Commercial Vehicle Accident Injury Claims
The following article will cover:
- Common causes of trucking accidents in Georgia, including excessive speed, driver fatigue, and inattention.
- Types of serious injuries resulting from semi-truck accidents in Georgia, such as T-bone accidents, and the risks that passenger vehicles face in collisions with semi-trucks.
- Liability for severe injuries in Atlanta trucking accident cases, and the potential damages that can be recovered.
What Are The Common Causes Of Trucking Accidents, Commercial Vehicles, And Semi Truck Accidents Across Georgia?
Excessive speed is the leading cause of trucking accidents in Georgia. Trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, and due to their size, they require a longer stopping distance than passenger vehicles. Truck drivers are professional drivers and are trained to anticipate hazards, but accidents can occur when they fail to pay attention or drive while tired or in a rush. Truck accidents often result in severe injuries, including death, as airbags do not offer adequate protection in collisions with semi-trucks. Excessive speed results in rear end collisions, which occur when the truck hits the vehicle in the rear, and T-bone accidents, which occur when the truck hits a vehicle on the side. Other common causes of truck accidents include distracted driving, truckers falling asleep, excessive and sudden lane changes, and blind spots or the “no zone.”
A tractor trailer’s no zone is a term used to describe the areas around the truck where the driver has limited or no visibility. These areas can be dangerous for other drivers, as they can be easily hidden from the truck driver’s view.
There are four main no zones around a tractor trailer:
- The front no zone: This is the area directly in front of the truck, extending about 20 feet in front of the cab. The truck driver has limited visibility in this area due to the hood of the truck and the height of the cab.
- The right no zone: This is the area on the right side of the truck, extending from the cab to the end of the trailer. The truck driver has limited visibility in this area due to the large blind spot created by the trailer.
- The left no zone: This is the area on the left side of the truck, extending from the cab to the end of the trailer. The truck driver has limited visibility in this area due to the large blind spot created by the trailer and the cab.
- The rear no zone: This is the area directly behind the truck, extending about 30 feet behind the trailer. The truck driver has limited visibility in this area due to the size and height of the trailer.
Due to the size of trucks and their longer stopping distance, passenger vehicles are at high risk of serious injury or death in collisions with semi-trucks.
What Are The Most Common Types Of Serious Injuries Caused By Semi Truck Accidents In Georgia?
The most common types of serious injuries caused by semi truck accidents in Georgia include:
- Head injuries: Head injuries are the most common type of injury in semi truck accidents. This is because the force of impact in a semi truck accident is often much greater than in a car accident. Head injuries can range from mild concussions to severe brain damage.
- Spinal cord injuries: Spinal cord injuries can be devastating and can result in paralysis. Spinal cord injuries can occur in any type of accident, but they are more common in semi truck accidents because of the large size and weight of the trucks.
- Internal injuries: Internal injuries can also occur in semi truck accidents. These injuries can include organ damage, such as liver damage or kidney damage. Internal injuries can be life-threatening and can require surgery to repair.
- Broken bones: Broken bones are another common type of injury in semi truck accidents. Broken bones can occur in any part of the body, but they are most common in the arms, legs, and ribs. Broken bones can be painful and can require surgery to repair.
- Whiplash: Whiplash is a common type of injury that can occur in any type of accident, but it is more common in rear-end collisions. Whiplash is caused by the sudden extension and flexion of the neck. Whiplash can cause pain, stiffness, and headaches.
In addition to these physical injuries, semi truck accidents can also cause emotional and psychological injuries. These injuries can include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. Emotional and psychological injuries can be just as debilitating as physical injuries and can require long-term treatment.
Who’s Potentially Liable For My Serious Injuries In My Atlanta Trucking Accident Case?
In Atlanta trucking accident cases, the trucking company, driver, the company insuring the truck or other interdependent corporations contracted with the trucking company can be held liable. The company controlling the time, manner, and method of the delivery can be held liable beyond a basic contractor relationship. Additionally, Georgia’s direct action statute allows suing the insurance company as a named defendant in a trucking case. Trucking companies can be legally considered commercial motor carriers under Federal law. The amount of insurance coverage required for a commercial motor carrier (CMC) varies depending on the type of operation and the size of the fleet. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires all CMCs to carry a minimum of $750,000 in liability insurance for bodily injury and $300,000 in liability insurance for property damage. However, many CMCs choose to carry higher levels of insurance coverage.
What Damages Might I Be Able To Recover From My Severe Trucking Accident Injuries In Georgia?
Compensation for trucking accidents can include future medical expenses, pain and suffering damages, loss of enjoyment of life damages, loss of capacity to labor damages, lost wages, lost profits if you have a business, and wrongful death damages if someone dies. Punitive damages may also be awarded to punish the trucking company or driver for actions beyond negligence.
What Should I Be Looking For When Hiring A Georgia Trucking Accident Attorney?
When selecting a Georgia trucking accident attorney, it is important to choose someone who will thoroughly investigate your case and not rush to settle it quickly.
Trucking cases are complex and require an attorney with experience in accident reconstruction and trucking discovery, including driver logs and the business relationship between the trucking company and the entity whose goods are being delivered. Additionally, an attorney should be knowledgeable about potentially liable defendants beyond the basic contractor relationship. Trucking companies and insurers will often have expert accident reconstructionist on the scene before the ambulance and police leave to gather evidence and influence the police investigations for their benefit.