According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2017, there were over 4,000 deaths and over 300,000 injuries caused by collisions involving trucks. If you suffered injuries in a truck accident, you may have mounting expenses to pay and a long recovery journey ahead of you. After a truck accident, there are steps you can take to make things better. The first step is to contact an experienced Decatur truck accident lawyer. This includes filing a personal injury claim to recover the compensation you may be entitled to from the at-fault party to cover your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.
No one can guarantee the compensation you’re entitled to, but a truck accident lawyer can give you an idea of what is possible and what to expect based on past cases. If you or a loved one was injured in a truck crash, it’s time to contact a Decatur truck accident attorney to learn more about your legal options. Call Marks Law Group at (404) 939-1485 for a free initial consultation with one of our experienced Georgia truck accident lawyers.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Truck Crashes?
Truck accidents are very scary because they’re more likely to result in severe injuries or death than accidents between two passenger cars. The top causes of truck crashes include:
Driver error. Driver error on the part of a truck driver accounts for a tremendous percentage of truck accidents. This includes accidents caused by a speeding driver, driver confusion, or a driver who doesn’t check a blind spot before changing lanes.
Driver fatigue. Truck drivers work for long hours and they have tight schedules. Although the hours truck drivers drive are limited by law, they continue to drive when they’re exhausted or should be resting. For example, long haul drivers may be in a cab for days at a time. There’s little to break the monotony of being on the road, which can cause a driver to lose focus on the road and ignore safe driving measures, causing an accident.
Driving while drunk. It’s illegal in every state to drive while drunk. In Georgia, commercial drivers are held to higher standards in the public. The size, weight, and force of trucks make them a danger to others on the road. Truck drivers who drive under the influence are a danger to themselves and everyone else on the road.
Not securing loads. In Decatur, trucks are often hauling trailers that are full of products. Big or small, this load needs to be packed and secured properly so that the weight is distributed across the truck evenly. Failure to distribute the weight evenly across the truck increases the odds of the truck causing an accident, especially when turning or when trying to stop. If the load isn’t tied properly on a flatbed trailer, it can fly off the trailer and into the path of another motor vehicle, causing the other vehicle to crash.
Distracted driving. Most truck drivers focus on the road and nothing else while driving. However, not every driver takes this approach. As technology advances, many drivers carry cell phones, tablets, laptops, and other gadgets. These electronic devices can be a source of distraction. Apart from technology, eating or drinking coffee behind the wheel, conversing with other passengers, or even getting lost in a song on the radio can be a distraction. Most trucking companies have rules regarding what drivers can and can’t do behind the wheel. But it’s up to the individual driver to comply with such rules and with any local and federal laws.
Lack of maintenance. The law requires trucking companies and owners to maintain their vehicles and keep them in a good condition to ensure safety. However, maintaining semi-trucks and commercial trucks requires time and money. This reduces the profits and time that could be used to make deliveries. Therefore, poorly maintained trucks are one of the biggest causes of truck accidents in Georgia.
What Types of Injuries Can Occur in Truck Accidents?
Truck accident injuries can be traumatic. If the accident doesn’t kill the victim, it often leaves them with severe injuries that take a long time to heal. Many Decatur truck accident victims that have come into our office have bravely survived truck accidents--only to find themselves with a decreased quality of life after the accident, which is tragic and unacceptable.
Common truck crash injuries include:
Back and neck injuries. This may include minor neck pain or even more severe injuries, such as dislocated discs in the spine. Since your neck and back are crucial to everything you do, these injuries often prevent truck accident victims from returning to work and performing daily tasks.
Broken bones. When you’re involved in a collision with a commercial truck, you’re likely to suffer from broken bones. The impact forces of the accident mean that these breaks are usually extensive.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI). Often, the trauma in a large truck accident causes injuries to the head, which may cause serious TBI, where there’s extensive damage to the brain tissue. TBI may lead to physical and cognitive impairment, seizure disorders, extreme personality changes, and even death.
Spinal cord injuries. Although a truck accident victim may walk after the accident, spinal cord injuries may slow the manifestation of symptoms. These injuries must be treated quickly to avoid permanent damage.
Lacerations and abrasions, which may lead to permanent disfigurement. Deep tissue lacerations might require multiple surgeries to correct the damage, and the accident victim may be left with permanent disfigurement.
Often, truck accidents result in catastrophic injuries that lead to a lifetime of ongoing medical treatment and rehabilitation.
Truck drivers should not drive when their ability or alertness is impaired by illness or fatigue.
Truck drivers shouldn’t drive when under the influence of alcohol, illicit drugs, or any substance that impairs their ability to drive safely.
Truck drivers shouldn’t drink alcohol while on duty.
Trucking companies should not schedule departure or arrival times that would require drivers to disobey speed limits.
Truck drivers should inspect commercial vehicles and keep them in safe working condition, including inspecting brakes, steering, tires, coupling devices, and other specified parts and equipment.
Truck drivers may not operate a commercial motor vehicle and a motor carrier should not require or allow a driver to operate a commercial vehicle unless:
The commercial truck’s cargo is properly distributed and secured properly.
The truck’s tailgate, tailboard, tarpaulins, doors, spare tire, and other equipment used in its operation must be secured properly.
A truck driver should not text or use handheld electronic devices while driving.
A truck driver should place warning devices when stopped on the road.
A truck driver should stop, look, and listen before crossing railroad tracks.
Further, commercial truck drivers can’t drive for more than 11 consecutive hours, and they can’t be on duty for more than 14 consecutive hours; after they complete an off-duty session of at least 10 consecutive hours. Also, truck drivers must take a rest break of at least 30 minutes after being on duty for 8 hours before they can continue driving.
How Can a Decatur Truck Accident Lawyer Help Me?
When you have sustained injuries in a truck accident, the last thing you want to deal with is an insurance company or a driver’s trucking company. Our Decatur truck accident attorneys have the experience and expertise needed to handle your case so that you can focus on your recovery. Because our practice is devoted to these types of cases, we know the rules that a trucking company must follow and expectations to set when discussing settlement offers.
Without a truck accident lawyer by your side, an insurance company may pay you minimal compensation that won’t cover the cost of your injuries and other damages. You shouldn’t suffer more for an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence. Our attorneys will fight on your behalf for a favorable verdict and a fair settlement offer.
Contact Our Decatur Truck Accident Lawyers Today for Legal Advice!
At Marks Law Group, our team of experienced Atlanta truck accident lawyers is ready to help you get the compensation you deserve to help you cover your medical bills, lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering. To schedule a free initial consultation, call us today at (404) 939-1485, or chat with us online to learn how we can help.