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Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

A semi truck on the highwayAlthough driver error or fatigue is the most common cause of truck accidents, some truck accidents also occur due to poor safety inspections and maintenance. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the main goal of regular commercial vehicle inspections is to discover potentially hazardous conditions to avoid accidents, determine mechanical issues, and prevent roadside inspection failure. In the event that you are hurt in an accident with a commercial truck, you should call our Atlanta truck accident lawyers immediately.

The FMCSA Commercial Motor Vehicle Inspection Requirements

All commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) should be inspected based on FMCSA guidelines every 12 months. A qualified inspector with certification or training to maintain and inspect CMVs must conduct the inspection. Take note that CMVs also include every vehicle in combination vehicles. For instance, in full trailer, tractor semitrailer combinations, the full trailer, semitrailer, and tractor (and converter dolly, if applicable) should be inspected annually.

A semi truck on the highwaySo-called “underride” accidents account for less than 1 percent of all traffic fatalities but take on an out-sized importance because of the belief that such accidents can be prevented with additional safety equipment. Underride accidents occur when a vehicle – usually a passenger car – strikes a tractor-trailer from behind or from the side and wedges the passenger vehicle under the trailer. Because the trailer portion of a tractor-trailer rig has a high ground clearance, passenger cars generally can pass under the trailer, usually shearing the top off the car and resulting in catastrophic, frequently fatal injuries to the occupants of the car. The federal government has taken some steps regarding underride accidents but has not mandated the use of all of the safety equipment necessary to reduce or prevent such crashes.

If you have been hurt in an accident with a commercial vehicle, call us today to speak with an Atlanta truck accident lawyer.

Underride Crash Prevention Is Complicated

Wrapped presents under the treeThe holiday season is always a busy time, especially for retail businesses. It is the season of giving, after all, and many observers predict that this is going to be a record-shattering year, especially for online retailers. All of that economic activity is great for getting people back to work during the pandemic, but it will also put significantly more delivery trucks than usual on the roads this December – putting us all at risk of involvement in an accident. Fortunately, if you are hurt in a crash, our Atlanta truck accident lawyers are here to help.

Avoiding Truck Accidents around the Holidays

Fortunately, there are things that you can do to avoid involvement in an accident with a commercial truck this year. Some of the most important are discussed below.

Medical staff removing a patient from an ambulanceA Dunwoody man was killed while driving on I-285 in Cobb County in March of this year. According to police, the accident was caused when a tire blew out on an Isuzu box truck, causing the driver to lose control and crash into two other vehicles. Moments after the accident, another driver tragically smashed into the rear of the truck and was killed. 

According to the most recent data available from the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, 2018 saw 34 traffic fatalities involving large trucks and 193 fatalities involving utility trucks. The tragic accident above highlights some of the potential hazards associated with truck accidents. 

Who is at Fault?

A white triple-trailer semi truckWhile there are obviously many similarities between car and truck accidents, there are also some fundamental differences. From the potential issues involved to how the claim gets handled, truck accidents can be more complicated than car accident cases on a number of levels. For this reason, some personal injury attorneys specialize in truck accident claims so that they can better represent their clients. An experienced truck accident attorney can help you get compensated for your injuries quickly and fairly. 

The law firm of Slappey & Sadd has been working with truck accident victims in Atlanta and across the state of Georgia since 1992. We have the knowledge, skills, and experience you need to help you put your life back together. If you’re injured and need help, call us at 404-255-6677 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. 

Truck Accidents Are Often More Severe

A semi-truck driving in the mountainsWho Do You Sue in a Truck Accident?

Trucks are typically operated by a trucking company, which can be held responsible for the actions of their drivers. As a result, you will typically sue the trucking company in order to obtain compensation for your injuries.

However, some trucking companies intentionally try to shield themselves from liability. Their drivers may be independent contractors, or the drivers are employed by a subsidiary corporation with little to no assets. It can often be difficult to identify who is the proper party to sue.

Two motorcycles parked on the streetOn March 24, 2019, a Columbus Jury awarded $27 million to the mother of a woman killed in an accident that occurred in January of 2017. The jury’s award consisted of $22 million in compensatory damages and $5 million for the woman’s pain and suffering. The case illustrates the increased dangers for the victims of truck or motorcycle accidents, even under routine circumstances.

The Accident

On January 26, 2017, George Hooks was driving his 18-wheeler westbound on Macon Road while Cindy Tran Huyhn was headed east on her motorcycle. Both entered the intersection with Technology Parkway on a green light. The accident occurred when Hooks turned left in front of Huynh, who had the right of way because she was proceeding straight. Huynh immediately slammed on the brakes, veered left, and went into a skid. According to eyewitnesses, she almost avoided the collision but clipped the back-end of the truck’s trailer. She was taken to the hospital but unfortunately died the next day. The cause of death was listed as “blunt force trauma to the torso and extremities.”

A doctor holding a chartAccidents happen every day. Thankfully, most of them are minor, but many can result in life-changing injuries. If you’ve been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may have a legal claim against them in order to receive compensation for your injuries. However, there are first five things you need to do in order to protect your rights.

Seek Medical Treatment

Your health is your most important asset. If you didn’t see a doctor right after the accident and are in pain, go get checked out. It’s not uncommon for some injuries to manifest themselves days or even weeks after an accident. Your symptoms could signal a more serious injury, and you’ll need medical treatment in order to make a full recovery.  

A semi-truck driving in the mountainsYou have likely heard about the horrific accident that happened shortly after the New Year on I-75 near Gainesville, Florida. Investigators still haven’t issued their final report, but it appears that a car and a semi-truck collided in the northbound lanes of I-75. The two vehicles then broke through a guardrail, crossed the median, and collided with another semi-truck and a church van loaded with children and headed for Disney World. As a result of diesel fuel spilled during the accident, the wreckage was consumed by a fire that burned so intensely it actually damaged the roadway. Tragically, 7 people were killed – 5 children and both truck drivers, with at least 8 others injured.

This accident is a sobering reminder of just how serious truck accidents can be. Reportedly occurring on a flat, straight stretch of I-75 in clear weather with good visibility, it raises the question of what you can do to avoid being involved in a similarly deadly accident.

Avoid Distractions

An overturned and badly damaged semi truckAccording to a report published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last month, fatal accidents involving large trucks increased by 9 percent from 2016 to 2017. While this includes fatalities involving the occupants of the truck, the data reveals the shocking reality that large trucks pose to the public at large. In 2017, 841 truck occupants were killed in accidents, while those accidents resulted in 4,761 fatalities of other people. Interestingly, almost all other categories saw a decrease in accident fatalities, and none of the exceptions to that trend saw an increase as significant as the one associated with large trucks.  

The NHTSA hasn’t published data for non-fatalities, but it’s probably safe to assume that the overall number of truck accidents has increased. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, we’d like to take this opportunity to alert you to some of the unique issues involved.  

Truck Drivers – Encouraged to be Negligent?

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