Truck Accident Lawyer in Douglasville, Georgia
Most areas of road safety are improving in the USA but deaths in semi truck accidents went up in 2019. Truck drivers deaths rose to 885, which is a 1% increase on the number of fatal accidents in 2018. Tragically, when there’s a car involved in a semi truck crash, other people are usually killed or injured too. In fact, 4,700 people died in accidents with large trucks in 2019. When you read these shocking figures, you can understand why so many people need a truck accident lawyer.
Another reason for people in our town to look for a truck accident law firm is that 2 notorious highways run through Georgia. It’s all too often that we hear about a semi truck crash on the I-75 and the I-20, which runs straight through Douglasville, is the second most dangerous highway in Georgia. There are frequent truck accidents, including crashes involving 18 wheelers and tractor trailers, on both these routes. Between 2015 and 2017, just in the summer months, there were 55 fatalities on the I-20.
The team at Murphy Law Firm drives the roads around Douglasville so we know exactly how it feels to travel the I-20 on our daily commute. Just like you, we know how vulnerable we can feel in our cars, on motorbikes or bicycles and as pedestrians when we’re sharing space with 18 wheelers and tractor trailers.
5 Things to Know About Truck Accidents
The Policy Advice website highlights 5 key statistics about truck accidents, based on data from across the United States. They say that:
- A 52% increase in these accidents has been noted since 2009.
- 74% of all fatal passenger vehicle cases include a large truck.
- Tire defects account for around 30% (the most common cause) of all truck-related accidents.
- Most of these accidents occur during the day — between noon and 3 PM, up to 19%.
- 68% of all truck fatalities are passenger vehicle occupants.
Important Regulations on Semi Truck Safety
Federal laws set out the regulations and safety standards for commercial vehicles. This means that if you are involved in an accident with a truck in Georgia, or any other state, the vehicle should meet minimum standards. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has a mission to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses by improving commercial motor vehicle safety through “regulation, education, enforcement, research, and technology.” If you are involved in an accident with any truck or motor carrier that doesn’t meet the safety standards, the FMCSA will investigate.
Driver Fatigue – The Law and the Risks
Unfortunately, driver fatigue is still the biggest cause of truck accidents. This is still true, even though the regulations are strict and electronic logging devices (ELDs) have been mandatory since 2017. These devices record journey and rest times and they are much harder to manipulate than the old paper logs. The FMCSA reports that ELDs protect drivers from pressure to drive when they are too tired and that they:
- Save $570 million annually through crash reductions
- Save $2.4 billion annually in paperwork and
- Deliver total annual savings of $1.2 billion
The rules on ELDs mean that, if you’ve been involved in an accident with a semi-truck or any other regulated driver who has not followed the rules on rest times, you will have clear grounds for a claim. In fact, if you are involved in an accident with any commercial vehicle – semi truck, large truck or bus – and the driver or owner has broken the rules or the vehicle doesn’t meet the standards for safety, the FMCSA will get involved in your claim.
Georgia Rules for Motor Carriers & Consumers
In addition to Federal laws, the Georgia Department for Public Safety is responsible for regulating all vehicles that carry members of the public. This means that all buses, coaches and limousines need to follow these additional standards:
Driver registration: From July 1, 2015, all drivers are required to register under the Georgia Intrastate Motor Carrier (GIMC) Registration Program.
Driver health: All drivers must hold a valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate from a Medical Examiner with valid certification on the National Registry.
Tired driver rules: “In accordance with Title 49 CFR Parts 350 and 395, intrastate carriers operating solely in Georgia must comply with the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) final rule beginning January 1, 2019. Drivers and carriers who currently utilize the short haul (100 or 150 air mile) exception contained in 49 CFR 395.1(e) or who are required to complete a record of duty status 8 days or less in a 30 day period are exempt from the ELD requirement.”
Who is covered by the rules: rideshare network services, transportation referral services, transportation referral service providers, and certain taxi services doing business or operating in the state of Georgia must all register with the Georgia Department of Public Safety.
FAQs for Truck Accident Lawyers in Douglas County
Making a Claim after a Semi-Truck Accident
At Murphy Law Firm, we want you to be able to get legal help regardless of your financial situation. Therefore, we use a contingency fee, which means you pay nothing unless we win. If we don’t get you financial recovery, we don’t get paid. Arrange a free consultation with us to talk about your compensation case and we will take responsibility for making the investigations, handling the insurance companies, filing the claims and all other aspects of your case. You are in safe hands with us.