Articles Posted in Trucking Accidents

Trucking accidents in Valley Center and throughout Southern California can have serious consequences, and many collisions with large trucks result in life-altering and deadly injuries. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) underscore that crashes involving large trucks and smaller passenger vehicles tend to be especially severe because large trucks typically weigh 20 or 30 times as much as a passenger vehicle, and they have significantly greater ground clearance that can lead to fatal underriding accidents. When a severe or deadly trucking accident occurs, who is liable? 

It is important to seek advice from a Valley Center truck accident lawyer who can assess your case and help you to determine who may be responsible for injuries. In many cases, more than one party may bear some liability, and you may be able to file a claim against multiple parties. The following are the parties who are often at fault for large truck accidents in Southern California.

Truck Driver Who Made an Error Behind the Wheel

Whether you are driving on one of the major highways surrounding Poway or you are on a local road, a serious truck accident can happen without warning. Trucking accidents can happen for many different reasons, and it is important to work with an experienced truck accident attorney who can help you move forward with a claim and determine who may be liable for your injuries. Although every case has its own set of facts, the following are the general steps you should take if you have been injured in a Poway trucking crash. 

Gather Evidence at the Scene of the Truck Accident

Many truck accidents result in life-threatening and deadly injuries. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), large trucks usually weigh anywhere from 20 to 30 times as much as a smaller passenger vehicle, and they have a much higher ground clearance. As a result, a collision with a passenger car or light truck can mean that any occupants of those smaller vehicles sustain debilitating injuries. If you are physically and mentally able to do so, you should gather as much information as you can at the scene of the truck accident. You should take photos, and you should make sure to record the names and contact information of anyone else involved in the collision and anyone who witnessed it.

rhys-moult-7eaFIKeo1MQ-unsplash-copy-300x221If you or someone you love got hurt in a truck accident in Carlsbad, it is extremely important to know about your options for filing a claim and proving that the trucking company is responsible for your injuries. Even in cases in which a truck driver’s error caused the collision, as is true in many trucking collisions, plaintiffs will want to learn more about causation and liability to determine whether the trucking company itself or the owner of the truck may also bear responsibility for the crash. Generally speaking, truck companies have much deeper pockets than truck drivers themselves, and thus they may be able to provide an injured plaintiff or her family with full compensation for losses. Yet first, a plaintiff will need to prove causation and liability. 

What causes most truck accidents? The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted a study about trucking accident causation more than 15 years ago. According to a recent report in Transport Topics, the FMCSA has plans to conduct a new crash causation study that will help to reveal the extent to which issues like smartphone usage and distracted driving play a role in truck collisions.

Details of the FMCSA Planned Study

OsideAccident-300x171An enlisted Navy man was killed on Saturday while parked on the shoulder of State Route 76 in Oceanside. According to reports, 43-year-old Victor Velez pulled off to the right shoulder on the eastbound side of the road near Foussat Rd. and got out of his car. For reasons currently unknown, an eastbound box truck traveling in the right lane struck the man, killing him.

An investigation into the accident is continuing, and police currently do not believe that alcohol was a factor in the crash. Anyone with any information about the accident is encouraged to contact officer David Paul of the Oceanside Police Department at (760) 435-4431.

Last year, Walton Law Firm represented a man in a similar type of accident. That incident occurred on State Route 78, and involved a tow truck driver who was struck when a large truck veered into the shoulder, striking two people, one of whom died. After an investigation by the law firm, it was established that the negligent driver had the sun in his eyes and may have been reaching for his phone at the time of the accident.

Moving-2When we are on neighborhood roads or highways in Southern California, should we be concerned about the risk of a car accident caused by road debris? Most of us are typically on the lookout for other drivers who are not obeying the rules of the road or distracted pedestrians who might inadvertently step into traffic, but according to a recent report from CBS News, dangerous road debris causes far more car crashes than you might expect. Between 2011 and 2014, more than 200,000 collisions have been attributed to debris already in the road or to debris falling from unsecured truck loads. What else should you know about crashes caused by debris, and what can you do to prevent them?

AAA Study Highlights Severity of Crashes Caused by Debris and Unsecured Loads

The CBS News report cites a recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which determined that approximately 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths on the road between 2011 and 2014 resulted from debris. According to Tamra Johnson, a spokesperson for the AAA Foundation, “the really troublesome thing about all this is a majority of these crashes are preventable, if drivers would just take the necessary precautions to secure their load or maintain their vehicle properly.”

A dangerous truck accident in Fresno recently took the life of a 22-year-old graduate student, Ana Tapia, according to an article in the New York Daily News. Trucking accidents can be particularly deadly given the size and weight of these vehicles. If you or someone you love was injured or killed in an automobile accident, you should discuss your case with a San Diego truck accident attorney. You may be entitled to compensation.

Tractor-Trailer “Flying Wheel” LOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAeads to Fatal Injuries

How did the recent trucking accident happen in downtown Fresno? It appears Tapia’s car was hit by a “flying wheel from a tractor-trailer.” Tapia had been behind the wheel of a Toyota Corolla on Highway 99 when the wheel crushed her. Reports indicate that the wheel “rolled into her lane,” and then “smashed into the roof and driver’s side” of her vehicle. Investigators are not sure precisely how the wheel came detached from the vehicle, but the California Highway Patrol (CHP) continues to look into the matter. Some commentators described the scene as a “freak accident.”

