Truck accidents can be some of the most dangerous types of automobile accidents on the road. Whether it is a truck colliding with another truck, or a truck colliding with a car – the size and impact of the truck can have dire consequences for the drivers and passengers involved. Some of the most serious consequences include amputation injury, brain trauma, spinal cord injuries, and even death. Marietta truck accident attorney Norman Miller understands the risks and challenges that arise in the aftermath of a collision with a tractor-trailer. At Miller Legal Services, we are committed to providing our clients with the aggressive legal representation they need to seek the compensation they deserve.Applicable Regulations for Truck Drivers
Truck accidents differ from regular car accidents in that truck drivers are subject to the regular traffic laws as well as additional state and federal regulations. Given the prevalence of interstate truck activity across the United States, the rationale behind the additional regulations is that they serve as safeguards to minimize risks on the road. Some of the regulations are as follows:
- Hours of Service – Due to the dangers of driving while one is fatigued, both federal and Georgia law limit the amount of time a truck driver can be on the road in one stretch. Drivers are only permitted to drive for a maximum of 14 hours at once. Additionally, drivers are not allowed to drive after 60 hours on duty in a sequential seven-day work week. Hours of service regulations are designed to keep the driver alert and minimize the risks associated with driving while exhausted.
- Drug/Alcohol Testing – Drivers can be randomly drug tested at any given time. Truck drivers are forbidden from operating a truck within four hours of consuming alcohol. Additionally, there are mandatory drug test requirements for truck drivers if they have been in an accident in which a death has occurred. Once again, these additional regulations are put into place in order to prevent truck drivers from getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Documentation – In order to verify that truck drivers are in compliance with the applicable truck laws, employers and drivers are required to keep certain records such as drug and alcohol test results; vehicle inspection reports; hours of duty; hours of service logbooks; a daily logbook and more. This information must be updated in a timely and regular manner. The stringent documentation procedures are for the truck drivers and their employers to be able to show that they acted within the parameters of the law.
Under vicarious liability law, an injured party may be able to sue not only a careless truck driver but that truck driver’s employer as well. Under agency rules, when an employee is acting within the scope of employment, then he is considered to be acting directly for his employer. For example, if an accident occurs while the truck driver is en route to make a delivery for an employer, then that employer would likely be vicariously liable for the accident.
The exception to this rule is if the truck driver detoured from the delivery route on a personal mission and got into an accident while on the personal detour. In that case, the detour would not be considered within the scope of employment and, therefore, the employer would not be vicariously liable.Spoliation of Evidence
Spoliation of evidence refers to when a party destroys or removes evidence that would be helpful in determining liability in a particular case. Under Georgia law, the presumption is that if a party tampers with evidence in an effort to keep that evidence out of the courtroom, then that evidence must have been unfavorable to the party who tampered with it. For example, if a truck driver destroys a logbook, the assumption is the logbook contained unfavorable evidence for the truck driver.
In order to prevent issues of spoliation of evidence, it is best to contact an attorney in a timely manner following a truck accident so that he can promptly launch an investigation on your behalf.Georgia Injury Lawyer Prepared to Help You Today
Truck accidents are complicated for a number of reasons, including the fact that multiple defendants may be involved and ascertaining liability can become tricky. It is critical to have an experienced Marietta truck accident lawyer who is well versed in both state and federal law on your side when it comes to trucking law. To discuss your situation in more detail, call us today at 770-284-3727 or contact us online for a free, no obligation consultation.
- Driver Fatigue
- Overweight / Overloaded Trucks
- Wide Turns
- Unsafe Driving / Driving too Fast for Conditions
- Blind Spots
- Brake Failure
- Lack of Truck Driver Training
- Falling Debris
- State Trucking Regulations
- Negligent Supervision
- Stopping Distance
- Negligent Hiring
- Jackknife Accidents
- Delivery Vehicle Accidents