Georgia Couple Alleged Trucker Violated Federal Regulations and Georgia Law

On October 13, 2018, a semi was traveling southbound in the third lane from the right on I- 285 in Fulton County, Georgia. Plaintiffs Pauline DeMarco and Joseph DeMarco were also traveling southbound on I-285 in the second lane from the right, when the big rig crossed into their lane of travel and crashed into the plaintiffs’ vehicle.

Pauline DeMarco and Joseph DeMarco brought a personal injury action against the driver of the semi, Shoazim Rakmanov; his employers, trucking companies Trucking Experts, LLC, Am Trans Expedite, LLC, and Ryder Integrated Logistics, Inc.; as well as their insurers, National Liability & Fire Insurance Company, Old Republic Insurance Company, and Ace American Insurance Company.

Defendant Trucking Experts, LLC is a transportation and logistics company based in Markham, Illinois. AM Trans Expedite is a trucking company based in Elk Grove, Illinois that specializes in full truckload as well as LTL, reefer, flatbed, and rail. Ryder Integrated Logistics, Inc. has its headquarters in Miami, Florida. The company provides global supply chain consulting and services.

Violation of Georgia Statutes

The Georgia couple alleged that the truck driver was negligent in the operation of the tractor-trailer truck he was driving while acting within the course and scope of his agency or employment with his employers. They claimed that the truck driver violated the following provisions of Georgia law:

  • Failure to maintain his lane, in violation of O.C.G.A § 40-6-48;
  • Failing to use due care while driving, in violation of O.C.G.A. § 40-6-241;
  • Operating his vehicle with reckless disregard for the safety of other persons on the roadway in violation of O.C.G.A. § 40-6-390; and
  • Failing to control his vehicle as to avoid a collision, in violation of the requirements of ordinary care and diligence.

The DeMarco’s said that as a result of the negligence of the defendants, they suffered both physical and mental injuries, and damages including medical expenses, future medical expenses, and other related expenses. Pauline DeMarco’s medical expenses at the time the complaint was filed were more than $161,600, and Joseph DeMarco’s medical expenses exceeded $27,500. The plaintiffs are asking for all of their special and general damages suffered due to the semi driver’s negligence.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) Applicable, the Plaintiffs Say

The FMCSRs apply to all employers, employees, and commercial motor vehicles that transport property or passengers in interstate commerce. “Interstate commerce” means any trade, traffic, or transportation that crosses state or national lines or that begins or ends across state or national boundaries.

The truck driver breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiffs, they said. His failure to operate his tractor-trailer truck in a safe and reasonable manner in violation of the laws of the State of Georgia constitutes negligence, and the semi driver’s negligence was the direct and proximate cause of the subject collision and the plaintiffs’ resulting injuries.

Moreover, the complaint says that the provisions of 49 CFR §301-399, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, are applicable to this case, and the defendants were required to obey these regulations at the time of the collision and at all relevant times prior to the collision.

In addition to a number of other causes of action including negligent hiring, training, supervision, and retention; negligent entrustment, and the violation of several state statutes, the plaintiffs alleged that the big rig driver violated numerous Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

Specific Violations of Federal Regulations caused the Accident, the Plaintiffs Allege

The plaintiffs said in their complaint that the defendant trucking companies had a duty to and enforce these rules and regulations to ensure their drivers and vehicles were reasonably safe but negligently failed to do so. The plaintiffs contend that the defendant trucking companies, through its agents and employees, knew, or should have known by exercising reasonable care, about the risks in operating a semi truck. Further, by simply exercising reasonable care, these risks would be reduced or eliminated. The plaintiffs listed the risks that include, but were not limited to:

  • The risks associated with unsafe drivers;
  • The risks associated with medically disqualified drivers;
  • The risks associated with fatigued drivers;
  • The risks associated with violations of the hours of service regulations;
  • The risks associated with the violation of proper maintenance standards;
  • The risks associated with failing to train drivers to obey the FMCSRs;
  • The risks associated with failing to have adequate risk management policies and procedures in place;
  • The risks associated with failing to have policies and procedures in place to identify undertrained and unqualified drivers;
  • The risks associated with failing to identify from prior semi accidents similar to this one, a root cause and implement policies, procedures, protocols, and practices to effectively reduce or eliminate the risk prior to the accident;
  • The risks associated with failing to appropriately implement and enforce risk management policies and procedures to identify the risks described above;
  • The risks associated with failing to appropriately implement and enforce risk management policies and procedures to reduce and eliminate the risks described above;
  • The risks associated with failure to appropriately implement and enforce risk management policies and procedures to monitor and assess the truck driver Rakmanov once he was hired;
  • The risks associated with failing to implement and follow a written safety plan;
  • The risks associated with failing to protect the members of the public, such as the DeMarcos, from the risks described above; and
  • The risks associated with failing to use the composite knowledge reasonably available to the defendants to analyze the data available to it to identify the risks, take steps to reduce or eliminate those risks, and to protect members of the public from those risks.

The case is still being litigated, and the plaintiffs will have to prove the elements of a negligence claim in a truck accident. Demarco et al v. Rakmanov et al, 1:20-cv-04256-SDG (N.D. Ga. October 14, 2020).

In a trucking accident, the plaintiffs must show that the defendants:

  • A duty to exercise reason care;
  • A breach of that duty;
  • The breach of duty caused your injuries; and
  • Provable injuries and/or monetary loss.

Contact an Experienced Atlanta Truck Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a semi accident, you should work with an experienced Atlanta truck accident attorney like those of Tobin Injury Law. We understand state and federal commercial carrier laws and have represented hundreds of auto drivers and motorcyclists who have been hurt because of the negligence of a truck driver and trucking companies. We will investigate the driver’s condition to determine if he or she had a health issue or was driving while impaired that contributed to your accident.

Before you speak with a claims adjuster from an insurance company, contact an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer at Tobin Injury Law.