By: Personal injury Attorney Atlanta GA William C. "Bubba" Head
For anyone injured in a truck and car accident needs a law firm with truck accident attorneys who are dedicated to recovering for the lost life of that Georgia family member. In big rig vehicles' accidents, the parties involved in the other motor vehicles have their FUTURE tied up in the outcome of this litigation.
The 10 Types of Information an Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyer Needs to Gather ASAP
A truck accident case often needs someone to track down vital information on that big rig vehicle such as:
(1) Who contracted this truck line to carry that load;
(2) Who "secured" the load on that flatbed or stacked the cargo inside the trailer, so that it does shift and overturn the big rig;
(3) Was the negligent truck driver texting or violating the hands-free law;
(4) The ownership of the truck;
(5) Whether some system on the commercial truck failed (i.e., hydraulic brakes) or a tire blowout, defect or failure may be the triggering event causing this crash.
(6) The name and identity of the shipper or trucking line and their failure to adhere to FMCSA safety compliance rules;
(7) The identity of the recipient of the freight or load;
(8) The truck driver's federally mandated log records;
(9) The commercial truck insurance company that refuses to pay a legitimate claim; and
(10) Physical markings and police paint markings at the collision scene.
More Traffic On Our Highways Has Increased the Number of Deaths and Serious Injuries in Big Rig Trucks
Since 2015, federal safety numbers from NHTSA show a jump in fatalities and catastrophic injury due to tractor trailer rigs, buses and other CMV (commercial motor vehicles). Numbers for 2017 and 2018 show a leveling off, but the numbers are daunting when you learn that 72% of the persons who die are NOT the commercial truck operators, but the people in other vehicles involved in these crashes. As with all highway wrecks, lack of use of seat belts was a factor in 40% of the death cases.
Large trucks, including dual rear wheel vehicles weighing 10,000 to 14,000 pounds plus long-distance truckers have pushed up accident numbers by 6% in the last few years. FMCSA administrator Ray Martinez attributes this jump in truck accident statistics to the “all-time high number of freight carriers” currently traveling the roads of America. Plus, largely due to the illegal use of ANY mobile device by CDL drivers, distracted driving is a growing factor in the overall traffic death toll.
In our law practice for over 43 years, the following explanations of causes of commercial truck and bus accidents cover about 95% of all CMV crashes in and around Atlanta Georgia. These are not listed in any hierarchy or order of regularity of occurrence.
- Going too fast for the conditions ahead, which covers semi-truck misjudgment issues, and these are not limited to merely exceeding the posted speed limit.
- High speed is a factor in all crashes on our highways, but with commercial trucks, tire failure is much more likely at higher speed due to the heat buildup and extreme weight being supported.
- Driver fatigue (as in the Tracy Morgan crash), and nodding off at the wheel, or even getting double vision from exhaustion causes some highway crashes. When a driver's paycheck depends on the number of miles traveled, instances of driving too long in a day are common. Federal regulations are in place to limit the number of continuous hours behind the wheel until a break must be taken, yet “pushing the limits” is high on the list of big truck wreck causes. Drowsy driving is a form of reckless driving, and this can be a predicate serious driving offense supporting felony vehicular homicide charges or serious injury by vehicle indictments.
- Faulty truck maintenance for a semi-truck's brakes, tire tread, or a “sticking” accelerator that goes to full throttle, and rusty or cracked trailer connections. Federal guidelines call for a brake check prior to every trip a commercial truck makes, but these guidelines may not be heeded by independent operators or driver-owned or driver-leased trucks that are used vehicles with millions of miles on them.
- Flawed loading of cargo or a “load” that creates a foreseeable hazard causes many rollover truck crashes. Inexperienced workers who stack heavy items high up from the floor of the commercial truck is a common problem. Plus, the heavier items need to be closer to the cab, and not at the rear of the trailer. The oversight by an experienced loader is of paramount importance in order to stabilize the big rig by distributing the heavier items in a fashion to minimize yawing and the rear end of the trailer trying to come around to either side.
- Many traffic safety experts are convinced that less experienced CMV drivers in the last decade cause more accidents. Multiple factors such as the decreasing role of railroads to provide a cost-effective delivery method for cargo and food items has pushed the need for more CDL-licensed drivers. The high demand of major grocery chains, delivery services (FedEx, UPS, U.S. Post Office) and big-box mercantile businesses like Wal-Mart and Amazon means that the average commercial truck driver has less driving experience.
- Making turns, taking an exit ramp or making lane changes at speeds inconsistent with the vehicle remaining upright. Physics are again in play when a commercial truck pulling a trailer enters a curve or turn too fast or changes lanes and has a shift of cargo, causing rollover. Detailed studies of the physical forces and dynamics of such fatal crashes have been published, by driver error and misjudgments continue to happen in Georgia.
- Operator distraction within the vehicle account for a high number of trucking accidents. First, it is important to know that truck drivers are prohibited under federal regulations from dialing or using their cell phones while driving. ANY type of distraction, from another occupant, a pet, reaching for a GPS screen, picking up a cold drink, eating a messy sandwich, changing the playlist or radio station, texting, or scrolling up a person's name or phone number are just part of these sorts of distracted driving causation issues. Without doubt, commercial rig drivers seeking ways to deal with boredom and the tedious task of long range, daily trips have far more TYPES of distractions inside their cabs in 2019 than at any time in the past.
Trucking Attorneys for a Wrongful Death from Truck Wreck
Our experienced truck accident lawyers near me can handle an injury case as well as tackle a commercial vehicle fatality leading to a wrongful death claim for the family of the accident victim. Let us provide you with a FREE consultation with a personal injury attorney who COMES TO YOU. Dial 404-567-5515 for your FREE lawyer consultation.