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Brunswick, GA Trucking Accident Attorneys

Trucking Accident Lawyers in Brunswick Help Our Clients Win

After a truck accident, swift and strategic actions are crucial in safeguarding your legal rights and ensuring fair compensation for damages. If you suffered serious injuries from an accident involving a big rig truck, contact Butler Prather LLP immediately. You won't find a better law firm to represent you in Brunswick, GA, or anywhere else in the nation.

Butler Prather LLP has won over a billion dollars in settlements and verdicts. Call (800) 242-2962 and schedule a free case evaluation with one of our Georgia personal injury attorneys today about your legal options.

Why Choose Our Brunswick Firm to Represent You in a Truck Accident Case?

Accidents involving commercial motor vehicles often lead to serious and debilitating injuries. As such, they generally present significant financial burdens to victims and their families. If you or a loved one recently sustained an injury in a truck accident, you may be eligible for compensation. The Brunswick attorneys at Butler Prather LLP have extensive experience in the federal laws that govern these types of cases. You can rely on our knowledge for many reasons, including:

  • We are one of Brunswick's most experienced law firms, operating in the area for over 35 years.
  • Our proven success speaks for itself – we have won nine verdicts exceeding $100 million and over 60 verdicts and settlements surpassing $10 million.
  • We won the largest collected judgment in the United States.
  • Our firm works on a contingency-fee basis, which means our clients owe nothing until we win.

What Types of Truck Accidents Occur?

Injuries caused by truck accidents are often serious or even fatal. Drivers on the road are at risk from the following types of accidents:

  • Rollover Accidents: When trucks travel at high speeds, they can easily lose control. In inclement weather or as the result of negligent operation, this can lead to a rollover.
  • Jackknifing: This unique type of accident occurs as the result of abrupt braking or wet roads and involves the cab and trailer moving in opposite directions.
  • Tire Blowouts: Due to the long hours trucks spend on the road, tires require constant maintenance. Over- or under-inflation of a truck's tires can lead to a disaster on local highways.
  • Underride Accidents: This occurs when a smaller vehicle crashes into the rear or side of a truck and slides underneath it.
  • Rear-End Collisions: This type of accident is particularly dangerous when trucks are involved due to their massive weight and stopping distance.
  • Wide-Turn Accidents: These are common with trucks, especially in urban areas with limited space. These accidents happen when trucks make right turns and swing to the left to maneuver the turn, potentially colliding with vehicles in adjacent lanes.

What Are Common Causes of Truck Accidents?

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) collects data regarding truck accidents and their causes. According to their research, the majority of trucking accidents arise from driver error. Trucking companies that cut corners by hiring unsafe drivers and failing to properly train and monitor their employees may be liable for injuries resulting from their negligence.

Driver fatigue is a state of exhaustion that reduces a driver's reaction time, impairs judgment, and increases the likelihood of an accident. Long hours on the road without adequate breaks lead to fatigue, which is often compounded by irregular sleep patterns and the pressure to meet delivery deadlines. The consequences of driving while fatigued are comparable to driving under the influence of alcohol.

Speeding is a significant contributor to truck accidents. When truck drivers exceed speed limits, they need more distance to stop, especially in heavy vehicles loaded with cargo. The impact of a collision at high speed is much more severe.

Reckless driving behaviors, such as changing lanes abruptly, failing to signal, and disregarding traffic signs, endanger other motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists.

Distracted driving is a critical safety issue for truck drivers. Technology, while beneficial in many ways, can also be a significant source of distraction. Using smartphones, navigation systems, and other in-cab devices takes a driver's focus away from the road. Georgia law requires hands-free devices for all drivers.

Mechanical failure in trucks leads to serious accidents on the road. Brake failure, tire blowouts, and engine problems endanger everyone along the roadway. Preventing mechanical failures requires trucking companies to perform rigorous inspections and regular truck maintenance. Investing in quality parts and skilled maintenance personnel is crucial.

Who Is Liable in a Brunswick Trucking Accident?

Liability in a trucking accident may involve interpretation of both federal and state laws. Additionally, many different parties may be responsible for injuries a plaintiff sustains in an accident. An attorney will conduct a thorough investigation into the case to determine the parties responsible for the accident, including:

  • The driver of the commercial vehicle
  • The employer of the truck driver
  • The manufacturer or party responsible for maintaining the truck
  • A government entity, when an accident arises from negligent upkeep of a roadway

What Should You Do After a Truck Accident?

After a truck accident, contacting law enforcement should be one of your first actions. When the police arrive, they create an official accident report, which serves as a critical piece of evidence for your case. The report will typically include the officer's observations, statements from those involved, and sometimes an initial assessment of who might be at fault.

Make sure to provide accurate information to the officers, but avoid self-incriminating statements or unnecessary speculation about the cause of the accident. It's also important to obtain the responding officer's badge number and the report number so you can easily request a copy of the report later. This document will be invaluable when you're dealing with insurance companies or if your case goes to court.

