Articles Tagged with Atlanta Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyers

Truck accidents are the cause of thousands of people getting hurt and hundreds-of-thousands of people getting killed. In 2012 alone, 330,000 trucks were involved in collisions, some of which were deadly. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 3,921 people were killed in truck accidents over the course of 2012.  There were also 104,000 people hurt in truck crashes over this same year. atlanta truck accidents

All victims and their families need to understand how Georgia laws protect them when a truck accident happens. An Atlanta truck accident lawyer helps those who were hurt or whose loved ones were lost. Our attorneys assist in determining what state and federal regulations apply to your truck crash and help you to move forward with a case for damages.

There are some federal laws which can help you to make your case and recover compensation. One example is FMCSR 387.9, which requires trucks have $750,000 liability coverage minimum or $5 million minimum coverage if HAZMAT transport is occurring.  There have been, however, some efforts by federal law makers in recent years which have actually undermined truck safety.

A deadly truck collision has demonstrated again how important it is for trucks to be designed, maintained, and operated safely. The truck crash, which was reported on by NBC, took the life of a pregnant woman, two children, and another adult involved in the accident. Like in most truck collisions, those who were killed were not in the truck at the time when the fatal accident happened. The victims who lost their lives to the truck crash were in other vehicles. The crash that killed them was an underride accident, which is one of the deadliest types of truck collisions that occur on U.S. roads.

Whenever crash victims are hurt or killed in any type of collision involving a commercial vehicle, it is important for those injured or for surviving family members to speak with an Atlanta truck accident lawyer. There may be multiple parties who victims could potentially file a civil claim against in order for the victims or their families to be able to obtain full compensation for serious losses or fatal injuries the truck crash causes.

Atlanta Trucks Need Good Underride Guards to Prevent Dangerous Crashes

Within the United States, there are 48 different states that allow drivers as young as 18-years-old to operate commercial motor vehicles like big rigs and tractor trailers. While states take on the risk of allowing young drivers with CDLs to drive big trucks, the federal government does not currently permit people this young to cross state lines. The minimum age for drivers to be allowed to operate tractor trailers across state borders is 21. This minimum age limit means the federal government is able to prevent young teenagers from becoming long-haul truckers crisscrossing the roads of America. truck 2

Soon, however, truck accident risks could increase significantly nationwide as the federal government is considering lowering the age limit in response to truck driver shortages. If teens are given the ability to drive big trucks across the borders of states, it is likely there will be many more big rigs driven on interstate highways in Georgia and throughout the rest of the country. This, in turn, could result in more truck crashes.

Teen drivers are held to the same standard as older motorists when it comes to vehicle operation. If you are injured in an Atlanta truck accident by a teen driver or by any negligent trucker, call a Georgia truck accident lawyer for help understanding how you can recover monetary compensation for losses.

Truck accidents frequently occur as a result of drivers who are too tired, who are impaired, or who break the rules of the road. Poorly maintained trucks can also be a leading cause of accidents. Truck drivers and motor carrier companies may be held responsible and an Atlanta truck accident lawyer at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can provide legal representation to victims of collisions who have sustained harm. money dollars

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) knows the common causes of truck crashes and has passed myriad regulations designed to discourage dangerous behaviors and encourage best practices for safety. FMCSA rules, for example, require truckers to keep logs to ensure they do not drive for too long and require drivers to check vehicle parts and load balance before setting off on a trip.

When trucking companies or truck drivers violate FMCSA safety rules, accident risks significantly increase. To try to reduce the number of violations that occur, FMCSA has now made changes to the fines that will be imposed when truckers and trucking companies do not follow the rules.

