Motor Carrier Liability Claims
Helping the Injured in Hawkinsville, Macon, and Dublin, Georgia
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) governs the safety and maintenance of semi-truck and bus operators. However, its stringent rules are sometimes not followed. This is an industry that is always under incredible time and delivery demands. With this in mind, it is not surprising that accidents happen – though it does not excuse liability. They do, unfortunately, often involve negligence on either the driver or his or her company’s part. Product defects may also be an issue, which you can explore with your personal injury attorney as you consider a motor carrier liability claim.
FMCSA Precautions and Expectations
Motor carriers are far more accountable for their accidents than other drivers because the industry is so tightly regulated. Before you agree to anything with an insurance company or health care provider, visit with a lawyer who has experience with the industry’s regulations, negligence laws, and the damages you are entitled to in Georgia. Here are a few areas that should be investigated:
- Insurance. This is a big deal in the motor carrier industry. Motor carriers, drivers and their employers, broker authorities, and other parties must submit the correct forms and follow all laws concerning liability and cargo coverage.
- Driver’s logs. Distracted driving or engine faults can lead to tragic accidents. This is especially true for professional drivers who spend their lives on the road. The federal government regulates how often these vehicles must be checked and maintained as well as how many hours drivers are legally allowed to work before resting (and how much time off is required before getting back behind the wheel).
This information is recorded in industry-mandated motor carrier logs. An injury attorney in Macon who understands these instructions will investigate this evidence and ensure the driver followed all pertinent laws. This data can drastically affect your claim.
Look for a personal injury lawyer experienced in these regulations. Understanding the demands and responsibilities that go along with this industry is key to demonstrating negligence and arguing liability.
Proving Negligence in Georgia
Fault in Georgia is determined through the state’s comparative negligence law. If you are less than 50% at fault for an accident, you can seek damages through a personal injury claim. However, this is a fairly complicated process when it involves a semi or bus. The representatives of those companies will tirelessly examine the accident and try to get victims to agree to a lower payment or forgo benefits.
These accidents may include carelessness on the truck driver or owner, shipping company, equipment manufacturer, or insurance company’s part. It is virtually impossible to stand up against so many national operations, so make sure you are passionately represented.
The Path to Compensation
Trucking companies are used to accidents. In reality, they are sadly common:
- 3,802 fatal traffic accidents in the United States involved trucks in 2012.
- Large trucks and bus crashes increased (5% and 3%, respectively) from 2011 to 2012.
- Sadly, blood alcohol content above the legal limit was a factor in 2.1% of crashes reported in 2012.
- Georgia reported 1,192 fatal traffic accidents in 2012 alone, and approximately 8% involved a large truck.
These statistics mean corporations spend plenty of time in court – and this may be your first encounter with the legal system. You will be up against a group of lawyers who want you to accept a minimal payment. Do not let this happen. Partner with the team at Nelson & Smith Attorneys at Law to ensure you are fully compensated.
Our experienced accident and injury lawyers will counsel you on the pertinent laws regulating these claims, and we can help you navigate insurance disputes and other issues that may surface as you proceed. For more information on your options, or to schedule your complementary consultation, reach out to us today