Atlanta Truck Accident Attorney
Crashes involving big rigs such as 18-wheelers and tractor-trailers have the potential to cause catastrophic injury or wrongful death to the people in the cars they hit. A loaded-down semi can weigh 70,000 pounds, which is more than 20 times the weight of the average passenger vehicle. When struck on the highway – where large truck accidents are more likely to occur – the force of the crash can be enormous. Sadly, the incidence of large-truck crashes and fatal crashes has been trending upward for more than a decade.
If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident, or if you lost a loved one in a fatal truck crash, you face an uphill battle going up against multi-national transportation freight companies and the insurance companies that stand behind them. The Forsythe Law Firm can help. With the assistance of an experienced personal injury trial lawyer who defended insurance companies in crash claims for over a decade, our firm has the knowledge and skills needed to level the playing field and help ensure success on your claim. Call our experienced Atlanta trucking accident lawyer today.
Common Causes of Atlanta Trucking Accidents
In our experience, trucking accidents in Atlanta are most often attributable to one or more of the following reasons:
Drowsy and Fatigued Driving
Highway driving can be boring and tedious for anyone, but for truck drivers who spend hours upon hours crossing the country every day, the odds of becoming drowsy or fatigued behind the wheel are especially high. As anyone who has momentarily nodded off at the wheel knows, drowsy drivers are likely to make mistakes and cause crashes by their inability to focus attention on the road. Federal laws limit the number of hours truckers can spend on duty and behind the wheel in a day or week without taking a rest or significant time off, but even under these limits, truckers can lawfully drive for eight hours straight, put in 14-hour days with 11 hours of driving, and drive for seven or eight days in a row before taking less than a day and a half off to rest. To make matters worse, many drivers disregard the rules and drive even longer than the law allows.
Negligent Truck Maintenance
Most drivers don’t keep their vehicles for ten years before trading them in, but truck companies keep their tractor-trailers on the road for decades. Semi-trucks require regular maintenance to stay in good working order, but pulling a truck out of service for maintenance costs the trucking companies time and money. Roadside inspections by government safety agencies routinely find that about 20% of commercial vehicles on the road have dangerously unsafe tires or brakes, malfunctioning coupling and signal devices, and other defects that make them too hazardous to be on the road.
Negligent Cargo Loading
Trailers must be loaded skillfully and carefully for safe driving. An overloaded trailer can cause the tires or brakes to fail. An unbalanced load can cause the driver to lose control. An improperly secured load can come loose and fall off of or out of the trailer, creating chaos and multi-car pileups. Any truck accident is a complex event requiring the help of an experienced truck accident lawyer and investigator to determine what happened and why. Accidents caused by negligent cargo loading add another layer of complexity in determining who was responsible for loading and securing the cargo among the many different parties that can be involved in freight shipping.
Negligent Driving Errors
While the factors listed above are unique to trucking accidents, truck drivers can also be guilty of the same mistakes other negligent drivers make, including texting while driving and other distracted driving, drinking and driving, speeding, following too close, failing to signal and failing to heed traffic lights and signs. Any of these driving errors can cause a crash, often with catastrophic or fatal consequences when an 18-wheeler is involved.
Leading Types of Truck Accidents
Like other motor vehicle crashes, semi-trucks can cause front-end crashes, rear-end collisions, sideswipes and T-Bone accidents. In addition, tractor-trailers are susceptible to the following types of accidents, which are more likely to be fatal or catastrophic or involve multiple vehicles:
- Override accidents, when the cab rolls over the vehicle it strikes, crushing the occupants inside
- Underride accidents, when the passenger vehicle drives under the rear or side of the trailer, crushing the car or shearing off the roof
- Jackknife accidents, when the trailer swings out perpendicular to the cab, taking out every vehicle in its path
- Rollover accidents, when the semi collapses on its side due to the driver losing control or employing the wrong braking method
How The Forsythe Law Firm Can Help After an Atlanta Truck Accident
As an experienced trucking accident lawyer with experience representing insurance companies as well as injury victims, Christine Forsythe lends knowledge, skill and expertise to many critical stages of a truck accident claim or lawsuit:
- Investigate. Truck accidents are complex, and it takes experience and expertise to determine how a crash happened and which party is responsible, including multiple liable parties in many instances.
- Negotiate. Trucking companies are required to maintain large insurance policies, which are jealously guarded by the insurance companies. We know the insurance company playbook and how and when to settle a trucking accident case.
- Litigate. Our lawyer has years of experience trying cases to verdict in state and federal courts. We know how to litigate and try cases and are not intimidated by the prospect of trial. This stance leads to better settlements as well as seasoned experience in the courtroom when needed.
Contact The Forsythe Law Firm Today
If you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident on I-20, I-75, I-85, Georgia 400, the I-285 Beltway or the Buford Highway in or around Atlanta, The Forsythe Law Firm is here to help. Contact our experienced Atlanta trucking accident lawyer today.