When a truck driver loses control of their big rig, devastating consequences often follow. With a tractor-trailer weighing dozens of times more than a regular passenger vehicle, even a slow-moving commercial truck can cause catastrophic damage. Victims of truck collisions are often left with totaled vehicles, serious injuries, significant medical debt, and lost income.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Riverdale truck accident, don’t take on the insurance company by yourself. With the personal injury attorneys at The Stein Firm, you can fight for the full and fair compensation you truly deserve. Call us at 770-824-3107 to set up a consultation now.
What You Need to Know About Truck Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration maintains a large database of truck accident statistics, making it easy to see how big of a problem truck collisions really are. In general, accident numbers are trending downward across the country. Between 2019 and 2020, fatal crashes decreased by 3%. This is promising, as crashes increased substantially between 2010 and 2019. During this same timeframe, truck collisions that caused injuries also decreased.
Across the board, about 1% of all truck accidents were fatal in 2020. Compare that to crash statistics for all vehicles. Across about 5.25 million crashes, there were 38,800 fatalities for a fatality rate of 0.7%. This indicates that even though truck crashes are less common, they are more likely to be fatal when they do occur.
Although collisions can happen anywhere at any time, there are certain trends to be aware of. The vast majority of collisions, both fatal and nonfatal, occurred Monday through Friday. Collisions were most common on interstate highways and in rural areas. In 83% of fatal accidents, the fatalities were occupants of smaller vehicles.
Types of Truck Collisions
When you see a truck accident on the roads of Riverdale, GA, it will probably be one of the accident types listed below. Although there are many types of accidents, the unique size and structure of commercial trucks predispose them to a handful of collision types:
- Rollover: Since trucks are top-heavy, they are much more prone to rollover accidents than other vehicles. The fallout can be fatal, especially if a truck rolls over onto cars in neighboring lanes. Furthermore, a truck’s cargo can spread across the highway when this happens. If it is carrying hazardous materials, explosions are a very real possibility.
- Rear-end: Rear-end accidents can occur when someone swerves in front of a truck and slows down without accounting for the fact that trucks need more time to slow down.
- Underride: Underride accidents happen when a smaller vehicle is behind a truck. When the driver doesn’t slow down in time or is too distracted to stop, they get stuck behind the back end of the truck. This often leads to the top of the car being ripped off, severe injuries, and even fatalities.
- Head-on: Head-on collisions can happen when a driver falls asleep and drifts into an oncoming traffic lane or when a driver is impaired. Unfortunately, these crashes are often fatal.
- Sideswipe: Since trucks have large blind spots on either side, they may hit another car when they try to change lanes. This is generally far more serious than sideswipe accidents involving two passenger vehicles.
- Wide turn: Truck drivers often go left before turning right, which allows them to avoid hitting the sidewalk or anything else on their right side. Accidents in Riverdale may occur when cars try to pass on the right or when a truck driver goes too far left and crosses into oncoming lanes of traffic.
- Jackknife: Jackknife collisions happen because a truck’s trailer is so much heavier than its tractor. If a driver swerves or loses control of the vehicle, the back end of the truck can swing out, pulling the tractor with it.
Important Evidence in a Riverdale Truck Accident Claim
Gathering as much evidence as possible after a trucking accident is essential. Fortunately, there is tons of evidence available in these collisions, including:
- Trucking company’s hiring practices and personnel documentation
- Truck driver’s driving record
- Electronic logging device from the truck and hours-of-service documentation
- Physical damage to the truck and car
- Medical records
- Police report
- Truck driver’s drug and alcohol screenings, which are required after collisions
- Damage to medians, roadways, guardrails, and other public property
Some of this evidence can only be gathered at the scene of the crash, so try to take photos and video footage before you leave the scene. The more you can prove the other party’s liability, the better—Georgia has a modified comparative negligence rule.
If you are partially at fault for the accident, you may still receive compensation as long as you are not more than 50% to blame. Additionally, your court award will be reduced in a manner proportionate to your share of fault. The less liability you have, the more compensation you may be able to receive.
How Our Team Can Help
Having an experienced Riverdale truck accident lawyer advocating for you can make a big difference when you start your personal injury claim. Truck companies want to avoid legal troubles and financial losses, so they put a lot of time into investigating collisions. Without a legal advocate fighting for you, you run the risk of being railroaded by the trucking company, their legal team, and their insurer.
At The Stein Firm, we understand how a trucking accident can turn your life upside down. We are committed to helping our clients pursue the compensation they are owed after a collision. Don’t let the insurance company take advantage of you and deny you compensation—get a seasoned attorney on your side instead.
Contact the Riverdale Truck Accident Lawyers at The Stein Firm
Whenever you are ready to move forward with your accident claim, The Stein Firm is here to guide and support you. Set up a consultation now by calling us at 770-824-3107 or sending us a message using our online contact form.