The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reports that an average of 160 people are killed every year due to a large truck. Accidents that involve trucks are often severe because of the sheer size of the vehicle involved. That makes truck accidents some of the most dangerous crashes that happen in Canton. If you or someone you love was involved in a truck accident, you need to speak to a Canton truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident.
John Foy & Associates can help you. We understand the complicated regulations that truckers have to follow—and how they sometimes break them. We have dedicated our firm to fighting for the rights of victims, never insurance companies. Let us give you a FREE consultation with an experienced truck crash attorney. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
Why are trucks so much more dangerous than other vehicles?
A truck’s large size makes them especially dangerous on the road. They’re also often found going longer distances and drive on highways, interstates, and roads that have higher speeds. Large size and high speed can be a deadly combination. Large trucks, particularly 18-wheelers, are dangerous because:
- Big trucks have big blind spots. This can cause problems such as merging into passenger vehicles on either side that the truck driver did not know where there. Passengers should stay out of these “no-zones” as much as possible. A general rule of thumb is that if you cannot see the truck’s mirrors, then the trucker cannot see you.
- Trucks take more time to slow down. Large trucks, particularly those with heavy cargo loads, need significantly more time and distance to slow down. A fully loaded truck and trailer weighs somewhere in the range of 80,000 pounds. A truck needs 525 feet to stop with that kind of weight when it is traveling at 65 miles per hour. That is almost the length of two football fields! In comparison, the average 4,000-pound passenger vehicle needs roughly 316 feet to stop completely going the same speed.
- They cause more damage. Truck drivers are rarely injured or killed in truck accidents with passenger vehicles. They are actually very safe in the truck cab in most situations. It is the drivers and passengers in cars and smaller trucks that are at risk. Large trucks can easily crush a smaller vehicle, causing injuries and fatalities. In fact, in truck accidents that involve deaths, 98% of victims are occupants of passenger vehicles, not truck drivers.
When is the truck driver at fault in Canton?
Either the truck driver or the driver of the other vehicle can be at fault—or even both.
There are certain situations where the truck accident is the passenger vehicle’s fault. However, many people make the mistake of assuming that if they are at fault at all, they cannot sue—and that isn’t true! Georgia uses a legal policy known as “modified comparative negligence.” That means that even if you are partially at fault for the accident, you can often still recover money damages. It may be less than it would be if the accident were purely the truck driver’s fault, but it may also be substantially more than the insurance company is offering.
In many cases, however, the truck driver or trucking company is the one responsible. The most common reasons we see for this in the City of Canton include:
- Driver fatigue. Truck drivers are on the road for long periods of time. They drive long hours and may not stop as often as they should. Fatigue slows down your reaction time and generally makes you pay attention less. Drivers are responsible for pulling over if they get tired.
- Improper loading. Failing to load the cargo of a truck correctly can make the vehicle unstable and harder to control. Crashes are more likely if a shipment is loaded improperly.
- Poor maintenance or improper inspection. Drivers and trucking companies are required to keep up with regular maintenance on their vehicles. Worn tires or poor brakes can cause severe problems for a truck traveling at high speeds. It is vital that drivers inspect their trucks before, after, and periodically during every trip. Regular preventative care is also critical.
- Driving inappropriately for the conditions. We have all been in situations where a large truck whizzes by in a storm. They have a shipment to deliver and they may not be willing to slow down. Many accidents are caused by a truck driver’s failure to drive for the conditions—including driving too fast in any weather or in construction areas.
The best way to find out who’s at fault in your accident is to discuss it with a lawyer. Do not take the insurance company at their word—they have an incentive to avoid responsibility if they can.
Who is my claim against in a truck accident?
Trucking lawsuits are often tricky because they can involve several parties. The driver, their trucking company, and a variety of other companies could all be involved. This actually works to your advantage, because it means you could bring several parties into court, increasing the chance that at least one of them will be able to pay for your losses. These parties include:
- The driver’s insurance company
- The trucking company
- The maintenance or repair business or person who did the last repair
- Component part manufacturers
- The company that loaded the cargo
The facts of your case will determine who you should include in your lawsuit. Every case is slightly different—and a lawyer can get you the answers you need.
Talk to a Canton Truck Accident Lawyer for Free
At John Foy & Associates, we have seen firsthand how a truck accident can change a life—or end it. We want to help. With over 20 years of experience, we have the resources and knowledge to take on even the most complicated truck accident cases—and a history of winning. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your free consultation today.