How to Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me
By: Truck Accident Attorney William C. “Bubba” Head, Georgia Super Lawyer for 16 Years
Unlike some minor car crashes with a minor fender-bender, in a truck accident, you never want to pursue being your own attorney. Seeking any type of recovery from the company responsible for the 18-wheeler truck, flatbed truck, tanker truck or dump truck that hit your vehicle by self-representing is a colossal mistake. The disparity of bargaining positions between the insurance defense lawyers and an untrained citizen puts you at a great disadvantage.
To understand the power, arrogance and autonomy of such company attorneys, see this article about the lawyers for Wal-Mart's insurer refusing to reimburse the corporate giant after the Tracy Morgan serious injury case. If you need an injury lawyer near me in the metro Atlanta 12-county area, ask for 42-year veteran Georgia lawyer, Bubba Head.
The Legal Rule Compelling Full Joinder of Necessary Parties
Because lingering, long-term injury may exist beyond preserving evidence and creating witness lists, other critical steps must either be taken early in the case or lost forever. For example, the log books truck drivers MUST maintain can be a key factor in getting your maximum settlement amount or trial recovery.
Today, the electronic logbook law controls many of the largest trucking lines. Some of this type federally-mandated evidence can be of paramount importance to winning the best settlement or jury verdict.
You want a truck accident lawyer with leverage and “clout” to control the evidence-gathering and to secure the monetary compensation you and your family members deserve.
A fully-loaded 18 wheeler truck can outweigh your car, truck or SUV by 75,000 pounds or more. If you took basic physics in high school or college, kinetic energy (E) is a function of the relative MASS (m) of the two objects colliding with each other, times the speed of light (c) SQUARED. This truck accident news video shows how a big truck can hit a passenger vehicle and never even know about the impact for a quarter of a mile, while dragging and crushing the smaller vehicle.
Many Types of Serious Injuries Can Lead to Wrongful Death
In simpler terms, if a 16-pound bowling ball collides with a 1.62-ounce golf ball, the bowling ball WINS every time simply based on the weight and mass differential. The outside of each type of sphere is very hard, but the bowling ball crushes and displaces the golf ball.
You don't have to be Einstein to understand the common-sense practicality of hiring a top law firm once a large truck accident has ended the life of a loved one or caused crippling injuries or disfigurement. If you have ever passed an accident scene and observed the aftermath of a truck crash with a passenger vehicle. You already know which vehicle prevails.
Wrongful Death and Serious Injury Attorneys Near Me
With this perspective, you can see why a truck wreck lawyer at our law office is prepared to provide an immediate, FREE lawyer consultation near me to anyone impacted by a car accident versus a semi-truck on highways or any other place (parking lot, loading dock area or elsewhere. A FREE toll-free call to Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyer William C. Head PC at 1-800-462-8222 gets things moving on your truck accident case with one of our nearby truck accident attorney Atlanta lawyers.
When our law office is retained immediate steps are taken to gather critical evidence, measurements, plus track down all eyewitnesses.
The 10 Types of Information an Atlanta Truck Accident Attorney Needs to Gather ASAP
A toll-free call to William C. Head PC at 1-800-462-8222 gets things moving on your truck accident case with one of our truck accident attorney Atlanta lawyers. When our law office is retained immediate steps are taken to gather critical evidence, measurements, plus track down all eyewitnesses.
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.
A Truck Accident Attorney Must Identify All “At Fault” Parties
Joinder of all responsible parties in cases involving trucking companies is critical to the success of your lawsuit. Civil procedure rules mandate that any culpable defendants be joined in a single lawsuit, and the Georgia civil practice act rules are precise and detailed about this legal necessity. Thus, from what you have read above, multiple “players” can have some liability for negligence in the case. It is up to a jury, or possibly a judge, and arbitrator or mediator, to help assess the percentage of liability to the respective co-defendants.
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 42 years, the following explanations of causes of commercial truck and bus accidents cover about 95% of all CMV crashes. These are not listed in any hierarchy or order of regularity of occurrence.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Driver fatigue, and nodding off at the wheel, or even getting double vision from exhaustion cause some highway crashes. When a driver's pay check 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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. Trucking lines are paying for driver training and giving large bonuses as they rush drivers through training. As with teen drivers, a higher incidence of collisions and truck accident cases will follow this trend.
7. 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.
8. 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.
Hiring a Traffic Accident Attorney in Atlanta to Take Control of a Complex Semi-Truck Crash
With this detailed perspective, you can see why hiring a truck wreck lawyer at our law office is critical. Our law office is prepared to provide an immediate, FREE lawyer consultation to anyone impacted in a car accident involving a semi-truck accident on highways or any other place (parking lot, loading dock area or elsewhere). Of all our personal injury cases, no other type DEMANDS the quick action and deployment of accident reconstruction experts like tractor trailer accidents. Call William C. Head today at 1-800-462-8222. If our lawyers in Atlanta need to come to you ANYWHERE IN GEORGIA, our attorneys in Atlanta will do that.