A truck accident is one of the most dangerous and catastrophic types of auto accidents anyone can be involved in. 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, semis, or big rigs – no matter what you call them, these giants are on most roadways in Atlanta and across the region.
The size, speed, and weight of commercial trucks make them incredibly dangerous when an accident occurs. Large trucks take a long time to speed up or stop. They make wide turns. And they have numerous blind spots.
If you have been rear-ended, side-swiped, or otherwise struck by a commercial truck, you may be entitled to compensation for any injuries or losses you experience. An Atlanta truck accident lawyer can help you protect your rights.
At The Embry Law Firm, our Atlanta truck accident lawyer knows what a difficult time this is for your family. We are here to ensure that your rights are protected and that you get full and fair compensation.
Truck accidents are unfortunately common in Atlanta, as well as across Georgia. In Georgia, an estimated 180-230 fatal truck accidents happen each year. That accounts for nearly 14% of all auto accidents occurring on Georgia roadways. Estimates also suggest more than 13,000 commercial trucks are involved in accidents each year in our state.
Truck accidents can and do, happen on all types of roadways. Estimates suggest the following:
In Atlanta, rural highways are few and far between, mostly restricted to the suburbs of the Metro Atlanta area. But these highways and Interstates wind through Atlanta, snaking through congested and crowded areas. Truck accidents are common on some of these roadways, especially:
To reduce the risk of truck accidents on these roadways, Georgia has enacted laws governing truck drivers and their driving practices. For example, large trucks are only allowed to drive in the far right-hand lanes unless they are turning.
Truck drivers are required to abide by seat belt laws as well. In Atlanta, trucks are prohibited on certain highways and roadways unless they are dropping off or picking up a shipment, or there is no other route.
Unfortunately, even with increasingly strict laws, truck accidents still happen far too frequently. If you have been injured in a truck accident on one of Atlanta’s major roadways, contact The Embry Law Firm to learn more about your rights and possible options for compensation.
To put the deadly nature of truck accidents into perspective, let’s also review some alarming nationwide statistics.
According to the most recent data available from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2018, there were 5,096 commercial vehicles involved in fatal accidents. There were also 121,000 truck accidents involving injuries. These numbers represent:
While Georgia certainly sees a fair number of truck accidents, these statistics show just how frequently these accidents occur on roadways across the nation.
Most truck drivers are professionals and have a great deal of training and experience. There are, of course, some drivers who lack professionalism and skill, which can certainly contribute to accidents occurring. And there are also a variety of reasons why truck accidents occur – some related to driver error and others related to the negligence or carelessness of others. In Atlanta, the most common causes of truck accidents include:
Speeding is a contributor to more than 25% of all fatal auto accidents. Large trucks become extremely dangerous at high speeds. The size and weight of these trucks makes it difficult to slow down or stop, and they are more prone to jackknifing or rolling over when driving fast.
Driver fatigue is a serious concern for truck drivers. So much so that there are state and federal regulations that require truck drivers to take regular sleep breaks. Unfortunately, many truck drivers do not abide by these guidelines. The result is fatigue that can impair the driver as much as alcohol or drugs might.
The dangers of distracted driving are widely advertised. Still, many drivers struggle to keep their focus on the road. This can be particularly challenging for truck drivers who are fatigued or bored, or who have a lot of gadgets to manage in the cab. Truck drivers must avoid distractions, however, as this is a significant contributor to auto accidents.
Large trucks have many blind spots, also called “no-zones.” These are the areas near the truck where the driver cannot always see other vehicles around them. The primary no-zones for drivers are near the front, rear, and sides of a truck.
Drivers should remember that these no-zones may extend past the lane they are in. Similarly, truck drivers should always be aware of their blind spots and be vigilant in looking before changing lanes or turning.
Truck drivers and trucking companies are responsible for proper maintenance on their trucks. Proper maintenance ensures that the truck is in proper working order and is safe for the road. Companies and drivers must document all maintenance checks and services. Routine checks include checking for things like:
There are numerous ways that improper maintenance can contribute to a truck accident. If a defect or poorly maintained truck contributes to an accident, the driver and company can each be held liable if the truck is involved in a truck accident.
One of the things that makes large trucks so dangerous is the fact that they carry tons of cargo or thousands of gallons of potentially hazardous material. If the cargo is improperly loaded, the trailer and cab can shift or rollover.
Truck drivers who do not have adequate training may not have the same skills and ability to respond to potentially dangerous situations. Even with basic training, there are always situations that require quick thinking and reactions. Truck drivers should receive basic training and consider ongoing or continuous training to enhance their skills.
No matter what the cause of a truck accident is, injured victims deserve the opportunity to explore their legal rights and possible options to recover compensation for their injuries.
Truck accident injuries are often devastating, even catastrophic. Medical bills after these accidents pile up quickly. If you are in a truck accident, don’t delay in getting legal guidance from an Atlanta truck accident lawyer.
There are many different types of injuries that occur in truck accidents. In Atlanta, we most often see reports of the following:
In auto accidents involving two passenger cars or small trucks, the force of the collision usually does not crush the frame of the vehicle. However, when a commercial truck is involved, the size and weight create greater force, which can bend or crush the frame of a smaller vehicle.
