attorney will begin filing a lawsuit if a settlement cannot be reached.
  • The case will be filed in the proper court, and a copy of the complaint will be served on the party responsible for the accident.
  • The defendant will respond to the complaint and the claims leveled against them.

6. Discovery

  • Both sides will exchange case-related data and evidence throughout the discovery stage of the legal process.
  • Depositions are recorded in which witnesses and parties are questioned under oath.
  • Expert witnesses are asked to testify and offer their professional perspectives on the case.

7. Trial

  • The case will go to trial if a settlement cannot be reached.
  • A judge or jury will hear evidence and arguments from both parties.
  • Before finalizing the matter, the judge or jury will carefully analyze the evidence and arguments provided.

Have you or a loved one been involved in a trucking accident in low visibility and are seeking compensation? Don’t navigate this challenging journey alone. Contact Berg Injury Lawyers today for expert legal assistance.

The Role of the California Highway Patrol in Investigating Truck Accidents

by Staff Blogger | March 21st, 2023

Three state highways cross Modesto, CA: 99, 108, and 132. Highway 99 is a major route for trucks. Since heavy trucks generate incredible amounts of force in collisions, truck accidents can be particularly severe, often causing catastrophic injuries.

In an emergency, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) directs traffic under Section 2410 of the California Vehicle Code (CVC). CHP’s command designation gives them responsibility for the incident scene and traffic impacts associated with other agencies’ involvement.

CHP investigates and analyzes significant truck accidents in Modesto. An investigation involves the reconstruction of an incident and studies possible contributing factors. The ultimate goal is to identify what causes big truck accidents  and prevent them from reoccurring.

When you have been in a truck accident, you need an experienced Modesto truck accident attorney to protect your legal rights and maximize your financial recovery.

Following are the specific roles of the California Highway Patrol in investigating truck accidents.

Assistance with Traffic Control

CHP department representatives work together to restore normal traffic flow through appropriate response measures and methods. The method depends on the individual truck accident and the objectives.

CHP’s responsibility is to direct traffic in the short term until conditions stabilize or until Caltrans implements the necessary long-term traffic control measures.

A CHP officer can control traffic using hand signals, flare patterns, cones, or other techniques. In these circumstances, traffic is temporarily redirected pending improved conditions or installation of traffic signs, barriers, and other control devices to alleviate traffic congestion.

CHP promptly ensures that the traveling public is kept safe when a critical emergency requires traffic control.

When you are involved in an accident on a California state highway, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) will investigate and file an accident report. When pursuing an injury claim, the contents of the accident report are crucial to the defense of the responsible driver.

Collecting Accurate and Timely Evidence After Truck Accidents

CHP investigates truck accidents in Modesto to gather factual evidence for due process and statistical analysis. They may restrict unauthorized individuals from entering the investigation area to assist them in performing this duty.

They will collect evidence, preserve property, and provide emergency medical care to those in need. If a truck collision or damage to a highway facility results in significant traffic, CHP will notify Caltrans immediately.

Caltrans personnel are responsible for repairing the damage and restoring normal operations to the facility. California Highway Patrol provides Caltrans with copies of collision reports on state highways to be evaluated for:

  • Safety and operational improvements
  • Repair
  • Maintenance
  • Recovery of damage costs from responsible parties

Caltrans and the CHP communicate when frequent collision locations are recognized to determine mitigation measures.

At first, it may seem difficult to understand a CHP traffic accident report. But with the help of a truck accident attorney, Modesto residents may better understand what the report means for their case.

Get in touch with a Modesto truck accident attorney with experience handling truck accident cases immediately so you never have to guess your way through the process.

Investigations to Ensure Public Safety

The California Highway Patrol and Caltrans have developed several unique programs to improve safety and provide motorists with service. Safety is the number one priority in both departments and is a central part of their mission.

Policy statements specify the responsibilities associated with those programs. CHP and Caltrans work together to implement immediate corrective actions when a situation or circumstance in the transportation infrastructure poses a threat to motorist safety.

These plans are examples of implementing public education programs or modifying engineering priorities. For example, to become an integral part of CHP’s Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Teams (MAIT) Program, Caltrans engineers receive training from CHP. As part of the MAIT Program, CHP supervises Caltrans engineers.

