There are thousands of commercial vehicles on the road each and every day in Georgia. Unfortunately, even careful commercial drivers can get into collisions. These truck accidents can happen on the highway, on side streets, and in city centers, leaving many innocent victims hospitalized.
At MG Law, we represent truck accident victims in their quest for justice. Our experienced Georgia truck accident lawyers summarize what to expect following an accident involving a commercial driver.
Trucking companies have a strong incentive to fully investigate an accident quickly to properly identify its cause. Many truck accidents result in horrifying injuries, and victims can receive substantial compensation. Smart truck companies want to limit their financial exposure, so they send investigators to the scene very soon after finding out about the wreck. The investigator looks for information and might speak to witnesses.
At the scene, an investigator might approach anyone involved in the collision to get their side of the story. We recommend not talking to them until you have hired a truck accident attorney.
The truck driver should also fill out an accident report with his employer. Our lawyers can uncover these reports, which should contain important information about the accident. The truck itself might also be outfitted with electronic logging systems that could indicate how long the driver had been on the road and how fast the truck was going in the moments leading up to the wreck.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the trucking industry. It requires that employers perform drug testing of a driver after most accidents. In summary, a driver must be tested whenever he receives a citation for an accident or whenever someone dies in the crash.
Any driver who refuses to be tested following an accident should be suspended, as should any who fail the test. The driver can only return to duty after completing the return-to-duty process and passing another drug test. The driver cannot return to duty until he gets a negative test.
As an accident victim, you should be intensely interested in the results of the drug testing. If the driver was impaired, then your case to receive compensation just got easier. No driver should be operating a big rig after drinking or doing drugs. Our attorneys know how to request the results of this mandatory drug testing, and we can use the information to your benefit.
Anyone injured in the crash should seek immediate medical care. Often, conditions will deteriorate rapidly if you try to self-diagnose. Instead, go to the hospital and describe the accident you were in. Also watch your symptoms over the course of the next few weeks. If you begin to feel worse, then you should return to the hospital or seek a second opinion.
It is vital that accident victims take all prescriptions and attend all physical therapy sessions. Any failure to do so could result in lower compensation.
A CDL driver should have an insurance policy through his employer. If the truck is used in interstate commerce, then federal law requires that there be at least $750,000 policy unless the truck is very small. Typically, most trucks on the road carry this much or even more.
Negotiating a settlement with the truck company’s insurer is time consuming, so we encourage everyone to reach out to a lawyer for more information. An insurance company is bound to be aggressive when fighting back against claims. When they do offer money, it might only be peanuts compared to what an injured victim truly deserves.
License Suspension For The CDL Driver
In the event of a serious traffic accident, a truck driver is required to report the incident to the Department of Transportation (DOT) within 24 hours. The accident is deemed serious if it leads to significant property damage necessitating a tow truck.
If a CDL driver is at fault in an accident, the incident will remain on their record for three years. Depending on the severity and circumstances of the accident, the driver could potentially lose their CDL license.
A CDL driver who is responsible for an accident might lose his license. There are many factors that go into whether he receives this penalty, such as whether someone died in the accident and the number of major traffic violations the driver has had in recent years.
As the injured motorist, you don’t have to worry too much about whether a CDL driver loses his license. But the prospect of a suspension could impact your case nevertheless. For example, a driver might resist admitting fault if he thinks he will lose his ability to drive, which will limit his ability to make money. A truck company might also try to shift liability for the crash because it doesn’t want to lose one of its best drivers.
We Represent Georgia Accident Victims Just Like You
Reach out to our legal experts today to review the circumstances surrounding your crash and the rights to compensation. Call (770) 988-5252 or send us an online message today to get started with a free consultation.
Check out what our clients have to say!