Trucking & 18-Wheeler Accidents
Atlanta trucking accident attorney Thomas Nagel defends victims injured in accidents involving trucks and commercial carriers. We have successfully handled all types of cases involving accidents caused by the negligence of others. While principally located in Atlanta, our firm offers its services to injured parties not only in Fulton County, Cobb County, DeKalb County, Gwinnett County, Cherokee County, Forsyth County and Douglas County, but also throughout the State of Georgia.
Trucks, 18-wheelers, and tractor trailers transport goods across state lines. Companies that employ these trucks are called commercial carriers and their drivers need a commercial driver’s license to operate. Each year, large trucks cause some of the most devastating accidents on the road. These fatalities are expected to rise with the growing number of trucks. While these vehicles are integral to interstate commerce, their size and impact in an accident can result in serious injury.
Common causes of trucking accidents include:
- Flammable cargo
- Jackknife collisions
- Vehicles in “blind spots”
- Driving while intoxicated
- Improper truck maintenance
- Excessive speed or loss of control
- Swerving into lanes of opposing traffic
A combination of federal and state law governs trucking accidents in Georgia. In the past, commercial carriers took advantage of loose regulations by classifying drivers as non-employees, avoiding liability for accidents caused by their negligence. Today, stricter laws hold commercial carriers legally liable for the negligence of their agents.
The Interstate Commerce Carrier Act is a federal law that requires trucking companies to carry surety bonds or insurance policies sufficient to pay any final judgment recovered for bodily injury or death resulting from the negligent operation, maintenance, or use of the vehicle. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act also holds commercial carriers liable for maintaining the vehicle, training the drivers, and upholding safety standards.
State laws governing commercial carriers are set forth in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated. Section 46-7-3 requires motor carriers to obtain a certificate of public convenience which may not be issued until a surety bond or evidence of a policy of indemnity insurance is filed with the Public Service Commission (PSC). The financial security required as a pre-requisite for operation of a commercial carrier in Georgia is intended for the protection of the public against injuries caused by negligent acts of the carrier, its servants, or agents. The mandatory insurance policy protects claimants who can recover damages by suing the carrier or its employees for negligence.
These laws allow accident victims to file legal claims not only against the negligent driver, but also the owner, the company employing the truck, and their insurers. Injured parties may recover compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and damages for pain and suffering. Where the injured victim died as a result of the accident, surviving family members may also sue for wrongful death, recovering compensation for funeral expenses, lost income, and damages associated with the loss of relationship with the deceased.
If you were injured in a truck accident, truck accident lawyer Thomas Nagel can help. We understand the importance of identifying all liable parties and will advocate for your best interests. Our firm has prevailed in many types of truck accident cases, recovering due compensation for injured victims in Georgia. Thomas Nagel is committed to defending your rights and helping you achieve compensation for damages through trial or through settlement. For a free consultation, call (404) 255-1600 or contact us online.