Negligent Truck Maintenance
Trucking companies have a legal responsibility to ensure their trucks are safe and in good working condition. Federal and state laws require trucks to undergo routine inspections, repair, and maintenance. Parts and accessories are required to always be in safe and proper condition. Commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) must be put out of service if they are found to be in such a condition that they may cause an accident, or the vehicle may break down and cause a hazard.
Unfortunately, sometimes trucking companies cut corners to save money on repairs and maintenance. This practice that puts profits over the safety of other drivers on the road can have devastating consequences when it leads to a crash. The skilled truck accident attorneys at Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C. understand that a semi-truck crash can leave victims with severe, life-threatening, and altering injuries. We also know that losing a loved one in a truck crash can change your life forever. When trucking companies fail to conduct routine inspections, repairs, and maintenance and it leads to a crash, we hold them accountable.
Georgia Truck Maintenance Laws
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has safety standards in place that all commercial vehicles and trucks must meet. It is important to keep in mind that the FMCSA’s requirements are minimum safety standards and trucking companies should do more than the minimum to protect other drivers who share the roadway with large trucks.
Some examples of FMCSA maintenance requirements include the following:
- Daily post-trip inspection reports that identify any defects or deficiencies
- Repair of any defects or deficiencies
- Annual inspections of every commercial vehicle, including brakes, by a qualified technician.
Daily inspection reports should be detailed, and trucking companies are required to maintain these records for every operational truck. A truck driver should inspect equipment such as brakes, wheels, tires, steering wheels, emergency lights, horns, and mirrors. Too often, truck drivers and trucking companies do careless inspections to save time and put off maintenance to save money.
Read the full list of requirements here.
Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (GVWR) determine whether a truck or other commercial vehicle is subject to certain rules and regulations set forth by the FMCSA. In Georgia, the regulations apply to vehicles that weigh over 10,001 pounds. Read more about GVWR here.
When a truck’s trailer is overloaded or too heavy for its tractor to pull, it can topple over or become dislodged from the tractor. If the load on the trailer is not secured properly, it can spill out onto the roadway or hit surrounding vehicles.
In Georgia, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is two years from the date of the accident. If you cannot resolve your claim with the insurance provider, your lawyer may advise you to file a lawsuit to have the case handled in court.
If nobody needs emergency care, call the local police to have an officer sent to the scene. Fill out an official accident report with the officer and be sure to take a copy with you when you leave. It is also important that you take as many photos of the accident scene as you can to fully illustrate what happened and that you do not leave without exchanging insurance information with the truck driver.
Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C. is a proven personal injury law firm that has a track record of securing the results victims deserve in auto accident cases, including complex cases involving vehicles operated for commercial purposes. If you or your loved one has been harmed in a traffic wreck involving a commercial vehicle, you can equip yourself with the representation and resources needed to handle all legal issues by working with our award-winning Athens auto accident lawyers.
Guide to Georgia Trucking Accidents
Contact an Experienced Truck Crash Attorney Today
If you or a family member were injured, or your family member died in a collision with a large truck, you may be faced with steep financial burdens like medical bills, vehicle damages, or funeral expenses. If the crash occurred because a trucking company failed to conduct routine inspections, repairs, or maintenance, you have the right to compensation for your damages.
The BBGA Difference
The personal injury attorneys at Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C. have a proven track record of securing the results victims deserve. If you or a loved one was involved in a crash with a big truck, we will review the circumstances of the crash and determine whether you have a valid case. We can work closely with medical professionals, accident reconstruction experts, witnesses, and other professionals to establish the cause of the crash and prove damages. We can also investigate the trucking company’s history of policies and procedures, as well as documents pertaining to the truck involved, and determine whether negligent truck maintenance was a factor in the wreck. If negligence is found, we will protect your interests by pursuing a case against the trucking company and/or truck driver and representing you at trial, if necessary.
If you or a family member suffered severe injuries in a truck crash or your family member was killed in a wreck with a large truck, contact us today. Please call our office at 706-354-4000 to schedule a free consultation or fill out our contact form to tell us more about your case. There is no cost unless we recover money for you in your case.