While a majority of vehicle collisions simply involve cars colliding, on certain roadways, trucks present a very real danger for accidents. While seldom seen on more suburban roads, trucks are almost constantly present on every highway a person travels. Trucks are vehicles that travel at high speeds hauling tons of weight. If a truck were to collide with another vehicle, the consequences could be catastrophic.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration offers helpful statistics for tracking truck accidents. According to the administration's statistics for truck accidents, 2014 saw over 3,900 fatal accidents involving large vehicles. In that same year, there were roughly 88,000 injuries to persons from these accidents. Trucks were also responsible for at least 346,000 noteworthy incidents involving property damage as well.
Truck Accidents In Georgia
Many factors can contribute to truck accidents. At times, truck accidents are simply forces of nature; however, other times, truck drivers may not be taking proper care on the roads. This can be considered acting negligently, especially when these actions affect other drivers on the road. In addition, there are safety standards set by the government and some trucking or logistics companies that own the vehicles. Violating these standards may also be considered negligent acts.
Causes of Truck Accidents
- Driver Error: Driver error is a broad term that can encompass many actions, or in some cases, failures to act. Trucks travel long distances on highways and may need to travel at high speeds in order to meet their distances and drop-off deadlines. In addition, trucks require a great deal of care to handle, and this necessity of care is increased in poor weather conditions. Failure to take this extra care can result in accidents.
- Fatigued Driving: Many times, truck drivers have to drive long distances to meet deadlines. This presents a high danger of the driver falling asleep at the wheel. This can be disastrous enough in an ordinary car, but trucks present a much greater danger. At times, trucking companies require drivers to check in, or allot their drivers periods of rest in an effort to avoid these accidents.
- Poor Maintenance: Trucks hauling products are often part of a greater fleet, which is often either leased by a separate company, or is part of a greater company selling these products. Due to the long distances trucks must travel, a lot of strain is placed on these vehicles. Many companies, and some states, have regulations for ensuring that these vehicles are in working order. Trucks that are in poor maintenance can blow a tire, or have their brakes fail. These occurrences significantly increase the likelihood that an accident will occur.
- Distracted Driving: When a truck driver is on the road, they should preoccupy themselves with making sure they do no not endanger themselves, their cargo, or anyone else on the road. Any distractions that a driver may expose themselves to can cause an accident.
Types of Injuries Seen in Truck Accidents
- Traumatic Injuries: A traumatic injury is any injury that may be likely to cause injury or death to a person. Due to the size, speed, and weights of trucks, when they collide with anything or flip over, they are bound to cause injuries to anyone caught within the radius.
- Fatal Injuries: Unfortunately, fatal injuries can be more common in accidents involving large vehicles, especially trucks with heavy trailers. For as many safety features as the modern automobile may employ, trucks have such heavy mass that they can easily destroy a car, which can seriously or fatally injure anyone who may be inside.
Truck Accident Lawsuits in Georgia
When a person is injured in a truck accident, and the driver's actions were in some way negligent, the injured party may be able to file a lawsuit. In truck accidents, the truck may belong to a fleet company, who may be responsible for ensuring that their drivers are properly trained, as well as given adequate time to rest. It may be possible to name these companies as defendants in these lawsuits, especially if facts are uncovered that show unsafe behavior on their part.
Types of Damages in Truck Accident Lawsuits
When a person files a lawsuit over a trucking accident, there is often a wide array of damages they may claim from the results of the accident, due to the serious and heavily impactful nature of these incidents.
- Medical Bills: One of the most common causes for filing a lawsuit is for a person to get the individual responsible for their injuries to pay for the medical costs associated with the injuries. In truck accidents, individuals harmed in the accident can face very severe injuries, due to the nature of these incidents.
- Funeral Costs: A sad truth of this matter is that such an impactful accident can cause the loss of life. If the case is a wrongful death case, a deceased person's family or another representative may seek damages for the funeral costs associated with the loss of their loved one.
- Loss of Property/Property Damage: Trucks are large vehicles carrying actual tons of weight. If a truck were to collide with a smaller car, through any means, the car is more than likely to be destroyed or rendered inoperable from the impact. In a case for a trucking accident, the plaintiff may demand damages for loss or damage to their vehicle.
- Loss of Income: Trucking accidents can result in severe injuries, and it is very possible that a person or a family may not have access to income following these accidents. This may warrant the demand for damages for loss of income. This is true in wrongful death cases as well and can take the form of lost income that the deceased person would have earned if they had lived.
Representation for Macon Truck Accident Victims
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a trucking accident, contact the Gautreaux Law Firm today for a consultation. We will advocate to get you the compensation you deserve.