what is a commercial vehicle?

When is a vehicle considered a commercial vehicle? It is important for every truck accident attorney to know the difference between normal vehicles and commercial vehicles.  But, it is also important to know when a vehicle could be a non-traditional commercial vehicle. At first glance, a car or truck may not appear to be commercial.  But, your attorney needs to look deeper to see if it may still be a commercial vehicle.  Meaning, the vehicle may not be not an 18-wheeler, but it still could be subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) due to the weight limits. A commercial vehicle is not always what it appears to be Would you ever think that a normal pickup truck can be considered a commercial vehicle?  Probably not. Under the federal regulations, a pickup truck can be considered a commercial vehicle even though it is not an 18-wheeler or big-rig truck.  If a lawyer is handling a severe injury or wrongful death case, and a pickup truck is involved, the lawyer might be leaving a lot of compensation on the table by failing to realize that a commercial vehicle is involved. Often, a lawyer who does not look at the potential for a commercial vehicle could be leaving hundreds of thousands (or millions) of dollars on the table.  This is a huge mistake that, unfortunately, happens when inexperienced lawyers try to take on a truck accident case. What is a commercial vehicle? Most of us have an idea of what a “commercial vehicle” is.  We think of large box trucks, buses, 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, and tanker trucks.  All of these commercial trucks are regulated and subject to the FMCSR. However, many attorneys who take on truck accident cases make a mistake by thinking these are the ONLY commercial trucks.  This is a misunderstanding by many lawyers who handle truck cases, and it can lead to lower recovery for the client. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, a commercial vehicle is defined as a motor vehicle that: “ . . . has a gross combination weight rating or gross combination weight of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more), whichever is greater, inclusive of a towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds), whichever is greater.” (49 CFR § 383.5(1)) So, what does this mean?  It means that a commercial vehicle is NOT defined by the actual weight.  Instead, it is defined by the weight rating.  Lawyers need to be careful not to fall into the trap of missing out on commercial vehicle status by failing to understand the difference between actual weight and gross weight rating.   Can Ordinary Vehicles Qualify? The following are other ways that a normal vehicles might actually be classified as a commercial vehicle: Transporting passengers If a vehicle is designed to transport passengers, your truck accident attorney should focus on the number of people the vehicle is designed to transport.  If that number is 16 or more passengers, then the vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle. (49 CFR § 383.5(3)). Gross Vehicle Weight Rating If the vehicle has a gross weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, then it is a commercial vehicle. (49 CFR § 383.5(2)).     Transporting Hazardous Materials Also, vehicles that are used to transport hazardous materials as defined in the FMCSRs are considered commercial. Gross vehicle weight rating issues for attorneys to remember Truck accident attorneys need to remember that the regulations provide another definition for a commercial motor vehicle.  In 49 CFR § 390.5, a commercial motor vehicle is a vehicle that “has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, of 4,536 kg (10,001 pounds) or more, whichever is greater.” (49 CFR § 390.5(1)). Further, under 49 CFR § 390.5(2), attorneys can get an ordinary vehicle into the “commercial vehicle” category if the vehicle “is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation.” It is important to note the distinction between § 383.5(3) and § 390.5(2).  The difference between 16 passengers and 8 passengers is compensation. Meaning, when the vehicle is being used to transport more than 8 people–for compensation–then we are in commercial territory.  Practice Pointer for Truck Accident Lawyers I encourage every single truck accident lawyer to investigate the truck weight limits and gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicles involved in the case.  If the vehicle in your case is used for business, and it weighs more than 10,001 pounds, or 26,001 pounds–then a truck accident lawyer should be immediately thinking that you have a semi-truck or a motorcoach. Also, always be on the lookout for a trailer.  If a trailer is being towed by a vehicle, then you should investigate whether the vehicle and trailer combination move the overall auto or truck into the commercial classification.  What I do on every accident case. As a truck accident lawyer, I always keep the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations close by at all times.  I can not tell you how many times I have seen other lawyers fail to realize that they were dealing with a commercial vehicle.  And this leads to lower compensation for the client (and also possibly legal malpractice). A deep knowledge of the regulations is a requirement for any lawyer who is taking on truck accident cases.  So, whenever I start working on a new case, the first thing I do is determine whether there are any commercial vehicles present in the case.  I do a thorough investigation in the beginning to see if I can move any of the autos involved into the “commercial vehicle” territory. This can turn a case from a minimum policy limits case of $25,000 to one with a minimum policy limit of $750,000 (or more). But, what really matters here is safety.  And the regulations are in place to keep the roads safe by requiring these big companies to be...

