The sound of a big rig’s air brakes is one of the scariest experiences one can have when driving on the roads. The size of these trucks, coupled with the aggressive driving tactics of their drivers, can sometimes result in horrific consequences for families on Georgia’s roads. When this happens to you or your loved ones, you’ll want Sho Watson and his team at The Watson Law Firm handling your case.
Legal claims against trucking companies are particularly specialized, because they deal with federal laws and procedures. If the lawyer is inexperienced in this area, it can cost the client an opportunity to have a real chance at securing justice and financial compensation.
How we tackle Georgia Trucking Accident cases:
A. Investigation of the accident scene and vehicles involved
Once you’ve hired The Watson Law Firm, we try to get to the scene of the accident as soon as possible after the collision, often using an experienced investigator who will take photographs of the scene, speak to witnesses and gather whatever evidence has not already been taken from the area (the trucking company will do everything it can to remove its evidence from the site). We then do our best to obtain photos of the truck that caused the collision.
B. Negotiating with the Trucking Company
Once all of the evidence has been collected, we’ve had an opportunity to speak to as many witnesses as possible, and once we have a clear idea of your past, present and future medical bills, we start negotiations with the trucking company and its insurance representatives to seek a fair monetary settlement to your accident claim. We present them with how their neglect has severely impacted your daily life, the pain and suffering you’ve endured, and what needs to be done.
C. Taking your Case to Trial
If the trucking company refuses to be reasonable during settlement negotiations, our next step is to file a lawsuit against them and look to present your case to a jury. This is a lengthy process, but is often the only way to make sure the trucking company and its insurance folks know that you are serious about seeking and getting real justice for your injuries. These companies often only understand apologies in the language of dollars and cents: our job is to make sure their apology, and the payment that comes with it, is a sincere one in your trucking accident case.
When people speak with us about their Georgia trucking accident, the first thing they usually ask is “how could this have happened?” The answers vary, but almost always the same five reasons are a part of every trucking case:
1. Driver Error
Of all the causes of Georgia trucking accidents, driver error is ten times more likely to be the cause of the crash than any of the other factors according to the FMSCA. Factors such as driver fatigue, inattention, distractions, or substance abuse are the most common causes of driver error. Any one of these factors can lead to unnecessary risks and a driver’s inability to react to the dangers on our Georgia roadways, thereby causing a truck crash.
2. Truck Equipment Failure
The second most common cause of trucking accidents is equipment failure. Equipment failures can include design and manufacturing errors like defective tires or failure to provide reverse-detection warning devices. Equipment failures can also include mechanical issues such as improperly maintained brakes or tires. The FMSCA requires every truck driver and company to perform a pre-trip inspection and to perform regular inspections and maintenance of their trucks throughout the year. If these reviews are performed there should be no reason for mechanical failures, like worn-out tires. However, the tragic truth is that the FMSCA rules and guidelines are all too commonly ignored, leading to many Georgia truck accidents.
3. Weather conditions
Weather conditions have a major impact on the safety of big trucks. Due to the heavy weight of the trucks and their loads, braking distance is often hampered (increased) in bad weather. The simple fact is that big trucks cannot be stopped as quickly or steered as easily as cars. All too often commercial truck drivers don’t account for these limitations during adverse weather conditions. This failure to accommodate to local weather and road conditions leads to many trucking accidents each year in the state of Georgia.
4. Improper loading
When a truck’s load is not safely configured or distributed on the trailer, the load can cause the truck to malfunction when moving. A common type of improper loading results in an imbalanced load, causing a truck to top over when it would otherwise remain upright. Improper loading can also lead to a load not being properly secured, then falling off the truck and onto the roadways in the lanes of traffics. There are all too many examples of this particular type of improper loading.
5. Improper care in selecting a truck driver or company
Finally, a growing cause of Georgia trucking accidents is the improper selection of truck drivers and companies to haul the shippers’ loads across our highways. While this is a growing cause of trucking accidents, shippers who need their product shipped by trucks, all too often simply contact a truck driver or company without ever checking to see if they or their trucks are in compliance with the FMSCA regulations to safely ship their loads.