Any time you ride on a major highway in Albany, you are almost guaranteed to see large numbers of tractor trailers. While essential for transporting goods around the country, these massive vehicles make the roads more dangerous for the drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles. With the truck’s enormous size and weight, a collision with a tractor trailer can be catastrophic. Here is some information about the common causes of tractor trailer accidents and about who may be held liable should you or a loved one find yourself in that unfortunate situation.

Causes Of Tractor Trailer Accidents In Albany, Georgia

Size And Weight

Tractor trailers are approximately 20 to 30 times heavier than other vehicles on the roads. With all of the extra weight, it takes much longer for a tractor trailer to slow down and come to a stop, so it may be nearly impossible for a truck driver to stop quickly in an emergency. If you have to suddenly brake to avoid a hazard in the road, the semi-truck behind you might not have enough time to slow to a stop to avoid rear-ending you. This is why it is so important for tractor trailer drivers to leave plenty of space between their truck and other cars. If you feel that the truck driver was not leaving a sufficient distance between your vehicles before a rear-end wreck, make sure and tell the police officer who responds to the scene.

The large size of tractor trailers may also make it more difficult for the drivers to maneuver. A driver may lose control of the truck if they make a sudden movement, such as swerving or quickly changing lanes, and the truck may skid out, jackknife, or even roll as a result. Obviously, these massive vehicles pose an enormous risk to others on the road when they run out of control.

Poor Vehicle Maintenance

Failure to conduct maintenance on semi-trucks is another common cause of truck-involved accidents. Truck companies are required to keep up with regular maintenance of the vehicles and to monitor for possible malfunctions. However, many companies fail to conduct this maintenance. Inspections following tractor trailer accidents often reveal that the steering, brakes, or some other integral part malfunctioned and possibly caused the collision. These dangerous issues are ones that may be prevented through routine maintenance and repairs.

High Demand And Long Hours

Truck drivers are often overworked and, thus, overtired when behind the wheel. Many employers have high demands for the number of miles that a trucker must cover daily. Trucking regulations limit drivers to 11 hours of travel in one stretch. However, truckers will commonly work beyond this time limit to keep up with their employers’ mileage demands. Even adhering to this limit, drivers may find it difficult to stay alert for this extended period but might still push themselves to drive beyond the point at which it is safe for them to do so.

Studies have shown that some truckers use illicit substances or medication in an attempt to stay awake for these long hours. The effects of the drugs, though, may present additional dangers. For example, cocaine may cause the person to drive aggressively. It could harm their ability to make safe decisions.

Driver And Company Liability After An Albany Big Truck Crash

There are several factors that may affect liability in a case involving an Albany big truck crash. You must show that the driver or trucking company behaved negligently and that their negligence caused the accident. Any of the common causes listed above may be a basis for a case against the driver. You could present evidence that the trucker was driving under the influence or in violation of the 11-hour driving limit. You could present evidence that the trucker was speeding or driving a truck that needed maintenance or repairs.

If the truck driver was driving for a company, rather than as a self-employed trucker, the company might be liable for the damage that the driver caused. Respondeat superior is a legal doctrine that makes a business liable for the negligent actions of its employees, so long as the employee was engaged in work for the business at the time. If the truck driver was negligent and caused the accident, the trucking company may be responsible under this doctrine.

A company can also be directly liable if its own negligence contributed to the accident. For example, if the trucking company failed to conduct adequate maintenance on the tractor trailer, the company may be liable for any malfunctions that caused the collision.

Determining who may be held responsible is essential to building a case and seeking compensation for your injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney will be familiar with the necessary considerations and can help you to gather the facts that you need.

Damages For Your Albany Georgia Truck Accident Case

As the result of a tractor trailer accident, you might suffer certain losses that can be categorized as either economic or noneconomic damages. Economic damages might include your medical bills and lost wages for the work that you missed while recovering from the accident. If you are still suffering medical complications from the accident or are unable to work, your damages may also include future bills and lost wages. Alternatively, if you are unable to perform your prior job due to the injuries and now must work in a lower-paying position, the court may allow damages for the difference in earnings. Economic damages can be calculated fairly easily by adding up actual financial losses.

Noneconomic damages are intangible and, therefore, harder to calculate. These might include any emotional distress that you suffered, or any pain and suffering you experienced. Courts have a lot of discretion when assigning amounts to these damages.

Punitive damages may also be available if the other driver acted particularly recklessly. These damages penalize the person at fault for their egregious behavior.

Truck Accident Attorney for Albany, Georgia

Injured in a truck accident in Albany, Georgia? If so, you should consult with a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. They should be familiar with your type of claim and can help you evaluate your legal options. The highly experienced personal injury lawyers at Williams Elleby Howard & Easter focus on representing truck accident victims in cases against bad drivers and their employers. We will help you determine who is liable, and work tirelessly to help get you the compensation that you deserve. Reach out to a Williams Elleby Howard & Easter attorney by calling (833) 534-2542 or by contacting us online to learn more about how we can help you.