Over a five year period in the United States, 556 pedestrians and bicyclists were killed in side swipe truck accidents. Left and right hook truck collisions occur when a truck is turning and hits a pedestrian or bike rider who is going straight or who is walking across the road. These accidents can be especially deadly for the bike rider or the pedestrian because the walker or bicyclist is likely to be forced underneath the large wheels of the commercial truck. tow-truck-1192535-m

Side guards could prevent these tragedies and keep pedestrians and bicycle riders from going underneath a truck that hits them; however, there is no federal law mandating the use of side guards and there are few state laws imposing a requirement side guards be used.  Trucking companies that want to reduce the chances of deadly accidents (and thus reduce potential liability) may wish to consider voluntarily installing side guards in order to keep pedestrians and bike riders safer.

If you or someone you love was hurt or killed in a truck accident in Atlanta, you need to contact a truck accident attorney with experience and compassion.  Your attorney can advise you of options for pursuing a claim for compensation and can assist in fighting for full and fair payment for all losses.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) can initiate rules and, if those rules are passed, can impose requirements on vehicle manufacturers. This includes manufacturers of large trucks. The NHTSA will start the rule making process if it is believed there is a legitimate safety need that could be served. i-haul-299523-m

Trucking Info reports that four different highway safety lobbies have petitioned the NHTSA to begin the rule making process to create a rule requiring forward collision avoidance and mitigation braking systems on all new trucks and buses that have a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 or more. The hope is that these systems would reduce the risk that truck driver error could cause the trucks to hit obstacles in their path. Continue Reading

Last Saturday, a tractor trailer accident caused the death of a 40 year old Marietta, Georgia, man, Hafiz M. Ilyas, according to news sources. Our Atlanta tractor trailer accident attorneys know that these kinds of accidents are all too common and that tractor trailer accidents often result in injuries or fatalities to the people in the passenger car, rather than the truck.

The accident occurred on I-85 southbound in an unincorporated area of Suwanee in Gwinnett County, near the Old Peachtree Street overpass.  Mr. Ilyas car, a green 1994 Toyota Camry, was in the far right lane.  A tractor trailer, driven by Raymond L. Hatt Jr., 35 years old and from Manton, Georgia, was in the lane next to Mr. Ilyas.  Hatt changed lanes without looking properly, cutting off Mr. Ilyas  and forcing him to drive on the shoulder.  He lost control of his car, veered back in the road and hit Hatt’s tractor trailer.  The car got stuck under the trailer of the truck and then caught fire, and Mr. Ilyas was trapped.  People at the scene and video footage shows the trailer engulfed in white smoke, and photographs show the Camry wedged under the trailer.  One witness, Anabela Kovacs from Jackson County, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “The small car was pressed between the tractor trailer and the railing, completely engulfed in fire.”  The accident blocked traffic for most of the day as investigators were on the scene.

Semi Truck2

Tragically, Mr. Ilyas died at the scene of the accident.  Hatt was taken to the Gwinnett Detention Center and has now been charged with second degree vehicular homicide, unsafe lane change, and failure to signal a lane change.

This blog has talked about Good Samaritans before (see a previous blog about Georgia’s Good Samaritan laws here), so our Atlanta car accident attorneys noticed a recent story about good citizens helping someone in a car accident earlier this week.

On Monday in Forsyth County, 60 year old Maria Josefa Martinez, a custodian with Forsyth County Schools, was driving southbound on Ga. 400 near Pilgrim Mill Road in a small red passenger car.  She hit the back of a tractor trailer, spun out of control and smashed into the side of a van also travelling southbound.  The van was driven by a paraplegic man who was also injured in the crash and was trapped in his van, which was specially built to be driven by the driver who required a wheelchair.  Fortunately, three random drivers passing by who saw the accident stopped and rushed in to help out at the scene.  One man, a paramedic off duty, Todd Holloway, tried to revive Ms. Martinez with CPR. He told reporters, “The other guy, who pulled in behind me went over to the van to help with that guy and he said ‘I need help the van’s on fire.’ He’s handicapped, he can’t get out.” Mr. Holloway went to assist in pulling him out before returning to try to help Ms. Martinez.  Unfortunately, Ms. Martinez later died of injuries she sustained in the crash.  Mr. Holloway and two other men, Gary McBryer and Terry Johnson, managed to save the injured van driver, though.  The passenger side door was jammed from the accident, so they went to the driver’s side door, bear-hugged the injured driver, and pulled him out of the van through the driver’s door.  Only minutes after pulling the driver to safety, the van burst into flames.  The man is now in stable condition at Northside Forsyth Hospital.

