One of the most dangerous aspects of Atlanta area highway travel is the potential for truck accidents and the injuries that they can cause. An accident that involves a tractor-trailer or large truck is much more likely to result in catastrophic injuries that are more severe than those that result from car crashes that involve two passenger vehicles. Commercial trucks (also called Mack trucks, 18-wheelers and semis) weigh many times more than what an ordinary passenger car or pickup truck weighs. In a collision or truck accident, that weight translates to increased force that can literally crush a smaller vehicle. The result is often very serious injuries or even death for the people inside the passenger vehicle, SUV or pick-up truck.
According to the United States Department of Transportation, large trucks were involved in 12% of all traffic fatalities in recent years, even though they accounted for only seven percent of all vehicle miles traveled. And in multi-vehicle trucking accidents, a staggering 94% of truck crash victims were not riding in the truck, regardless of who was at fault. This means that the truck driver and others in the truck are far less likely to be harmed in a truck collision.
Trucks are regulated by the federal government and trucking companies and their drivers are required to maintain their trucks under strict guidelines. Trucking companies must maintain their trucks under safety regulations that are intended to ensure that trucking accidents are avoided. The tires, lights, cargo and other aspects of trucks and how they are used and maintained must be followed for the safety of those sharing the road with trucks. In addition, truck drivers must follow strict guidelines and logs that keep track of the hours they have driven and rests they have taken. This is intended to avoid fatigued drivers who are more likely to be involved in, or cause, a truck crash.
When a driver has been driving for excessive hours and has failed to take a break, the driver logs should reveal this. Truck drivers who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol are more likely to cause a fatal or serious truck crash, either colliding with another truck or smaller vehicle.Types of Truck Accidents
There are many types of truck accidents. They can range from those involving smaller vehicles ending up underneath the truck itself or those involving a side-swipe of another vehicle. Because of their weight and size, along with velocity during travel, they can cause serious injury or fatal injury. Some types of truck crashes include and can be categorized as follows:
- Underride Accidents – truck accidents that trap cars underneath the cargo on a tractor trailer.
- Falling Debris Truck Accidents – truck accidents caused by debris falling from the cargo portion of the truck.
- Stopped or Old Trucks – a truck crash caused by the truck breaking down due to age.
- Swinging Turn Accidents – truck accidents caused by the wide turns trucks have to make and damaging property, belongings and creating injuries.
- Left Turns
- Brake Failures and Rear End Collisions – truck collisions caused by malfunctions or following too closely.
- Improper Maneuvers; and
- Overloaded, Improperly Loaded Trucks and Cargo Shifts – truck accidents caused by overloaded or improperly loaded cargo.
- Driver Fatigue Accidents
- Bald Tire and Blowout Truck Accidents – accidents caused by bald tire blowout and tire debris from a truck.
- Truck Accidents from a Lack of Driver Training
The dangers involved in trucking crashes include the seriousness of the injuries that can result. This is due to the size and weight of trucks in comparison to smaller vehicles on the road. After a truck accident, it is crucial that victims get medical support. Some common injuries resulting from truck accidents can include:
- Wrongful death
- Fractured bones
- Neck injury
- Brain injury
- Spine injury
- Back injury
- Head injury
- Internal injuries
- Scars requiring plastic surgery
- Children Injuries
Trucking accidents are also different because they involve commercial vehicles with commercial interests. In a serious accident between two passenger cars, both victims and their families are likely to be overwhelmed and unlikely to have much experience with the legal and medical issues they will face. By contrast, accidents are a part of the trucking business, which means trucking companies and their insurance companies know exactly how the process works and how to limit their financial obligations. Trucking companies typically have engineers, investigators, lawyers and accident reconstruction experts on the scene within 24 hours. They secure evidence, take measurements, interview witnesses and talk to the police officers, all in an attempt to gain advantage in denying a victim’s claim or in minimizing any money they may have to pay out. In fact, it is not unusual for Georgia tractor-trailer accident victims to receive phone calls from trucking companies within a day of the accident, discussing financial offers or fault, often before the victims are remotely ready to think about those things.
If you or someone you love is a victim of a serious tractor-trailer accident, please do not agree to be recorded, sign documents you do not understand completely or accept any money from a trucking company representative before you talk to the trucking accident attorneys at Scholle Law. All of these things could limit your right to sue the trucking company later, after you have had a chance to see a doctor, rehabilitate and fully understand the injuries and financial costs the accident caused. Speaking with a lawyer allows you to enter into these conversations with a better understanding of your legal rights, or to enlist an experienced Atlanta truck accident lawyer to represent you.
CALL NOW FOR A FREE CONSULTATION Main: 770-717-5100 Toll Free: 866-972-5287.
Charles Scholle and the Scholle Law team have fought large companies for their clients rights for over two decades. We work exclusively with injured people and bereaved families and have substantial experience with the special issues raised by truck accidents causing catastrophic injuries and wrongful deaths — legal, medical and personal. Our law firm understands that seriously hurt trucking accident victims are anxious and eager to see justice done, which is why Scholle Law takes the time to fully explain the case and its legal issues to each client, and keep clients updated on each new development. In this way, we lift the burden of dealing with a catastrophic accident and allow clients to focus on healing.
If you have been seriously hurt in a tractor-trailer accident in Georgia, Scholle Law would like to help. From our main office in Duluth, we represent victims throughout Atlanta and Georgia. To set up your free consultation, send the firm a message online or call toll-free at 866-972-5287 or in Atlanta at 770-717-5100.