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Why Trucking Accident Lawsuits are Different from Car Accident Suits

Posted on - Wednesday, November 4, 2015 under Car Accident, FAQ, Truck Accidents

2015 was a particularly tragic year for tractor-trailer accidents on Georgia’s highways. During the first half of this year, it seemed as if the news was filled every week with horrific reports of fatal collisions involving big rigs, like the two crashes in April and May on I-16 near Savannah that killed a total of ten people.

According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Georgia is among the top five states for fatality crashes involving large trucks, with 153 people killed in 2012 alone.

The sheer size and weight of big-rigs increases the likelihood of catastrophic injuries in the event of a collision. If you’ve been seriously injured or a loved one has been killed in an accident, you need to make sure you have a Georgia personal injury lawyer who has the experience and skill to handle catastrophic injury cases.

But you also need a trucking accident lawyer who knows the unique and complex issues involved in trucking accident lawsuits. While accidents involving two passenger cars can be fairly straightforward from a legal perspective, truck accident lawsuits have layers of complexity that require specific experience and knowledge.

Two big issues that make big-rig accident lawsuits unique are:

  • Federal regulations. Commercial trucks, truck drivers, and trucking companies must comply with numerous regulations and requirements established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Understanding these regulations, which are subject to changes that lawyers need to be aware of, can be the key to establishing liability in a trucking accident case. For example, there are regulations that govern how long drivers can stay on the road, how much cargo can be carried, and how trucks need to be inspected and maintained. Failure to comply with federal regulations can be used as evidence of the defendants’ negligence.
  • Multiple Parties. As I’ve previously discussed, one of the biggest differences between car accidents and tractor-trailer accidents is that there may be multiple parties who can be held accountable for injuries sustained in a collision. In addition to any negligence by the truck driver, including impaired driving or driving too many hours in a row in violation of federal regulations, the trucking company may be responsible for failure to properly maintain vehicles or for encouraging drivers to drive in a way that increases the risk of an accident, and if a truck or any of its parts is found to be defective, the truck manufacturer may also be held responsible.

When you are looking for a lawyer after being injured in a trucking accident, you need to make that your lawyer has a full understanding of the special issues involved in trucking accident lawsuits. Ask them questions about their experience and record with such cases so you can make the right choice.

At The Parian Law Firm, we have extensive experience helping individuals and families who are living in the aftermath of a big-rig accident. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a trucking accident, please give us a call at (770) 727-5550 or chat live online with a member of our staff today.