Legal Implications of Tractor-Trailer Accidents in Georgia - Scott A. Pryor, Attorney at Law, LLC
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      Scott is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and is listed in the top 1% of trial attorneys in the nation by the Litigator Awards. He is also a member of Super Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association—Champion Level and sits on the Communications Committee of GTLA, and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

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      J. J. Timmons graduated from Mercer Law School in 2000. He spent many years thereafter doing insurance defense work in general liability and workers’ compensation for several insurance companies and a major automobile manufacturer. He eventually realized that he was working on the wrong side and has been representing plaintiffs and injured workers for the last seven years. Timmons joined Scott Pryor Law in 2015 and specializes in personal injury and worker’s compensation cases.

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Legal Implications of Tractor-Trailer Accidents in Georgia

If you live anywhere near Atlanta, the chances are you have seen your fair share of tractor trailers on the road. You may have even witnessed an accident or two, because since the year 2016, Georgia’s trucking accident statistics have been on the rise. With roughly 3.3 million trucks on the road, truckers are constantly trying to meet deadlines by logging more miles.

The job is stressful—very stressful, as the entire country relies on truckers to deliver groceries, alcohol, and basically any other consumer good you can think of. Some truckers become so fatigued they turn to prescription pills to keep them awake. The pills then often cause them to feel sick or have the opposite intended effect, and they become more drowsy. It becomes a vicious cycle full of very unhealthy practices.

Common Causes of Tractor Trailer Accidents

The top causes of extensive crashes with large trucks are as follows:

  • Driver Error.

This is the leading cause of accidents and include such factors as:

  • Substance use or abuse
  • Speeding
  • Fatigue
  • Didn’t check blind spot
  • Illegal driving
  • Not maintaining enough distance
  • Road Rage
  • Distractibility
  • Weather Related.

The weather has a direct effect on tractor-trailer accidents because of road conditions. Since large rigs are so tall and heavy, wet or icy road conditions can lead to dangerous driving conditions. The normal distance needed is often decreased, requiring truckers to have a much quicker reaction time. Unfortunately, truck drivers fail to recognize this and thus end up in an accident.

  • Cargo Issues.

When the truck’s cargo is not loaded properly or it exceeds its maximum weight limitations, it could shift suddenly and either fly off the truck or cause the driver to crash. Plus, a truck with oversized load takes much longer to stop which causes accidents as well.

  • Equipment Failure

This is another common cause of accident and has to do with common violations such as defective tires, faulty brakes, having inoperable headlights, not maintaining the truck or having improper repair, and a lack of any recent inspection.

Legal Implications

Incidents involving other large trucks or semi trucks contribute to significant legal issues that you don’t see with regular sized automobiles. There are state and federal motor carrier regulations placed on big trucks of a certain size. There are also laws that apply to the interstate trucking industry. And unlike automobile owners, motor carriers have been legally required to keep and run their trucks and gear in accordance with numerous federal rules— such as the manner and hours in which they can operate the truck. Liability coverage and other insurance requirements covering trucks are challenging because of the equipment and heavy machinery involved.

Negligence

Most lawsuits involving truck accidents are for claims of negligence. To prove negligence, you must demonstrate that the responsible party had a duty, they breached that duty, the accident was caused by this breach of duty, and the accident caused destruction. This often means that the truck driver’s company is liable for the damages through vicarious liability. Put simply, it means that employers take responsibility for their employees actions during their “work day”.

Because truck accidents often result in severe injuries or death, you want to hire a solid, experienced personal injury attorney. You don’t want to deal with this kind of claim on your own. You must hire an attorney who will have the ability take this on so that you can focus on recovering and getting back to health. Plus, a lawyer will ensure that you aren’t taken advantage of by the insurance company and see to it you get the best possible settlement.

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