In 2013, 9.6 percent of vehicles in all fatal auto crashes within the state of Georgia were large trucks, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The average for the U.S. was 8.7 percent, meaning that Georgia has a slightly higher than average level of danger presented by large commercial traffic. The reason large vehicles, such as 75-foot-long 18-wheelers, are so dangerous is that there is a lack of visibility and maneuverability. And in relation to normal passenger cars, pickup trucks, SUVs, and vans, large commercial vehicles travel slowly, weigh considerably more, take longer to slow down, and lack the same type of control around corners and steep declines. Because of all these reasons, collisions between these commercial vehicles and personal cars are all too common. If you or a loved one were injured in a Georgia collision involving a commercial vehicle of any type, you may be entitled to damages to pay for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and property damage.
The Severity of Commercial Vehicle Collisions
In almost every single scenario, the passengers of normal, privately owned passenger cars fare much worse than the occupants of large commercial vehicles. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, ten fatalities occur every day due to large truck collisions. On top of the immense size discrepancy between private and commercial vehicles, professional drivers are often sleep deprived, which can impair driving ability to the same levels seen in illegal blood alcohol contents.
Ascribing Liability Is a Complex Matter in Commercial Vehicle Collisions
Due to the sometimes catastrophic nature of large commercial vehicle accidents, such as a rollover on a busy freeway, there may be multiple parties affected. As such, hiring an experienced attorney is vital in large truck accidents. Furthermore, the matter of ascribing liability becomes more complex as well, due to the number of possible liable parties. A collision may be the fault of the driver if the accident occurred due to speeding, swerving, drowsy driving, distracted driving from the use of electronics, failing to yield, or improper merging. In fact, chances may be that liability may be placed upon the trucking company in the likely event that the driver is employed one. The law of respondeat superior holds the employer liable for the negligence of their employees. However, if the driver was an independent contractor, they would be held liable themselves. If the accident occurred due to loose cargo or improper loading, the trucking company, the company that loaded the truck, or the company that shipped it may be held liable. In the event that the accident was the result of faulty engineering or design, the manufacturer or designer may be held liable.
The Law Offices of Roger Ghai are Here to Help
If you or a loved one were injured in a Georgia commercial vehicle accident, give the Law Offices of Roger Ghai, P.C. a call today at 770-792-1000 to discuss your legal options for compensation.