Georgia Trucking Accident Lawyers
LEGAL HELP FOR GEORGIA TRUCKING ACCIDENT INJURY VICTIMS
Georgia, the Peach State, is the largest state east of the Mississippi river and home to more than ten million citizens. Residents and tourists alike can find a diverse geography in the state, from coastal beaches to mountains. The economic hub and capital of the state, Atlanta, is connected to the rest of the state’s big population areas through numerous interstate highways, including I-20, I-75, and Interstate 85.
Like in many other states in the nation, businesses in Georgia rely on public highways and the interstate system to move goods and products within their borders and to the rest of the country. Unfortunately, about one out of every four fatal semi-truck accident occurs on an interstate highway. In total in 2014, there were 3,903 fatalities in crashes involving large trucks.
Georgia had the fifth highest amount of trucking accident-related deaths in 2014 with 155. Georgia trucking accidents leave thousands of more people with injuries each year. A theme that many of these accidents have in common is that they are preventable and avoidable. Due to a truck driver or trucking company’s negligence, thousands of lives are forever changed on United States roadways each year.
Victims of Georgia trucking injuries deserve the best representation possible. As a truck accident victim, you have rights that need to be protected, and you likely have injuries that are causing you pain and suffering and potentially financial insecurity. We understand how difficult it can be when you can no longer work due to your injuries and the medical bills start piling up. That’s why at Thomas J. Henry we can advance your court costs and litigation expenses and advance money for living and medical expenses (interest free).
Our financial resources and decades of experience handling complex truck accident cases help keep you comfortable, informed, and in the best possible position to achieve the compensation you deserve. Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends to take your call. Accessibility is important to us, and that’s why we can come visit you wherever you live in Georgia, from Atlanta to Savannah, if you cannot make it to our offices.
THE LEGAL RESOURCES NECESSARY TO WIN YOUR GEORGIA TRUCKING ACCIDENT CASE
Thomas J. Henry employs state-of-the-art technologies and experts in every personal injury case. From the first day we meet with a client until the day the case is resolved, experienced trucking accident attorneys will handle the case efficiently and effectively.
- At Thomas J. Henry, we are constantly applying innovative solutions to case management, client interaction, and information security. We will take every opportunity and explore every avenue to ensure that our clients are receiving the most up-to-date information possible regarding their case. With the click of a mouse, our attorneys can access your case files from anywhere in the country remotely, helping to facilitate a strong client/attorney relationship throughout the process of the case. At the same time, we maintain stringent security standards and ensure your information remains confidential and protected.
- With jet services, satellite technology, and advance mobile technology, our experienced trucking attorneys are available at a moment’s notice from anywhere in the world. No matter where you live in Georgia, you can contact our lawyers at any time. It is this kind of dynamic representation that we believe leads to building a strong case and ultimately achieving the compensation you or your loved one deserves.
- Expert witnesses
- Expert witnesses, or judicial experts, bring specialized knowledge in a particular subject that an average person may not have. Expert opinions can shed light on factors from your trucking accident case, such as any injuries sustained in the crash, how the crash occurred, or even the behavior of the truck driver. Thomas J. Henry has spent years selecting only the best experts from across the nation for clients. Each witness is intensively examined and questioned before every participating in a case. We continuously look for new and inventive ways to use experts in trucking injury cases and will continue to bring in the most qualified experts to assist with your case.
- Examples of Georgia trucking accident experts may include:
- Forensic engineers
- General equipment technical experts
- Accident reconstructionists
- Doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, and other medical professionals
- Hazardous materials experts
WHAT DO I DO AFTER A TRUCKING ACCIDENT?
Trucking accidents can be catastrophic and frightening, especially if you or another passenger was injured in the crash. After ensuring your safety, there are things you can do to preserve your rights as a victim of a trucking accident in Georgia. In complex cases like trucking accidents, it is important to keep a record of facts and collect and protect evidence as soon as you possible. At Thomas J. Henry, we know how large trucking companies operate, and we can assist you with ensuring evidence is collected in a swift manner.
Here are a few tips on what you should do after being involved in a truck accident in Georgia:
- Stop immediately after the crash. Assess the situation.
- Check yourself and passengers for injuries.
- Make the accident visible to others, if possible (i.e., vehicle hazard lights, road flares).
- Call the police. Contact 911 if there is an emergency or any serious injuries. Be sure a paramedic responds as well.
- Record the facts and be as accurate as possible with the responding police officer. Take pictures of the accident scene, damage to your vehicle, any injuries you or a passenger sustained, and any other factors that could help your case in the future.
- Collect the names and contact information for all parties involved in the crash and any witnesses to the accident. In addition, obtain the insurance information of all drivers involved in the wreck.
- Seek medical attention. If you aren’t entirely sure if you’ve been injured or not, play it safe and get a check-up from your primary care physician.
- Some injuries and pain do not appear until days after the trucking accident.
- Report the accident to your insurance company. Keep a log of any expenses or changes in health due to the accident.
- Avoid speaking with other insurance companies or claims adjusters (refer them to a retained attorney, if you have one).
- Contact an experienced Georgia trucking accident attorney.