CHP provides a completed Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Teams (MAIT) report to Caltrans’ Legal Department, and as part of MAIT, CHP coordinates media relations activities. When MAIT responds to a truck accident, CHP notifies the Caltrans team member.

Where the MAIT investigation exceeds 30 days, CHP informs Caltrans through a Caltrans team member and provides an estimated completion date. CHP field supervisors carry out their investigation duties to prevent unnecessary motorist delays.

Contact a California Freeway Truck Accident Lawyer

It is the responsibility of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to operate the state highway network. As part of its mission, the Department is dedicated to providing the public with the highest level of mobility, safety, and security. They achieve this through effective traffic control, incident management, and quick incident resolution. Our team of experienced truck accident attorneys in Modesto can assist you if you have been injured in a truck accident in Modesto or lost a loved one. Contact us today at Berg Injury Lawyers Modesto offices for a free consultation.

Does Paying Truck Drivers by The Mile Lead to More Accidents?

by Staff Blogger | January 19th, 2023

The trucking industry lacks enough drivers. This may be detrimental to the US economy since the trucking industry accounts for 67% of US total freight by weight. There are 3.5 million commercially licensed truck drivers, but only 2.6 million are on the road. The difference in these figures primarily lies in how drivers are being paid. 

Nowadays, freight companies usually pay truck drivers by the mile and not by the hour. This encourages truck drivers to spend more time behind the wheel or engage in speeding in order to earn more money. It also has the effect of putting truck drivers and others on the roads at greater risk of being involved in a truck accident.

Truck accidents often result in serious injuries and huge financial losses. If you or someone you care about was injured in a truck accident in Sacramento, hire a Sacramento truck accident lawyer to assist you with getting compensation for your injuries and financial losses.

Read on to learn how an experienced personal injury lawyer who specializes in truck accident claims can help. 

What Does it Mean to Pay a Truck Driver by the Mile? 

Paying a truck driver by the mile means that the driver is paid according to the miles traveled in their job. The rate of pay varies according to experience, the region, and the company the driver works for. Most trucking companies pay between $0.28 to $0.40 per mile, but drivers hauling sensitive materials are paid at a higher rate. 

Why Is Paying a Truck Driver by the Mile a Problem?

By far the biggest problem with paying a truck driver by the mile is that it encourages the driver to drive as far as they can in the shortest time possible. To maximize their earnings, drivers might be tempted to speed or continue to drive even after they are fatigued.

This reckless behavior puts the truck driver and others on the road at risk of serious injury. Some of the most dangerous consequences of speeding and fatigued driving are as follows:


  • Greater likelihood of losing control of the vehicle;
  • More stopping distance needed in an emergency; and
  • Greater likelihood of severe injuries and death if an accident occurs;

Fatigued driving

  • Greater likelihood of falling asleep at the wheel; 
  • Dulled reflexes;
  • Tunnel vision; and
  • Poor decision-making

Why Trucking Companies are Reluctant to Change their Business Model 

Paying truck drivers by the mile is not necessarily the best paying model for trucking companies. However, because of labor requirements, these companies cannot easily adopt a different payment structure.

Paying truck drivers by the mile goes back to 1939 when the Minimum Wage Law or Fair Labor Standard Act was passed. President Frederick. D. Roosevelt passed this law during the great depression to protect laborers from overexploitation. However, he exempted the trucking industry from this requirement and mandated the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to oversee truck drivers’ payment structure. 

In 1980, the ICC was stripped of its authority over the trucking industry when Congress passed the Motor Carrier Act. Even with this new law, Congress did not remove the exemption on the Minimum Wage Act, resulting in a piecework rate of pay where drivers are paid for the distance they drive or business they produce. 

Truck Accident Statistics 

Paying a truck driver by the mile contributes to the nation’s truck accident statistics by encouraging truck drivers to engage in reckless driving behaviors like speeding, tailgating, reckless overtaking, and other behavior that increases the possibility of a truck accident. 

Here are some notable truck accident statistics: 

  • Approximately 130,000 people are injured by truck accidents annually. 
  • Roughly 4,000 people die from truck accidents every year. 
  • 4% of fatal truck accidents involve trucks carrying hazardous cargo 
  • According to driving tests statistics, speeding contributes to 14% of light-truck fatalities and 7% of large-truck fatalities. 
  • According to FMCSA truck accident statistics for 2020, 54% of all fatal crashes associated with large trucks occurred in rural areas, 27% on interstate highways, and 13% on rural interstate highways. 