For this reason, broken bones are more common in truck accidents. Victims often suffer broken bones in their extremities due to impact against the door, dashboard, or windshield. Broken bones from a truck accident are often more severe, and often require surgery to repair the damage.
Back injuries are common in most any type of auto accident, but especially in truck accidents. The human spine is made up of 24 vertebrae. These bones interlock and make the spinal column. Between each bone are strong cushioned joints that are elastic, called discs. In a truck accident, the impact can cause the discs to slip, tear, or even rupture. This causes extreme pain and limits mobility. It can also cause joint damage.
Neck injuries in truck accidents often occur due to the force of the body being rapidly thrust back and forth on impact. This can result in neck injuries that affect the bones, ligaments, muscles, and nerves. Severe injuries can also extend into the head and shoulders. One of the most common neck injuries in auto accidents is whiplash.
Whiplash occurs when the head is thrown back and then forward forcefully. This stretches, and can tear, muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the neck. Severe cases of whiplash can cause damage to the bones and discs in the spine also.
One of the most common consequences of truck accidents are head and brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are devastating injuries that can lead to long-term damage. During a truck accident, your head may be shaken violently. You may also strike your head inside the vehicle, or be struck by a loose object. Any of these can cause a TBI. There are two types of TBI:
A TBI is a traumatic and devastating injury. It can lead to symptoms like confusion, dizziness, memory or concentration problems, mood changes, changes in sleep patterns, and fatigue.
On average, a commercial truck holds up to 300 gallons of fuel. If an accident occurs, this fuel can spill and ignite. Truck accidents that result in a fire can cause severe burns to those involved. A fire or explosion can cause:
Any type of violent or sudden impact to your body can damage the internal structures. In mild cases, this could be as simple as tendon, ligament, or tissue damage. In more serious cases, this could mean broken ribs, internal bleeding, a punctured lung, ruptured spleen, or kidney and liver damage.
Any type of internal injury is a serious matter. Even if you don’t see an injury, you should still get adequate medical attention after a truck accident to assess your overall health and possible internal injuries.
Wrongful death is the death of one person due to the negligence of someone else. If someone you love died in a truck accident that was the truck driver’s fault, you may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the truck driver and/or trucking company. A wrongful death lawsuit, or claim, can provide you with compensation for your loved one’s pain and suffering, as well as your family’s damages due to their death.
If you are injured, or have lost a loved one, in a truck accident, you likely want to know who is responsible. You may choose to pursue an insurance settlement or a personal injury claim against the driver or company. But where do you start? How do you know who is at fault and who should pay for your loss?
It is important to work with a skilled Atlanta truck accident lawyer when determining who is liable for a truck accident. There are various factors that must be considered before fault can be assigned. Three of the most important factors are:
Your first reaction to a truck accident may be to hold the truck driver liable. While it’s true that driver error is the leading cause of auto accidents, there may be more parties involved than you think. For example:
These are important considerations when determining who is liable and who should pay for your losses.
Working with a skilled Atlanta truck accident lawyer is the best way to determine who was at fault for your truck accident. At The Embry Law Firm, we take every measure possible to determine who is at fault and hold them accountable. We analyze every aspect of the case, including the following:
A thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding your accident is the only way to determine who is responsible and what your options are for holding them accountable.
Let’s face it. No matter how hard we try to be safe behind the wheel, we all make mistakes. What if you made a mistake that contributed to the truck accident that injured you? Are you able to pursue compensation? What about your medical bills?
Georgia law has what is called a “comparative negligence clause.” This means that if you are less than 50% responsible for the truck accident, you can still recover financial compensation. However, your degree of fault could impact how much compensation you are eligible for. Many of the above factors in determining fault will apply here as well. Other factors include:
If you or someone you love is recovering from truck accident injuries, the last thing on your mind is dealing with insurance companies or trucking companies. At The Embry Law Firm, we handle these matters on behalf of our clients so they can focus on rest and recovery.
When you work with our Atlanta truck accident lawyer, you are getting the benefit of a strong legal advocate. Our law firm is devoted to personal injury cases, so we are well aware of applicable state and federal laws and guidelines, the legal process, and what to expect. We also understand the statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims, and will make sure that your claim is filed on time (within two years of your accident).
We also know what to expect from insurance companies. Often, insurance companies will claim you were responsible for the accident, or will minimize your injuries in order to offer a lower settlement. The Embry Law Firm will make sure that you do not accept a settlement offer that is lower than what you deserve.
Truck accidents can cause extensive physical and emotional trauma, property damage or loss, and financial devastation. When we build your truck accident claim, we will attempt to recover all applicable damages that you have suffered. That may include:
The type and amount of damages that you qualify for can only be estimated by working closely with a truck accident lawyer. At The Embry Law Firm, we will work with you to collect and value your losses, including medical care and the emotional trauma that you and your family have suffered.
Every truck accident situation is different, so there is no way to estimate the value of your claim without a proper review of the facts. Just remember never to accept an insurance settlement offer without discussing it with your lawyer first.
At The Embry Law Firm, our Atlanta truck accident lawyer has devoted her career to helping victims of personal injury accidents. Our team has diligently researched state and federal laws and guidelines for the trucking industry, so we know how to fight for your rights.
To learn more about your legal rights and possible options for filing a truck accident claim, contact The Embry Law Firm. You will receive a free consultation with no obligation to you whatsoever.