TRUCK ACCIDENT STATISTICS
Unfortunately, drivers not just in Georgia, but throughout the U.S., are finding it increasingly dangerous to travel on roadways, highways and interstates with tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles. According to the most recent data available from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the number of fatal accidents involving large trucks and buses has risen by 29% since 2009. The trend shown by the statistics regarding commercial vehicle accidents that resulted in injuries (but not fatalities) is even worse – those truck and bus accidents have increased 62% nationwide since 2009.
STATE AND FEDERAL LAWS GOVERNING TRUCK ACCIDENTS IN GEORGIA
The trucking industry is governed primarily by federal laws and regulations. These rules were enacted primarily to establish the safety standards that trucking companies, owners, and drivers must follow, and they often dictate who is responsible when someone is injured in a trucking accident. Many of the federal regulations regarding tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles are set out in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The federal agencies that oversee the trucking industry in the United States include the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the FMCSA. Each state also has its own department of transportation, as well as its own set of trucking regulations. In Georgia, the Department of Public Safety maintains and enforces the Commercial Motor Vehicle Traffic Codes & Safety Rules. Within DPS, the Motor Carrier Compliance Division is in charge of enforcing commercial vehicle safety, size, and weight laws throughout the state.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE IN A GEORGIA COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ACCIDENT?
If you have been injured in a wreck involving a semi, 18 wheeler, or other types of commercial vehicles, there are a number of parties who may be held responsible. The potential parties liable in a trucking accident include:
- the truck driver
- the owner of the truck and/or trailer
- the person/company that leased the truck or trailer
- the manufacturer of the commercial vehicle, tires, or other components that caused or contributed to the accident, and
- the loader or shipper of the cargo being hauled
In many of the personal injury cases involving tractor-trailers that the Athens Injury Law Group has handled, our truck accident lawyers have seen the insurance companies of the trucking, hauling, and leasing companies battle against each other over which of their coverage should compensate the injured victim. This is one of the many reasons you need a qualified personal injury attorney to represent you in a truck accident case. Call the Athens Injury Law Group today at 706-559-0159 for a free consultation, or request one by filling out an online form here.