Three people were killed recently when the car they were in was hit by a tractor-trailer on Interstate 75, just north of North Marietta Parkway.
Marietta Police say that a 2009 Nissan Rogue was stopped in the center lane of I-75 northbound just before 6AM when it was struck by a tractor-trailer.
The truck driver wasn’t hurt, and it’s not clear why the Nissan was stopped before the crash. The Marietta Police Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) Unit will investigate the wreck.
Note that just because the Nissan was stopped in the road doesn’t mean that the driver of the car was totally at fault. There may be other factors involved, and the family of the victims may decide to hire a truck accident attorney to determine if the truck driver or others were at fault and to determine if they can sue for compensation.
What Are Common Causes Truck Accidents in Atlanta?
In this recent accident in Marietta, the investigation may produce evidence that shows the truck driver or another party is liable for the death of the victims.
There are several factors that can cause tractor-trailer accidents. The most frequently recorded causes and contributing factors of truck accidents include:
- Driver fatigue;
- Distracted driving;
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- A driver’s lack of training;
- Improperly loaded cargo;
- Disobeying traffic rules;
- Inadequate driver safety programs;
- Inadequate safety inspections;
- Improper maintenance; and
- Poor weather conditions.
Any one or several of these factors may be found to have contributed to the deaths of the victims in Marietta on I-75. Perhaps the truck driver could have stopped in time or avoided the Nissan if it weren’t for his speeding or his distracted driving, or his semi’s faulty brakes. A thorough investigation will tell what really happened.
What Parties Can Be Sued in a Trucking Accident?
If you or a family member is hurt in a tractor-trailer crash, an experienced Atlanta truck accident attorney from Tobin Injury Law may be able to help you recover compensation for your injuries. Your attorney will investigate your truck crash and determine if another party was at fault for the accident.
In a truck accident, there are several possible parties who may be found to be responsible:
The truck operator or driver may be found to be at fault if his or her negligence caused the crash. The attorneys at Tobin Injury Law have worked on cases where the driver of the semi was found to be driving while texting, under the influence of medication or illegal substances, falling asleep at the wheel, or failing to follow the rules of the road.
The trucking company may be at fault if it violated federal or state law in the operation of its fleet, if it’s found to be liable for negligent hiring of poor drivers, or their driver training and fleet operations are deficient.
The owner of the semi trailer. The truck driver and his or her employer are typically transporting cargo for another business and may use another company’s trailer to carry the load. Because of this, the trailer owner may be liable for a crash if it failed to maintain its trailer in proper working condition.
The cargo company can be held responsible because a common cause of truck accidents is overloaded or improperly loaded cargo.
The manufacturer of the tractor-trailer can also be at fault for an accident due to a design defect, such as an electrical failure or brake problems.
The maintenance company that provides maintenance and repairs for the truck and/or the trailer. The trucking company or the company that owns the trailer may work with an independent equipment repair company to service to inspect the semi or the trailer. This repair shop may be liable for an accident if it’s discovered that it doesn’t use up-to-date diagnostic tools and techniques to be certain that the truck or the semi trailer is serviced properly. Also, the service center may have used inferior replacement parts that are found to be defective and unsafe. Finally, its mechanics may not be adequately trained to discover all of the maintenance problems with the tractor or trailer.
The company that provided safety compliance to the trucking company. Trucking companies will frequently hire a training company to provide safety and compliance programs to their drivers. Third-party companies also conduct safety audits for compliance with federal safety rules, and another firm may provide the federally-mandated training and testing of drivers for alcohol or controlled substances. An accident may be in part caused by faulty procedures, inadequate training, or a violation of federal trucking regulations. The company hired for those aspects of the truck company’s operations may be a party to a lawsuit for an accident victim’s injuries.
Government safety agencies and law enforcement. A lack of or poor enforcement of traffic laws by the Georgia State Patrol, the Georgia Department of Public Safety, or the local police department may also have contributed to the accident.
As you can see, there can be a number of parties that may be responsible in some way for a tractor-trailer accident. Tobin Injury Law will dig to find out who’s responsible.
Why is a Commercial Trucking Accident Lawsuit Different than a Regular Car Accident?
In addition to the number of parties that may be responsible, truck drivers must comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) which set out the minimum standards for drivers of commercial tractor-trailers. For example, a truck driver can only work a maximum of 14 consecutive hours after 10 consecutive hours off-duty. Drivers’ driving time is limited to a maximum of 11 hours during the 14-hour on-duty period.
There’s also a 60/70-Hour Duty Limit in which drivers can’t exceed 60 hours on duty over a week, or 70 hours on duty over eight days.
Violations of the FMCSRs can be used as evidence in litigation when a person is injured by the negligence of the truck driver or his or her company.
Should I Hire An Attorney After A Truck Accident?
Yes, and Tobin Injury Law can help.
Georgia law stipulates wrongful death compensation should be distributed among family members. You should work with an experienced Atlanta truck accident attorney. Contact Tobin Injury Law, and we will work to get you the compensation you deserve. We know what to look for when suing a trucking company.
You can contact an Atlanta truck accident attorney 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 404-JUSTICE (404-587-8423) or using our online contact form. Tobin Injury Law offers free consultations and will be glad to answer your questions.