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Truck Accident Attorney FAQs: What is a commercial motor vehicle (CMV)?

A commercial motor vehicle is any vehicle that transports goods or passengers for profit. Heavy trucks, dump trucks, tractor-trailers, box trucks, 18-wheelers, semi-trucks and other “big rigs” are all examples of CMVs. Private buses, taxis, vans and coaches may also qualify as commercial motor vehicles if they are registered and owned by a business.

Why are trucks more likely to cause serious injuries than an accident involving only passenger cars?

The heaviest trucks can tip the scales at 80,000 pounds. But the average passenger car weighs only around 3,000 pounds. The massive size difference gives trucks an edge over cars in a collision, with potentially devastating consequences. Injuries from a truck accident in Georgia are usually worse for the other motorists involved in the crash, not the truck driver.

Savannah Truck Accident Attorneys: What are common truck accident injuries?  

Some of the most catastrophic injuries are the result of truck accidents. They include spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, internal bleeding, amputation, burns, broken bones and more.

I was injured in a Savannah truck accident. What should I do?

It’s important to prioritize if you have been in an accident with a tractor-trailer. The initial moments after the crash can be jarring and confusing. Here are some tips to help in the aftermath.

  1. Check for injuries. If you or others are hurt, call 911 for medical assistance.
  2. Move your vehicle out of the way if it is blocking traffic. Make sure it’s safe to do so.
  3. Call law enforcement. A police report is a quick way to document the circumstances of the accident and preserve evidence. Your memory may also be shaky in the shock of the moment.
  4. Take photographs of the accident scene from all angles. Get pictures of the vehicle and truck damage, your injuries, and any obvious skid marks or other evidence that could apply to your case.
  5. Collect information from those involved in the truck accident. That includes the trucker’s name, driver’s license number, employer and insurance information. Try to obtain contact information from any witnesses.
  6. Inform your insurance company about the truck accident. Do not give them a recorded statement or admit fault for the crash. It may be used against you during settlement talks.
  7. Contact a truck accident attorney. Crashes involving big rigs are more complex than the average car accident case. Truckers and truck companies must follow strict federal laws and regulations. An experienced lawyer will interpret those laws and how they apply to your circumstances.

What is the “No Zone?”

The No Zone refers to the areas around an 18-wheeler where visibility is limited. A more common term is “blind spot.” Every motorist must check the blind spots around his or her vehicle while driving. But truckers contend with more and larger blind spots than the average motorist. Semi-trucks have extra mirrors to reduce the chances of an accident. But drivers of other vehicles need to be particularly cautious in several No Zones around commercial motor vehicles.

  • Front: The cab of a big truck is elevated. That makes it hard for a trucker to see cars who cut in front too closely. Trucks also need more distance to stop. A driver who cuts in unexpectedly runs the risk of being rear-ended if it stops suddenly.
  • Side: Even equipped with larger mirrors, it can be difficult for truck drivers to see vehicles directly on its right or left sides. That increases the chance of a sideswipe crash.
  • Rear: Truck drivers also have trouble seeing directly behind them. Following too closely could cause a car to ride up underneath the rig, which is frequently deadly.
  • Within the truck’s turning radius: Trucks need a lot of space to turn. A driver may need to swing wide to one side in order to make an opposite turn. That makes it difficult for them to see drivers, cyclists, or pedestrian beside or between them.

The general guideline is that you should always be able to see the truck driver’s face in the side mirror. If you can’t see them, they probably can’t see you.

Savannah Truck Accident Lawyers: Why are truckers often involved in drowsy driving accidents?

Truck drivers ride on long stretches of road for long periods of time. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict hours of service regulations limiting how long a trucker can remain on the road before taking a mandatory rest break. Unfortunately, those rules are not always followed. Trucking companies may offer incentives to their drivers for early deliveries. That has resulted in some drivers altering their service logs to record rest periods that didn’t actually happen.

Who may be held liable for my Savannah truck accident injury?

There are many possible defendants in a truck accident case. There may be more than one defendant in complex cases. Common defendants include the trucker, trucking company, the maintenance company responsible for servicing the truck, parts manufacturers, the freight broker, the truck owner and other third parties. If your accident involved multiple vehicles, other motorists may be at fault, too.  

Truck Accident Lawyer in Savannah: What if I am partly to blame?

Some states will not allow you to collect compensation if you are even 1 percent responsible for the truck accident. Not so in Georgia. The state’s comparative negligence rule states that an injured party may recover damages as long as he or she is not more than 50 percent responsible for the crash.

How will a Savannah truck accident lawyer help me?  

Crashes involving a truck or tractor-trailer are not simple. They often involve an evaluation of local, state and federal laws. The FMCSA regularly makes changes to its requirements, which means you need a lawyer who will be current on the most recent rules and can apply them to your case.

A truck accident also requires a thorough investigation to find all possible causes. An attorney has access to industry experts, accident reconstructionists, life care planners, physicians and other resources who can testify about the long-term impact of the accident on your life.

Contact Savannah Truck Accident Attorneys to Help With Your Accident Case!

At the Spiva Law Group, our talented team of Savannah truck accident lawyers has the experience, dedication, and resources necessary to tackle complicated personal injury claims. We know our clients have a lot at stake, and we fight fiercely for the compensation they deserve.

Find out how we can help you now. For specific answers to your individual questions, call us or contact us online for a free consultation.