Columbus Truck Accident Lawyer
Shipping trucks, also known as tractor-trailers or big rigs, are some of the largest vehicles on the road. As such, the law holds tractor-trailer drivers to a higher duty of care when operating their vehicles. Tractor-trailers are capable of inflicting massive damage across multiple lanes of traffic during an accident, so it’s vital to understand these vehicles and their inherent dangers.
If you’ve been involved in a tractor-trailer collision in the Columbus area, understand that you have options for legal recourse if the truck driver was negligent in operating his or her vehicle and you should speak with a Columbus truck accident lawyer to learn more. Truck accidents can happen for a number of reasons, so keep the following information in mind in case you or a loved one happen to wind up in a tractor-trailer accident.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Tractor-trailers sit much higher off the ground than typical passenger vehicles, so they have higher centers of gravity. This makes big rigs more susceptible to tip-overs and rollovers when taking turns at excessive speeds or even during heavy winds. Additionally, tractor-trailers weigh several thousand pounds more than your average car, even when they are empty. Drivers must give tractor-trailers the space they need on the road to prevent car accidents and know what to do in case they encounter a negligent truck driver.
Trucker error is one of the most common causes of tractor-trailer accidents. Not only must truck drivers adhere to the rules of the road just like any other driver, but they must also exercise a heightened degree of caution due to the nature of their vehicles. Additionally, truck drivers often have to drive for several hours at a time and meet demanding deadlines. When truck drivers operate their vehicles under the influence, without adequate rest, or while distracted, they place other drivers at risk.
In addition to their size and weight, another factor that can contribute to tractor-trailer accidents is improper maintenance. Big rigs spend much more time on the road than typical passenger vehicles, and they do so while carrying very heavy loads. As such, they require regular, careful maintenance to ensure they meet all necessary safety standards and don’t pose a risk on the road. Improper maintenance or defective parts can cause serious accidents.
Another factor that contributes to tractor-trailer accidents is improperly balanced cargo. Due to their higher centers of gravity, tractor-trailers have to meet weight requirements and must carefully stow their cargo in the trailer to prevent tip-overs. An imbalanced load can cause a tractor-trailer to jackknife or tip over in some situations. Additionally, certain types of cargo, such as lumber, framing studs, construction materials, concrete pipe segments, smaller vehicles, and large industrial appliances require specialized equipment and procedures to ensure they’re properly secured for transit.
Truck Accident Liability in Georgia
If you have been in an accident with a tractor-trailer, you’ll need a knowledgeable Columbus personal injury attorney experienced in truck accidents to obtain compensation for your injuries and damages. Liability in tractor-trailer accident cases can sometimes be difficult to ascertain. In some cases, the truck driver will be held responsible for illegal activity, such as excessive speeding or driving under the influence of alcohol, and other situations may hold the trucking company liable for damages.
For example, poor or incomplete maintenance on a vehicle or improper cargo checks can cause severe damage. This isn’t necessarily the fault of the driver, so the law may hold other parties accountable once investigators determine the cause of the accident.
Free Consultation with a Skilled South Fulton Truck Accident Lawyer
In some cases, a defective part may be responsible for your injuries and damages. In such a case, your attorney would more than likely advise that you pursue a product liability claim against the part manufacturer. Regardless of the cause of your tractor-trailer accident, the aftermath typically involves serious injuries, long-term damage, destroyed property, and lost income from time spent away from work. Work with a qualified truck accident attorney in Columbus to explore these and other factors that may be relevant to your case. Contact The Dixon Firm, P.C., to start today.