Automobile accidents of any kind can have devastating consequences, but trucking accidents are particularly dangerous due to the larger size of the vehicle involved. Truck accidents are more common in large metropolitan areas like Atlanta simply due to the presence of more of them on the roadways and more traffic bogging them down. While truck drivers are trained professionals who are generally safer drivers than regular motorists, accidents can and do happen.
Driver negligence plays a large role in trucking accidents, but they can also be caused by a variety of of other circumstances, including weather, road hazards, or the poor driving of others on the road. As with almost all types of automobile accidents, the most popular legal theory underlying liability in a trucking accident is negligence. A plaintiff in a trucking accident suit must show:
- That the defendant truck driver owed the plaintiff a duty of care—in this case, they would owe the plaintiff the degree of care to avoid injury under the circumstances
- The defendant breached that duty by engaging in behaviors that fell below that duty of care
- The defendant’s breach was the actual and proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries, and
- The plaintiff suffered actual harm.
When bringing a personal injury suit after a truck accident, the most common defendant is the trucking company, not the driver himself. This is because there is an employment relationship between the driver and his or her employer. If the trucking company in question exercised control over the driver and his actions, then it can be established that the driver was working within the scope of his employment and the employer may be held liable.
Most Common Types of Truck Accidents
- Jackknifing: Trucks are comprised of two separate parts—a cab and a trailer. Jackknifing occurs when these two components fold in upon themselves at the point of connection, causing the trailer to swivel out away from the cab, potentially hitting anything in its path.
- Turning accidents: Trucks require much more room to make turns than ordinary passenger vehicles, especially right turns. In some cases, the truck will need to utilize two lanes to make a turn, potentially hitting other vehicles that are already in those lanes in the process.
- Driving in the “no zone”: Don’t be fooled by the presence of larger mirrors on trucks—due to their size, trucks have much larger blind spots than passenger vehicles. These blind spots are known as the “no zone,” and truck drivers can easily strike vehicles that are driving in them.
- Rollovers: Trucks have much higher centers of gravity than passenger vehicles and are thus more susceptible to centrifugal forces, especially when they are turning. Due to this high center of gravity and the heavy loads trucks are carrying in their trailers, turning too sharply or taking curves too quickly can cause the truck to roll over, potentially crushing anything in its path.
Contact an Atlanta Truck Accident Attorney
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident and suffered injuries, you may have a claim against the trucking company. Contact the attorneys at Slappey & Sadd for a free consultation to discuss your case by calling 404.255.6677. We serve the entire Atlanta metropolitan area and the state of Georgia, including Fulton County, Cobb County, DeKalb County, and Gwinnett County.