Atlanta Truck Accident AttorneyWe believe that it is the duty of an Atlanta truck accident attorney to protect those rights and fight tirelessly for injured people to ensure they are fairly compensated.
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Getting Help for your Truck Accident Injury
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were 4,440 semi trucks and buses involved in accidents that resulted in one or more fatalities in 2016. There were approximately 119,000 injuries resulting from crashes involving large trucks and buses in that same year.
Mike Rafi is an Atlanta truck accident lawyer you can trust. Crashes involving tractor trailers and passenger vehicles are often catastrophic simply due to the size difference between the two vehicles. These accidents, as any Atlanta truck accident attorney knows, are more likely to cause fatalities than collisions involving two passenger vehicles.
As a trucking crash law firm, we are well aware of the devastation accidents such as these can leave in their wake. Not only are victims forced to undergo weeks or months of medical care, but they can often face financial consequences beyond their control due to lost wages and mounting medical bills.
If you have been involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler or other large vehicle, you need an Atlanta tractor trailer accident lawyer standing by your side. You and your family deserve nothing less than a fair and equitable outcome, and the at-fault party must be held accountable. Our commercial vehicle accident law firm is here to make sure that both of those things happen.
TRACTOR-TRAILER BASICSTractor-trailers are also referred to as “18-wheelers,” “semi trucks,” and “big rigs.” You will find tractor trailers on almost every major highway and road in the United States. Tractor trailers transport about 75 percent of all cargo that is shipped in this country, making them an important part of our economy.
These large vehicles are legally permitted to haul up to 80,000 pounds or 40 tons of cargo. Consider that a typical passenger car weighs only about 2,000 to 4,000 pounds and it is easy to understand just why these accidents can be so catastrophic.
Why Tractor Trailers CrashAs a Georgia truck accident lawyer, we have witnessed a variety of reasons for tractor trailer accidents. Although each accident is certainly unique, there are causes that tend to be more common than others.
- Difficulty Stopping: Because a tractor trailer weighs so much, they take longer than a passenger vehicle to stop. It can take as much as 500 feet or more for a semi truck to come to a full stop. Imagine if you are on the road and encounter a hazard. Your car will come to a rest in about 300 feet. It could take a semi double that length before it comes to a full stop.
- No Zones: As an Atlanta semi truck accident lawyer, we have spoken with countless victims of truck accidents who found themselves in the no zone or a truck blind spot. Tractor trailers have blind spots on every side of their rig, including in the front and in the back. These blind spots often encompass one or more entire lanes of traffic.
- Improper Loading: Loading a trailer is a delicate job. If the cargo isn’t loaded properly it can shift, causing the trailer and its cab to roll over onto the vehicle of an unsuspecting motorist.
- Driver Fatigue or Impairment: We are not only truck accident lawyers in Atlanta, but car accident attorneys as well. We know the dangers of distracted or impaired driving, and truckers are not immune. Driver fatigue and impairment are very real dangers in the trucking world. A driver who is fatigued or impaired has dulled reaction times and may have an inability to make wise decisions when it comes to the operation of their vehicle.
- Speeding: In 2013, speeding was a factor in 29 percent of motor vehicle crash deaths. Speeding has been a factor in about 30 percent of crash deaths since 2004. Large trucks—even more than passenger cars—should not speed because of an inability to stop quickly and the danger of rolling over or jackknifing. Your lawyer should ensure the truck’s “black box” or data recorder, which records speed, is saved so it can be downloaded and analyzed. Often times, the “black box” is crucial to learning whether the truck driver was speeding.
- Failure to Inspect & Maintain the Truck: Trucking companies and drivers are responsible for making sure only safe and well-maintained vehicles are on the road. For that reason, companies and drivers must document all maintenance checks, and if not properly done, they can be at-fault for an accident caused by poorly maintained equipment. Steering, cargo, brakes, mirrors, tires, conspicuous or reflective tape, and a host of other things must be checked and confirmed to be working before a driver may hit the road. Many times, though, companies do not keep their vehicles in top shape and drivers do not take the time to fully inspect trucks, leading to dangerous trucks being on the road.