Man in Wheelchair

The men risked their own lives to save this man.  Mr. McBryer, a construction worker, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “I just reacted, I didn’t even think.”  Mr. Holloway said, “We didn’t take all of the precautions but in that sort of situation, we just wanted to get him out.  I’ve been in emergency for 10 years. That’s what I do for a living. It was just natural. I enjoy helping others.”  Neither man described himself as a hero for stepping in and saving a life.  Mr. McBryer said he was taught to help his neighbors and he believes 90 percent of good people would have done the same in that situation.

As the summer driving season comes to a close, drivers still need to be watchful on the road, especially on highways and areas with a lot of tractor trailer traffic.  Our Atlanta truck accident lawyers saw a news story just last week about a fatal car vs. tractor trailer accident in Gwinnett County.  Unfortunately, these fatal kinds of accidents are all too common.

Last Wednesday at around 10:15pm in Suwanee, a tractor trailer, driven by 50 year old Eddie Scott from Lawrenceville, was heading north on Satellite Boulevard.  A PT Cruiser tried to turn left onto Satellite Boulevard from Shawnee Industrial Way, and pulled into the path of the tractor trailer, which could not stop in time.  The tractor trailer hit the car, then drove off the road and into a wooded center area, leaking fuel.  The PT Cruiser was driven by 20 year old Ethan Ashline, who was killed in the accident.  His front seat passenger, 25 year old Adrianna Romero from Norcross, also died in the accident.  Another person was in the backseat, 31 year old Justin Kyall from Cumming, and he was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.  Mr. Scott, the driver of the truck, was not injured at all.

PT Cruiser Credit

The police are still investigating the accident, but don’t believe alcohol was involved and also don’t believe speed was a factor in this accident.  Regardless, the above story highlights once again how dangerous these tractor trailer accidents are for people in passenger cars. The driver of the truck is usually totally fine while the accident is often fatal for those in the much smaller and more vulnerable passenger cars.

Last week, our Atlanta truck accident lawyers saw another tragic story of a critically injured Georgian after a car vs. tractor trailer accident. In most cases it is the person in the personal car that is injured, as the large tractor trailers can be so much more dangerous on the road to smaller vehicles. This proved the case again in the accident that occurred last Wednesday on Georgia Highway 16 near Senoia.

Lynda Adcot, a 67-year-old woman from Senoia, was turning left in her Chevy Cobalt when she crossed the path of a tractor trailer in the westbound passing lane when her car was smashed by the tractor trailer. The truck, referred to by Senioa Police Major Steve Tomlin as “a commercial tractor trailer truck”, was being driven by 50-year-old Jeffrey Williams of Smyrna. The Cobalt was so mangled it took nine rescuers to get Ms. Adcot out. It took them about 15 minutes for the rescuers from the Coweta County Fire Department to get her out of the wrecked car and then she was airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center in critical condition. The next day she was still in critical condition.  Police say the investigation into the crash is ongoing.

Whether or not Mr. Williams can be held criminally liable from the police investigation, unknown at the moment, in cases like this it is still possible to have a civil case to get compensation for the victim. Not only is it possible the truck driver could be liable, but also possibly the trucking company and/or the insurance company. For example, the trucking company may have policies in place that contribute to negligent driving behavior. Also laws require that trucking companies have a much larger insurance policy than passenger vehicles. And unlike in other types of vehicle accidents, in commercial trucking accidents the insurance company can be sued directly by the injured victim thanks to Georgia’s Direct Action Statute. This can help victims because often juries are more willing to give compensation from an insurance company than from a person or company.There is also the issue of many trucks coming from out of state, and thus a civil claim might be in a federal court, rather than a Georgia state court.