Nestled alongside busy Interstate 75, Valdosta is no stranger to heavy truck traffic. Interstate 75 is a major artery of commerce in the Southeast, bringing produce north and manufactured goods south. Considering that 70 percent of all freight in America is transported by tractor trailer, the trucking industry is a vital element of both Georgia’s and the U.S.’s economy. But tractor trailers, also known as semi trucks or big rigs, are a dangerous presence on our roadways, particularly to pedestrians and the passengers of smaller vehicles. Because of their massive size and weight, tractor trailer accidents tend to result in serious injuries and often death.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident involving a tractor trailer, you and your family are likely facing mounting medical bills and other expenses. To recover your losses and secure your future, you will need the representation of a Valdosta truck accident attorney. The legal team at the Valdosta offices of Farah & Farah can be reached for a free consultation at 229-471-1676.
Tractor Trailers of Today: Sophisticated, Yet Still Dangerous
The big rigs of today are much more sophisticated than the semi trucks of even just a decade ago. Many are equipped with video cameras and computers similar to the black boxes found on commercial airliners. The reason for these features is liability. The trucking industry earns in excess of $250 billion every year and is heavily insured. These hi-tech features are installed on semi trucks in an attempt to mitigate the trucking company’s liability in the case of an accident. Yet even with this sophisticated equipment, tractor trailers are still a deadly presence or Americas roads. Why? Because they are still manufactured, loaded, maintained, and driven by human beings who are vulnerable lapses of judgment, fatigue, error, and greed.
How Trucking Companies Violate Federal Laws
Due to the inherent dangers tractor trailers pose to the occupants of other vehicles, the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) has established strict rules the industry is supposed to follow. But, trucking companies are in the business of making money, and many encourage their drivers to violate USDOT mandates in an attempt to increase profits. These violations can include the following:
- Overloading trailers (the federal limit for a fully loaded tractor trailer is 80,000 pounds, or 40 tons)
- Driving more hours per shift than allowed
- Skipping rest breaks
- Driving too many days in a row
- Driving while fatigued
- The use of amphetamines
- Driving in poor weather conditions
- Skipping routine truck maintenance
Who Can Be Named as a Defendant In a Big Rig Accident?
Who can be named defendant in a big rig accident depends largely on the cause of the accident. The following parties are those that are commonly named in truck accident claims:
- The truck’s operator (the truck driver)
- The trucking company
- The party that loaded the truck (many truck accidents, particularly rollovers, are caused by improper loading)
- The manufacturer of the truck (if a vehicle defect contributed to the accident)
- The manufacturer of a truck part (if a defective part contributed to the accident)
- The party charged with maintaining the truck (mechanics, etc.)
Compensation for a Georgia Truck Accident Injury
If you or a family member has been involved in a tractor trailer accident, you or they may pursue compensation for any of the following damages:
- Property loss and damage
- Current medical bills
- Future medical bills related to your injuries
- Costs of physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Costs of vehicle and household modifications (such as wheelchair ramps, lifts, etc.)
- Permanent injury or disability
- Lost wages
- Loss of career or earning capacity
- Diminished earning capacity
- Emotional anguish and mental duress
- Hedonic damages for loss of joy of life
Wrongful Death Damages in a Georgia Truck Accident Claim
In the unfortunate event that you’ve lost a loved one in a tractor trailer accident, you may seek compensation for any of the following wrongful death damages:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering of the deceased before they died
- Loss of future income
- Loss of future benefits (such as medical benefits and retirement benefits)
- Loss of love, affection, companionship, etc.
- Loss of household duties the deceased performed (such as childcare, chores, property and vehicle maintenance, etc.)
Farah & Farah’s Valdosta GA Truck Accident Attorneys Are Here to Help
Securing a settlement for a Valdosta tractor trailer accident is no easy task. Trucking companies are represented by large and powerful insurance companies and their attorneys. To get the settlement you and your family deserves, you’ll need the guidance of a seasoned Georgia truck accident attorney. Many people aren’t aware of the cameras and computers trucks are equipped with that monitor a truck and driver’s performance. A Valdosta GA accident attorney knows about such features and will subpoena the trucking company for that information. To find out if you have a valid personal injury or wrongful death claim, call the Valdosta law offices of Farah & Farah at 229-471-1676 to schedule a free consultation.