Understanding the Dangers of Fatigued Trucking

Truck driver fatigue and its link to dangerous truck accidents has long been a subject of scrutiny, but the issue has come into focus even more in recent years due to new studies and increased federal regulations on commercial truck drivers. However, fatigued and drowsy driving are still a common occurrence in the trucking industry with many companies encouraging drivers to push past regulations, according to The Trial Lawyer.

In order to prevent fatigued truck accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Commission (FMCSA) has established strict Hours of Service (HOS) regulations. These rules demand that truck drivers and their companies operate with time restrictions regarding how long a driver can operate his or her vehicle and when he or she must take a break or go off duty. Those who violate HOS regulations can be penalized by the FMCSA, but drivers and companies can falsify records and log books which are meant to keep track of truck operation in order to slip past these regulations.

Truck accidents can result in devastating injuries and death for those involved, especially those in smaller passenger vehicles or pedestrians. The massive size and weight of tractor trailers coupled with the speed of the vehicle can easily crush vehicles involved in an accident. Fatigue can lead to truck drivers making mistakes and reacting poorly to emergency situations, thus increasing the chances of an injury accident.

A truck accident can quickly lead to life-altering injuries for those involved, and when driver or company negligence leads to such an incident, victims have the right to seek compensation for their losses. The San Diego truck accident injury attorneys can aid you in your injury case by using their years of experience to your advantage. Contact us today for more information on how we can help.

Fatal Hit-And-Run Freeway Crash Kills Tow-Truck Operator

40-year-old Christopher Barton Tatro was killed in a tragic hit-and-run car collision that occurred on December 17, 2011, around 2 a.m. on 91 Freeway in Riverside. According to California Highway Patrol, Tatro was loading a disabled vehicle onto his flatbed truck on the side of the eastbound lanes of the freeway near Monroe Street when he was hit by a tan sedan, possibly a beige late-1990s Saturn.

The car veered from the number five lane into the left side of the tow truck and then struck Tatro. The collision threw Tatro about 60 feet into traffic lanes. He suffered massive injuries to his legs and torso.

Tatro was immediately transported to Riverside Community Hospital where he was later pronounced dead around 4:20 a.m.

From the available information, it appears that negligent and distracted driving of the sedan driver contributed to this serious multiple vehicle collision. If it is found that the sedan driver was driving inattentively, then he may be held liable for this accident. Also, this sedan driver has committed the felony of hit-and-run, which is a direct violation of California traffic law.

The victim’s family members should immediately seek counsel from an experienced Riverside County truck accident lawyer who would educate them about their legal rights. The victim’s family may file a wrongful death claim against the sedan driver to obtain compensation to cover funeral and burial costs, loss of anticipated earnings, loss of love, care and companionship, and other accident-related damages.
Our personal injury law office sends sincere condolences to the victim’s family and friends.

San Diego Big-Rig Truck Accident Injures Car Driver

A serious San Diego truck accident occurred on northbound Interstate 15 (I-15) when a big-rig truck ran over and ended up on top of a car, leaving the driver seriously injured. According to the California Highway Patrol, this San Diego freeway accident occurred south of Interstate 8 (I-8) in the Mission Valley area of San Diego shortly before 1:30 p.m. on October 19, 2010.

California Highway Patrol officers said that the truck crashed on the top of the car before it came to rest on the center divider. The smaller vehicle was crushed badly and its’ driver suffered serious injuries and was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Eastbound Interstate 8 remained blocked for several hours following this truck accident until emergency crew cleared the road around 4:30 p.m. Authorities are still investigating what caused this traffic accident to occur.

From the available information, it is not clear if the truck driver’s negligence or inattentiveness lead to this accident. Now the authorities need to find out what made the truck driver land on the roof of the car. Did he lose control of the vehicle? Was there any automobile malfunction or design issue which contributed or caused the auto accident to occur? Was the truck driver driving under influence of alcohol or drugs? If the driver is indeed found at fault, he may be held liable to cover the cost of medical treatment, hospitalization costs, lost wages, and other accident related damages.

The injured car driver should consult an experienced San Diego truck accident lawyer who could help him acquire fair compensation for his pain and damages suffered. We sincerely hope and pray that the injured victim did not suffer any life threatening injuries and that he recovers completely from his injuries.

Big Rig & Bus Crash Closes Highway 12 In Sacramento County

A big rig versus bus accident closed Highway 12 on October 11, 2010, afternoon in Sacramento County. According to the California Highway Patrol, this fatal Sacramento interstate trucking accident involved two other vehicles: a bus and a Chevy Blazer SUV. Stockton CHP spokesman Angel Arceo said that this three vehicle accident occurred on State Route 12 just east of the Sacramento-San Joaquin County line and south of Isleton, approximately 400 miles from San Diego.

