Four Laws That Apply to Atlanta Truck Accidents
When you see a semi, 18-wheeler, or other large commercial vehicle flying down a Georgia highway, you can imagine the massive damage and destruction that accompanies a truck accident. Statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reveal the disproportionate nature of these collisions and the implications for automobile occupants. Of the 4,500 fatal truck crashes that occur on US roads every year, almost 83 percent of all deaths were in a passenger vehicle. Plus, another 158,000 people are injured in truck accidents annually, leading to horrific losses for entire families.
Fortunately, Georgia personal injury laws provide legal remedies for victims of truck collisions. You may qualify to recover compensation for your losses, including medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and others. However, the key to success with your claim is knowing how the laws apply, since they can make or break your case. An Atlanta truck accident lawyer can explain the details on the following:
1. Georgia’s Rules of the Road
Holders of Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) are required to follow traffic regulations just like all motorists. These rules are enacted to protect all road users and with safety in mind, so violations increase the potential for serious collisions. There are several traffic laws that apply only to truck operators, such as those prohibiting semi-traffic, warning about steep grades, and imposing weight limits.
2. FMCSA Regulations
Rules enacted by federal officials apply to trucks, their drivers, and trucking companies, and FMCSA regulations also aim at roadway safety. Some are important to note based on how they affect truck accidents:
- Hours of Service (HOS) laws;
- Rules regarding how much weight a specific truck can haul as cargo;
- Regulations on proper loading for different types of cargo;
- Laws covering the loading, transport, and unloading of hazardous materials; and
- Insurance requirements, start at $750,000 and reach into the millions in coverage for hazardous substances.
If a truck operator, employer, or other company causes a collision through a violation of FMCSA regulations, you could have solid proof to support your truck accident claim.
3. Georgia’s Statute of Limitations
Like other US states, Georgia has imposed a time restriction on personal injury lawsuits, including truck crashes. You have two years to initiate litigation, and the clock starts to run the date of the accident. If you do not sue before the statute of limitations expires, you are barred from seeking compensation.
4. Comparative Negligence Laws
Your compensation could be affected if your own actions contributed to the truck collision, such as speeding, failure to yield, or texting while driving. Georgia follows the law of comparative negligence, which reduces your damages according to the percentage of fault.
Consult with an Atlanta Truck Accident Attorney About Your Rights
These are just a few of the laws that apply to your claim after a Georgia truck crash, but there are many other details to know. For personalized details, please contact Wetherington Law Firm, P.C. You can schedule a free consultation by calling (470) 431-1748 or visiting us online. After reviewing your circumstances, an Atlanta truck accident lawyer can explain the legal process.