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different types of evidence

Did you know that in 2013, Georgia was home to the deadliest interstate in the nation? That’s right. Back then, there were 26 fatal accidents on the I-285 interstate that resulted in 29 deaths. This has led to the state enacting stricter laws, including the “Hands-Free Georgia Act”. With these more stringent laws, the Peach State’s road fatality trend has gone down by over 400%. In 2019, there were 348 road fatalities in GA, compared to the total of 1,514 in 2018. Unfortunately, many truck-related accidents still occur on Georgia’s roadways. If you’ve been in one, it’s best to learn about the different types of evidence you can use against the truck driver. This way, you can start collecting the proof you need to file a personal injury lawsuit. Police Report One of the first steps to take right after getting involved in an accident with a truck is to call the police. In fact, in cases wherein there’s at least $500 worth of damage, reporting is a legal requirement. Many car-truck accidents reach and even go way beyond this threshold. Even if the damage isn’t obvious, you should still get in touch with the police ASAP. This way, you can get a copy of the accident report from them. This report will contain details of the accident that can prove who’s at fault for the car-truck accident. Electronic Logging Device (ELD) of the Truck Exhaustion is one of the most common reasons for truck accidents in Georgia. In fact, this is true for the rest of the country, with driver fatigue causing 20% of all crashes in the US. This is why in Georgia, truck drivers can only operate a vehicle for up to 11 hours. Moreover, they can only drive up to 11 hours after being off-duty and having rested for 10 straight hours. The law also requires all drivers to go off duty after 14 hours of being on duty. If you’ve been in an accident with a truck, you need to get access to the driver’s hours-of-service. You can find this on either the driver’s logbook or their truck’s electronic logging device (ELD). The Georgia Law requires the use of ELDs for all CDL trucks. These include both interstate and intrastate commercial trucks. ELDs contain detailed reports of a driver’s hours-of-service. These devices also show the operator’s rest periods. With these logs, you can prove that a truck driver has gone beyond the allowed hours of service. Maintenance and Inspection Reports Federal and state laws require all CDL trucks to undergo inspection and maintenance. Truck drivers need to perform many of these on a daily basis, such as pre- and post-trip inspections. CDL truck drivers also need to prepare a driver vehicle inspection report (DVIR) at the end of each day. Motor carriers also need to keep these records for all their trucks for 30 consecutive days. These reports should provide detailed information on the completed inspections and maintenance. They should also contain details about pending maintenance and repair work. That said, these records are crucial types of evidence in case of trucking accidents. They can reveal discrepancies or fraudulent reports on truck inspections, maintenance, and repairs. They can also prove that the truck has failed to meet the required inspections or repairs. The Truck Driver’s Most Recent Medical Certificate In Georgia, drivers of trucks that weigh 10,001 pounds or more need to carry a medical certificate. They then need to renew this certification after 24 months. This Department of Transportation (DOT) health certificate proves a driver’s medical qualifications. This means that the driver is fit and healthy to operate such a large vehicle. Unfortunately, many truck drivers violate this law through fraud. An example is the indictment case against a medical examiner in Georgia back in 2017. This resulted in over 600 truck drivers having the need for renewed certification. Aside from fraud, there are also some truck drivers who may not even have a valid medical certificate. Some self-certified truckers may also drive in a category they aren’t certified for. All these make the DOT certificate a piece of important evidence in truck accidents. It’s possible that the truck driver who you got into a crash with has no valid certificate. The Truck Operator’s Alcohol and Drug Test Results In 2016, alcohol-related crashes caused 368 deaths in Georgia. This represents one in four cases of all traffic fatalities in the state that year. Impaired driving, whether due to alcohol or drugs, raises the odds of a crash being fatal by six times. Even if the crash doesn’t result in death, injuries caused by impaired driving are more severe. Especially if the impaired driver is operating a truck that weighs a whopping 