Truck Accident Lawyer
The vast differences between commercial tractor-trailer trucks and passenger cars and trucks are easily recognized. A passenger vehicle weighs about 2,000 pounds, while a fully loaded 18-wheeler can top 10,000 pounds.
When these “big rigs” collide with a passenger car or truck, the devastation that follows almost always befalls the drivers and passengers of the smaller vehicles.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which regulates large commercial trucks and buses in our country, says there were 3,601 non-fatal accidents and 96 fatal accidents in Georgia in 2010 involving large trucks. These wrecks caused 2,169 injuries. Driver violations cited by the FMCSA in large truck accidents in Georgia in 2009 include failure to yield, driving while intoxicated, and “willful reckless driving.”
The Mann Law Firm helps Macon and Middle Georgia residents who have been injured in commercial truck accidents obtain the compensation they deserve. Truck accident cases are much more complex than car accident cases. If you have been injured, or a member of your family has been killed in a collision with a transfer truck in the Macon area, contact the Mann Law Firm truck accident attorney today at (888) 332-5207 or through our online form for a free initial consultation about your legal options.
FMCSA says driver violations were cited in 3,215 fatal truck accidents in the U.S. and in 133 fatal truck accidents in Georgia.
Truck Accidents in Georgia
The Georgia Department of Public Safety’s Motor Carrier Compliance Division (MCCD) says in a recent “fact sheet” that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) ranks Georgia 5th in the nation in number of fatal commercial motor vehicle accidents. The fact sheet says that moving violations cause the greatest number of commercial truck accidents and that “most at-fault commercial vehicle crashes evolve from driver error.” Violations cited in Georgia truck fatalities were:
- Manslaughter or homicide (death by vehicle)
- Willful reckless driving
- Lane violations, generally
- Following too closely
- Improper method and position of turn
- Turn, yield, signaling violations, generally
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI) or BAC (blood-alcohol content) above limit
- Failure to yield, generally
- Failing to obey stop sign
- Other driver license violations.
The FMCSA studied 963 crashes nationally involving 1,123 large trucks and 959 motor vehicles that were not large trucks for a report titled “The Large Truck Crash Causation Study.” In descending order, the top 10 factors contributing to crashes involving large trucks were:
- Brake problems
- Traffic flow interruption (congestion, previous crash)
- Prescription drug use (drugged driving)
- Traveling too fast for conditions (speeding)
- Unfamiliarity with roadway
- Roadway problems
- Required to stop before crash (because of a traffic control device, crosswalk, etc.)
- Over-the-counter drug use
- Inadequate surveillance (i.e., not checking before entering an intersection)
As Georgia and national figures demonstrate, there are a variety of contributing factors behind commercial truck crashes. Truck driver error, recklessness and negligence are primary causes of many collisions. But truck failures due to lax maintenance or manufacturing flaws also cause wrecks. Sometimes road conditions, such as poor local maintenance or a work zone that is improperly marked, contribute to 18-wheelers’ involvement in car-truck crashes.
A 10,000-pound 18-wheeler traveling at 70 miles per hour does terrible damage if it collides with a passenger car going 55 mph. Commercial trucks’ high front bumpers often punch into the passenger compartments of cars to add to the high percentage of serious injuries and deaths in truck-car crashes.
Individuals who survive commercial truck accidents can suffer such catastrophic injuries as broken limbs, paralysis due to spinal injury, or traumatic brain injury (TBI). These injuries may mean life-long medical bills and therapy. The accident victim, their spouse and children, and other loved ones all face a new, less-desirable lifestyle. Insurance rarely covers the losses and expenses that the victim of a catastrophic tractor-trailer wreck will face. The driver’s company will have a team of lawyers ready to defend the driver and/or the firm to reduce any compensation it might pay. In fact, the trucking, hauling or truck leasing companies involved in a wreck will likely try to minimize payments by disputing whose insurance should compensate the accident victim.
The complexity of a commercial truck accident and the number of well-defended parties likely to be involved makes it crucial to obtain legal help after a truck wreck from an experienced truck accident lawyer like those at the Mann Law Firm. People who are injured or suffer other significant losses in truck crashes deserve to be compensated for their losses, but aggressive legal help will be required to realize that goal. The Mann Law Firm has experience fighting for clients injured in 18-wheeler accidents, and we are ready to help you obtain the compensation you need and deserve.
What To Do After a Truck Accident
Accidents with tractor trailers are almost always more severe than accidents with passenger vehicles. The typical tractor trailer is 15 to 20 times heavier than a common car, truck or SUV. This difference in mass can cause devastating accidents, with severe or fatal injuries.
If you are in an accident with a truck, you should stay at the accident scene until the police arrive. Also, call 911 right away; tractor trailer accidents usually involve serious injuries, and you or other people in the vehicle may need immediate medical help. Check other vehicles to see whether drivers and passengers need medical help.
If you can, take pictures and video of the crash scene and the vehicles involved. This is the best opportunity to collect evidence that you were harmed by the negligence of the truck driver. Having an immediate, fresh record of the truck accident can be vital to making your truck accident claim later.
What To Do If the Trucking Company Calls You?
Be wary if the trucking company or its insurance company calls you after the truck accident. Anything that you say to either entity could be twisted and used against you later. Because most truck accidents are serious events with substantial injuries, it is almost never a good idea to deal with the trucking company or insurance company on your own. If they do call you, do not discuss the accident. Contact The Mann Law Firm to represent you in negotiations with the trucking company.
Wrongful Death and Truck Accidents
Many truck accidents result in the death of the driver and/or passengers in the smaller vehicle. Surveys show that occupants of passenger vehicles account for 68% of all deaths in fatal truck accidents. If you lose a loved one in a truck accident and the trucker was negligent, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver and his trucking company. A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by the immediate relatives of the deceased. With the help of The Mann Law Firm, you can recover compensation for:
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of financial contributions in the future
- Loss of enjoyment of your life
- Funeral costs
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering for your loss.
Types of Commercial Vehicles That Cause Serious Accidents
Tractor trailers are the most common types of commercial vehicles that cause serious accidents. But did you know that many other commercial vehicles also can cause devastating accidents? Other types of commercial vehicles often in accidents are dump trucks, delivery trucks, passenger buses, school buses and delivery trucks. If you are injured by one of these types of trucks, you should contact a personal injury attorney. These also are commercial vehicles, and the company that owns that vehicle could be held liable for your injuries.
Infographic: An Introduction to Truck Accidents
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CONTACT A MACON TRUCK ACCIDENT ATTORNEY TODAY
If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a commercial truck wreck anywhere in the Middle Georgia area, an experienced Macon truck accident lawyer from the Mann Law Firm can help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your losses.
At the Mann Law Firm, David Mann is involved in every case. David left larger firms, including work as an in-house counsel for a large insurance company, to join his family law firm and work to bring justice to residents of the Macon area who have been injured. The Mann Law Firm provides the personal touch that the sensitive issues surrounding personal injury and wrongful death cases deserve.
Contact your Mann Law Firm truck accident attorney today at (888) 332-5207 in Macon, Dublin, Warner Robins or Milledgeville, or through our online form, to schedule a free and confidential initial consultation about your case.