How Will An Atlanta Truck Accident Attorney Help Me?
Trucking accidents are among the most complicated types of personal injury cases. The sheer size of commercial trucks means that accidents often result in victims sustaining particularly devastating injuries.
Cases involving catastrophic injuries are inherently more complicated. Therefore, it is imperative that you get your truck accident case in front of an aggressive Atlanta attorney as soon as possible after the wreck. Your attorney will help ensure that you are able to obtain the injury settlement offer that you rightly deserve.
Atlanta truck accident cases can be confusing and difficult to maneuver; it’s in your best interest to hire an experienced attorney from the Law Offices of Andrew E. Goldner. We know the regulations that truck drivers bend or ignore and we know where to find and how to present evidence in these cases. Contact Andrew Goldner at (404) 869-1580 today for a free case consultation.
The Most Common Cause of Truck Accidents
Truck accident cases can be difficult to settle because many different entities could potentially bear liability. This is also because Georgia commercial trucking involves complex business relationships and extensive federal regulations.
For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the number of hours commercial truck drivers are allowed to drive per day as well as the total number of hours they are allowed per week. These regulations are greatly beneficial in preventing driver and passenger deaths due to overworked or exhausted drivers.
In fact, in the United States, driver fatigue causes about 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and nearly 800 fatalities annually.
These types of accidents still happen if truckers do not follow the time regulation rule. They may have incentive to keep driving past the mandated time if their employer wants cargo delivered earlier or faster than the workday allows.
However, it’s extremely dangerous for drivers to work past these limits. Driver fatigue can cause them to swerve or veer off the road or into another lane. If a passenger vehicle or another truck is in that space, that person or the truck driver could be severely injured or even killed.
If you were involved in an Atlanta semi truck accident and suffered injuries or damages, contact personal injury lawyer Andrew Goldner. Our attorneys know what to look for and how to preserve evidence in truck accident cases. We will work to establish the truck driver’s or employer’s fault and get you the compensation you need. Call (404) 869-1580 for a free consultation.
Unfortunately, many 18-wheeler accidents in Atlanta are caused by drowsy truck drivers. The consequences of driving past federally-mandated limits are serious and can result in passenger injury or death. If you were injured in a truck accident and believe you have a case, it is important to recognize the mistakes or deliberate decisions that a truck driver may have made.
The primary driving time limits for 18-wheelers are:
- 14-hour limit. This is basically a driver’s daily on-duty time limit. Drivers cannot be on duty for more than 14 hours and cannot drive for more than 11 of those hours. They may perform other work duties during those three hours, but only 11 hours can be spent in driving time.
- 60/70 hour limit. This rule states that drivers who work seven days in a row can be on duty for a maximum of 60 hours. Drivers who work eight days in a row can be on duty for a maximum of 70 hours. Some consider this regulation to be a “rolling” limit because hours are based on an ongoing “rolling” period, not by the days of the week. For example, a driver who begins a seven-day shift on Wednesday will end their shift the following Wednesday.
The 60/70 rule can be confusing, but one of the most important parts to understand is that truck drivers must follow the daily 14-hour rule even though they may be on duty for 60 or 70 hours over seven or eight days.
Evidence In Truck Accident Cases
To win your case, your Atlanta truck accident lawyer must have substantial evidence proving the truck driver’s liability. Evidence must be collected quickly before it is destroyed or disappears. The types of evidence that are useful in determining fault include:
- Truck inspection reports. A certified truck inspector must examine the vehicle at the scene. This report may also be written by the police officer who reports to the scene, but it will not be included in the official account. These reports include important information such as the tractor trailer’s condition and facts about the accident scene. You will have to ask for this report separately, but it may be worthwhile evidence in your case.
- Black box information. Semi trucks contain “black boxes,” devices which may also be called an electronic control module (ECM). Black boxes store data about the driver’s speed, braking, and other driving issues.
- Logbooks. The FMCSA requires truck drivers to keep a written log of the hours they drove, as well as the time and duration of breaks. Our attorneys will obtain these logbooks and examine them to find out if a driver was operating their vehicle after the driving limit. This is a valuable piece of evidence that many truck drivers or their employers will try to destroy.
- Phone records. Like anyone else, it is illegal for truckers to text, call, or otherwise be on their phone while driving. The attorneys at Andrew Goldner will request phone records from the driver’s mobile carrier if they suspect that distracted driving caused the accident.
- Post-collision drug and alcohol test results. In truck accidents where an injury, fatality, or severe damage occurred, the truck driver’s employer must perform a drug test within 32 hours of the accident.
How An Atlanta Truck Accident Attorney Will Help You
Our attorneys at the Law Offices of Andrew Goldner will represent you in every step of the lawsuit or settlement process. We will act quickly to obtain all relevant supporting evidence, analyze state and federal regulations to see how they might impact your claim, and work to document the full extent of your current and future damages.