Atlanta is a major thoroughfare for trucks traveling through the southeast. Interstate 75 is a major highway that starts in Northern Michigan and passes straight through the city of Atlanta before ending in Miami, Florida. Interstate 20 is a second major interstate that passes straight through Atlanta on its route from Texas to South Carolina. Finally, a third major interstate I-85 passes straight through the City of Atlanta where it combines with I-75 for 7.4 miles forming the Downtown Connector. The connector is one of the heaviest trafficked areas of the Southeast. The Downtown Connector is for local truck traffic only to reduce congestion and due to the narrow 11’ lanes. The majority of trucks use the I-285 bypass around Atlanta and this is where the majority of truck accidents occur. I-285 is a 64 mile Atlanta bypass created in 1969 that originally started as a four lane freeway and has been expanded to twelve lanes in some locations.
Collisions with a truck ten to twenty times the size of your vehicle often involve serious injuries. I-285 has the highest fatal accident rate per 10 miles of any interstate in the country and is one of the deadliest interstates in the country. Of the 240,000 Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT) count on I-285 approximately 30,000 are single and combination axle trucks. The high volume of truck traffic combined with heavy automobile traffic is a deadly combination. Truck accidents are more difficult to navigate than the typical auto accident. The truck driver has a Commercial Drivers Policy and you need an Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyer at ReisLaw to protect you.
Even if the truck driver did not cause the accident they may be driving a vehicle that does not meet Federal Highway Safety Requirements. Truck accidents can be caused by driver fatigue, distracted driving, truck equipment failure, improper load distribution, driving too fast, or failure to properly strap the load to the trailer. The driver may have completed a pre-trip inspection as required by law but does not know when the brakes were last maintained or understand the exact weight and characteristics of the load they are carrying. In this instance, you may still be able to seek compensation even if the trucker was not clearly at fault.
When involved in a truck accident you should do the following:
- Call 911 immediately. Injuries are not always evident immediately but often result from collisions with large vehicles.
- Make sure all parties including witnesses stay at the scene to help document the incident. A police report will be required for documentation to the insurance company and for any potential legal case in the future.
- Collect all witness information including Name, Address and Phone number so they can be contacted later if needed. If possible get as much information from them at the scene including video or audio recording from the witnesses. Witnesses move or may recall the incident differently months or years later.
- Take video of the accident scene. It is much easier to record video of the license plates and the scene than take 100 pictures. Take photos of the most important details.
- When the police officer asks questions for the report keep your answers straight and to the point. Also, avoid giving statements to witnesses or conversing too much with the other driver.
- Call a trucking lawyer in Atlanta at ReisLaw to set up your claim with the trucking insurance company and take care of the process for you. We have a Georgia Licensed Professional Engineer specializing in Road and Highway design on staff that can document the site and make sure the accident is properly investigated.
Call (404) 876-4200 today or contact ReisLaw, Atlanta’s Leading Personal Injury Law Firm. Our consultations are absolutely FREE. We will help you fully understand your rights in this situation. Our attorneys have specialized training in the fields of Workers’ Compensation as well as Personal Injuries.