Hawk Law Group | August 30, 2023 | Truck Accident
Trucking accidents differ in various ways from car accidents. Semi-trucks are larger and heavier than cars and are much more challenging to operate. Therefore, injuries caused by a truck accident are often more severe and longer lasting than those caused by car accidents.
Car accidents are capable of causing fatal and catastrophic injuries. However, trucking accidents are much more likely to cause them and often result in larger awards for victims.
If you have been injured in a trucking accident, you need to understand how these accidents differ from other crashes and how those differences can affect your Georgia personal injury case.
Semi-Trucks Are Larger and Heavier Than Cars
A loaded tractor-trailer rig may weigh 80,000 pounds. Their weight makes them more than 20 times heavier than passenger vehicles. These big trucks are also taller with greater ground clearance, which may result in a passenger vehicle being pinned beneath the body of a truck in a collision.
The occupants of cars are much more likely to be fatally injured in a trucking accident than truck occupants are, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The tremendous size of big trucks compared to cars is one of the most significant differences between truck and car accidents.
Truck Drivers and Trucking Companies Are Heavily Regulated
The trucking industry is heavily regulated. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets strict hours of service regulations for truckers. The mission of the FMCSA is to prevent commercial motor vehicle accident injuries and fatalities.
Georgia drivers must also have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate certain vehicles. There are three classes of Georgia commercial driver’s licenses: Class A, Class B, and Class C. Truck drivers operating an eighteen-wheeler must have a Class A commercial driver’s license.
Big Rigs Usually Have Blind Spots
Big trucks often have significant blind spots. Their tremendous size can make it challenging for the driver to see what is immediately in front of, behind, and on either side of their trailer.
A passenger vehicle approaching the side of a semi-truck, or following it too closely, may be difficult to see. Serious accidents are more likely when the truck driver cannot see a smaller vehicle.
Big Trucks Need More Room to Stop
Because big trucks are larger and heavier, they need more room to slow down and stop than a car. The braking capacity of big trucks can play a significant role in trucking accidents. Loaded eighteen-wheelers need up to 40 percent more distance than cars to come to a stop, and the impact of a trucking collision can be much more severe.
Big trucks need even more room to slow down and stop if they are driving on wet or poorly maintained roads. Brakes that have not been properly maintained can also lead to tragic accidents. When a driver exceeds the speed limit or fails to slow down in bad weather, heavy traffic, or unsafe roads, they may be unable to stop as fast as they need to.
The Trucking Company May Be Responsible
If a truck driver is at fault in an accident, the company they are driving for may be liable for the damages caused. The company that owns the truck or employs the trucker may be responsible.
You should consult an experienced Georgia truck accident attorney to understand your case and recover the compensation you deserve.
The trucking company is responsible for the following:
- Maintaining their trucks and trailers in good working condition
- Hiring qualified, safe drivers
- Implementing driving safety procedures
- Enforcing the federal and state regulations that govern their drivers
When trucking companies fail to meet their obligations to help ensure highway safety, they can be held liable for damages caused by an accident.
The Damages Caused by Trucking Accidents May Be Greater Than in Car Accidents
While car accidents can be life-altering and fatal, trucking accidents are more likely to be catastrophic. The size and weight of a tractor-trailer increase the risk of severe injuries when an accident occurs.
Trucking accidents often cause death, dismemberment, and lifelong physical and emotional injuries. Many victims have extensive medical expenses, lost wages, and disability.
Contact an Experienced Georgia Truck Accident Lawyer for Help With Your Claim for Damages
Trucking accidents differ from car accidents in significant ways. Injuries caused by trucking accidents may be more severe and life-altering than car accidents, resulting in more considerable personal injury claim awards.
Due to the potential harm trucking accidents can cause, the trucking industry is more heavily regulated than ordinary drivers. When drivers and trucking companies fail to comply with industry regulations, their liability may be more significant.
You should seek the advice of an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney to help you navigate your truck accident claim.
For more information, please contact the truck accident lawyers at Hawk Law Group at our nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We serve throughout the Central Savannah River Area and its surrounding areas:
We also serve in Edgefield County, SC.