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Truck Accidents | Northern California Personal Injury Blog

East Bay Truck Crash Closes Both Lanes of Interstate 680

By Kelly Balamuth on October 30, 2015

Recently, a tractor-trailer collided with a freeway divider on Interstate 680. The truck accident caused several other vehicle collisions, started a brush fire, and shut down both sides of the freeway for several hours.

According to witnesses who spoke to the California Highway Patrol, the truck had been driving erratically before it hit the concrete divider, spraying debris across the freeway. Read the rest »

Posted in: Truck Accidents

Oakland Truck Accident Shuts Down I-880

By Kelly Balamuth on September 14, 2015

On September 7th around 12:06 a.m. a Chevrolet truck traveling on southbound I-880, where it transitions onto Highway 238, crashed into a utility pole. High-voltage wires were knocked down, starting a small blaze that firefighters were able to put out quickly. The truck accident cleanup closed the busy interchange for most of the day while crews repaired the lines. The truck contained two adults and two children. Their conditions are unknown and the crash is under investigation. Read the rest »

Posted in: Truck Accidents

What to Do after a Truck Accident

By Kelly Balamuth on February 18, 2015

After a truck accident you will probably be scared and disoriented, not knowing what to do, as it is an overwhelming situation. The first order of business is to check to see if you or anyone else at the scene needs medical attention. Due to the size and mass of a semi-truck, it is more likely to cause life threatening injuries and catastrophic damage in a collision compared to a car. For example, a fully loaded commercial truck can weigh upwards of 70,000 pounds, whereas a car usually weighs 3,000 pounds. The most important step after an accident involving a big rig is to get medical help right away.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), large trucks are only responsible for 3 percent of motor vehicle accidents. Read the rest »

Posted in: Truck Accidents

Cyclist Killed in Contra Costa County Crash

By Kelly Balamuth on December 29, 2014

A 40 year old Dublin man, cycling as part of a large group of at least 50 cyclists, was killed on December 27, 2014, when his bicycle collided with a water truck, according to ABC 7 News.

According to Officer Greg Hartt, there was a collision at the front of the pack, and as other riders were swerving to avoid the collision, the man crossed over the double yellow lines and collided with a water truck. The dead cyclist was wearing a helmet and riding a specialized bicycle, according to the CHP. Read the rest »

Posted in: Truck Accidents

Common Causes of California Truck Accidents

By Kelly Balamuth on November 14, 2012

Any traffic accident in Northern California can result in serious injuries and property damage, but a semi truck collision in particular can have some of the most devastating effects on the people involved. Simply due to the large size of a big rig, which can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds, a collision with a smaller vehicle can mean its occupants will suffer life-threatening injuries, while the truck driver and his or her passengers will likely not be harmed. As the impact of a Northern California truck accident can be severe, it is important for motorists in the Golden State to understand the causes of truck crashes in order to avoid potential roadway hazards.

The following are some common causes of commercial truck accidents:

  • Driving for continuous hours without sufficient rest or breaks. Truck driver fatigue is one of the main causes of large truck accidents.
  • Loading the truck to more than the maximum capacity, or not properly securing loads.
  • Excessive speeding, as driving over the speed limit to meet deadlines and schedules may lead to a serious accident.
  • Driving the truck without the proper qualifications and required training. Safely operating a truck is difficult and requires skill and proper training to be driven responsibly.
  • Proper maintenance and inspection of a semi truck is essential to keep it running smoothly and prevent a severe crash, so not performing appropriate pre- and post-trip checks can be an unsafe practice.
  • Similar to other vehicles on the road, driving a truck under the influence of drugs or alcohol is very dangerous and can endanger the safety of everyone on the road.

A truck accident is one of the most severe types of collisions a person can be involved in and can undeniably change your life in an instant. If you have been involved in a Northern California truck accident caused by the negligence of another party, don’t hesitate to contact a truck crash attorney in Santa Clara County with Balamuth Law. We will work tirelessly to ensure your rights are protected in your battle against trucking companies, as well as insurance companies. Call (888) 254-1234 for a free case evaluation.