Compensation for Truck Accident Injuries

To recover compensation after a truck accident in Sacramento, you and your truck accident lawyer need to prove the following:

  • The truck driver owed you a duty of care; 
  • The truck driver breached their duty of care;  
  • The truck driver’s breach caused you to sustain injuries; and 
  • You incurred actual damages or financial losses due to the injuries you sustained 

With the aid of a skilled truck accident lawyer, Sacramento residents injured in a truck accident are better able to satisfy these requirements and recover the compensation they need and deserve. On the other hand, those who pursue truck accident claims without the assistance of a qualified attorney, often find themselves getting less than what they deserve or nothing at all.  

Types of Compensation You Can Get After a Truck Accident 

There are essentially three types of damages that may be recovered in a truck accident:

Economic Damages 

Losses to which an accident victim can assign an actual dollar amount. These include all expenses incurred due to injuries sustained in the truck accident, such as: 

  • Past and future medical bills;
    • Past and future lost wages, income, and benefits
    • Damage to your vehicle
    • Other out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident and your injuries 

Non Economic Damages

Intangible losses that are not easy to assign a dollar amount, such as:

  • Pain and suffering
    • Loss of consortium 
    • Compensation for scarring and disfigurement

Your Sacramento truck accident lawyer may enlist the help of experts to assist with assessing all of your damages and calculating how much you need to be fully compensated.

Punitive Damages 

A court may award you punitive damages if the liable truck driver willfully and willingly disregarded safety laws or exhibited particularly egregious behavior. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the wrongdoer and to deter others from engaging in similar behavior. An experienced truck accident lawyer can help you determine if your truck accident case warrants punitive damages.

Frequently Asked Questions About Truck Accidents 

What Should You Do Immediately After a Truck Accident? 

There are several important things you need to do immediately after a Sacramento truck accident for your health and wellbeing and to preserve evidence: 

  • Call 911;
  • Seek medical attention; 
  • Take pictures of the accident scene; 
  • Exchange information with the truck driver;
  • Talk to the witnesses about what they saw and ask for their contact information; and 
  • Contact a truck accident lawyer in Sacramento 

What Parties May Be at Fault for a Truck Accident? 

In addition to the driver, the following parties may also be at fault in a truck accident: 

  • The trucking company;
  • The truck’s manufacturer;
  • The truck maintenance company;
  • The loader;
  • The shipper; and
  • Other third parties

Your Sacramento truck accident lawyer can assess the circumstances involved in your truck accident and attempt to identify every party that may be held liable. 

How Do You Choose a Truck Accident Lawyer? 

There are specific qualities you need to look for when choosing a lawyer for a Sacramento truck accident case, specifically:

  • Experience handling truck accident claims in Sacramento; 
  • Willingness to work aggressively towards a settlement;
  • The ability to communicate with you effectively;
  • Transparent fees; 
  • Impressive client testimonials and reviews; and
  • Whether you and the lawyer are compatible 

Is There Any Cap on Damages for a Truck Accident Claim in California? 

No. California has not established any cap on damages recovered for any personal injury case, including truck accident claims. This applies to all three types of damages, economic, non-economic, and punitive. 

Contact a Sacramento Truck Accident Lawyer

Truck accidents can be devastating. Victims often suffer fatal injuries and incur huge financial losses. If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident in Sacramento, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. At Berg Injury Lawyers, we are ready to help you seek what you are rightfully owed. 

We have been fighting for injury victims for more than 40 years. We offer a free consultation to every potential client and charge no legal fee unless we win your case. Contact us today and let us give you the peace of mind you need as you recover from your injuries. 

What Causes Jackknife Truck Accidents?

by Staff | May 4th, 2022

Jackknifing is a common type of trucking accident where the trailer of an articulated vehicle, such as a semi-truck, skids and spins toward the front. The trailer slides and pivots sharply, essentially folding over the vehicle.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, California ranks second in the nation for fatal truck accidents. Commercial vehicles, like articulated trucks, are extremely heavy, often carrying up to 10,000 pounds or more of inventory and materials. The weight and size of these vehicles contribute to the severity of this type of crash.

