Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyer
Accidents involving semi-trucks, big rigs and other large trucks can often lead to devastating and permanently disabling injuries. The average weight of a commercial or passenger vehicle is about two tonnes, whereas a semi-truck can get up to 40 tonnes or more. Even when traveling at slow speeds, an accident involving a large truck can cause catastrophic injuries. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 4,440 commercial trucks were involved in fatal crashes in 2016, and there were 102,000 injury-causing crashes.
Because Georgia is commonly traveled through to reach commercial destinations, Atlanta commuters run an even higher risk of being involved in an Atlanta truck accident. If you or a loved one suffered harm in a collision with a semi-truck or other commercial vehicle, our team can help you hold the responsible parties accountable. Contact our office today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.
Most Common Causes of Atlanta Truck Accidents
One of the main reasons for truck accidents is driver error. Truck drivers are under a great deal of pressure to meet deadlines and make it to their destinations. They may engage in unsafe practices such as speeding or driving beyond hours of service regulations to make it on time. They are also more prone to drowsy driving than other drivers, due to long hours on the road and nighttime shifts.
Other common causes of truck collisions in Georgia
- Driver fatigue
- Rear-end collisions
- Under-ride accidents
- Unsafe lane change accidents
- Wide-turn accidents
- Blind spot accidents
- Road rage
- Jackknife accident
Some truck driver errors, such as unsafe braking habits, may trace back to poor driver training. Using the incorrect braking technique down a hill could cause a common type of truck accident: a jackknife accident. This is when the bed of the truck swings out at an angle from the cab.
Other common causes of truck accidents have to do with the trucks themselves. Negligent fleet maintenance, for example, could result in bad brakes, lost cargo loads, and other truck accident causes in Georgia. A defective or malfunctioning part of a trucking vehicle can also cause major car accidents, in which case the manufacturer of the vehicle may also be found liable in a product liability claim.
Georgia Trucking Laws & Regulations
Crashes involving commercial trucking vehicles work differently than traditional car accident claims. Truck drivers, especially those who participate in interstate trucking, must follow strict rules set forth by the FMCSA. These rules involve everything from mandated breaks to duty hours, maintenance schedules, and more.
If a truck driver or his employer breaks any of these rules, he or she may be liable for any damages that result. Successfully obtaining compensation for a semi-truck accident requires a thorough investigation into your accident and determining if any party broke FMCSA regulations.
Georgia Modified Comparative Negligence
Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state. This means if you were the passenger vehicle driver that caused or contributed to your own truck accident, you may still be eligible for damages. If the courts find you 49% or less at fault for the collision, you may qualify to recover at least partial compensation in Georgia. Do not dismiss the possibility of obtaining a settlement or verdict for your personal injuries until discussing your case with one of our attorneys.
Who is Liable for my Atlanta Truck Accident?
One of the most important aspects of your Atlanta truck accident case is determining the parties responsible for your injuries. In truth, several parties could be guilty of negligence, and multiple defendants may share liability for your injuries.
According to the FMCSA, the most common causes of truck accidents are:
- Driver error. A driver may commit negligence by failing to obey traffic laws or by committing a log book violation. His or her employer may also be responsible for negligent hiring or monitoring of its employees.
- Improper vehicle maintenance. The owner of the truck may be responsible for injuries that result from improper maintenance, as could the company who completed faulty repairs.
- Improper loading. Trucks with faulty weight distribution are more likely to jackknife and cause serious accidents. In this case, the company who loads the truck may be liable for any injuries that result.
As you can see, liability in trucking accidents can become complicated. Following a truck accident, you may have a claim against the trucking company itself, the manufacturer of the truck, or even the federal government. That’s why it’s essential to retain the services of a law firm with experience with these types of claims.
How our Atlanta attorneys prove truck driver negligence
At ChancoSchiffer Law, LLC we understand what is needed to quickly prove a negligent party in a Georgia trucking accident. As stated above, truck drivers have a duty to follow FMCSA rules and do their part in ensuring the safety of all drivers sharing the road.
To prove a negligent party, our attorneys will:
- Checking a driver’s log books to make sure they are up-to-date
- Identifying any negligence like failing to take a break or failing to keep up on routine vehicle maintenance
- Checking police reports, witness statements, and other forensic evidence to identify the responsible party
How to Prevent Truck Accidents
Although the greatest responsibility rests with the truck driver, it is up to everyone on the roadway to help prevent truck accidents. You may not be able to avoid crossing paths with a commercial truck in Atlanta, but you can reduce your risk of getting into an accident with a few safety tips.
- Stay out of the No Zone. A big rig’s No Zone is the area where the truck driver has blind spots, and may not be able to see you. Avoid the first 20 feet in front of a large truck, the 30 feet behind a truck, one lane to the left of the truck, and two lanes to the right.
- Stay predictable. Follow roadway rules around big rigs, so the drivers know what to expect from you. Breaking the rules by swerving between lanes, speeding, or otherwise driving erratically could put you in a dangerous position, where the truck driver does not have enough time to hit the brakes or avoid a collision.
- Stay out of the way. Commercial trucks cannot maneuver as quickly or efficiently as smaller vehicles. Do not assume a truck can stop in time to avoid hitting you if you cross in front of it and hit your brakes. Keep a safe distance between you and large trucks, and never cut an 18-wheeler off.
It is not always possible to prevent a truck from hitting you, but following these tips could lower the odds of getting into a serious crash. Drive defensively, anticipate the truck driver’s next move, and steer clear of large trucks in Atlanta as much as you can.
Schedule a Free Consultation with our Atlanta Truck Accident team
Truck accidents involve serious injuries and possible claims against multiple defendants. Our attorneys at ChancoSchiffer Law, LLC will identify the parties responsible and demand full compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering. Since you’ll be working with one of our experienced attorneys, not a nameless associate, you have the comfort of knowing your case will get the care and attention it deserves.
Contact our office today to schedule a free case evaluation. If your truck accident was caused by a negligent driver of a passenger vehicle, visit our Atlanta car accident attorney page to learn more.
Trial Lawyers College
All three attorneys are graduates from the Trial Lawyers College.
We will never stop working until we get the best possible outcome for our clients.
Our firm takes on a small caseload to ensure that your case receives the attention that it deserves.
Over $10 Million recovered for our personal injury clients. Our Attorneys are known for setting records in hard cases.
Our firm offers free consultations. It is important to us that we have the opportunity to get to know our clients in order to obtain the best result.
At ChancoSchiffer Law, LLC, our attorneys have over four decades of combined legal experience.