Most drivers and companies in the U.S. trucking industry operate responsibly. However, our Atlanta truck accident lawyer knows all it takes is one trucker or carrier ignoring federal safety regulations, the rules of the road or common sense to cause devastating harm.
Although crashes involving commercial motor vehicles – also called tractor-trailers or semis – account for only a small percentage of the total crashes in Atlanta and Georgia, they tend to be the most costly and deadly due to the relative size and weight of these vehicles. According to the National Transportation and Highway Safety Administration, in 2012, there were over 333,000 accidents involving large trucks.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash with a tractor-trailer through no fault of your own, you owe it to yourself to seek legal advice immediately. You need the help and expertise of an attorney to ensure that as much evidence as possible is preserved so that your rights are protected.
At James M. Poe, P.C., we can provide a timely review of your case and, if warranted, we can take immediate action on your behalf. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.
Truck Accident Investigations Must Begin Immediately
Trucking companies and their insurers will move quickly after a collision to protect themselves, so you need to act quickly as well. If James M. Poe, P.C., takes on your case, we can launch a prompt investigation of your crash to make sure important evidence is not lost or destroyed. This evidence may include:
- Physical evidence from the crash scene
- Eyewitness statements
- The tractor-trailer and its cargo
- Electronic data recorder (EDR, or “black box”) data
- Driver cell phone records
- Trucker log books
- Cargo records
- Maintenance records
- Employment records
- Records of driver physical examinations and drug/alcohol testing.
Once preserved, we would analyze this evidence to determine whether negligence on the part of the trucker, trucking company or other parties contributed to the crash. In some cases, accident reconstruction specialists and other experts may need to be consulted as well to determine what actually occurred. These experts need to have sufficient experience and knowledge to understand and appreciate the many unique aspects of truck accidents.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration finds that the most accidents involving large trucks happen on interstates. With I-85, I-75 and I-20 all running through Atlanta, the risk of accidents increases. It is important to have experienced legal representation who work with a team of experts if you are seriously injured in a truck accident on an Atlanta interstate.
Truckers, Trucking Companies and Others May Be Held Responsible
Any party whose negligence caused or contributed to causing a crash may potentially be liable for the injuries and losses you have suffered as a result.
As is true of motor vehicle collisions in general, many tractor-trailer collisions may occur as a result of negligence – the truck driver may have acted carelessly, or failed to take action that a reasonably careful person would have taken. Examples are:
- Speeding or traveling too fast for conditions
- Following too closely
- Performing illegal maneuvers
- Failing to keep a proper lookout
- Failing to deploy appropriate flares or caution triangles to warn drivers of a disabled vehicle
- Driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol
- Driving while distracted
- Driving while fatigued.
The trucking company can be held responsible for the negligence of its driver if the driver was acting within the scope and course of his employment at the time the collision occurred.
A trucking company may also be held liable for a wreck if the company itself was somehow negligent in its hiring or supervision of the driver, so long as that negligence caused or contributed to causing the collision. Examples include:
- Hiring drivers who should not be on the road due to their driving history, criminal history, medical problems or history of drug and alcohol abuse
- Failing to provide proper training and supervision of drivers
- Failing to properly screen and qualify drivers
- Failing to properly inspect and maintain their fleet
- Failing to properly secure cargo
- Promoting or permitting illegal conduct by drivers such as violations of federal regulations which limit the number of hours a driver can be on the road in a single shift or work week.
In addition to truckers and trucking companies, manufacturers of truck parts may be liable if a defect in one of their products lead to a collision. For example, a tractor-trailer crash may be caused by a defective tire or faulty brake.
Contact the Atlanta Truck Accident Law Firm
If a trucker, trucking company or manufacturer negligently caused a crash in which you or a loved one has been injured or killed, you have a right to pursue fair compensation for your losses.
Failing to take prompt action may harm your ability to obtain important evidence in your case. Hiring an attorney as quickly as possible after your collision will help you to ensure that your rights are protected from trucking companies and their insurers.
If you contact James M. Poe, P.C., you will find that personal injury attorneys Jim Poe and Matt Poe are truly dedicated to helping truck accident victims and their families to secure fair compensation for their injuries. We will give your case the serious, personalized attention it deserves. Simply call or submit our firm’s online form today to schedule a free consultation about your case.
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