Even slight collisions with a large semi-truck or 18-wheeler in Canton can lead to significant injuries and even death. There are huge size and weight differences between the average passenger vehicle and a semi-truck—in fact, they may weigh 20 or 30 times the average car. That means that truck drivers have a duty to be careful on the roads, and that when a truck accident occurs, it’s you—as a driver, passenger, pedestrian, or bicyclist—who is most likely to be injured. If you or your loved one were hurt, don’t face your case alone. You need a Canton semi-truck and 18-wheeler accident lawyer to help you with your legal claim.
Our lawyers understand trucking accidents. We routinely take on these often severe and complicated cases, which many other attorneys don’t have the experience to successfully handle. Our job is to help victims, and we have over 20 years of experience getting results. You don’t have to go through this alone—we can help. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Give us a call at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.
What causes semi-truck accidents?
The most common cause of semi-truck accidents is driver error. A driver error could mean a lot of things—from misjudging where a car is located in the next lane to not paying attention to what’s in front of them. For example, when a driver realizes that he is drifting into another lane and pulls the wheel back quickly, he might overcorrect. That type of action could lead to losing control of the vehicle, depending on how the load is balanced in the truck. When a passenger vehicle makes the same mistake, the consequences are not likely to be as extreme.
Other common reasons that semi-truck accidents occur include:
- Moving too fast for the conditions
- Following other vehicles too closely
- Driver fatigue or inattention
- Drug or alcohol use
- Failing to yield to anyone who has the right of way
- Load problems that cause the driver to lose control
- Poor truck maintenance
- Falling asleep at the wheel
- Making illegal maneuvers (especially U-turns)
- Lane drifting
Any type of action that causes a car accident could also result in a truck accident as well.
Why are semi-truck and 18-wheeler accidents so severe?
Semi-trucks are enormous vehicles, and that type of stature comes with unique risks. Consider the following safety concerns that make 18-wheelers particularly dangerous.
Trucks take longer to start and stop than passenger vehicles.
Longer stopping distances mean that trucks may be involved in more rear-end accidents than the average passenger car. Taking longer to speed up can be a serious problem for an 18-wheeler that is trying to merge into traffic or switch lanes.
Semi-trucks have large blind spots.
Just driving around a truck can be dangerous if the driver cannot see you. Blind spots, also known as “no-zones,” surround the semi. Portions of the road may be completely invisible to a driver.
They may carry hazardous materials.
Trucks carry a wide variety of materials—from boxes to dangerous chemicals. Even something as simple as batteries, which are generally not hazardous when transported, can be perilous in a crash. Hazardous materials can increase the chances of injuries and fatalities.
These dangers are all in addition to the fact that an impact with a truck of this size can crush a vehicle. Cars can also be sucked under a truck. These types of accidents often lead to fatalities and severe, life-threatening injuries.
Even with all of these dangers, truck drivers are one of the most common reasons that semi-truck accidents occur. Truck drivers are constantly being pushed to meet deadlines while also following very stringent federal and state requirements about how long they can drive and how many breaks they must have. Sometimes these necessary breaks and time to sleep are pushed aside to meet deadlines. That results in drowsy drivers who are not as aware of the things going on around them. Ultimately, when drivers ignore the rules and cause accidents, the can be legally responsible for your damages and injuries that result.
Who regulates the trucking industries?
Most of the laws that apply to passenger vehicles also apply to trucks. That means that the State of Georgia plays a prominent role in trucking regulations. But, because trucks often travel across state lines and across the United States, the federal government is involved as well. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is under the umbrella of the Department of Transportation, enforces various trucking laws and regulations throughout the United States. The FMCSA performs the following functions:
- Oversee quality control with regard to trucks and trucking services
- Develop and enforce weight limitations
- Create regulations that deal with mandated rest time
- To implement all federal rules that affect truckers, truck companies, and the trucking industry as a whole.
Perhaps one of the most important things that the FMCSA deals with is ensuring that every trucker has a commercial driver’s license (CDL). This requirement has been in place since the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986. Getting a CDL is harder to obtain than a regular driver’s license. It involves passing knowledge and physical examinations. It is also easier to lose—when you break traffic laws and cause accidents, your CDL may be at risk.
When a truck driver doesn’t have a CDL or is operating under a suspended CDL and causes your accident, that will increase the chances that you get money for your injuries and damages.
Talk to a Canton Semi-Truck & 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer for Free
Truck insurance companies deal with semi-accidents every day. They sometimes use their experience against you in your personal injury or wrongful death case. Getting an attorney who has just as much experience, or even more, than they do will be a huge help to get you a fair settlement or take your case to trial. Get a FREE consultation. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to schedule your free consultation today.