As a driver in Georgia, you’ve likely seen some large trucks, or 18 wheelers, traveling on the highways. While these vehicles are important for transporting goods across the country, truck drivers may face difficult schedules and long hours. Or they may experience an issue with their truck while they’re driving. Unfortunately, when negligence is present, it can result in a devastating collision. An Atlanta 18 wheeler accident lawyer from Bey & Associates can help fight for you.
Our lawyers understand how a truck accident can put your life on hold. When you’re wondering about who to turn to, we’re here for you. We’ve helped 18 wheeler accident victims get justice in the past and we’re ready to do the same for you, whether that’s reaching a settlement or taking your case to court.
How Do 18 Wheeler Accidents Happen?
When we’re fighting for you, our lawyers will investigate how your accident happened. There are many reasons why an 18 wheeler accident can occur. Let’s go over some of the common causes of these collisions.
- Trucker Error. When a driver is inexperienced, distracted, or fatigued, they can make a mistake that causes an accident. This can include failing to use their signal, speeding, not paying attention to the road, driving while intoxicated, and more. If the truck driver was at fault for your accident, your 18 wheeler accident lawyer will look into their training, experience, and the events that led up to the accident. For example, if the truck driver was texting and driving, we’ll find evidence to show their negligent behavior is why the accident happened.
- Truck Malfunction. If there’s an issue with a truck part, the truck driver may not realize there’s a problem until they’re driving. They could experience brake failure, a tire blowout, or mechanical issues. The truck company is supposed to maintain their vehicles and make sure they’re road-ready, but some companies may cut corners to get vehicles on the road and keep distribution moving. In other cases, the manufacturing company of the truck part could have made a defective product. No matter which situation, our lawyers are here to help you hold the right party accountable.
Common Types of 18 Wheeler Crashes
As mentioned above, there are a few different causes of truck accidents. There are different categories that describe the position of the 18 wheeler during and after the collision. 18 wheelers are large trucks that can weigh up to 30 times more than regular sized vehicles, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which means that some of the types of large truck wrecks can cause serious damage to the passenger vehicle involved.
Let’s take a look at the different types of crashes that 18 wheelers get into:
- Jackknife. When a tractor trailer needs to make a sudden movement, like turning or braking, the trailer can swerve from behind the tractor and form an L-shape. This is called a jackknife, and is dangerous because the truck driver loses control and the trailer could swing and hit cars and other trucks.
- Override. When a truck doesn’t stop in time behind a regular sized car, they can get into an override accident where the front of the truck runs into the back of the car and can sometimes even driving on top of the car in front of them.
- Underride. Similar to override accidents, underride accidents are the opposite. When an 18 wheeler is stopped and a car behind them can’t stop in time, the car can crash into the trailer and drive under it. This can be deadly to the driver of the car because the trailer can come through the engine and into the area of the driver.
- Blind Spot. When a car is travelling in one of an 18 wheeler’s blind spots, a collision can easily happen if the car or the truck make a wrong move. Blind spots exist to the front, back, and sides of a tractor trailer, and when a car lingers in one of those areas, a trucker can’t see them and doesn’t know to avoid the car.
- Rollover. If an 18 wheeler brakes or turns too quickly, it can cause them to roll onto their side, which is why it’s called a rollover accident. These wrecks are especially dangerous for the truck driver because their cab also rolls over onto its side, and it can make it impossible to get out.
As a driver, there are a few tips you can do to reduce your chances of being involved in an 18 wheeler accident.
Tips for Avoiding Accidents with 18 Wheelers
Now that you understand what causes large truck accidents and the different types of categories for the collisions, let’s take a look at how you can best avoid these wrecks as a driver of a regular vehicle. Truck drivers have to get special training and certifications in order to drive an 18 wheeler. Most times, they are aware of their surroundings, but of course, they can also make mistakes and drive negligently or recklessly.
Whether the trucker was being negligent or not, as a driver in a regular sized car, there are still precautions you can take to try to avoid a collision between yourself and the 18 wheeler. Here are some tips:
- Avoid Blind Spots. As discussed above, blind spots are all around a tractor trailer. To ensure you’re not in a blind spot for a truck driver, make sure you can see the driver in their side view mirror because that means they can see you as well.