10,001 pounds or more. As such, truck drivers need to submit to drug and alcohol tests after getting involved in an accident. Again, this is in accordance with federal and state laws. Employers must also obtain a negative drug test result before hiring CDL drivers. Positive alcohol and drug test results will make for a solid case against the truck driver. This makes such documents an extremely important part of your evidence collection. The Truck’s Dashboard Camera Recordings Truck insurance premiums have gone up 12% in 2018 from the year before. This has led to many trucking companies turning to technology to reduce their costs. One way they’re blunting their insurance costs is through installing dashboard cameras. The videos these cameras record allow them to check on their drivers’ performance. Victims of trucking accidents can also take advantage of these recordings as evidence. For instance, a video can show if the driver was using a mobile phone while operating the truck. A recording can also give hints about impaired or drowsy driving. Let a Lawyer Gather These Different Types of Evidence for You As you can see, there are many different types of evidence you can use in a trucking accident case in Georgia. However, the only evidence that you can get yourself is the...

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hire a lawyer

Accidents involving large trucks can be devastating. The number of fatal crashes involving large trucks and buses reached 4,889 in 2017. Injury crashes for the same year numbered 116,000. If you’re involved in a semi truck accident, you may wonder if you need to hire a lawyer. The trucking company’s insurance company will likely make you a settlement offer, so why not just take it? Hiring a truck accident attorney after a truck accident could help you get more out of your settlement. Insurance companies want to close the case quickly and for as little money as possible.  An attorney can help you ensure the settlement is fair. Hiring an attorney doesn’t mean you’ll have to go to court. Attorneys can help resolve the situation before it gets to that. Check out these five reasons you should hire a truck accident attorney. 1. You Have an Expert on Your Side The laws governing personal injury claims and truck accidents vary from one state to the next. Each state has its own statute of limitations for filing claims. In Georgia, the time limit is 2 years. The processes can also vary significantly.  When your accident involves a commercial truck, the laws become more complex. Truck drivers and trucking companies have to follow different laws and guidelines. It’s also complicated to determine who’s at fault. Sometimes one person, such as the truck driver, holds liability for your injuries. Other times it could be multiple defendants. It could be the company that employs the driver, leases the truck, loads the truck, or manufactures the truck. Most people who are injured in truck accidents don’t have the time to research those laws. Even if they do, they may not fully understand what the laws are saying. After all, legal jargon isn’t the easiest to decipher if you don’t have a background in law. The last thing you want to do after you’ve been in a serious accident is wade through all of the legal issues or deal with an insurance company. You need to focus on your recovery. Worrying about deadlines, proper paperwork, and negotiations will only add to your stress and possibly slow down your recovery. When you hire a lawyer, you get years of experience and knowledge of truck accident claims. Your attorney understands the applicable laws and how they relate to your situation. You also get personalized recommendations for how to proceed. Your lawyer can explain your options and make suggestions based on the specifics of your situation. 2. Lawyers Investigate Accidents After an accident with a commercial vehicle, the last thing you’re prepared to do is to investigate the accident. You may have serious injuries that need immediate medical attention. You may be shaken up emotionally from the accident. Plus, you’re not an expert at investigating accident scenes and documentation. You won’t know what to look for in your research, and you may miss some major evidence that proves the other party is responsible for the accident. When you hire a truck accident attorney, you get that investigative help. Your lawyer can tell you what type of evidence to keep and what type of information can be helpful in the investigation. An accident involving a commercial vehicle means there’s a black box involved. The black box is in the truck and records information about the truck’s actions leading up to the accident. Your attorney can ensure the information on the black box is preserved, so you have that evidence. 