Large trucks cause more severe injuries, increased accidents and roadway fatalities.
Trucks fall into two classes, light trucks weighing 10,000 pounds or less, and large trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds, often moving the latter group into the commercial motor vehicle category and impacting the manner in which damages will be sought after in personal injury and wrongful death claims. Compared to a passenger vehicle, the size of a large truck may result in increased damages and serious injuries due to its heavy weight, compromised braking distance in emergent conditions and limited maneuverability in certain traffic situations. The escalated level of injury and property damage leads to larger insurance and court settlements.
The United States Department of Transportation Traffic Safety Administration estimates over 500,000 truck accidents every year, of which 81% occur in multi-vehicle crash situations. Every 16 minutes a person is injured or killed from a truck accident where the driver of the passenger vehicle is at fault in over 80% of the cases. Commercial motor vehicles have restrictions imposed on their drivers because the vehicles already pose a danger to passenger cars on highways due to their size, braking distance, and types of load they carry.
Georgia laws impact action toward recovery of damages.
Georgia driver restrictions for trucks carrying property cargo are limited to maximum hours driven; minimum hours off duty; and required rest breaks. Commercial motor vehicle drivers that are carrying people have more stringent restrictions.
Georgia laws follows federal guidelines for all commercial motor vehicles subject to regulations of the United States Department of Transportation, 49 C.F.R. part 387, subpart A, shall be insured in an amount equivalent to the minimum levels of financial responsibility as set forth in such regulations.”
Georgia is a Comparative Fault State which enables plaintiffs to seek damages even if they played some part in the accident up to 50%, a plaintiff shall not be entitled to receive any damages if the plaintiff is 50 percent or more responsible for the injury or damages claimed. It is a tort law that allows plaintiffs to sue for the percentage of damages caused by the defendant. Legal action can be brought against a truck driver or company if the elements of negligence are present, including: defendant owed the duty of care; had a breach in the duty of care; and the breach caused the injuries or loss to the plaintiff. Wrongful death claims will be based on the ability to show negligence against the truck driver.
Compensation will be higher for more severe injuries.
Compensation will be based on the injuries which are often more severe from large truck accidents including: loss of limbs; severe burns; back, neck and spine injury; brain injury; broken bones and wrongful death and the percentage of negligence assigned to the truck driver.
The two types of damages that victims can sue for include:
1) compensatory damages which are those damages causing economic (loss of wages, medical bills, and property damage) and non-economic loss to victim (pain and suffering); and
2) punitive damages meant to punish the persons being sued (Defendants).
Contact an attorney.
Tractor trailer truck accidents involve multiple complex factors that require specific knowledge of the commercial trucking industry, extensive experience in civil injury laws, and sophisticated investigative capabilities to collect evidence and analyze it to most strongly support a negligence claim. Contact an experienced legal professional in Athens Georgia as soon as possible if you have been in an accident that caused injuries and/or damages to your livelihood.