Truck Accident

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.

Can Large Trucks Drive in the Left Lane in California?

by Staff | March 28th, 2022

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 1 lane being the leftmost lane. Drivers of standard passenger vehicles are advised to stay in the far-right lane for slow driving and use the left lane for passing.

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

What the Law Says

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 in keep right states 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 truck doesn’t impede traffic.

What About Large Trucks?

The California Vehicle Code oversees numerous commercial vehicles’ laws and regulations, such as semi-trucks. One of California’s most critical laws that large 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 conditions.

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 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.

Truck-Only 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)

Dangers of Trucks in the Left Lane

According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) data, 4,805 large trucks were involved in fatal accidents. 38% of these occurred on Interstate highways.

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.
  • 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.

Contact Our Team Today if You Need Legal Assistance

Truck accidents often cause severe, life-threatening injuries. If you or one of your family members are involved in a truck accident, contact 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.

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.

Truck Driver Health Issues Can Lead to Deadly Accidents

by Staff | March 29th, 2021

Truckers have one of the hardest occupations in the U.S. Their job often includes driving for long periods, which can lead to a sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle.

The health conditions that affect truck drivers can sometimes put them at risk of losing their commercial driver’s licenses. Unfortunately, those health problems can also endanger everyone truck drivers share the road with.

Let’s look at some of the health conditions disproportionately affecting truck drivers and why it should matter to all of us.

Sleep Apnea Is a Serious Problem in the Commercial Trucking Industry

Research shows that 28% of commercial truck drivers have mild to severe sleep apnea, which is up to three times more than sleep apnea rates among the general population.

When truck drivers have sleep apnea, especially the more severe forms like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), they’re less likely to get restorative sleep and stay alert behind the wheel. OSA leads to excessive daytime sleepiness, and that makes truck drivers far more likely to be involved in crashes.

Sleep Apnea Is Just the Beginning of Health Problems Facing Truckers

A survey conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that long-haul truck drivers are more likely than other workers in the U.S. to:

  • Smoke
  • Be overweight
  • Be physically inactive

NIOSH also finds that truck drivers are twice as likely as other workers to be obese and to have diabetes. They’re also twice as likely to smoke. The survey also revealed that 75% of truck drivers said they did not get the recommended amount of physical activity (30 minutes a day, five days a week).

How the Health of Truck Drivers Affects You

All drivers share the road with large commercial vehicles. Because those vehicles are so much heavier, bigger, and harder to bring to a complete stop, it’s the drivers and passengers in smaller vehicles who are most likely to be injured in collisions involving large trucks and passenger vehicles.

In other words, the health of truck drivers impacts the safety of all road users, from passenger car drivers to bicyclists to pedestrians. When these vulnerable road users are involved in crashes with large trucks, they often face expensive medical bills, lost income, property damage, pain, suffering, and even death.

If You’ve Been Injured in a Large Truck Crash, You Could Be Owed Compensation

Truck accidents often result in serious injuries, which also means expensive medical bills for the injured person. Trucking and insurance companies know this, and they go out of their way after a crash to mitigate their liability and put it on the shoulders of the injured person. In fact, it’s not unheard of for trucking and insurance companies to send a representative to the scene of the crash to solicit signatures from injured people to reduce or deny their claims.

At Berg Injury Lawyers, we know the tactics used by insurers and trucking companies, and we fight to protect the rights of innocent drivers injured in large truck accidents. If you’d like to schedule a free consultation, contact our California truck accident lawyers today.

Study Reveals Dangers of Inexperienced Truck Drivers

by Staff | January 4th, 2021

The more miles someone drives, the more competent they become behind the wheel. Though that’s true when it comes to any type of driver, it’s especially important when they’re operating a large commercial vehicle.

Large trucks are both difficult to operate and far more dangerous when involved in crashes than passenger vehicles. These vehicles are exponentially heavier than passenger vehicles, they take longer to come to a complete stop, and they are more difficult to navigate at intersections. That’s why commercial vehicles carry the potential to cause so much damage.

For the good of everyone on our roads, we should all want people operating large trucks to have very thorough training. We should also want them to have long careers behind the wheel, so the number of inexperienced truck drivers is kept to a minimum.

Unfortunately, new, insufficiently trained drivers are becoming increasingly common in the trucking industry.

What Research Shows About the Dangers of Inexperienced Truck Drivers

A study funded by the National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence looked at both age and experience in relation the crash risks facing truck drivers. It found that experience was a greater predictor of being involved in a crash than a driver’s age. For example, a younger driver with more experience driving trucks would have a smaller crash risk than an older driver with less experience driving trucks.

Age was also a factor, particularly when a driver was also inexperienced. For example, an inexperienced 55-year-old was more likely to be involved in a crash than an inexperienced 25-year-old. However, inexperience increased the crash risk of truck drivers across all age groups.

Why Younger, Inexperienced Drivers Are Common in the Trucking Industry

In the past few decades, the job of a truck driver has become increasingly undesirable for many workers in the labor market. Through years of deregulation encouraged by the trucking industry, these jobs have become lower-paying and more demanding.

The turnover rates in the trucking industry tell the story of how difficult this job really is. The most recent numbers tell us that large carriers experience a turnover rate of around 96%. Surveys indicate that one of the biggest reasons drivers quit is because they’re dissatisfied with their pay.

It’s no surprise that trucking companies are having a hard time finding workers willing to do the hard job of driving long, demanding hours for inadequate pay. The trucking industry says that it is currently short about 60,000 drivers, and it is lobbying lawmakers to enact federal laws that allow younger drivers to get behind the wheel.

