If you’ve been involved in a Georgia truck accident—as the driver of a truck, driver of another vehicle or a pedestrian—it’s important to secure legal counsel as soon as possible. Being involved in an accident can be traumatic, so settling the case of the accident might not seem like a top priority to you.
However, insurance agencies are on the case from day one, and their objective—their entire business model—is to pay out as little on a claim as possible. Once you obtain competent and devoted legal counsel from MG Law, you can rest assured your case is in the best hands. You can focus on getting appropriate treatment (if necessary), confident in the knowledge that we are working for you. It’s important to know that you may be entitled to compensation, even if you are partially at fault.
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Complexities of Truck Accidents in Georgia
Trucks are larger and heavier than most vehicles on the road.
Consequently, trucking accidents are often more severe than a wreck between two cars. Injuries sustained during a trucking accident can include broken bones, back and neck problems, head injuries that could result in traumatic brain injury (TBI), seat belt injuries, and paralysis, to name a few.
Truck accidents are also more complex than car accidents since the US Department of Transportation (DOT) has specific regulations surrounding these kinds of vehicles.
Furthermore, states including Georgia have additional rules.
Notable Truck Accident Case Result
$1,000,000 Truck Accident Settlement
MG Law settled a case for a couple that was rear-ended by a tractor trailer with such force that it knocked their vehicle against a guard rail, and send them sailing almost seventy feet from the point of initial impact. As often happens in a severe impact, our clients were too injured to remember what happened, as they blacked out from the force of the impact. The clients sustained numerous shattered bones throughout their bodies, including broken arms, legs, ribs.
MG Law acted quickly to obtain as much evidence as possible before it was either lost or destroyed, taking advantage of resources available from the local law enforcement up to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The truck driver tried to claim that our clients were driving without lights on rendering him unable to see them-claims which MG Law was able to rebut by locating and interviewing witnesses.
Ultimately, MG Law made the trucking company’s insurer pay the $1,000,000.00 available from the trucking company’s insurance policy.
Determining Who is at Fault in a Truck Accident
This could include one or more of the following parties:
- The truck driver. This is includes disobeying traffic laws, distracted driving, or impairment from drugs/alcohol.
- Trucking company. The trucking company would be liable if, for instance, they did not monitor the driver’s hours, leading to excessive hours and consequent fatigue and unsafe driving. They would also be at fault if they failed to screen the driver adequately.
- The truck manufacturer would be responsible if the accident was a result of a defective part.
- The party responsible for truck maintenance would have liability if they did not perform proper maintenance.
- The loading company would be at fault if they failed to load the truck securely. If the truck was overloaded, this could result in tires exploding from excess weight.
Why are Truck Accident Cases More Complex than Car Accidents?
For several reasons, truck accident claims tend to be far more complicated than are ordinary car accident cases.
Commercial trucking operations are complex businesses that are governed by a series of intertwined state and federal regulations.
Many different parties are involved in trucking.
Each one of them could potentially be held liable for an accident. This includes the truck driver, the trucking company, the company leasing the truck, and the truck manufacturer. Following a major crash, all parties that might bear liability for the accident must be identified.
The plaintiffs also need to be aware of all relevant federal and state safety regulations. For example, trucking companies in Georgia must follow certain standards from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). If any of these safety rules were violated, and an accident occurred as a result, the trucking company must be held accountable for its negligent conduct.
Unfortunately, it can be challenging for victims to know whether the company followed safety standards. Most of the evidence that is needed to answer these questions will be held in the possession of the trucking company. A legal professional can help. Your GA truck accident lawyer will be able to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the crash — ensuring that all-important evidence is obtained and reviewed so that you can hold the responsible trucking company liable.
Wrecks With Commercial Vehicles Under 10,000 lbs.
All of those eighteen-wheelers that you see on the road in North Georgia are truly massive vehicles. Many of them weigh more than 50,000 pounds. As noted by Popular Mechanics, a fully loaded semi-truck in the United States can legally weigh up to as much as 80,000 pounds. Of course, there are several ‘trucks’ that are, while still very large and potentially dangerous, significantly smaller than your standard semi-truck.
This is an important distinction because vehicles that weigh less than 10,000 pounds are not subject to the same commercial regulations as vehicles over that weight.
The Georgia Department of Public Safety (GDPS) explains that automobiles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 10,001 pounds or more and that are used in the regular course of a commercial or non-profit business are subject to full commercial safety regulations. If you were involved in a crash with a vehicle that weighs less than 10,000 pounds or if you are not exactly sure how much the truck weighs or how that will impact your injury case, please reach out to an experienced Georgia trucking accident attorney right away. Your lawyer will investigate the accident and take the necessary steps to protect your legal rights.
Types of Trucking Accidents in Georgia
- Jackknife- If a driver hits the brakes suddenly, the trailer can swing outward, or jackknife. From here, the truck is susceptible to rolling over.
- Truck Rollovers- This can occur when the driver of the truck loses control of the vehicle and it rolls on its side. This can occur in the case of an overloaded vehicle, wherein steering becomes more difficult. It may also occur if the driver tries to take a turn too quickly, or if he or she overcorrects a maneuver.
- Tire Blowout- A tire blowout can occur when tires are worn or when too much weight is placed on them. Since truck tires are significantly larger than car tires, the damage can be more severe. An exploded tire may break into pieces and strike other vehicles on the road or cause other vehicles to run into them.
- Wide Turn- Trucks need a large amount of space to complete turns due to their large size. A wide turn occurs when a truck driver swings left to make a right turn. When this happens, the truck can hit cars to its right, trapping them between the truck and the curb.
- Blind Spots- A blind spot is an area in which the driver’s view of other traffic is obstructed. If the driver cannot see other vehicles, it is possible to collide with them while changing lanes, for instance.
- Rear-end- Trucks need more to stop than other vehicles due to their weight. If a driver underestimates the distance he or she needs to come to a complete stop, a rear-end collision can occur, sometimes causing severe damage and/or injury.
- Under Ride- This is one of the deadliest kinds of truck accidents and occurs when a car gets lodged underneath a truck. This often occurs when a car rear-ends a truck but can also happen during inclement weather or due to distracted or impaired driving.
- Lost Load- Securing cargo safely on a truck is of great importance, as improperly loaded cargo can fall off the back and strike other vehicles. Other vehicles on the road maybe swerve to avoid the debris and strike other cars, creating additional accidents.
- Head-On- This can occur when a truck crosses the center line and collides with another vehicle headfirst. This is one of the more devastating and dangerous kinds of accidents, often due to a distracted or impaired driver.
- T-bone- When a truck driver does not change lanes properly, the truck can hit another vehicle’s side.
Contact an Experienced Georgia Truck Accident Lawyer for Help
For a free, no-obligation consultation, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our dedicated legal team today. We can discuss your legal options and the best path forward.