3. You Have Legal Support in Negotiations and Trials Trucking companies come to the table with a team of lawyers who are experts in defending them, even when they’re to blame. The average person isn’t equipped to go up against that kind of legal defense. Experienced truck accident lawyers know the strategies those defense attorneys will use. They know how to negotiate with companies successfully to get you the compensation for your injuries you deserve. Your attorney can speak to the trucking company’s insurance adjuster on your behalf or guide you on what to say and what not to say.  4. Attorneys Can Maximize Compensation The insurance adjuster wants you to accept an offer as quickly as possible. The offer may sound like a lot of money, but it’s most likely much lower than you deserve.  Accident attorneys know how to calculate a fair amount of financial compensation based on your injuries. Initial medical bills are only part of the equation. You may have ongoing medical needs after the accident. Your attorney can help estimate the cost of those medical expenses. You might miss time from work, which could entitle you to compensation for lost wages. You could also get compensation for non-monetary losses, including pain and suffering as a result of the accident. Attorneys have the experience to calculate fair amounts for the various losses you suffered. That number will likely be higher than what the insurance company offers you. If you sign an agreement with the insurance company, you’re usually signing away your legal rights to pursue further compensation. That’s why it’s important to contact an attorney right away before you talk to the insurance company or sign any paperwork. 5. It Helps Keep Things Organized Your attorney takes over all aspects of handling the case with the insurance company and other responsible parties. You don’t have to keep track of court dates, filing deadlines, and other details.  Your attorney handles drafting any documents that are necessary for your case. They keep records of the documents and legal activities related to the case.  Lawyers also coordinate communication with the various involved parties. This is especially helpful if the case involves multiple negligent parties. It’s much easier to let your attorney coordinate those different parties than handling it yourself. Basically, using an attorney makes the legal process much easier on you. The workload shifts from you to your lawyer, so you can focus on your recovery. Hire a Lawyer Soon After a truck accident, you have a lot on your...

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truck accident

Over 3 million people in the United States are involved in a car accident every year. Many of these accidents involve a collision with a truck. If you find yourself in a truck accident you need to know what to do and when to do it. This is because the process of handling legal claims is much more tedious than that of collisions with a car. Here are the steps you should follow to ensure that you receive proper medical treatment and compensation for damages. 1. Asses the Conditions of all Parties Involved If you are able to, do a thorough assessment of the state of everyone involved in the accident including your own safety. Check to see if anyone is injured and needs medical assistance right away. However, do not touch injured parties to avoid causing any further injury. The health of everyone that is involved is paramount, serious injuries need to be noted so that the necessary medical treatment can be applied. 2. Contact the Police It is imperative that you alert the police and file an accident report immediately even if little to no damage is seen. Doing this is not only a requirement by law, but it acts as a vital piece of evidence that you may need in the future. Getting a police report is a good way to have a detailed and accurate record of the accident and all the parties involved. Once you alert the police, they will send your call to the local law enforcement agency and emergency responders. Inform the police of the number of suspected injuries so that they will know how many ambulances are needed. 3. Get Medical Attention Right Away After an accident, ensure that you pay close attention to your health and safety. In some cases, your injuries may not be so evident and will appear later on so be careful to get a thorough check. Although you may not think that you or involved parties are seriously injured, get a medical evaluation anyway. If it happens that you will need medical attention in the future for any injury, it can be hard to prove that it was sustained at the time of the accident. Even if a medical examination was performed at the scene, be sure to ask for further medical evaluation. You never know whether or not you are suffering from internal bleeding so a doctor’s visit is important. 