During a jackknifing accident, the truck driver loses control of the vehicle. The trailer can swing across the road, causing multi-car collisions resulting in severe property damage, catastrophic injuries, and loss of life.

If you’re involved in a trucking accident from a jackknifing incident, it’s vital to hire the services of skilled California truck accident lawyers. Truck accident lawsuits are highly complex and require experienced attorneys to ensure you get maximum compensation.

What Causes Jackknifing Accidents?

Jackknifing can occur for several reasons. A semi-truck, also called a tractor-trailer, consists of two parts: the tractor (front), where the engine and cab are located, and the trailer, where the cargo is stored.

If the trailer skids away from the tractor, it can slide to form a 90-degree angle, often sending the truck sprawling across the road or even overturning. This type of accident is called jackknifing because the appearance resembles a pocketknife blade sliding into its handle.

Some of the leading causes of jackknifing accidents in California include:

How the cargo is loaded

Loading and unloading commercial vehicles is one of the most important factors for road safety. If the inventory isn’t secured correctly, it can alter the balance of the trailer. Shifting weight is extremely dangerous at higher speeds and when the truck turns. The momentum caused by shifting cargo can cause a skid, leading to jackknifing.

An empty trailer is just as dangerous as the weight of the cargo prevents the trailer from sliding around or shifting in high winds while holding it to the road. A semi-truck without cargo is at a greater risk of jackknifing. If workers don’t load the truck properly, they can be held legally responsible for an accident.


Tractor-trailers are built with multiple braking mechanisms, helping keep all vehicle parts under control. The drive axles, steering axles, and trailer axles must work in unison to ensure the truck stays balanced on the road.

Truck operators must be skilled drivers, capable of braking effectively in all weather conditions. If the driver brakes incorrectly or too aggressively, the axles can lock up, causing the truck to skid and jackknife. Newer truck drivers may not have the experience needed to safely brake the truck in unexpected conditions, causing an accident.

Road conditions

Hazardous road conditions are a leading cause of jackknifing. Rain, snow, and ice reduce traction on the road, making it difficult for trucks to get traction. Road spray, loose materials from engines, tire kickup, and materials from nearby land can also reduce grip and cause a skid.

With the national shortage of commercial truck drivers and the increased demand on shipping, trucking companies may encourage their truck operators to drive through adverse conditions to prevent delays. This raises the risk of truck accidents, including jackknifing.

Equipment failure

Commercial vehicles should be maintained meticulously, especially when carrying heavy loads over hundreds of miles. Braking and mechanical systems must undergo frequent inspections and maintenance to ensure trucks are safe and roadworthy.

If a driver or the trucking company fails to inspect their vehicles before operating or doesn’t follow routine maintenance, they can be held liable if an equipment failure causes an accident.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Rules and Regulations

The FMCSA outlines several guidelines to help keep motorists and truck drivers safe. For example, scheduling regulations prohibit drivers from working too many consecutive hours to prevent drowsiness. All trucks must be adequately maintained and loaded correctly.

Unfortunately, not all trucking companies abide by these rules, increasing the risk of an accident. Tight schedules, monetary targets, and delivery demands mean that many organizations overlook certain safety aspects, contributing to trucking accidents.

What You Should Know if You’re Involved in a Crash

If you’re involved in a truck accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. The truck driver isn’t the only individual who can be held responsible. The trucking company, vehicle owner, engine parts manufacturer, and road safety authorities may also be at fault.

If any of these individuals or entities acted negligently and their actions were directly responsible for your injuries, you can file a truck accident lawsuit. This legal claim allows you to recover compensation from the responsible party, such as medical costs, vehicle damage, and loss of income.

The state of California recognizes a pure comparative fault law for auto accidents. This statute means that you’re entitled to damages according to your degree of fault in the incident. If the truck driver was 100% responsible for the crash, you may claim 100% of the damages, but if the truck driver was only 80% at fault, you will only receive 80% of your compensation.

Get Legal Help for Your Truck Accident Case

Many trucking companies have legal professionals dedicated to protecting their drivers and businesses. This makes it more challenging when building a case after an accident with a large truck. It’s critical you hire a qualified and experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident to represent you and build your case. 

At Berg Injury Lawyers, our attorneys understand the devastating impact of a truck accident. We’ll work with you to determine your expenses and ensure your compensation factors in any changes to your quality of life.

