Truck Accident Attorney in Macon
Any type of vehicular collision is dangerous, but those involving tractor trailers are far more terrifying, dangerous, damaging, and costly than traditional passenger cars. A thorough legal team should be able to assess your situation, analyze the factors at play, and obtain a just settlement without a lengthy court battle.
When litigation is unavoidable, you will need legal professionals who understand every aspect of your case and will passionately defend your rights in a court case. Nelson & Smith Attorneys at Law have extensive experience with truck accident cases and can guide you through a settlement offer or possible litigation.
Liability is a factor in any vehicular crash case, but truck accidents are not as straightforward as typical automobile collisions. The trucking company and their insurance providers may want to limit the damages they’ll have to cover, and the other drivers will need competent, aggressive, and compassionate legal counsel to guide them through the claims and potential litigation.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Unfortunately, car crashes happen every day. Determining what exactly caused a collision can be difficult, and truck accidents have several unique variables at play. The size of the truck certainly plays a role in the damage that’s been done. These massive vehicles are several times larger than privately owned automobiles, and in accidents involving turnovers or jackknifing, the damage is usually far greater than typical car crashes. Some of the leading causes of trucking accidents include:
- The unsafe actions of other drivers, particularly speeding
- Overexertion, or trucker fatigue
- Faulty equipment
- Incomplete or poorly managed vehicle maintenance
- Improperly secured cargo
We’ll take a look at some of the variables that will come into play in just about any truck accident. No matter what the situation entails, our clients deserve comprehensive, compassionate representation, and we will assess all the facts, and ensure no detail goes unnoticed.
Trucking companies have fairly demanding schedules. Truck drivers spend several hours at a time on the road and are expected to meet tight deadlines. Some truckers push themselves too hard, and drive when they haven’t had enough rest to take adequate care on the road. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) of the United States Department of Transportation understands how serious trucker fatigue can be for everyone on the road.
Overexertion is dangerous for any driver, and truck drivers are behind the wheels of large trucks that can devastate other vehicles, property, or anything else in the area if a driver loses control. Truckers are expected to follow strict guidelines, and take required breaks. There is also a “restart” policy that requires truck drivers to have a lengthy rest period between work weeks to enable them to adequately rest, focus, and avoid fatigue during their lengthy driving shifts.
After an accident involving a commercial truck, investigators will work to determine the physical and mental state of the truck driver. If drivers are on the road without adequate rest or while under the influence, they are not only endangering their own safety, but that of every other driver on the road. Driver behavior and state of mind are often crucial factors in a truck accident case.
Trucking Standards and Requirements
These enormous vehicles require specialized maintenance. Due to the risks involved in the trucking industry, particular care must be taken not only by the driver, but the trucking company and their maintenance professionals as well. Trucking and shipping companies have a duty to conduct their business responsibly, at no risk to their employees or the public.
These vehicles must be properly maintained to keep them road-worthy, but also to ensure they are capable of handling their payloads. Heavier trucks are more susceptible to rollovers than jackknifing, and longer tractor trailers are conversely vulnerable. Big rig drivers must be properly trained to handle their vehicle, and that vehicle must be thoroughly maintained.
Sometimes a trucking company may be struggling to meet deadlines, and their drivers will feel pressured to cut corners, overexert themselves, or use unsafe driving practices to meet their deadlines. In any trucking accident case, Nelson & Smith will discover whether the truck was appropriately maintained and under the control of a properly trained truck driver. Trucking companies must have responsible business practices and reasonable expectations of their employees.
Improperly secured cargo may potentially cause accidents. The FMCSA establishes clear rules for the safe handling and transport of cargo on large trucks. Trucks are limited by which types of cargo that can be loaded onto them. Depending on the type of trailer, there are also weight and size restrictions, and the cargo may have to be oriented a certain way within the trailer to prevent a rollover. The trucking company is also responsible for following the approved methods for safely securing cargo.
Certain types of cargo must be secured with specialized devices or tie-downs. Trucking companies may be limited in the amount of cargo they are authorized to load onto a trailer. The FMCSA also establishes clear guidelines for specialized cargo, including:
- Transporting heavy equipment and other vehicles on the truck
- Logs and other forms of lumber
- Large-scale industrial materials, such as concrete pipe segments
- Shipping containers
- Large paper rolls
- Metal coils
- Boulders, rocks, or other raw minerals
- Hazardous chemicals or waste
- Fabricated structural items, such as girders and steel beams
It is absolutely vital that trucking companies and their operators follow the established guidelines for transporting their cargo. For any trucking accident that may have been caused by improperly secured or unauthorized cargo, Nelson & Smith will review the required safety standards and assess the diligence of the trucking company in adhering to them.
No matter how the accident occurred, the question of determining fault will arise in any truck accident case. The state of Georgia has a comparative negligence law that assesses the liability of an individual or entity based on the role played in the incident, or how much their actions contributed to the event. If you were involved in a truck accident and may have played a part in the unfortunate incident, it does not necessarily mean you can’t claim damages.
Liability is assessed based on how much of a contribution was made in causing the incident. For example, if you were speeding or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the amount of damages you will be able to claim will more than likely diminish. An unsafe driving practice like a lane change without signaling could also result in a judge assigning you a percentage of fault for the accident.
Since there are so many factors at play in any automobile accident, assigning fault percentages can be a complicated and lengthy litigation process. Truck accidents have even more variables to consider. We understand everything that goes into making a successful claim stick and will aggressively fight to obtain the maximum possible damages for our clients.
Nelson & Smith have extensive experience with trucking accidents, and we know what goes into winning a case. Our legal team understands transportation regulations, both at the federal level and those of the state of Georgia. Our attorneys consult the leading experts to analyze every facet of your case, from the road conditions and nature of the accident to the nuances of dealing with insurance companies.
Taking a case to trial should never be the intention of a thoroughly established claim, but it’s important to prepare in the event that litigation is unavoidable. Nelson & Smith approaches every case as if we’re preparing for a lengthy trial and provide the most comprehensive representation possible. Your legal counsel should understand the challenges involved in a truck accident case. Victims in trucking collisions are not only battling to prove they are owed compensation, they often must contend with insurance companies that will look for any way possible to avoid paying for damages.
Nelson & Smith understands the tactics insurance companies will attempt to use against you in court. We also have the experience to know what to look for when it comes to assigning fault where it is rightfully due and will expose any wrongdoings or negligence on the part of the trucking company and their operators.
Rely on Professionals
Any personal injury case can be stressful, painful, costly, and time-consuming. We understand that your health is the most important thing in these cases, and medical coverage can become astronomically expensive depending on your injuries. We won’t stop there – our legal experts will assess every expense you have incurred as a result of your accident and make certain you obtain just compensation.
In stressful cases like this, don’t try to shoulder the burden on your own. Contact our team to review your case with compassionate, dedicated legal professionals. We fight vigorously on behalf our clients to obtain fair settlements for the maximum amount possible and are prepared for any length of litigation to get our clients the compensation they deserve. No matter what type of trucking accident you’ve experienced, visit our website to get in touch with us to start reviewing your case today.