Atlanta Truck Accident Attorneys
When you are involved in a motor vehicle accident in Atlanta, there is always a risk of suffering serious injury or wrongful death. If the vehicle that collides with yours is an 80,000 pound fully loaded tractor-trailer combination, this risk increases substantially. Although the trucking industry is heavily regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and state law, sometimes truck drivers disregard safety rules often with the tacit or explicit consent of the trucking company. Commercial trucks (big-rigs, 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, semi-trucks) pose a much greater danger to others on Atlanta roadways because of their sheer mass and length. An Atlanta trucking accident may be the product of driver error, poor maintenance of the rig, defective components on the tractor-trailer or unsafe roadways.
The experienced Atlanta truck accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates have been representing those injured in trucking accidents since 1984. Tractor-trailers are more likely to be involved in a collision because they have a number of features that make them less responsive. Commercial trucks have large blind spots called “no zones” and require more time to safely stop or maneuver. The mass of a tractor-trailer also means that Atlanta trucking collisions involving smaller passenger vehicles often result in more serious injuries than other types of motor vehicle accidents.
Unique Challenges of Pursuing Atlanta Tractor-Trailer Accident Claims
Despite the fact that tractor- trailers constitute a relatively small percentage of total vehicles on the road, they account for one in every eight traffic related fatalities. Commercial trucking accidents also account for four percent of motor vehicle accident related injuries. Because of the size disparity between tractor-trailers and passenger vehicles, it is hardly surprising that the majority of the time that collisions occur the occupants of the passenger vehicle suffer the most serious injuries. Studies reveal that more than 85 percent of fatalities and 75 percent of injuries suffered in trucking accidents involve those in the smaller vehicle, such as a car, pickup truck, SUV or motorcycle.
Trucking companies defend Atlanta trucking accidents aggressively with a strategy of denying, delaying and minimizing claims. Atlanta trucking companies have teams of insurance adjusters, lawyers and virtually limitless resources to defend against personal injury claims. Legal claims involving Atlanta trucking accidents are more than merely auto accident claims involving extremely large vehicles. Effective legal representation in an Atlanta trucking accident requires experienced Atlanta trucking accident lawyers with knowledge of the dynamics and causes of Atlanta tractor-trailer accidents, trucking industry laws and regulations and trucking industry practices involving destruction or alteration of evidence. Our Atlanta tractor-trailer accident lawyers have been successfully representing trucking accident victims since our trucking accident law firm was founded in 1984.
Trucking companies often send a rapid response team immediately after learning of an accident involving their tractor-trailers and/or drivers. The trucking company may have trucking accident investigators on the accident scene within an hour of the collision, which may mean that important evidence suddenly disappears. While it is always recommended that you have a personal injury attorney handle your Atlanta accident claim, the aggressive tactics used by trucking companies to avoid liability for trucking accident claims makes it even more imperative that you work with an experienced trucking lawyer. Our Atlanta trucking accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates understand the need to work promptly to preserve critical evidence in trucking cases.
Many trucking companies in Atlanta and throughout Georgia use onboard computers and satellite communication systems which may provide s wealth of information that can impact a trucking accident victim’s claim. The vendors that provide this technology to Atlanta trucking companies typically have record retention policies that result in the data being purged within 2 to 4 weeks. If the data is modified, it can be difficult and expensive to prove that the data was changed. Trucking companies also often purge their own records after a period required for retention by federal regulators. Other evidence that may be purged by a trucking company if reasonably prompt action is not taken to preserve the information includes “black box data” generated by the engine control module on many trucks and driver logbook information. The black box may provide vital evidence on how the truck was driven immediately before the accident while the logbook may reveal hours of service violations that may lead to collisions caused by driver fatigue.
Key Causes of Atlanta Trucking Accidents
While there are many contributing factors that may play a role in causing an Atlanta trucking accident, some of the most common causes include the following:
- Failure to perform required inspections and maintenance
- Truck driver fatigue resulting from violation of hours of service rules
- Operating trucks while under the influence of illegal narcotics, prescription medication or over-the counter drugs
- Truck drivers who exceed speed limits to meet unrealistic schedules
- Defective truck components including tread separation in tires
- Poor route planning that requires truck drivers to navigate windy, narrow or mountain roads
- Drivers that are medically unfit to operate a tractor-trailer
- Violation of mandatory drug testing rules
- Trucking companies that fail to screen prospective truck drivers
- Failure to check “no zones” (large blind spots)
When trucking accidents occur in Atlanta and the surrounding areas, the result can be devastating life-changing injuries and even the loss of someone you love. When you are involved in an Atlanta trucking accident, you may suffer a wide range of severe injuries including spinal cord injuries causing quadriplegia or paraplegia, head injuries that impair mental functioning, severe full thickness burns, amputation of limbs, bone crush or fractures and even wrongful death.
When you suffer these severe forms of injury, it may result in severe financial challenges while you are recovering. The medical bills associated with this type of serious injury can be staggering; extended periods of disability can make it difficult to pay these medical expenses. Depending on the details of your tractor-trailer accident claim, our experienced Atlanta tractor-trailer accident attorneys may be able to seek financial compensation for a wide spectrum of losses including income replacement both past and future, property repair or replacement, medical and hospital expenses, pain and suffering, impact on enjoyment of life, loss of consortium and other forms of damages.
Know your legal rights! If you or someone you love has been injured in an Atlanta trucking accident, our experienced Atlanta truck accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates are committed to seeking the best possible outcome for our clients. We encourage you to schedule a free consultation because there is absolutely no obligation for us to evaluate your Atlanta trucking accident claim. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.