Schedule your free consultation today to get started.

What Types of Trucks Do You Need a CDL to Drive?

by Staff | November 1st, 2021

Since 1992 drivers have been required to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate certain commercial vehicles. These include vehicles like semi-trailers, tanker trucks, and buses.

California requires truck drivers to have a CDL if they drive any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more. You also need a CDL if you drive vehicles with a combined weight exceeding 26,000 pounds; the requirement also applies to those driving tractor-trailers.

A commercial driver’s license is important because these are heavy vehicles that require extra training and skill to operate. You must be appropriately licensed and certified, but even the most experienced and careful truck drivers get into accidents.

The size and weight of trucks make them harder to control and bring to a stop in heavy or fast-moving traffic. This makes large trucks more likely to get into crashes and collisions than passenger cars.

If you get into an accident involving a commercial truck and are injured, you’ll need an attorney specializing in truck accident cases. Consider hiring an experienced California truck accident lawyer.

Make sure before you get behind the wheel of any truck that you have the proper licenses. Learn if you need a Class A, Class B, or Class C license to operate a vehicle.

How are Trucks Classified?

Trucks are classified by gross vehicle weight (GVWR) and gross combination weight (GCWR). The type of CDL drivers need depends on the type of vehicle they will be driving.

●      Class A License

You will need a Class A license to drive vehicles that possess a gross combined weight (GCWR) of 26,0001 lbs. or more. Any towed vehicle in this class weighs more than 10,000 lbs.

The most common Class A trucks are tractor-trailers, also known as semis or 18-wheelers; these vehicles have a truck cab and a towed trailer.

Other vehicles in this class include tanker trucks, livestock carriers, and flatbed trucks.

Having a Class A license lets you operate most Class B and C vehicles.

●      Class B License

You need a Class B license to operate any single vehicle that is not hitched to a trailer. Typically, this is any commercial truck where the cab is attached to the cargo area. In this class, the combined weight of the cab and cargo exceeds 26,001 pounds.

Some of the most common Class B vehicles include box trucks, buses, and straight trucks. This license is also for trucks with a detached towed cargo trailer when the trailer weighs less than 10,000 pounds, such as a small trailer for a dump truck.

Drivers with a Class B license can operate some vehicles requiring a Class C license.

●      Class C License

Vehicles that do not fall into Class A or B are designated as Class C. Class C licenses are for passenger vans and buses. Any vehicle that can transport 16 or more people, including the driver, qualifies as Class C.

You will also need a Class C license if you transport hazardous material, as defined by the federal government.

Obtaining a CDL in California

Drivers in California must meet specific state requirements to qualify for a CDL. First, you must have a state driver’s license in good standing.

You must be 18 years of age or older and drive a commercial vehicle within state lines. If you’re driving a commercial vehicle over state lines, transporting passengers, or carrying any hazardous materials, you must be at least 21 years of age. You also have to be a resident of California and have permission to work in the United States.

You must pass written exams before you obtain a CDL. You will undergo a hearing and vision exam and additional medical tests. These requirements are for your safety and those on the road around you.

According to the National Safety Council, trucks make up 4% of the vehicles on the road but account for 10% of all fatal accidents, meaning truck drivers are more likely to get into a severe accident than the average driver.

Ensure that if you’re operating a large motor vehicle, you have the correct license and training to do so. If you hold a CDL and are in an accident where you or someone else becomes injured, seek legal counsel from a reputable law firm.

Truck Companies Can Be Held Liable for Unlicensed Drivers

Some trucking companies will hire drivers who are not licensed to drive a commercial vehicle or have the wrong type of license for the truck they will be driving, because they can pay the inexperienced or underqualified driver less money than they would an experienced and qualified driver. This is irresponsible and dangerous for both the driver of the truck and the drivers of the vehicles who have to share the road with that truck.

If you’ve been involved in an accident with a driver who was not legally qualified to operate that vehicle, you may be able to sue the trucking company for your injuries and other damages.

Our Law Firm Wants to Help

If you’re involved in a truck accident, contact the team at Berg Injury Lawyers today. Our skilled truck accident lawyers are on standby 24/7 to help with your case. Whether you were the victim of an auto accident or were injured on the job, we can ensure you understand your rights and are well-informed when pursuing legal action.