Truck Accident Frequently Asked Questions
Truck accidents typically cause much more damage than ones involving cars, namely due to the difference in the weight and size of the vehicles. Therefore, truck accident cases typically take more time to investigate and file claims for. As a result, the time invested to receive compensation can be greater in truck accidents versus car accidents - but the compensation received is typically more in a truck accident than car accident.
Side No-Zone: This is the blind spot area to either side of the truck, which is significantly larger than a regular car's blind spots. To avoid a side No-Zone, drivers should avoid hanging out next to a truck—especially on the right, where the No-Zone is larger. As a general rule of thumb, if you can't see the driver in the side-view mirror, they can't see you.
Rear No-Zone: Tailgating is bad driver behavior with any vehicle, but can be especially dangerous with large commercial trucks where the truck driver cannot see your car behind them. Keep in mind that truckers do not have the benefit of a rear-view mirror as the trailer blocks it; instead, they have to rely on side-view mirrors.
Front No-Zone: Due to their large size, it takes considerably longer for a truck to come to a complete stop; in fact, many of them need twice as long as a regular passenger vehicle. For this reason, drivers should always avoid swerving or "cutting" in front of a truck as it could result in a rear-end accident.
Establishing the liability of a company can be more difficult if a truck driver is an independent contractor of the company. In cases such as this, the main factor in determining if the trucking company can be held liable is the amount of supervising exercised by the company.
Commercial Vehicle Codes to know when Talking to a Truck Accident Attorney
- 40-8-2: Unsafe vehicles, DPS safety rules authority
- 40-8-3: Load dragging on roadway
- 40-8-7: Operating unsafe vehicle
- 40-6-50(b): Driving in emergency lane, gore, or median
- 40-6-52(b): Improper lane use on multi-lane highways
- 40-6-254: Unsecured loads
- Learn more about these and additional codes at Georgia Department of Public Safety
Medical Injuries After a Truck Accident
If you have sustained serious injuries after a truck accident, your medical bills may quickly pile up. Don’t wait until your debt has threatened your financial security to seek compensation.
As long as you are not solely at fault for the accident, you have the right to seek compensation by filing a lawsuit in Georgia. Unfortunately, you will not receive compensation from the other driver until after your case is resolved, so you may need other methods of payment in the meantime.
If you have health insurance, this is your first option. Even if your physician offers to bill your car insurance, opt for health insurance coverage of your bills first. Your car insurance’s medical pay should be your second line of defense in the event your health insurance cannot cover your expenses.
According to Georgia’s comparative negligence law, the amount you will receive from the other driver’s insurance depends on what percentage you were at fault for the accident. For example, if you are found to be 25% at fault, your total compensation will be reduced by 25%. If you were 50% or more at fault for the accident, you will not receive compensation at all.
If you have been hurt in a truck accident, you need a Georgia truck accident law firm you can trust. We are Atlanta truck wreck lawyers with extensive track records of holding at-fault drivers accountable for their negligence or error. We will do the same for you.
How an Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
We understand that you may be facing financial difficulty due to the unnecessary strain of medical bills and time off of work. We do not believe that any victim should be forced to deal with this type of burden. You deserve to be compensated for your losses and we want to help make that happen.
Reach out to our office today and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your Atlanta truck accident and your ensuing medical needs and financial difficulties and develop a plan for securing the damages you are entitled to. You and your family do not have to fight the system alone.
Call our office to speak with a member of our team and take the first step on the path to recovering what you are owed. We will work tirelessly to ensure the at-fault driver is made to answer for their choices.
Areas We ServeOur Truck Accident attorneys serve all of North Georgia, including: Johns Creek, Gainesville, Smyrna, Marietta, Villa Rica, Powder Springs, Sandy Springs, Alpharetta, Kennesaw, Dunwoody, Buford, Roswell, Duluth, Norcross, Athens, Lawrenceville and Dawsonville!
We highly recommend Rafi Law Firm! Mike’s services led to the most equitable outcome. His advice was genuine and honest without being too pushy and he made time to come out of his way to meet with us in person shortly after the accident. His staff, including Victoria, were great to work with and were very responsive to our needs.