Commercial trucks are so big that it is hard for even the most experienced driver not to feel at least a little bit of apprehension as they approach multiple 18-wheelers on the highway. The good news is that the Department of Transportation has strict rules about who can operate commercial trucks and how they must operate them. In other words, professional truck drivers know how to drive commercial trucks safely, and if they got caught taking risks while driving their trucks, they would not be allowed to keep their jobs. The bad news is that traffic collisions can happen for many reasons that do not include egregious errors on the part of any of the drivers involved.
The worse news is that if one of the vehicles involved in a collision is a commercial truck, then the chances are high that multiple people will sustain serious injuries due to the collision, and there may even be fatalities involved. People who get injured in collisions involving commercial trucks can usually recover compensation for their accident-related financial losses, such as medical bills, by failing a claim with the insurance policy of the company that owns the truck that caused or contributed to the accident. If you are struggling financially after suffering injuries in a traffic accident involving a commercial truck, contact a Norcross truck accident lawyer.
Hazardous Conditions on Highways
Many inexperienced drivers have gotten into fender benders in residential neighborhoods or at intersections or parking lots in urban or suburban areas. One of the main reasons that these collisions usually do not cause serious injury is that the vehicles involved were not going at very high speeds. Traffic lights, stop signs, and relatively low speed limits prevent drivers in cities and towns from achieving the kinds of speeds at which the most destructive traffic collisions occur.
By contrast, commercial trucks spend most of their travel time on the highway. This means that if you are driving near commercial trucks, the traffic is either moving quickly or else it is congested, increasing the risk of a collision. Hazardous road conditions such as debris on the road, construction work, rain, snow, and fog create additional risk for truck accidents on interstate highways.
Chain Reaction Collisions
Because they so often involve high speeds, heavy traffic, or both, truck accidents are more likely to involve more than two vehicles than car accidents. In some cases, a truck driver will be trying to avoid a collision after a car driver makes a dangerous move, but the result will still be a collision that involves three or more vehicles. If a truck contributed to the accident, you still have the right to file a truck accident claim, even if the truck did not directly make contact with your vehicle.
Malfunctions of Commercial Truck Brakes
The brakes on commercial trucks are different from the brakes on personal passenger vehicles such as cars. Truck brakes require more time and distance to bring the vehicle to a stop. Federal and state regulations require truck drivers to inspect their brakes and other features of their trucks frequently to prevent malfunctions that could cause an accident.
Distracted or drowsy driving is dangerous, no matter the vehicle, but it is especially dangerous when you are driving a truck that weighs upwards of 13 tons. Cell phones are not the only thing that can cause drivers to become distracted. Simply being tired or having been on the road for a long time can also interfere with a driver’s ability to concentrate on driving. Federal and state laws limit the length of a truck driver’s shift, including how many hours a driver can drive without taking a break to rest and how many hours he or she can work in a given day or year. The rules differ slightly depending on whether the trip takes place entirely within the state of Georgia or whether it crosses state lines. If it is an interstate trip, then the provisions of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act apply, even if the trip took place mostly in Georgia and only briefly crossed over onto Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, or Tennessee.
Accidents Related to Alcohol or Drugs
Alcohol, prescription medications that make it unsafe to drive, and illegal drugs play a role in a disproportionate number of traffic accidents that involve injuries or fatalities. It goes without saying that professional truck drivers should not drink alcohol or take illegal drugs at work, but if they do, and if an accident results, it is a clear case of negligence. Likewise, if someone drives a car on the highway while drunk or under the influence of drugs, and the impaired driver crosses paths with a commercial truck, this can lead to a truck accident that affects multiple vehicles.
What to Do if You Have Suffered Injuries in a Truck Accident
If you got injured in an accident where one of the vehicles was a commercial truck, it may be possible to get compensation for your accident-related medical bills and your lost income for the time when you were unable to work because of your injuries. Most of the time, you do not have to go to court or file a lawsuit to do this, but you do need a personal injury lawyer. Your truck accident lawyer can help you file a claim with the insurance companies of the parties responsible for the accident. Your lawyer can also help you negotiate a settlement that gets you enough money to cover the money you lost because of the accident and the resulting injuries.
Contact 770 Good Law About Truck Accident Cases
You probably do not need to go to court to get the money you need after a truck accident, but you do need a truck accident lawyer. Contact 770 Good Law, the Law Office of H. Q. Alex Nguyen and Associates, LLC, to discuss your case.