Any kind of motor vehicle accident can be dangerous, but large truck crashes can be particularly problematic due to the size and weight of the large vehicle. Even with safety features like seatbelts and airbags, smaller passenger vehicles offer little protection in a collision with a semi-truck or other commercial vehicle. Because of this disparity in size and weight, people in smaller vehicles are more likely to suffer severe injuries in a large truck/car crash. These may lead to months of pain and treatment, bills you can’t pay because you’re out of work, and possibly permanent disability or even death. If you or a loved one have been a victim of a large truck crash, you need a qualified Atlanta truck accident lawyer on your side.
The CEO Lawyer, Ali Awad, is dedicated to helping his clients who have been injured in truck accidents. He knows what it takes to get you a fair settlement for your injuries and won’t stop until he’s secured the compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a truck accident, call the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm team for a no-obligation consultation of your case. The CEO lawyer and his injury and accident attorney team work on a contingency basis, so they only get paid if you do. Please find out more about your options by contacting us online or by calling (833) 254-2923 to discuss the details of your case.
Specific Laws About Commercial Trucks
Everyone who drives is expected to follow basic traffic laws, but commercial vehicles, including large trucks and buses, must follow additional rules called Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. These include:
Limits on the number of hours truckers can drive each day. Truck drivers also aren’t supposed to drive if they are too tired or ill, but sometimes these rules get ignored. Unfortunately, tired drivers are three times more likely to be in a crash than those who aren’t tired. When truckers drive while overtired, the risks to others on the road can be very high. For this reason, truck drivers are required to keep a logbook of how many hours they drive each day. Those hauling cargo should not drive for more than 11 consecutive hours or be on duty for more than 14 consecutive hours, following an off-duty period of at least ten consecutive hours.
Regularly inspect brakes, tires, steering, and other truck parts that keep it operating smoothly. Some companies may encourage drivers to skip over these inspections so they won’t have to pay for repairs, and this can lead to accidents.
Commercial truck drivers need to have a commercial license, and depending on the kind of truck they will be driving, they may or may not need to be certified for that specific vehicle. For example, some trucking jobs require HAZMAT certification if the driver is hauling certain volatile materials.
Under federal law, commercial truck drivers must carry liability insurance with minimum limits between $750,000 and $5,000,000, depending on the particular kind of driving. Fortunately, this is much higher than Georgia’s minimum requirements for a non-commercial license, which are $25,000 in liability insurance per person and $50,000 per crash.
Truckers are not allowed to drink any alcohol while on duty.
Cargo should be distributed and secured safely.
Causes of Large Truck Accidents
Many factors might contribute to commercial truck accidents. Every crash is different, and if you are trying to get to the bottom of what happened, your best option is to consult an Atlanta truck accident attorney. They can go through the police report and evidence from the scene and help you figure out who was likely at fault. In many cases, the truck driver is mostly or entirely at fault due to the additional regulations placed on those who drive commercial vehicles.
Here are some common situations we see that lead to truck crashes:
Distracted driving. Just like with passenger vehicles, driving a truck while distracted – by a phone, a hairdo, a GPS unit, or anything else that takes your eyes and attention off the road – is a serious problem. But when commercial trucks collide with smaller vehicles, the situation is even more dangerous for the occupants of the passenger car.
Tired driving. As we mentioned earlier, regulations require commercial drivers to stop after a certain number of hours and track their hours. Unfortunately, sometimes these logs aren’t always accurate. This isn’t always a misjudgment on the driver’s part – some trucking companies encourage it or push drivers so much that they feel they have no choice. Electronic logging devices (ELD) are somewhat harder to use inaccurately as the time is logged electronically, not manually. These are usually required when truckers travel between states, drive a truck made after 1999, and drive more than eight days in a 30-day time frame. However, many drivers are not required to use them, and sometimes they may end up driving when they haven’t had enough sleep. Sadly, this can have severe consequences if an accident occurs.
Not driving appropriately for changing road or weather conditions. Truckers need to be very careful in wet or icy conditions or if they spot any hazards in the roadway.
Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. This is always a bad idea, but when combined with the weight of a commercial truck, it can be even more deadly.
Speeding and/or reckless driving. You’re probably familiar with maintaining a safe stopping distance while driving in a passenger car. Something to remember about commercial trucks is that it takes even longer to stop them due to their weight.