Arceo said that the big rig truck and a tractor trailer was traveling westbound when it encountered traffic, tried to slow down, and jackknifed. A transit bus carrying no passengers heading eastbound slammed into the big rig. The female drivers driving big rig and the transit bus suffered critical injuries and were transported to a nearby hospitals for treatment. The big rig truck driver was taken to John Muir hospital in the Bay Area, while the bus driver was transported to the UC Davis Medical Center.

The SUV involved in this truck accident, went down an embankment off the road, but fortunately no one suffered major injuries. This Sacramento truck accident forced closure of Highway 12 in both directions. The roadway reopened after 7:45 p.m.

This news report offers very few details about what caused this three vehicle crash. There are several unanswered questions here. Who caused the accident? Who was at fault? Did alcohol or drugs play a part? Was one of the drivers fatigued at the time of the crash? Was speed or distraction a factor? Was there an auto defect or mechanical malfunction that caused the driver to lose control?

Victims of negligent drivers often face considerable monetary adversities in addition to their physical injuries. In such cases like this one, the truck accident victims can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, loss of wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and other related damages.

It would be in the best interest of the injured victims to seek assistance from a truck accident attorney in Sacramento County.

We sincerely hope and pray that none of the injured victims sustain any life-threatening injuries.

Huntington Beach Auto Accident Injures Driver

A 38-year old man suffered critical injuries in an Orange County car accident that occurred at Goldenwest Street on September 28, 2010 around 6:00 p.m. According to Huntington Beach Police Lt. Gary Faust, the injured victim was thrown out of his pickup truck after it collided with a BMW.

Faust said that the pickup truck rolled over and the man was thrown out of it. The injured man suffered serious head and internal injuries and was transported to UCI Medical Center for treatment. The BMW driver also complained of pain and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. The names of both the car drivers have not been released.

Police are still investigating the cause of this car accident to determine who was responsible for causing the accident, but it is believed that one of the drivers might have crossed into the intersection against a red light. If any of the car drivers is determined to have caused this traffic collision, then he might be held liable to pay the other with compensation to cover cost of hospitalization and pain and suffering.

The injured pickup driver should consult with a car accident lawyer in Orange County who could help them get a just compensation for the pain they suffered.

Car Runs Into San Bernardino Home

A 71-year old woman and her 43-year old son suffered serious injuries when a Nissan Titan veered into their home on September 14, 2010, around 1:40 a.m. According to California Highway Patrol officers, the pickup truck crashed through the bedroom and living room of the victim’s home in Victorville, located approximately 100 miles from San Diego in San Bernardino County.

Fortunately, six to seven people sleeping upstairs escaped unhurt. The pickup truck driver, though, suffered minor injuries in this truck accident. The Fire Department crew that responded to the accident scene shored up the house to prevent it from collapsing. Hopefully it will not be “red-tagged” as uninhabitable and torn down.

From the present facts it appears that the negligence and inattentiveness of the truck driver caused this accident. Investigating officers need to find out whether the truck driver was driving under influence—which he most likely was given the nature of this auto accident and the time of day–or was distracted. If it is found that the truck driver was negligent, then he will be responsible to pay compensation to the injured victims for medical costs, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, and the damage done to their house.

South Sacramento Pick-up Truck Accident Injures Two Pedestrians

Two unidentified pedestrians suffered minor injuries in a pedestrian accident that occurred on August 17, 2011, around 6 a.m. on eastbound Elder Creek Road, just west of South Watt Avenue.

According to California Highway Patrol Officers, the two men were walking away from their broken-down vehicle in Sacramento’s south area when they were struck by a pickup truck. Both the pedestrians complained of pain and were immediately transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.

There is limited information and an investigation will yield the exact cause of the accident. Investigating officers need to determine how fast the pickup truck was traveling if the motorist was distracted, or if he was driving negligently. A detailed investigation will help the officers determine the exact cause of this car crash.

The injured pedestrians should immediately seek counsel from an experienced Sacramento County pedestrian accident lawyer who would educate them about their legal rights and assure that the at-fault party is apprehended and brought to justice. Injured victims can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver to obtain compensation to cover medical, treatment and hospital costs, loss of wages, loss of earning capacity, and other accident-related expenses.

Our personal injury law office sincerely hopes and prays that the injuries suffered by both the pedestrians heal soon

Orange County Jury Awards Injured Construction Supervisor $4.7 Million After Being Struck by Commercial Truck

Orange County Jury Awards Injured Worker $4.7 Million After Being Hit by Commercial Truck

On July 28, 2009, an Orange County jury awarded a severely injured construction supervisor $4.7 million after he was struck by a commercial truck while supervising the installation of a natural gas pipeline in Orange County. The 36 year old man was left with severe injuries that made him disabled and restricted his physical abilities.

