We see them all over the roads: Tractor-trailers carrying cargo from one side of the country to another. Because of their large size and heavy loads, trucks can be become a serious weapon when involved in a wreck, especially when they come into direct contact with a typical passenger vehicle. In fact, according to truckaccidents.org, about 98 percent of all semi accidents result in at least one fatality.
Although many truck drivers take their job seriously and adhere to all safety requirements and ensure that their truck is properly taken care of on the road, other truck drivers may not be as cautious.
Unfortunately, tractor-trailer wrecks are more common than you would think. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2016 there were 4,440 large truck and buses that were involved in fatal crashes. This was a two percent increase from the previous year. It was estimated that there were 119,000 injury crashes involving large trucks or buses.
What is causing all these truck crashes? If you or a loved one has been involved in a tractor-trailer wreck, what kind of recourse do you have?
The Top Causes of Tractor-trailer Wrecks
When people think about tractor-trailer wrecks, often the first thing that pops into their head as the cause of the accident is driver fatigue. However, this isn’t the top cause of an accident according to FMCSA. Prescription drug use by the tractor-trailer driver was the top associated factor of an accident, coming in at 26% of the total. The second leading cause of a tractor-trailer wreck was traveling too fast for conditions, which came in at 23%, and was followed by unfamiliarity with the roadway, over-the-counter drug use, inadequate surveillance, fatigue, and doing an illegal maneuver.
How is Fault Determined?
When a plaintiff is trying to prove that a truck driver was negligent, they must prove fault. When you are in a car accident with a commercial truck, it must be proven that the driver was negligent doing something like driving recklessly, talking on their cell phone, or driving over the maximum hours a trucker may legally be on the road.
One way to determine fault is to investigate evidence in the accident, like the “black box” in the commercial truck that records data like the truck’s speed or application of the brakes. A personal injury attorney can also look at the driver’s employment file, maintenance records, and other information about the employee to get more insight into what occurred during the accident.
Have you or a loved one been involved in a tractor-trailer accident with a negligent truck driver in Georgia? You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, or even for pain and suffering. You need a legal team you can trust—call the Fry Law team today at 404-969-1284 to set up a legal consultation.