With few experienced drivers choosing to stay in the profession long-term, the problems posed by younger, inexperienced truckers aren’t likely to go away anytime soon. 

Why It Matters for the Rest of Us

We all share the road with big trucks, and we all face dangers when inexperienced truck drivers become the norm. Because of their size and weight, these trucks pose very serious threats to other motorists’ safety when they’re operated by someone who isn’t experienced enough to drive them safely.

Hopefully, the trucking industry will find ways to make these jobs more appealing and retain their workforces. Until then, it’s vital you know your legal rights when injured in a large truck accident.

Our Legal Team Is Here to Help

The California truck accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers have years of experience handling these types of cases. Though trucking companies and their insurers will do everything they can to avoid paying injured people what they deserve, our team knows how to hold them accountable for the costs of our clients’ injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a large truck accident, contact our firm anytime for a free consultation.

Who Is Liable for a Large Truck Accident?

by Staff Blogger | March 23rd, 2020

Crashes involving heavy trucks are a driver’s worst nightmare. No one wants a 40-ton tractor-trailer smashing into their vehicle, because we all know how devastating that can be. In the aftermath of a large truck crash, injured people are left to deal with intense physical pain, posttraumatic stress disorder, medical bills, lost income, and other monumental obstacles. Unfortunately, any injury claims filed in the wake of a serious truck accident tend to be more complicated than those involving other crash types. Why are these claims more complex? The damages are typically far greater, which almost guarantees resistance from insurance companies. But the fact that trucking crashes involve so many parties is one of the key reasons truck accident cases are so unique.

Who Is Liable for Truck Crashes in California?

Any number of parties might be responsible for a truck accident. To break down this important topic, we’ve created a brief guide: Hopefully, you have a better understanding of liability in trucking accidents after reading the guide linked above. However, we also know that you likely have other questions you want addressed. If you need to speak to an attorney who has experience with these cases, call Berg Injury Lawyers. We’ve been helping injured people get the money they deserve for nearly four decades. In our years of experience, we’ve learned so much about how these claims play out, and we want to use that experience to help you and your loved ones.

What You Should Know About Truck Accident Cases

If you’re filing a personal injury claim after being involved in a truck accident, you should strongly consider hiring an attorney. As you learned in our guide above, a single truck accident can involve several well-funded parties, and paying you the money you deserve is the last thing on their minds. Insurers and trucking companies don’t play nice when money is at stake. It’s not uncommon for one of these companies to send a representative to the scene of a crash to mitigate the liability of the truck driver or the trucking company. If you are ever involved in a crash with a large truck, DO NOT speak to a representative of the trucking company or the truck driver’s insurance company. If you’ve hired an attorney, direct that representative to them.

To Speak to an Experienced Truck Crash Attorney, Call Berg Injury Lawyers

Don’t leave your claim hanging in the balance when so much is at stake. Contact Berg Injury Lawyers today to speak to a California truck accident attorney who knows how to get results.

3 Reasons Truck Accidents Are More Complex than Auto Accidents

by Staff Blogger | December 9th, 2019

At first glance, getting compensation for truck accidents seems like it should follow the same process as getting compensation for accidents involving passenger vehicles. But anyone who was hurt in an accident involving a tractor-trailer can tell you that truck accident claims are often far more complicated than auto accident claims. There are three main reasons for that:
  1. Truck accidents involve more potentially liable parties—In auto accidents, there’s usually one liable party: the negligent driver. But in truck accidents, there may be two, three, four, or more negligent parties, including the truck drivers, truck owners, truck companies, and even other motorists. Determining who was at fault can be a difficult process and it requires collecting and analyzing plenty of evidence.
  2. Truck accidents cause severe injuries—Semi-trucks are dozens of feet in length and can up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. When they’re involved in crashes with passenger vehicles, their occupants are likely to suffer serious injuries that can be life-changing and life-threatening. Victims often experience permanent disabilities that put them out of work, which means their compensation claims must be carefully built and negotiated.
  3. Truck accidents often result in big settlements—Insurance companies do everything in their power to pay victims as little as possible after crashes. And because truck accident settlements are often much bigger than auto accident settlements, insurance companies can be even less helpful and even combative when victims seek the compensation they are owed.
At Berg Injury Lawyers, our California truck accident attorneys know the unique challenges victims face after tractor-trailer accidents. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Do You Know Who Is At Fault for Your Truck Accident?

by Staff Blogger | October 7th, 2019

If you were recently involved in a truck accident, getting compensation is likely one of your biggest priorities. That’s because truck accidents often cause serious injuries that can require expensive medical treatments and long periods away from work. But in order to get compensation, you must first prove that another party—or even multiple parties—was negligent. When it comes to truck accidents, one or more parties may contribute to a crash. When you call the California truck accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers, we’ll investigate the accident and find out who was at fault. Potentially liable parties include:
  • The truck driver—Truck drivers must not only follow state traffic laws, but must also follow federal trucking guidelines as dictated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
  • The truck company—Truck companies may overload trucks to increase profits, or they may follow unsafe loading procedures, causing trucks to be unbalanced and unsafe to drive.
  • The truck owner—Trucks can rack up hundreds of thousands of miles in just a few years. Truck owners are required to maintain them regularly, and when they fail to do, accidents can occur.
  • Another driver—Trucks may be involved in crashes that were caused by other drivers. We’ll review all the facts to find out who was responsible, including other motorists.
In many cases, multiple parties may share liability for truck accidents. Whoever was responsible for your truck accident, we’ll do everything we can to maximize your chances of getting compensation. Call today.