Nine Big Rigs Collide on Interstate 5, Causes Delays in Newhall Pass

By Kelly Balamuth on October 26, 2012

Two successive accidents which involved a total of nine big rigs caused a significant morning traffic delay in Newhall on October 23. According to a KTLA.com report, the driver of a dump truck was traveling south on Interstate 5 at Highway 14 when he lost control of his vehicle around 2:20 a.m., which caused a collision involving four big rigs. Traffic approaching the Newhall Pass truck route began to back up when, a short while later, five big rigs approaching the scene collided around 3 a.m. Reports indicate that at least 400 gallons of diesel fuel spilled onto the roadway as a result of the massive CA truck collision, which completely shut down the truck bypass lanes.

Large tow trucks were brought in to move all of the trucks off of the freeway, and miraculously the multi big rig accidents only resulted in one of the truck drivers being taken to an area hospital with minor to moderate injuries; no one else was reportedly injured in either crash. The big rig driver was trapped in his cab with the entire dash of the semi on his lower extremities, but emergency crews were able to extricate him. The driver is presently listed in stable condition. Traffic was slow through the area and though drivers were warned to expect a significant delay, the crash caused an estimated 20 minute delay “at the most.”

A truck accident is one of the more dangerous types of collisions a person can be involved in as the sheer size and weight of a big rig can spell danger for the occupants of a smaller vehicle. In the event the negligence of another party causes you harm, the truck crash attorneys in Northern California of Balamuth Law can provide you with the representation you need to find proper compensation for your injuries and losses. For a complimentary consultation on your truck accident case, please call (888) 254-1234.

One Killed and Three Injured in Fiery Buellton Big Rig Accident

By Kelly Balamuth on January 13, 2012

A serious fuel truck accident on Thursday afternoon injured three and killed one on the northbound 101 at Santa Rosa road, according to KEYT.com. Santa Barbara County Fire, AMR, water tenders, helicopter, Hazmat, and a battalion chief responded to the crash.

The collision was caused by a big rig which, for unknown reasons, lost control and swerved into a BMW in the next lane before it crashed into the concrete guardrail and burst into flames after it fell over 50 feet into a creek. The three occupants of the BMW, a 38-year-old mother, her 10-year-old daughter, and her 10-week-old infant were trapped in their car, which was hanging precariously off of a bridge. All three were rescued and transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with broken bones and other minor injuries. The truck driver did not survive. Both directions of the 101 highway were closed after the crash, which also resulted in the spillage of 50 gallons of diesel fuel into the creek.

This truck crash has a number of potential causes. One of the most common issues concerning trucking safety is truck driver fatigue. It is possible that the big rig driver fell asleep at the wheel as the result of driving too many hours. Equipment or machinery failure could have also contributed to the truck veering out of control.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a California truck crash as the result of another’s negligence, be it truck driver, trucking company, or even truck manufacturer, you may be able to pursue financial compensation for your losses in civil court. Contact the experienced California truck accident attorneys with the Law Office of Balamuth Harrington today at (888) 254-1234 to discuss your potential claim.

Eureka Pedestrian Injured in Semi Truck Accident

By Kelly Balamuth on December 5, 2011

A Eureka pedestrian was injured recently when he was hit by a semi truck while crossing a city street, according to a recent article in The Eureka Times-Standard.

The man was crossing Broadway Street near the Village Pantry Restaurant when the accident occurred. Onlookers saw him step into the road and tried to warn him about the oncoming truck by waving and shouting, but the pedestrian did not see or hear them in time to avoid the crash. He was using a walker at the time, but details about his age or medical condition have not yet been released. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment. The truck involved in the pedestrian accident was labeled “Brown Trucking, Ukiah,” but police have not yet commented on the driver or the company.