4. Contact the Insurance Company of Involved Parties Call your insurance company and be sure to file a report of the accident. Skipping this step may have serious consequences later for your case. Make proper documentation of the scene and gather all the necessary evidence if you are unhurt. This can include contact information of any possible witnesses, capturing pictures, and any other information that may be necessary, such as road or weather conditions. Documentation may also include: Driver’s license Insurance company details Contact number of involved parties Employment Information of the Truck Driver Additionally, remember that you may end up talking to the insurance company of the other involved party. When you do this, don’t give too much information on the details but try and relate only the facts even to your insurance company. 5. Gather Contact Details of Any Possible Witness One of the major things you need to bear in mind is the fact that you need to collect the contact information of witnesses to the accident. They could be an involved party or an individual who was in close proximity to the accident. Once the police arrive, they will make notes of witness statements if there are no serious injuries that require immediate attention. If it is possible, you can approach a witness and ask them kindly for their contact details which include their cell number, their name, and even their email address if necessary. You want to have this information for future reference in case the witness has to leave the scene if they are not an involved party. This information, you can either give to your lawyer or the police officer. 6. Call a Truck Accident Lawyer A truck accident is far more difficult to overcome than a regular car accident as more parties are involved in the process. These parties include the employer of the driver, the registered trucking company, and or the manufacturers of the truck. There also include a great number of federal regulations that are involved with trucking accidents.  After the crash, contact a truck accident lawyer immediately as this could be an important factor for your legal case. The truck accident lawyer will help you to get through both the difficult legal and insurance process such as the settling amount that you may need to cover medical expenses. 7. Get an Appraisal for Your Vehicle Avoid getting your car repaired right after the crash wait for an appraisal of the vehicle to be done. You never know the internal damage that might have happened even if you only see the minor ones from the outside. Getting an appraisal will give estimates of repairs that need to be done if it’s necessary, and is important for your claim on insurance. Your insurance company may have several requirements that need to be met before you are compensated for any damages caused. Some of these requirements may include bringing your car to a body shop to have it examined or even pictures of the car. After this is done, ensure that you bring the car to a mechanic for further assessment and for them to declare it safe to drive. A Final Look at Trucking Accidents Being involved in a trucking accident is terrifying. However, once you survive you need to think about getting examined by a medical professional and getting your vehicle repaired. Follow the steps outlined here and you should be well on your way to getting compensation for any damages you may have suffered. Know who to speak to about your case and avoid making unnecessary statements...

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truck accidents

More than 400,000 truck accidents occurred in 2016 alone. These accidents resulted in more than 100,000 injuries. Truckers must be extra-cautious when driving their big rigs. As the biggest things on the road, commercial trucks can seriously harm or kill those in smaller vehicles during an accident. A trucker can also lose his CDL.  Knowing what causes most accidents can help drivers understand which precautions to take. What are the seven most common causes behind truck accidents in Georgia? Continue reading below to find out. 1. Exhaustion Federal regulations state truck drivers aren’t allowed to drive more than eleven hours. After driving for so long, truckers are supposed to take a ten-hour break. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Many truckers push themselves to drive fourteen to sixteen hours. These extended hours are often caused by bosses setting unrealistic shipment arrival times. When truckers become too exhausted, accidents are more likely to happen. 