The truck accident injury lawyer at the Doan Law Firm of Savannah will help you win your truck accident injury case.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you already know that big trucks account for a significant portion of the traffic on local highways. At the Doan Law Firm of Savannah, our truck accident injury lawyer is ready to help you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
What is considered to be a “truck” in the State of Georgia?
Although it is common to associate the word “truck” with large, 18-wheel, commercial tractor trailer rigs, the State of Georgia defines a truck to be any motor vehicle having 6 or more wheels regardless of the number of axles on that vehicle. Any truck that is available for hire by the public or is primarily used in local or interstate commerce is considered to be a commercial vehicle and is thus required to comply with all additional regulations of the federal and state Departments of Transportation (DOT).
The driver of a truck that is operated on Georgia highways must obey all state and local traffic laws and, additionally, must make sure that his or her vehicle complies with DOT safety regulations before operating that truck on local, state, or federal roadways. If operating a truck that is considered to be a commercial truck by state or federal law, the driver must be in possession of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) that is currently valid in the state in which it was issued and also contains the appropriate endorsements (certifications) that allow the driver to operate that particular type of truck.
Are there different laws for personal vehicles and commercial trucks?
In Georgia, drivers of any type of motor vehicle are expected to comply with all local, state, and federal laws relative to traffic safety. Due to the fact that commercial trucks are practically always larger than personal vehicles and may contain cargo that is potentially hazardous if handled improperly, commercial trucks and their drivers are held to a higher level of responsibility than is expected of other drivers.
Common causes of truck accidents in Savannah, Georgia
Although there are many factors that may lead to a truck accident, state and federal accident investigators have identified several situations that are more frequently encountered than others.
Among these more-frequently encountered factors are:
Improper lane changes
Due to their size and length, many truck accidents occur when a driver initiates a change in driving lane without making sure that it is safe to do so. In most cases where a truck strikes another vehicle while changing lanes, the driver of the truck is usually found to be at fault and thus liable for any damages caused by an accident.
Failure by the driver to make sure that cargo is properly secured against sudden movement is another common cause of truck accidents. This is particularly true when cargo that is being transported by a “flat bed” (open) trailer becomes dislodged and then strikes another vehicle. In such accidents, the truck driver is almost always found to be at fault.
Tired or distracted drivers
Tired or distracted drivers are often involved in truck accidents. Federal laws require drivers to limit the number of hours that they spend “on duty” before taking rest breaks. Unfortunately, many drivers violate these rules and drive while their reaction times and decision-making are impaired by fatigue. Federal law also restricts a driver’s use of cell phones or other communication devices to avoid distractions. If a tired or distracted driver is involved in an accident, the driver can be held liable for any damages that may result from that accident.
Liability and truck accidents in Savannah, Georgia
In many truck accidents, the issue of liability is decided “at the scene” based on the available physical evidence and the statements of witnesses. In other cases, the issue of who was at fault will require further investigation by either law enforcement or by a personal injury lawyer. In these instances, it may be necessary to submit the available evidence to a jury before liability issues can be settled. In either situation, it is always advisable to retain the services of a personal injury attorney to insure your legal right to compensation is protected while any legal issues are settled.
From the brief discussion given here, it should be obvious that truck accident injury cases can be complex and are often decided on a single issue of how the law is interpreted. It should also be obvious that negotiating a settlement for injuries in such cases is not something that should be left to anyone without a firm background in personal injury law.
At the Doan law firm of Savannah, we have years of experience in successfully representing clients who have been injured in truck accidents and we are ready to bring that experience to your personal injury lawsuit from the time of your free initial consultation until your injury claim is settled. When you are represented by our firm, you are assured that you will be receiving only the best legal advice in your truck accident injury lawsuit.