Most of the above issues are mistakes on the truck driver’s part. However, we talked a little about the company’s role that hires the driver. Often they also contribute to or cause accidents through errors such as:
Negligent hiring. Most trucking companies run thorough background checks and MVR record checks and perform a drug test before hiring a driver. Unfortunately, some smaller companies may have lower standards for hiring. For example, if they don’t take the time to check a driver’s records, they may not know this person had a DUI a few years ago or an accident in which they were at fault. If they don’t ensure their drivers meet safety standards, they may be liable for damages when an accident occurs.
Improperly training drivers. This is another potential issue with the trucking company. If they fail to provide up-to-date training for all drivers, they may be liable.
Poor or no truck maintenance. Truck drivers are supposed to inspect their trucks for issues regularly. Still, it’s usually up to the company to fix these (except in some situations where the driver is an owner/operator). In some cases, a driver may have reported an issue like needing new brakes or tires, and we may learn that the company ignored this request for weeks. If something like this leads to an accident in which another party is hurt, the trucking company may be liable.
Not observing or enforcing hourly limits for truck drivers. Again, this can be a problem, especially with manual logs. Often a company representative is supposed to audit the logs. In some cases, they may not look at all the logs, or they may not look too carefully or think too hard about whether the hours listed make sense. Other times, they may flat-out not even bother to look at the logs. Or they may look at them but say nothing about inconsistencies because they feel the most important thing is getting the cargo delivered on time. In these situations, it’s possible the trucking company may be negligent.
Unrealistic expectations. As we mentioned earlier, sometimes truck drivers don’t want to falsify logs or work longer hours than required by law. But the trucking company may put them in an impossible position, insisting they deliver a load in a specific time frame that can’t realistically be accomplished while also following federal regulations limiting driving hours. (Keep in mind that drivers also shouldn’t speed.) This may place the driver in a situation where they feel they need to drive an extra hour or two and “forget” to log it manually.
Avoiding Large Truck Accidents
While many accidents are due to the truck driver or trucking company’s negligence, there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of being struck by a commercial vehicle. Pay attention to your driving, obey the speed limit, and drive defensively. Remember the longer stopping distance for larger vehicles, and add more space between you and a large truck if they are in front of or behind you. If you have to pass a tractor-trailer, doing so on the left side gives the driver a better chance of seeing you than passing on the right.
What Should You Do After A Truck Accident?
As with any accident, you should call 911 to report the accident and request an ambulance if needed. If you’re able, move your car out of the roadway and try to take pictures of the damage.
There’s a high likelihood that the trucking company’s insurance adjuster will be very eager to talk to you. In some situations, they even show up at the scene of an accident. They’re hoping you’ll say something they can use to paint the accident as your fault. Under Georgia’s comparative negligence laws, if they successfully convince a jury you were at least partly at fault, that will reduce the damages they have to pay. If they can convince the jury you were at least 49 percent at fault, they won’t have to pay anything. Additionally, they may want to make you an offer that isn’t nearly high enough to cover all your damages (which you probably won’t be able to calculate yet, anyway).
The best thing you can do is refuse to talk to the insurance company until you’ve spoken with an Atlanta trucking accident attorney. If they show up at the scene, tell them you have too many things to deal with right now and will get back to them. Do not answer any of their questions until you’ve had a chance to speak with a qualified lawyer.
Truck Accident Injuries
Due to the nature of these crashes, injuries can be severe. The truck’s weight may crumple a small car, leaving the occupants trapped inside until help arrives. Lacerations from broken glass, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, other internal injuries, and concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are common injuries. These can be financially devastating, as the medical bills may be very high, and you may be out of work for quite some time. Permanent disability and inability to return to work are also possible.
If a situation like this happens, you may feel overwhelmed. Attorney Ali Awad, the CEO Lawyer, is here to stand up for your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve. Don’t accept lowball offers from an insurance company eager to pay as little as possible. Arm yourself with the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm team, the legal representation you need to acquire a fair amount of damages for your injuries. Contact us online or call (833) 254-2923 today.
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Frequently Asked Questions
After a personal injury, you're bound to have legal questions. The CEO Lawyer Ali Awad can provide you with answers to these questions, just as he's given answers to his millions of curious social media followers. Take a look at some of the most common personal injury law questions for general information, and then reach out to one of our seasoned attorneys for specific guidance on your case!
To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.
Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?
The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.
Georgia's Personal Injury & Accident Firm
Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.
What to Expect From Your Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney?
During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process.
Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today.
We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.
Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.