Trucking accidents in Georgia are a serious problem. You might see a tractor-trailer, big rig, or an 18-wheeler, heading down I-75 or I-85 in Atlanta and not even realize how vulnerable the smaller surrounding vehicles are. If the driver of the big rig is texting (which is illegal for truckers), fatigued from a long shift, drunk or high on drugs, the risk of a tractor-trailer accident is very high. It is a simple fact that large trucks are harder to control and have much longer stopping distances. In addition, the large trucks have large blind spots and make wide turns, increasing the risk of accidents. This is particularly true for tractor trailer trucks traveling on highways and busy areas such as Interstate 20 or Georgia 400.
When 18-wheelers and smaller cars collide, the result is often tragic. Often, the driver of the tractor-trailer can walk away from the accident without a scratch, while the occupants of the other vehicle have to be transported to a nearby hospital.
18-wheeler accidents on the interstate in Atlanta and elsewhere can be tragic given the size of the big rig trucks. A fully loaded big rig can be 20 times the size of a regular passenger vehicle. Due to the significant forces involved in a tractor trailer accident, the injuries tend to be severe or even fatal. In many cases, a wrongful death lawsuit is necessary for families who lost a loved one due to a tractor-trailer driver’s negligence.
Investigating a Trucking Accident in Georgia
Tractor-trailer, big rig, and 18-wheeler accidents are different from normal vehicle accidents. The law is different, the vehicle dynamics are different, and even the accident investigation is different. With an experienced Georgia tractor trailer crash attorney on your side, you will have an advocate who knows how to look into the background of the driver, the trucking company, and the vehicles involved. We will be able to tell you whether the driver violated the laws of Georgia or violated the strict federal regulations governing the trucking industry.
What To Do If You are Involved in a Trucking Accident in Georgia
If you are involved in an accident with a truck, it is urgent that you preserve the evidence to allow for an immediate investigation of the vehicles. This is often critical element in proving a personal injury case involving trucking accidents. Investigation also involves examination of the scene while the evidence, such as skid marks and gouge marks, is fresh. It is often necessary to get court orders to preserve evidence, such as truck or car parts. Prompt investigation of witnesses is also important.
After a catastrophic tractor-trailer, big rig, or 18-wheeler accident, insurance companies, truck manufacturers, and trucking company representatives will send a team of experts to the scene of the trucking accident to look at the vehicles, interview witnesses, collect evidence, and shape the opinions of the investigating authorities. These teams are on 24-hour standby and can often get to scene before the vehicles have even been towed away. These teams have one goal in mind: shifting responsibility to you, the victim.
Uncovering the Truth after a Trucking Accident in Georgia Requires a Skilled Attorney
Tractor-trailer, big rig, and 18-wheeler accident cases can grow complex for a number of reasons. However, the most significant factor is that insurance companies will not pay out a fair settlement without a fight. Their adjusters are trained to low-ball injury victims or simply deny claims. If you want to be treated fairly, talk to a tractor-trailer injury attorney who understands the law in Georgia and has experience with big rig cases in Atlanta, Macon, Savannah, and other Georgia cities that have resulted in traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries back and neck injuries, fractures or broken bones, seizures, and other injuries requiring surgery.
Who Is Liable For Personal Injuries Caused By a Trucking Accident in Georgia?
Truck drivers can be held liable for personal injuries or wrongful death caused by their negligence, which is their failure to use due care in the operation of their trucks. Employers are vicariously liable for the negligence of their employee truck drivers. Truck driver employers may also be held liable if they hired an untrained or incompetent driver, or if they have reason to know that the driver was no longer properly qualified. Under federal trucking regulations, some lessees may be liable for injuries caused by trucking accidents. Employers and lessees may include grocery store chains, shipping companies, department stores, distribution companies, manufacturers, construction companies and other businesses that use trucks to transport their goods.
Sometimes the truck is loaded by a third party, who may be liable for negligent loading, which can cause a load to shift or fall from the truck. It is not uncommon for logs, bricks, or other items to fall off of a truck while driving on I-75 or I-85 in and around Atlanta. If the truck was defectively or not properly designed, the manufacturer of the truck or trailer, or the manufacturer of the component parts, may be liable for negligence and for product liability.
Truck accidents may involve pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcycles, cars or other trucks. The insurance rules are different in each case. Trucks involved in interstate commerce will have a minimum of $750,000 in liability insurance, or even more if the truck is hauling hazardous materials. In many instances, the trucking attorneys at Werner & Associates are able to acquire several times this amount.
Talk to a Trucking Attorney for Free
Call the attorneys at Werner & Associates for a free and 100% confidential consultation. As Georgia trial lawyers, we work with top experts throughout the country who are skilled in accident reconstruction, biomechanics, kinesiology, product engineering, economists, and/or human factors. When you call, we conduct a thorough investigation from every angle. If we accept your case, you will never pay us a dime, unless and until we favorably resolve your case.
In some cases, you may not need an attorney. If that is the case, we will tell you. We will give you honest and direct advice. We are committed to maintaining the highest standards of integrity, honesty, professionalism and competence.