The underlying commercial truck accident occurred on December 8, 2006, while the plaintiff was supervising the installation of a natural gas pipeline when he was struck by a Chevrolet Tahoe driven by an employee of the defendant making a lunch delivery. The defendant was a franchisee of three El Pollo Loco restaurants. The defendant driver had pulled from a stop sign into the intersection in front of an approaching Toyota 4-Runner. Neither driver saw the other before the collision. After both vehicles struck each other, the Chevy was propelled into the plaintiff, causing severe injury, including a shear fracture of the pelvis and a massive injury to the left shoulder. Total medical care costs exceeded $405,000 and the plaintiff lost $63,000 in income. He underwent three surgeries to stabilize his pelvis and beat two separate bouts of MERSA following the surgeries.

As a result of the accident, the plaintiff was forced to give up his field supervisor position in favor of a sedentary job as an estimator for underground construction. There was no claim for future medical care since the experts on both sides agreed that no medical treatment would improve the plaintiff’s condition. The medical evidence was also largely undisputed. The plaintiff was relegated to a largely sedentary lifestyle following the auto accident. He could not lift over 20 pounds, had difficulty walking over half a mile, and could not sit or stand for prolonged periods. Prior to the car accident, plaintiff was in excellent health and had a very active lifestyle with his wife and two children.

The defendant driver pointed the finger at the driver of the 4-Runner and did not take responsibility for his own role in the accident.

After a jury trial, the jury rejected the argument that the driver of the 4-Runner was negligent and concluded that it was not reasonable for him to anticipate that the driver of the Chevy would enter the intersection when it was unsafe. The jury awarded over $405,000 for past medical costs, past wage loss of over $63,000, past “pain and suffering” of $2,000,000, and future “pain and suffering” of $2,250,000 for the remaining 40 years of plaintiff’s life.

Congratulations to the plaintiff on receiving a fantastic and well-deserved victory. We wish him and his family the best in the future.

Valley Center Man Killed in San Diego County Bicycle Accident

On July 21, 2009, a bicyclist was fatally injured on a rural road in North San Diego County when the bike he was riding was struck by a pickup truck.

The victim, Angel Guadalupe Galvez, 37, had been cycling southbound along Cole Grade Road in Valley Center as the 1992 Chevrolet pickup approached from behind, around 8:15 a.m. according to California Highway Patrol. As the driver tried to pass Galvez just by Fruitvale Road, the struck intercepted the bicycle. Medics that had arrived on the scene took Galvez to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, where Galvez, a Valley Center resident, was pronounced dead a short time later.

FMCSA Grants HOS Exceptions to Fireworks Carriers

In recognition of the July 4 holiday, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently granted an Hours of Service (HOS) exemption to some truck drivers that carry fireworks for commercial shows, according to a recent article in The Trucker.

The exemption applies to the 55 companies that are members of the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA). The exemption covers the part of the hours of service rules that prevent drivers from taking the wheel after the 14th consecutive hour of being on duty, as long as they have spent some of that time off-duty or in a sleeper berth. It does not apply to other parts of the HOS requirements, such as the limit on the number of hours a driver may operate a truck within one 24-hour period or the limit of 60 or 70 hours of driving per week.

The exemption applies to APA members who are transporting fireworks between June 28 and July 8, 2013, and it is also in effect for the same time period in 2014. Only one motor carrier who requested a renewal of the exemption has been denied, according to the FMCSA. The agency believes that the exemption will allow APA members to complete their work while still maintaining safety on the roads.

Fireworks are a classic part of Independence Day celebrations, and many southern California families will travel by car to see them. If you’re injured this holiday, the dedicated San Diego injury attorneys can help. Contact us today for a free and confidential case evaluation.

Driver in Fatal Central California Tour Bus Crash had History of Prior Accidents

You have likely heard about the recent deadly tour bus carrying tourists, mostly from France, from the San Francisco area down to Los Angeles, where they were due to depart back to France. The Orion Pacific tour bus had overturned on a highway overpass in Central California where four passengers were ejected from the bus as it lay in a wreck around 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday. There were five confirmed deaths from the bus accident.

A new detail reveals that the American driver, John Egnew, 69, of Corona in Riverside County, had been involved in another accident about three years ago. The Associated Press found evidence that in 2005, Egnew struck a 71-year-old woman in Las Vegas as she was crossing the street with her husband, leaving the woman with serious injuries. Egnew claimed that he didn’t see the pedestrian on the road.

Driver Suffers Injuries in El Cerrito Bus Accident

An unidentified pickup driver suffered serious injuries in an El Cerrito bus accident that occurred on April 13, 2011, around 6:32 p.m. on Cajalco Road just west of La Sierra Avenue, in Riverside County. According to the responding California Highway Patrol Officers, a pickup truck driver crashed his vehicle into a school bus carrying 32 students due to unknown reasons.