- Retaining an attorney as soon as possible can be very beneficial to your potential case. At Thomas J. Henry, our experienced team of trucking accident lawyers will immediately go to work, obtaining and preserving evidence from the accident and giving you legal advice along the way. We make sure you are comfortable and that your rights as a semi-truck accident victim are protected. Experienced injury attorneys keep you informed throughout the process, and at Thomas J. Henry, we take every measure possible to obtain the compensation you deserve.
WHO CAN I SUE AFTER A TRUCKING ACCIDENT IN GEORGIA?
Trucking accidents are often complex cases due to the number of parties that could potentially be found negligent for your damages. In any given case, the truck driver, trucking company, or commercial vehicle manufacturer could potentially be held accountable for your injuries. In some cases, you may have grounds to recover compensation for all of your expenses, past and future, that have occurred since your accident.
It is important to know who to sue and where to sue. Thomas J. Henry Injury attorneys have a proven record for delivering real results for our clients and standing up to the largest trucking companies in the world. Our firm has proven how truck drivers and trucking companies caused severe and unnecessary injuries and even death. We understand how trucking companies operate, and we are experienced in making them pay for not following safety regulations designed to keep you and your family safe on the roadways.
COMMON GEORGIA TRUCKING VIOLATIONS THAT RESULT IN ACCIDENTS
Several factors can lead to a serious semi-truck accident. Due to the size differential between large trucks and passenger cars, small mistakes can turn catastrophic in the blink of an eye. In the United States, semi-trucks can weigh up to 80,000 lbs., or 40 tons. When the average car weights around two tons, disastrous injuries and death can result from simple traffic infractions.
Common causes of Georgia trucking accidents include:
- Driver fatigue
- Perhaps the most common traffic violation, speeding was a contributing factor in at least 30 percent of annual fatal crash totals between 2003 and 2012.
- Unsecured loads
- Failure to maintain vehicle
- Truck drivers are compelled to perform daily inspections on their vehicles. Even the smallest mechanical issue can turn deadly at 65 mph on the highway.
- Improper lane changing
- Improper turns
- Distracted driving
WHAT ARE ECM AND GPS DEVICES?
Electronic Control Modules (ECM) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are found in most commercial trucks and Department of Transportation-regulated vehicles. These electronic systems record and track movement of the truck or commercial vehicle and can help determine the speed a truck was traveling prior to an impact. This is vital data and information. These pieces of information can be used in your case to help determine fault and negligence. In addition, these devices show the driving habits of the driver and the routes the driver traveled prior to an accident.
At Thomas J. Henry, our injury attorneys will immediately file a lawsuit and restraining order to not only obtain the ECM and GPS data from the truck involved, but also the Federal Motor Carrier-required documents for the driver. The acquisition of these pieces of information can play an important role in achieving the verdict or settlement you or a loved one deserves.
IMPORTANT FEDERAL COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE REGULATIONS
Federal trucking guidelines and regulations are there to keep other drivers safe on the roadways alongside semi-trucks. Severe trucking accidents and loss of life can occur when truck drivers and trucking companies fail to abide by these laws, putting Georgia drivers at risk. Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations contains these commercial motor vehicle regulations.
Commercial motor vehicle operators are required to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). CDL holders are held to a higher standard and can lose their licensure by committing serious traffic violations.
At Thomas J. Henry, we believe it is important to be informed about the various regulations that are in place to keep us safe. Here are a few of the important federal commercial motor vehicle regulations:
- Drivers must be 21 years of age or older to drive across state lines or operate a vehicle containing hazardous materials.
- Georgia CDL holders must be at least 18 years of age to operate within state lines.
- To be eligible for a CDL, drivers must have no prior disqualifying criminal offenses.
- Prior to obtaining a CDL, drivers must test for and obtain a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) and hold it for 14 days.
- In order to obtain a commercial learner’s permit, drivers must be cleared by a qualified medical examiner that they are physically able to operate a commercial vehicle.
- For commercial motor vehicle operators, the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is .04, compared to .08 for regular drivers.
- Truck drivers are banned from using handheld mobile phones while driving. Trucking companies are prohibited from allowing or requiring drivers to use handheld devices while driving.
- Drivers are prohibited from holding a CDL issued by more than one state or jurisdiction.
HOURS OF SERVICE (HOS) REGULATIONS
All commercial motor vehicle operators must comply with hours of service regulations. This important regulation ensures drivers are receiving a sufficient amount of sleep before operating their vehicles. Drowsy and fatigued drivers cause many serious trucking accidents in Georgia each year. Both property-carrying and passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers are required to abide by these guidelines.
Property-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,
- may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
- may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.
- may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
- Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.
Passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,
- may drive a maximum of 10 hours after eight consecutive hours off duty.
- may not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following eight consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period.
- may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
- Drivers using a sleeper berth provision must take at least eight hours in the sleeper berth, and may split the sleeper-berth time into two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours.
CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED GEORGIA TRUCKING ACCIDENT AND INJURY ATTORNEY
For decades, Thomas J. Henry has helped injured victims throughout the country stand up against large trucking companies and obtain record-breaking verdicts and settlements. Thomas J. Henry has the experience, the knowledge, and the resources you need to win your case. If you were injured in a trucking accident in Georgia, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our Georgia truck accident attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your case.
Disclaimer: Any summary, description, or paraphrase of a regulatory requirement on this site is intended to provide general guidance only. Please consult the text of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for a full account of the applicable requirements.