If you are involved in a collision involving a tractor-trailer (commercial truck, big-rig, 18-wheeler, semi-truck), it is important to understand the unique aspects of trucking accident cases that make them more than just a car accident with a massive vehicle involved. Trucking accident cases involve many complexities that are not present in other motor vehicle accident cases. Commercial carriers and truck drivers employ virtually limitless resources when defending Doraville truck accident claims, including use of quick response accident investigation teams that can be dispatched to a trucking accident scene shortly after a trucking accident.
A trucking accident usually means serious physical injury and even fatalities for those in other motor vehicles. The massive force generated by a vehicle weighing more than 25 times the weight of a passenger car frequently means permanent devastating injuries to other drivers, passengers and pedestrians. The weight differential between a tractor-trailer and passenger vehicle explains why it is virtually always the occupant of the passenger vehicle that suffers permanent serious injury or wrongful death. Effective trucking accident litigation necessitates a thorough knowledge of trucking regulations, litigation tactics used by commercial carriers and the unique types of risk factors in trucking accidents. At Montlick and Associates, our experienced Doraville tractor-trailer accident attorneys have been providing persuasive legal advocacy for trucking accident victims since our law firm was founded in 1984.
Special Tractor-Trailer Regulations in Doraville Trucking Cases
The trucking industry can be divided into two separate forms of trucking, which includes interstate and intrastate trucking. When tractor-trailers are used to transport products and materials across state lines, this form of multi-state trucking is referred to as interstate trucking. If a truck is operated exclusively within Georgia, this is referred to as intrastate trucking. This distinction is extremely important because the trucking industry is subject to extensive regulations designed to protect others from trucking accidents. Because violations of trucking regulations are often the basis of liability in a Doraville trucking accident case, tractor-trailer accident victims need to retain an experienced trucking accident lawyer with extensive knowledge of both state and federal trucking regulations. Experienced trucking accident attorneys must not only have a thorough understanding of trucking regulations but must also understand the differences between state and federal regulations. Some types of regulations that are directly intended to prevent trucking accidents include the following:
- Requirements for screening prospective drivers regarding past driving history and substance abuse issues
- Certification of medical fitness for drivers
- Bans on cell phone uses while operating a big-rig
- Mandatory pre-employment drug and alcohol screening
- Hours of service (HOS) rules designed to reduce the risk of driver fatigue
- Specifications for maximum loads and securing of loads
- Required pre-trip and post-trip inspections of tractor-trailers
- Mandatory limits on length and weight of big-rigs
When these types of state and federal regulations are violated, the danger of a trucking accident is apparent. At the federal level, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the agency that enacts regulations that govern the trucking industry. The vast majority of tractor-trailer accidents in Doraville and throughout Georgia are the direct result of violations of trucking regulations like these. Many times trucking companies turn a blind eye to such violations or tacitly encourage violations to increase profits. When these important regulations are disregarded, the result can be devastating trucking accidents resulting in life-changing injuries or wrongful death.
Unique Evidentiary Issues in Trucking Accident Cases
While it is important that your Doraville trucking accident attorney have a thorough understanding of trucking laws and regulations, our Doraville trucking accident lawyers also understand the problematic evidentiary issues in trucking litigation. The trucking industry is renowned for tampering with mandatory logbooks that are designed to provide evidence of HOS violations, performance of vehicle inspections, vehicle maintenance issues and other information that may be critical evidence in a trucking accident case.
Our experienced Doraville truck accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates understand how to preserve critical evidence that may be used to expose false logbook entries. We regularly take affirmative actions to preserve information saved in black box data recorders with which many tractor-trailers are equipped. The black box on many commercial big-rigs is similar to an accident recorder that is used when there is a plane crash. The data recorder can provide critical evidence about driver fatigue, driving immediately prior to the collision and vehicle maintenance issues. Because trucking companies often put tractor-trailers immediately back into service, data on black box recorders may be erased and damage to the big-rig repaired. Our experienced trucking accident lawyers typically take precautions to prevent critical evidence from disappearing.
Financial Recovery for Serious Doraville Trucking Accidents
There are many serious injuries that may be experienced in a trucking accident, whether a rollover accident, jackknife accident or carriage under-ride accident, which may include brain injuries, paralysis, third-degree burns, loss of limbs, spinal cord injuries, disc injuries, injury to vital organs and even wrongful death. These types of severe injuries often result in permanent impairment of mental and physical functioning. When a Doraville tractor-trailer accident results in these sorts of severe life-changing injuries, the impact on a trucking accident victim’s quality of life can be significant. These types of trucking accidents also often result in severe medical expenses and lost income. Our experienced Doraville trucking accident lawyers may be able to seek many types of damages depending on the specific circumstances of your case, including the following:
- Costs related to medical treatment, hospitalization and rehabilitation
- Lost income and impaired future earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability and disfigurement
- Extreme distress and mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Diminished quality of life
- Vehicle repair and other property damage
- Burial and funeral costs
- Punitive damages
If you or someone you love has suffered a severe personal injury or a loved one has died, our experienced Doraville trucking accident lawyers are committed to representing personal injury and wrongful death victims in obtaining compensation to rebuild their lives and support their families. Call now for your FREE CONSULTATION with Montlick and Associates' experienced Doraville tractor-trailer accident attorneys. Our attorneys are available to help you and may even visit you if needed. You can call us anytime 24/7 at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333) for your FREE CONSULTATION. Alternatively, you can visit our website at www.montlick.com to make use of our FREE CASE EVALUATION FORM or 24-hour live online chat service.