The injured pickup driver was immediately transported to Corona Regional Medical Center for medical treatment. The California Highway Patrol now must determine what made the pickup driver crash his truck into the school bus. It does not seem that a defective road design or vehicle malfunction caused this accident. From the facts presented, it appears that the truck driver was either inattentive and driving negligently or ran a red light and violated the bus’s right of way.

The injured victims should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Riverside County to determine their legal rights and to obtain timely compensation to provide for treatment and hospitalization costs, loss of earnings, and pain and suffering damages.

We sincerely hope that the injuries suffered by the victim heal soon.

Ramona Pedestrian Killed After Being Hit by Truck

Ramona Pedestrian Killed After Being Hit by Truck

An unidentified pedestrian, in the Ramona section of San Diego, was killed after being hit by in a semi-truck accident Wednesday morning while crossing the street.

The accident happened just after 2:30 a.m. when the driver of the truck was heading west on Main Street at the intersection with 7th Street. According to the driver, the pedestrian appeared to come out of nowhere and appeared in front of the truck. The truck driver stopped after the impact and found the man’s body pinned under the truck.

Both lanes of Main Street were closed until 5 a.m. while the California Highway Patrol investigated the accident. At the time of publishing this entry, the cause of the accident was still under investigation.

If our office was approached by the pedestrian’s family, we would first have to determine what happened that early morning. We would hire a professional accident investigator and a private investigator to track down witnesses and to document the facts of the accident, including sight lines for the truck driver, the traffic controls available at the intersection and obtaining witness statements. If the pedestrian was in the crosswalk, had the right of way, or even if the driver was not paying attention while he was driving, the pedestrian’s family might have a strong case for their wrongful death claim.

If you or a loved one has ever been involved in a pedestrian accident, including one that results in a wrongful death claim, please contact the experienced trial lawyers.

San Diego Wrongful Death Verdict to be Reviewed by California Supreme Court

A San Diego jury awarded the widow of a motorcycle rider and his two children $4.9 million after he was struck on a motorcycle by a truck driver. After the verdict was read, the judge–as is typical–polled the jurors for their votes. However, the judge forgot to get the answers from one juror to two of the 13 questions asked during the polling process.

The juror did agree with the other jurors that the truck driver was negligent and caused the trucking accident. However, the judge forgot to ask him if he agreed with the other jurors on the apportionment of damages. The jury verdict found to the truck driver to be 80% responsible for causing the accident but also found the motorcycle rider to be 20% responsible.

On appeal by the insurance defense counsel for the truck driver, the judge’s mistake led to a reversal of the verdict by the Fourth District Court of Appeals. The Court of appeals held, in part, that:

…the trial court erred in accepting the juror declarations to inquire into and resolve the results of the jury’s decision making process, and also when it made a credibility determination that Santana could not effectively have voted other than 80/20 at any relevant time.

The Keeners, the family of the motorcyclist, have appealed to the California Supreme Court to reinstate the jury verdict.

Orange County Truck Accident Leaves One Injured

A 36-year old woman was severely injured in an Orange County truck accident as a commercial truck tractor went off a residential street in Garden Grove and hit several trees, a fence, concrete planters and a block wall before coming to a stop. This truck accident took place on February 12, 2010 around 11 a.m. The injured woman, Olga Quiroz, was standing in her yard when she was struck and dragged under the truck. Quiroz was taken to a local hospital with lacerations, fractures, and other injuries to her legs.

The truck driver, William Davis, 44, of Orange, was uninjured, and evaluated to have been driving under the influence of alcohol and was later arrested on suspicion of felony DUI. Davis has also been linked to a non-injury hit and run traffic collision that happened about 45 minutes before at Euclid Avenue and Trask Street.

Our office wishes for a speedy recovery for Olga Quiroz. It has to be said that drivers need to be extremely careful while driving in residential areas. Also, driving under influence can lead to fatal consequences.

Pedestrian Fatally Struck in Palm Springs Truck Accident

A pedestrian was hit by a truck in a crosswalk of a Palm Springs intersection at North Palm Canyon and Racquet Club Drives on January 5, 2012, around 8:04 a.m. in Palm Springs. According to the police, the pedestrian was struck by an Isuzu panel truck while walking across the crosswalk.

The victim suffered life-threatening injuries and was immediately transported to a nearby hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

If the motorist is determined to have been at fault in this case, then he could be held responsible for this truck accident that killed a pedestrian. The victim’s family members should immediately seek counsel from an experienced Riverside County hit-and-run crash lawyer who would educate them about their legal rights and options.

This lawyer may help them file a wrongful death claim against the truck driver to obtain compensation to funeral and burial costs, loss of anticipated earnings, loss of love, care and companionship, and other accident-related damages.

Our personal injury law office sends sincere condolences to the victim’s family members and friends.