2. Being Distracted Driving ten hours straight is boring. It can be exceptionally dull in rural areas with little change of scenery. This boredom causes many truckers to start multitasking instead of placing all their focus on the road. Many accidents are caused because truck drivers are texting or talking on the phone. Some have even been known to play games or watch videos while driving their trucks. 3. Poor Truck Maintenance Commercial trucks need a lot of routine maintenance because they’re put through a lot of use. The responsibility of maintaining these vehicles is usually on the company. If a truck driver owns his big rig, repairs might fall on them. These trucks aren’t always appropriately maintained. Lack of proper care can lead to issues like brake failure. Without proper control of such a large vehicle, the lives of everyone on the road is at risk. 4. Overloaded or Improperly Loaded Cargo All commercial trucks have two limits they’re supposed to adhere to. One is weight, and the other is volume. The weight must be evenly distributed without too much on either side. Failure to follow these limits makes the truck more difficult to drive. Overloading cargo can make it more difficult for the truck to stop. Improperly balanced cargo can cause the truck to swerve. 5. Speeding Speeding is one of the leading causes of truck accidents. Once again, speeding is usually caused by bosses setting unrealistic shipment arrival times. Feeling under pressure to make deadlines can cause truckers to drive faster than the posted speed limit. The biggest issue with truckers speeding is how difficult it is to stop. Even at average speeds, a commercial truck will have difficulty braking. The higher the speed, the more difficult it is for a big rig to stop. 6. Poor Weather Conditions Truckers must drive in all types of weather conditions. Cross-country truckers might run into several different hazardous conditions in a single day. Truck accidents are significantly more likely to occur when the weather is poor. Fog is a significant issue because it doesn’t allow truckers to see far enough ahead of their vehicles. An inability to see increases the risk of rear-ending other vehicles. Snow, ice, and rain can make roadways challenging to navigate.  7. Driving Under the Influence Many truckers who caused accidents were found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Sometimes, these weren’t illegal drugs but prescription medications. Drugs and alcohol can impair a person’s reaction time. Failing to react quick enough can cause a lot of otherwise avoidable accidents. Substance abuse can also increase the risk of falling asleep behind the wheel or swerving into another lane. What Should People Do If Involved in Truck Accidents? If someone is involved in a truck accident, several steps need to be taken. The first thing should be to call 9-1-1, so medical personnel can help anyone on the scene with injuries. If you are a truck driver, you should call your company as soon as possible. You will also want to call a lawyer. Be cooperative with the police at the accident scene and get treated for any injuries. If you are an average person involved in an accident with a big rig, the steps are mostly the same. You should call your auto insurance company and a lawyer as soon as possible. Don’t resist medical treatment if you’re told you need it. Avoiding Truck Accidents Most truck accidents can be avoided if necessary precautions are taken. A few ways truckers can avoid being involved in an accident include: Paying full attention to the road Ensuring the truck being driven is appropriately maintained Always double-checking cargo is within weight limits and balanced Making a rest stop when you feel tired Driving for no longer than eleven hours at a time Ensuring you get ten hours of rest between long driving shifts Staying within the speed limit Going slower than the speed limit in poor weather conditions (or stopping completely) Avoiding the use of drugs or alcohol (including prescription medications that may alter your ability to drive) Avoiding road rage, including cutting other drivers off Using defensive driving techniques at all times and avoiding offensive driving By following these guidelines, truckers can avoid most potential truck accidents. Remember, it’s better to have your shipment arrive a little late than to risk injuring yourself and others. Were You Involved in a Truck Accident? Commercial truck accidents occur more frequently than most people believe. They can be caused by the trucker or by conditions outside their control. If you were involved in any truck accidents, contact us today. Our knowledgeable law staff can help you understand what comes next. If you need legal representation, we can help with that.