How Can Your Brunswick Truck Accident Lawyer Help?

If you or someone you love suffered severe injuries due to an accident involving a commercial truck, you'll want to find an attorney who seeks maximum compensation. The Brunswick truck accident lawyers at Butler Prather LLP are well-equipped to take your case and represent your rights during this difficult time.

Due to the inherent complexity of these types of cases, truck accidents require the assistance of an attorney. In many cases, multiple parties may share fault for a victim's injuries. This requires negotiation with several insurance companies to demand fair and full compensation for a victim's losses.

The Georgia truck accident lawyers at Butler Prather LLP work diligently to identify the negligent parties and hold them responsible for a victim's damages. When Butler Prather LLP files a truck accident injury claim or lawsuit, we include the following types of damages:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Medications
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical devices
  • Disfigurement
  • In-home nursing care
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Wheelchair ramps for your home
  • Wrongful death

What Are Hours of Service in Federal Trucking Regulations?

To combat driver fatigue, regulations such as Hours of Service (HOS) rules have been implemented, limiting the number of hours truck drivers can operate without rest. Compliance with these regulations helps drivers get the rest they need, reducing the risk of fatigue-related accidents.

Hours of Service (HOS) regulations are critical for the safety of truck drivers and the public. These rules dictate how long drivers can operate a commercial motor vehicle before taking a break. For example, property-carrying drivers are limited to 11 hours of driving within a 14-hour workday after 10 consecutive hours off duty. Drivers must take a 30-minute break after driving for eight cumulative hours without at least a 30-minute interruption.

For the trucking industry, these regulations are not just recommendations; they are mandatory and enforced with strict penalties for non-compliance. Failing to adhere to HOS can lead to fines and out-of-service orders and could even impact a company's safety rating. Understanding HOS is essential for legal operation and road safety.

What Additional Federal Trucking Regulations Must Be Followed?

It's important for trucking companies to understand and adhere to federal size and weight restrictions to avoid penalties and maintain road safety. Federal weight restrictions are designed to protect infrastructure such as roads and bridges from excessive wear and to ensure safety on highways. The maximum allowable weight for commercial vehicles is generally 80,000 pounds without a permit. Weight limits also extend to axle weights, with a single axle capped at 20,000 pounds and a tandem axle at 34,000 pounds.

Federal size restrictions are also important. The standard maximum width is 8.5 feet, and the maximum height is 13.5 feet. Trucks exceeding these dimensions require special permits and often need to follow specific routing. Compliance with these regulations is verified through weigh stations and checkpoints.

Regular maintenance and inspections are non-negotiable aspects of trucking regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that all commercial motor vehicles be regularly inspected, repaired, and maintained to ensure they are safe and operational. This includes routine checks on brakes, lights, steering mechanisms, tires, and other critical parts that could potentially compromise safety.

Records of all inspections, maintenance, repairs, and parts replacements must be retained for a specified period. Drivers also play a role in compliance through pre-trip inspections and by reporting issues promptly. Companies that fail to meet these requirements may face severe penalties, including fines and out-of-service orders.

Federal regulations require that commercial truck drivers undergo drug and alcohol testing. These tests are mandatory at several stages: pre-employment, post-accident, randomly, upon reasonable suspicion, and when returning to duty after a violation. Alcohol testing detects blood alcohol concentrations of 0.02% or greater. A positive test result or refusal to take a test leads to immediate removal from driving duties and may result in legal consequences and loss of commercial driving privileges.

Employers must have a testing program in place and ensure that all drivers are aware of these requirements. These strict protocols are pivotal in maintaining a drug-free transportation environment and safeguarding public health and highway safety.

What Is the Role of a Black Box Data Collector?

These days, many trucks are equipped with an event data recorder (EDR). Often referred to as the truck's "black box," this device is installed in commercial trucks, and it captures vital information about the truck's operation before, during, and after a crash. EDR data can be instrumental in determining the cause of an accident. It records details such as speed, braking, engine RPM, and whether the truck driver used cruise control.

Securing black box data quickly after an accident is essential, as it can be overwritten or lost, especially if the truck returns to service. To ensure this valuable evidence is preserved, legal measures may need to be taken promptly. Your truck accident attorney can help by sending a spoliation letter to the trucking company, which is a legal directive requiring them to preserve the black box data as evidence for your case.

Were You Seriously Injured in a Brunswick Semi-Truck Accident?

When you go up against the big trucking companies, it's important to have someone in your corner who will fight for you no matter what. At Butler Prather LLP, we understand that you're going through a difficult time – that's why we treat every client like you're our only client.

Our Brunswick truck accident attorneys have helped thousands of people get the resources they need to recover and care for their families after an accident. Contact us at (800) 242-2962 to schedule a complimentary consultation today.

I was in a complex premises liability case involving a multinational corporations. Mr. Butler & his associates were always three steps ahead of these defendants. When they say they are "exceptional trial lawyers," this is not just a slogan but it is a way of life.”
- Zack Hendon