Large truck accidents involving pedestrians are relatively rare compared to other kinds of accidents, according to the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In 2009, for instance, only seven truck-pedestrian accidents were recorded in the United States. This number is considerably lower than the number of car-pedestrian crashes that occur each year, and represents less than 1 percent of all semi-truck-related crashes.

Semi truck accidents are not as common as car accidents, but they can cause much more serious injuries and deaths when they do occur. If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, the experienced Northern California truck accident attorneys at Balamuth Harrington are here to help. For a free and confidential consultation, call us today at (888) 254-1234 for a free and confidential consultation.

Causes and Statistics for Oakland Truck Accidents

By Kelly Balamuth on October 13, 2011

Highway accidents involving large trucks are incredibly dangerous due to the size and weight of the vehicles involved. These kinds of accidents were responsible for 3,380 highway fatalities and 74,000 injuries in 2009 across the nation, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Of the fatalities, approximately 75 percent were drivers or passengers in other cars, 15 percent were drivers or passengers of the truck, and 10 percent were non-occupants. While the data shows that there has been a 20 percent decline in deaths and 18 percent decline in injuries since 2008, the numbers are still striking and demand awareness of the causes and ways to prevent large truck accidents.

Common causes of a big rig accident in Oakland include:

  • Vehicle maintenance negligence: If a vehicle is not maintained properly, it is much more prone to accidents. Commonly neglected areas are brakes, tires, and engine parts. Drivers and their employers are required by law to maintain their trucks and can be held legally accountable if they fail to do so.
  • Driver inexperience: New drivers unfamiliar with their vehicle or routes can be prone to accidents.
  • Incorrect or over loading: If a vehicle is incorrectly loaded or over-loaded, it is more likely to cause the driver control problems.
  • Distracted or fatigued driving: When a driver operates a vehicle while tired or distracted (by a cell phone, handheld device, or anything else) he or she exponentially increases the odds of an accident. Tragic news reports of accidents resulting from distracted driving are prevalent for this reason. In terms of fatigue, drivers are mandated by law to limit their hours of operation to a pre-determined amount every shift and month.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Northern California truck accident, contact the Oakland truck accident attorneys with Balamuth Harrington for a complimentary consultation. Call 1-888-254-1234 to speak with an attorney about your case today.

Truck Driver Involved in Three Fatal Truck Crashes in Northern California

By Kelly Balamuth on December 15, 2010

A bicyclist was killed after being struck by a tractor-trailer earlier in November. This was discovered to have been the third fatal accident for the truck driver that was involved in the crash, reports MercuryNews.com.

The fatal bicycle accident occurred on November 4 near Portola Valley. The crash is currently under investigation and no eyewitnesses have been located. A police officer involved in the investigation states that the truck driver was in the far right lane of a road when the left side of his truck collided with the bicyclist, killing her.

Regarding the other two fatal collisions, the truck driver was found not to be at fault. In the first accident, which occurred in 2003 in Monterey County, a motorist crossed into opposite lanes of traffic and struck the tractor-trailer head on. The second fatal crash occurred in Santa Cruz in 2007. After an investigation, it was determined that a bicyclist tried to pass on the right side of the tractor-trailer and was struck as he turned right. In that accident, the trucker and the trucking company were sued by the bicyclist’s parents. The suit was settled for $1.5 million.

The family of the bicyclist that was killed last month has hired an attorney to investigate the fatal Northern California bicycle crash. An attorney representing the family believes the accident could have been avoided if the trucking company had done a proper investigation into the driver’s history.

Could this tragic accident have been avoided if the trucking company had properly monitored the history of the truck driver? Trucking companies have a legal duty to protect the general public from dangerous drivers. If you have been involved in a truck accident in California, contact the Northern California truck accident attorneys at Balamuth Harrington. We will strive to get you the results you deserve. Contact us today at 1-888-254-1234.

Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
September 2013 Issue of Plaintiff Magazine.

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