- Turn on Your Headlights. A way to make yourself more visible to a truck driver is to turn on your headlights. Even in daylight, having your headlights on can help a trucker be better able to see your car and can avoid making decisions that could cause an accident.
- Drive Predictably. If you’re making unpredictable decisions behind the wheel, a truck driver can’t prepare for what you’re doing. However, if you drive predictably, you are less likely to get into an accident because the other cars and trucks on the road know what to expect from you and can make decisions that compliment what you’re doing on the road.
- Don’t Speed. Driving above the speed limit increases your chances of getting into a collision because it reduces the amount of time you have to react to someone else on the road or an object that you weren’t expecting on the road.
- Leave Plenty of Space. When you’re driving near a tractor trailer, it’s safest to leave plenty of space between you and the truck. This way, both you and the trucker have room to react in case you need to brake or swerve.
Even if you do follow these tips, crashes can still happen. That’s why it’s important to hire an Atlanta 18 wheeler accident attorney when you’ve been in a collision with a tractor trailer—they can support you through a claim and ensure you get justice for your injuries.
Injuries That Can Result from an 18 Wheeler Accident
According to Traffic Safety Facts from 2017, Georgia had a total of 2,298 fatal crashes that involved large trucks. These accidents can also result in severe injuries. Because of a big rig’s size and weight, the injuries are often catastrophic.
Possible injuries include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Loss of Limb
- Organ Damage
Catastrophic injuries often have permanent consequences that can affect how the person lives their life. They may have a disability, not be able to return to work, and require extensive future medical care. Sometimes, medication or medical equipment could be necessary to maintain quality of life.
If you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury, it’s essential for you to get full and fair compensation for your injuries. That’s where our attorneys can step in and help you with your truck accident claim.
How Can an Atlanta 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyer Help You?
Bey & Associates can help you get the compensation you need so you won’t face financial issues later on. When you’ve filed a truck accident claim, you may be given a settlement offer from the insurance company. While it can be tempting to take the offer to speed up the process of getting the settlement, this may not be the amount that you’re eligible to receive.
At this point, you may not even know the full extent of your injuries. If you accept a settlement and you have less than what you deserve, you may not be able to cover your full medical bills or other financial responsibilities. You shouldn’t have to face paying a bill and getting the care you need.
With Bey & Associates representing you, we’ll carefully go over your case to find how the injury impacted your life. This will include your economic and noneconomic damages. Your financial losses can include past, present, and future medical expenses. When you have your medical care covered, you can have peace of mind that you’ll be able to recover in peace.
We’ll also look into how much work you’ve missed and will continue to miss. Your injuries may fully heal, but you may need to miss work in the future. If you’re no longer able to work, we’ll also fight for you to receive fair compensation for those losses as well. Any property damage you sustained from the accident may be recovered as well.
Your noneconomic damages are another important aspect of your compensation. These aren’t financial damages, but they reflect what you were put through because of the accident. Pain and suffering from the severe injuries, loss of enjoyment of life if your life has been hindered or changed in some way because of your injuries, and mental anguish from the accident are all damages that can be recovered. While these losses can be more difficult to calculate, an Atlanta 18 wheeler accident attorney from our firm will assess the extent of your injuries to fairly calculate your noneconomic damages.
When you have a lawyer at your side who has experience in fighting for truck accident victims and understands how severe the losses can be, you can rest assured that they’re going to advocate for your rights and fight for your best interests.
Seek Legal Options with Bey & Associates
After an accident involving an 18 wheeler, you need representation that you can trust to not settle for less than you deserve. An Atlanta 18 wheeler accident lawyer from Bey & Associates will give your case the attention it deserves so we can find the cause of the negligence, the extent of your injuries, and the compensation you should recover so you can focus on healing.
It’s important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible so you can get started on your case. Get in touch with our office today for a free case evaluation. We’ll discuss your options and can begin your legal journey.