Large commercial truck accidents are some of the most devastating accidents we see across the United States and in Georgia. In Georgia, specifically, the I-285 around Atlanta is one of the deadliest interstate highways in the entire U.S. In 2013, in fact, the I-285 was found to be the #1 deadliest interstate nationwide. Many of these deadly crashes are between two or more passenger cars. Many others are between commercial semitrailers, buses, trailer tractors, big rigs, 18-wheelers, and other commercial trucks and vehicles.
Comparatively, an accident between a large, 18-wheeler truck and a passenger vehicle will usually result in more devastation than a regular car accident between two smaller vehicles. When an 18-wheeler truck spins out of control or topples over, there’s a good chance more than one car will be affected. Any collisions with the truck will also result in major destruction. This is because commercial trucks carry an immense amount of force and weight in their tractor trailers.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a truck accident in the state of Georgia, you should know that you may have legal options. An Atlanta truck accident lawyer can help you pay for your family’s medical bills and find the road to recovery. First, let’s go over some facts about large truck accidents.
Truck Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,903 people were killed in large truck crashes during the year 2014. Roughly 111,000 people were injured in truck accidents during that same year. These statistics involved an estimated 438,000 trucks total.
These numbers are astounding during an era where our cars, trucks, and other motorized vehicles come equipped with tools and devices that feature the technology to help keep drivers and their passengers safe. A.I.-assisted mechanisms, motion and sight-detective radar, automatic brakes and airbags, and guided GPS systems are all available in commercial truck models worldwide.
Unfortunately, most U.S. trucking corporations fall behind in regards to technology and do not take advantage of these options. Most companies choose to prioritize profit over safety technology, and since U.S. commercial truck regulations do not require trucking corporations to outfit their vehicles with the latest technology, most choose not to.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Atlanta, GA
Below is a list of some of the most common causes of Georgia truck accidents in no particular order:
Truck drivers are often pushed to drive long and hard hours to reach their destinations quicker. This can cause them to fall asleep at the wheel or make mistakes due to fatigue.
Most trucking companies have guidelines set in place regarding how often a driver must sleep/take a break, but drivers do not always follow them since the guidelines don’t consider how new a driver is to an area or if there were delays. U.S. Truck drivers are also not usually monitored in any way, making it easy for them to bend the guidelines and get behind the wheel when fatigued.
Trucks that are made cheaply or not properly maintained sometimes have defects that can cost lives when driven on a busy highway. Proper maintenance helps trucking agencies notice and fix defects before they become dangerous.
Trucks that Aren’t Equipped for Maximum Safety
U.S. truck drivers must adhere to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) guidelines, but these guidelines don’t unfortunately force truck manufacturers and carriers to keep their vehicles upgraded technologically. As mentioned above, trucking agencies would stop a large percentage of accidents if they enforced these standards and/or gave corporations an incentive to upgrade their vehicles to include the latest safety devices.
Unsafe Driving Techniques
Semitrailer accidents caused by unsafe driving techniques come in two forms. A truck driver who’s in a hurry, for instance, may drive too fast and cause an accident. They may also neglect posted traffic signs or load their cargo too heavy. A driver of a passenger vehicle can also drive too quickly, follow too close to a truck, or drive in a truck’s blind spots. These instances can all cause an accident.
Other forms of negligence such as driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol or driving too quickly for highway and/or weather conditions can additionally lead to a disastrous accident. As you can see from the above list, negligent or reckless actions cause most commercial truck accidents. When a driver drives recklessly or fails to follow the rules of traffic, that driver can be charged with negligence in a Georgia courtroom.
Negligent truck drivers deserve to be held accountable for their actions. The same can be said for trucking corporations that fail to properly maintain or upgrade their vehicles or that insist their employees drive for too many hours without taking a break. Under the U.S. legal system, fortunately, we can hold guilty truck drivers and companies liable for the accidents they cause.
Get Help from a Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyer Today
By filing a truck accident lawsuit, you and your family can hold the guilty individual and/or corporation responsible while ensuring you get the financial compensation you need to move forward with your lives. Commercial vehicle claims are incredibly difficult to win in court, but with the help of an experienced truck accident lawyer in Atlanta, your claim can make a difference.
At Bey & Associates, we have the proven experience you need to win your 18-wheeler or semi truck accident lawsuit. Our process includes four steps: investigation, claim processing, negotiation, and litigation. Many law firms skim over the first step, investigation, but our Atlanta personal injury lawyers have found that this step is paramount to any commercial truck claim.
During the investigation process, we can help determine whether a trucking corporation or manufacturer was at fault for your accident and determine if driver or company negligence played a role by using the following techniques:
- Reviewing vehicle maintenance logs
- Investigating driver credentials and licensing
- Determining if all traffic laws were followed
- Analyzing the scene of the accident, police reports, photographs, and witness statements
- Identifying potential manufacturing defects
After we complete our investigation, we will proceed to process your claim and prepare for the negotiation and litigation phases of your case. Most truck accident lawsuits take a considerable amount of time to complete, but if the truck driver or corporation is indeed found negligent, you will be thankful you reached out to us.
For more information or for a 100% free, no-obligation case consultation, contact Bey & Associates today. Together we can make Georgia highway’s safer.