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truck accident injury compensation

It is a sad truth that there are so many deaths and injuries caused by large trucks on the road.  It is our job to make sure our clients, or their families, are properly compensated for their loss after a devastating truck accident. When people are injured or die due to a truck accident, there can be a very large settlement for the injured party and their family.  Semi-truck accidents result in nearly $20 billion a year in settlement payouts, and most of that is to injured victims who have suffered a lost quality of life. The FMCSA requires that all motor carries have commercial insurance.  Large trucks that haul loads must carry between $750,000 and $5 million in bodily injury coverage to pay injured victims.  This amount varies based on what is being hauled and whether it is hazardous material. How Truck Accident Injuries are Calculated If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck accident, you are likely facing the following issues: High medical bills Pain and suffering Long recovery times Drastic life changes Loss of enjoyment of life Lost time from work and lost wages All of these things are recoverable from the at-fault truck driver and trucking company in some cases.  Your truck accident lawyer should compile a list of all of these “damages” in order to make sure you get the true amount of compensation that you deserve.   Rehabilitation Can Be Long and Painful Clients often as us: what is included in the calculated semi-truck accident damages? The truck accident attorneys at Georgia Auto Law work very hard from the beginning of your case to make sure we compile all possible damages to claim.  We even include expenses such as: Parking and gasoline for getting to medical treatment Prescriptions Lost time from work Lost time from family activities Future expenses you will have from the injury Our attorneys include these special damages so that you can get your life back on track without having to worry about how you are going to make ends meet.  Truck Accident Pain and Suffering Damages In addition to the medical expenses, being involved in a semi-truck accident also takes an emotional toll on you.  Many truck accident victims suffer from emotional and psychological harm that can affect the person for a long time. For example, truck accident victims often suffer from the following emotional, mental, and psychological damages: Loss of sleep Nightmares Depression Anxiety Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) These effects of a truck accident can have an impact on the victim for a long time after the crash, and can be very difficult to cope with. Truck insurance companies always try to pay as little as possible to compensate truck accident victims for these “emotional” damages.  But, the truck accident attorneys at Georgia Auto Law always include substantial evidence to show nonphysical injuries so that we can get as much compensation as possible. Our attorneys also include claims for punitive damages if the case calls for it.  These damages are awarded when the at-fault party’s behavior was particularly bad such as road rage or drunk driving.  In these cases, the amount of damages can be much higher.  Truck Accident Injuries are Very Serious and Can Leave Permanent Damage Injuries suffered in an accident with a large truck can be wide-ranging.  Because the severity of the crash can vary, injuries also vary from case to case. The types of truck accident injuries we see often from an accident with a truck are:  Spinal and neck injuries Back injuries Broken bones Head injuries Traumatic brain injures Organ damage Soft tissue damage  It is also possible to suffer burns due to a fire or explosion in the truck accident.  Burns are especially harmful because they are incredibly painful and often require significant post-accident treatment.  Burns can also cause death due to infection. These truck accident injuries take a physical toll, but they also require long hospital stays and extended periods of rehabilitation and physical therapy.  Truck accident injury cost is very high and can lead to enormous medical debt. Combine this with the fact that the truck accident victim is likely missing work, then the financial burden is made even worse. Truck Accident Injury Compensation Because of the significant financial impact a truck accident can have, substantial truck accident injury compensation is needed to get you back on your feet.  Georgia Auto Law stands by you to provide exactly that. We know how much your life can be changed by a truck accident, and our truck accident attorneys will help you get a settlement that will get your life back on track.  Or, if a wrongful death is involved, help the family get the financial security they need. Truck Accident Statistics: Where and When Crashes Happen Most Collisions with trucks occur most often on certain types of roads.  Over half of all 18-wheeler truck accidents occur on freeways, interstate highways, or in rural areas.  This is because of the fast speeds involved on highways and potential for a head on collision on rural highways.  Time of day also play a role in truck accidents.  Most truck crashes occur between noon and 3:00 pm.  The safest time to drive, according to statistics, is between midnight and 3:00 am due to the reduced number of cars and trucks on the roads. Additionally, weekdays account for the largest number of truck accident fatalities.  Many people think weekends would have the highest number, but it is actually Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.  According to the FMCSA, half of the accident deaths due to collisions with large trucks occurred on these days. Truck Crash Attorneys at Georgia Auto Law The truck accident attorneys at Georgia Auto law specialize solely in these types of accidents.  We are experienced in investigating the true causes of truck accidents to secure maximum compensation.  Our investigations include police reports, video footage, photography, witness accounts, accident reconstruction, and black box reports.  Our vast experience in truck accident cases means that...