FedEx Truck Causes Deadly Bus Accident

 Red CrossA fatal automobile accident in Northern California left 10 people dead, including five high school students, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times.  The crash occurred when a FedEx truck driver veered across a median on the I-5 freeway and collided head-on with a bus transporting high school students.  The cause of the tragic trucking accident remains unknown, but the FedEx truck driver was reported as being among those killed in the crash.  Scott Frederick, a California Highway Patrol (CHP) lieutenant, said authorities aren’t yet sure whether the driver “had fallen asleep, whether his freight truck had some type of mechanical failure or if it was involved in a separate collision that preceded the fiery crash.”

What happened?  Currently, all the California Highway Patrol knows is that, by the time emergency medical responders arrived at the scene of the bus accident, the vehicle was “already engulfed in flames,” according to CHP Commander Bruce Carpenter.  He explained that “31 people were transported to seven hospitals with injuries ranging from minor to critical.”  Nine victims died at the scene of the accident, and another person passed away later from fatal burn injuries.  The driver of the FedEx truck, Tim Evans, and the driver of the bus, Talalelei Lealao-Taio, were among the ten victims of the deadly accident.  Five students and three adult chaperones also died from injuries sustained in the crash.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that at least 100,000 crashes reported to police result from driver fatigue each year. Drowsy driving crashes result in approximately 1,500 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses each year. A new analysis published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report examined survey data from nearly 150,000 drivers in 19 states and the District of Columbia. The analysis found that 4.2 percent of drivers admitted having fallen asleep while driving in the last 30 days. One problem with drowsy driving is that everyone defines it differently. However, most experts agree that a driver is drowsy when his or her alertness is appreciably lower than it would be if the driver were well rested and fully awake.

Driving while drowsy can be very dangerous. A driver that falls asleep may crash into another vehicle or other object at full speed, with no attempt to avoid the crash by steering or braking. At times, drowsy drivers might even appear to be drunk, because their driving is so poor. Some studies have found people’s cognitive abilities to be as impaired after twenty-four without sleep as with a blood alcohol content of .10, which is higher than the legal limit for driving while intoxicated in every U.S. state. Nearly 90 percent of police officers surveyed reported pulling over a driver that they originally thought was drunk and turned out to be sober but drowsy.

Some warning signs you may experience that signify drowsiness while driving include:

A tanker truck, carrying a tank on its flatbed, struck several vehicles on the southbound side of Interstate 15 in Escondido on Saturday November 3, 2012 at approximately 1 PM, near the Via Rancho Parkway exit. A 47-year-old Escondido resident was driving a Freightliner tanker truck at approximately 45 to 55 miles per hour when he noticed that traffic was beginning to stop due to a sudden back-up on the Via Rancho Parkway off-ramp. The truck driver attempted to brake, but was not able to stop the large tanker before it struck the rear of a Chevrolet Malibu sedan.

The tanker truck struck the Malibu hard enough to cause a chain reaction, whereby two additional cars, a Pontiac G6 and a Toyota Solara, were struck. In addition, the Malibu became wedged underneath the tanker truck, trapping the driver inside the sedan. To make matters worse, the tanker truck then caught fire. Luckily, the Escondido Fire Department quickly arrived to put out the flames. Bystanders, sheriff’s deputies, and firefighters then removed the seriously injured driver from the Malibu. He was transported by air to the University of California San Diego Medical Center for treatment.

The occupants of the Pontiac G6, two 21-year-olds and a 1-year-old child, sustained moderate to minor injuries, and were transported to Palomar Hospital. The Toyota Solara’s sole occupant was uninjured.

An auto accident is never an expected. But the statistics are clear that these incidents are the most common preventable accident that strikes in our community on a daily basis. Unfortunately, not only are roadway collisions frequent, they are incredibly harmful. Car and truck accidents cause serious harm, even beyond those directly involved in the accident.

speeding%20car.jpgThese negative effects are seen day in and day out by our San Diego personal injury lawyers. Take, for example, a major auto collision occurred that near the San Diego International Airport. According to NBC San Diego News, a truck jumped the center median and hit a sedan head on. San Diego Fire Rescue, Harbor Police, and San Diego police all responded to the scene of the accident. Fire Rescue had to remove a woman from the sedan that had been hit and crushed. Five ambulances also responded to the scene to treat the multiple victims. Six people were transported to the hospital, including three children.

Beyond the many victims of the collision, the accident also caused the police to temporarily shut down the westbound lane of Harbor Drive at the Coast Guard station, causing a major traffic jam in the area lasting several hours and requiring police traffic control. As the accident was near the San Diego Airport the major traffic delays caused many people to miss their flights, and even reached such high back up levels that people left their vehicles to attempt to reach the airport on foot instead. The accident is currently under investigation, and Police are attempting to determine what caused the van to swerve in the first place. The investigation will also seek to determine if drugs, alcohol, or speed played any role.

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