Vehicle accidents have been an unfortunate reality ever since cars began to be mass-manufactured. They can range from minor fender-benders to more serious multi-car pile-ups. In many vehicle accidents, it is a crapshoot whether the accident will be serious enough to cause an injury or it will be one that you can walk away from. But if one of those vehicles is a truck, then the odds will not be in your favor.
Trucks are far larger than the other vehicles on the road and they outweigh them by several tons. That makes truck accidents extremely hazardous to other vehicles and their occupants. A truck accident could mean potentially serious and permanent injuries or even death. Unfortunately, the size and weight of the truck are not the only things that put other drivers at a disadvantage. The trucking company could do so as well if the injured driver decides to seek a settlement claim. That is because they will have an army of lawyers and millions of dollars behind them.
Fortunately, the Pendergrass Law Firm can even the odds. We are a personal injury law firm that has considerable knowledge and experience concerning truck accident law in Georgia. Trucks have a different set of rules and regulations than regular drivers do and we are familiar with all of them. That means that we can use that knowledge to give you the best chance of getting the compensation that you need to take care of accident-related expenses like medical bills, repair costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. So if you need a truck accident attorney in Gwinnett County, contact us at the Pendergrass Law Firm and we will fight to get you the justice that you deserve.
The Types of Truck Accidents
Due to their size and weight, the kinds of accidents a truck can cause are often different from those of a regular vehicle. A truck can also get into the same types of accidents as other vehicles but their aforementioned size and weight make those accidents much more destructive. Those factors could also result in significant traffic delays because the large size of the truck and trailer could block several traffic lanes. It could also mean that cleaning up the mess caused by the accident could take a long time, especially if the contents of the trailer get spilled.
When a truck loses control and skids while making a turn, it is possible for the trailer to swing around to the side of the truck, resulting in a V shape, much like a partially open jackknife. These kinds of accidents could cause a lot of destruction because the truck and trailer could collide with a lot of vehicles as they are skidding.
These are often the result of jackknife accidents and as the name suggests, they result in the truck and trailer being overturned. This presents a danger to the driver of the truck as well as all the other vehicles in the truck’s path. That is because the truck could potentially plow into other vehicles as it falls over. Even worse, the truck could fall onto another smaller vehicle, potentially trapping the occupants inside. It goes without saying that a rollover truck accident is extremely dangerous to all involved.
Under Ride Accidents
Much like jackknife accidents, underride accidents are a type of accident that is unique to trucks. This is when a vehicle behind the truck gets wedged underneath the trailer. It would be the equivalent of a rear-end collision with a regular vehicle, but the elevated height of the trailer means that the car gets stuck underneath the trailer instead.
In some cases, the responsibility of the accident lies with the driver of the smaller vehicle because they were not paying attention. However, there are other times when the truck driver brakes suddenly, which does not give any vehicles behind them time to react. Underride accidents can be very dangerous because they can cause gruesome injuries to occupants of the front seats of the vehicle that runs into the truck’s trailer.
When a truck crashes into the vehicle ahead of it, the potential for injury and destruction is very high. The sheer size and weight of the truck mean that it can seriously mangle the car and its occupants. It could also cause a chain reaction by knocking cars into each other. A rear-end collision could also cause the previously mentioned accidents as the driver struggles to bring their truck to a stop. That means a simple rear-end collision could end up causing a huge trail of destruction.
The Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck drivers can fall prey to the same mistakes that regular drivers do, the big difference, of course, is that they are in a much larger vehicle that is capable of causing far more destruction.
This is one of the biggest causes of truck accidents. Driving while tired is a problem with many drivers, but it is particularly prevalent among truck drivers. That is because they drive for hours at a time with very little sleep. The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) limits a driver’s time on the road to eleven consecutive hours.
Even if a driver follows that rule, that is still a lot of time to go without rest, but things get even worse when a driver violates that rule. That is because a tired, drowsy driver is nearly as bad as a drunk driver because they can easily lose control of their vehicle as they drift in and out of consciousness. Even if the driver manages to remain conscious, their reaction times and judgment are severely impaired from the lack of sleep. That means the likelihood that a drowsy driver can cause an accident is very high.
Driving While Intoxicated
Some truck drivers will drive while under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs. The illicit drugs in question are usually amphetamines, methamphetamines, or other stimulants. They are usually used to combat the previously stated problem of driving while fatigued. The problems of drunk driving are well known by now, but driving under the influence of stimulants is also bad. That is because they can make a person twitchy and agitated, which could affect their judgment. Long-term abuse of stimulants could also cause circulatory problems which could make the driver dizzy and lightheaded when they need to be highly focused.
Speeding, tailgating, erratic lane changes, and more are dangerous driving behaviors that are common to a lot of different drivers. However, those kinds of behavior are far more dangerous when the driver is behind the wheel of a big rig. That is because they are much less agile than smaller cars so if the truck driver makes a mistake, it will be much harder to correct. The size of the truck also means that it can cause far more damage as well.
This is a problem commonly associated with drivers of regular vehicles, but truck drivers engage in this kind of behavior as well. And when they do the consequences can be disastrous. When someone takes their eyes off the road for just a few seconds, it is the equivalent of driving with their eyes closed for several feet. You can easily see how dangerous that can be. It gets even more dangerous when truck drivers do so because they could easily run into a car that is ahead of them. And any car that a truck runs into will come off second best.
The Effects of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents accounted for nearly 5000 fatal crashes in 2018 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is almost 10% of the total crashes that year. That statistic gets even worse when you realize that 67% of those fatalities were the occupants of the smaller vehicles involved in the truck accident. That is a stark reminder of just how dangerous a truck accident is to the ordinary driver.
That is why anyone who has been in a truck accident in Gwinnett County should contact the Pendergrass Law Firm as soon as they can. We have represented the victims of truck accidents throughout the years and we know just how devastating they can be. That is why we are not afraid to face the trucking companies in order to do right by our clients and get them the compensation that they need and deserve.
The Pendergrass Law Firm Will Help You With Your Truck Accident
Anyone who has been in a truck accident deserves all of the compensation to which they are entitled. That is why we at the Pendergrass Law Firm will fight on behalf of our clients to make sure that they get the compensation that they need to take care of expenses like medical bills, repair costs, lost wages, and more. We know that those expenses are far greater in a truck accident which is why we will fight to make sure that our clients are well taken care of.
If that means taking on a big trucking company, then so be it. We know the rules and regulations governing the trucking industry and we will use that knowledge when we face the trucking companies and their lawyers. There is nothing the truck accident lawyers at the Pendergrass Law Firm will not do for our clients to make sure that they get the justice that they deserve.