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truck accidents statistics

The Ugly Truth About Truck Accidents Road crashes and truck accidents are on the rise.  More and more drivers are on the roads, and more and more trucking companies are out hauling loads.  By 2030, road crashes are expected to be the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. Stop and read that again. If we look back to statistics in 2017, 4,889 roadway fatalities were caused by a crash with a big rig truck or a bus.  This was a 9-percent increase from 2016. Overall, there has been a 40 percent increase in the number of fatal crashes involving large trucks between 2009 and 2017. Looking at non-fatal crashes–there were 334,000 injury crashes involving big trucks in 2017. So, what does all of this data mean?  It means that large trucks are some of the most dangerous vehicles on the road. Where Do Truck Cccidents Happen? The most common places where big rig truck crashes occur are rural areas and on Interstate highways.  Approximately 57 percent of all fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred in rural areas, 27 percent occurred on Interstate highways, and 13 percent fell into both categories by occurring on rural Interstate highways.  What Do We Mean by “Big Rig” Truck? What is a “big rig” truck? When we talk about “big rig” trucks, we are talking about 18-wheelers, coal trucks, buses, cement trucks, dump trucks, etc.  But, the most prevalent among big rig trucks are tractor-trailers. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 72 percent of fatal truck accidents in 2017 involved tractor-trailers. There are around 15.5 million trucks on the road–2 million of which are tractor-trailers.  So, the statistics point to the fact that tractor-trailers are some of the most dangerous vehicles on the roadway.  Period.  Main Causes of Big Rig Accidents Vehicular weight and long stopping distance are two of the key causes of truck accidents.  However, there are many other factors that cause truck accidents. Knowing these factors can help us explain why these dangerous truck accidents happen so often.  Weight and stopping distance of big trucks leading causes of truck crashes.  The weight of the average motor vehicle is about 2.5 tons–thats about 5,000 pounds.  Whereas, a tractor-trailer can weigh up to 40 tons–80,000 pounds! This means that it takes a much longer distance to stop a tractor-trailer than it does to stop a normal car.  For example, if a car and a tractor-trailer were both traveling at 40 mph and begin braking at the same time, the tractor-trailer would come to a complete stop up to 200 feet further than the car. A normal passenger car needs about 300 feet to stop after braking, but a tractor-trailer needs about 530 feet!  That is about the length of 1.5 football fields. The speed at which the vehicles are traveling is also very important.  The faster the tractor-trailer is traveling, the longer it will take to come to a complete stop. This is why fatalities and injuries in truck accidents are so common.   Another key cause of large truck accidents is speeding around curves.  We see many clients who were involved in truck crashes because the truck driver was driving too fast around a curve and caused the crash.   Truck Accident Statistics Show A High Percentage of Fatalities The FMCSA releases car crash statistics that also includes separate data for large trucks.  The number of crashes involving large trucks has been increasing year over year since 2009. And the number of fatalities is also on the rise as is the compensation for injuries and wrongful death due to truck accidents. While it is difficult to attribute a tractor-trailer accident to one single factor, the following factors are leading causes of tractor-trailer accidents: Mechanical failure Poor vehicle maintenance Following too closely Overcompensating while steering Driver fatigue (driver falling asleep at the wheel) Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol  Our Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help At Georgia Auto Law, every member of our team specializes exclusively in auto and truck accident cases.  We are the only law firm in Georgia handling only auto accident cases. This means that we do not focus our time, research, or resources on anything except winning you the most money on your car accident case. You are welcome to call one of our auto attorneys at any time, day or night, at (404) 662-4949.  You can also complete our consultation form, and one of our truck accident specialists will reach out to you within minutes.  With our No Fee Pledge™, you pay nothing. We are here for you.

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