Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

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Car accidents are usually preventable and often caused by driver negligence. Many of these accidents cause serious damage and can result in life-altering injuries. Accidents involving trucks on Atlanta highways have the potential to cause even more devastation, due to the sheer size of an 18-wheeler or other commercial truck.

According to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in Georgia, in 2012, there were 153 fatalities from truck accidents on Georgia roadways. In addition to fatalities, drivers involved in these accidents suffer serious injuries, including broken bones, head trauma, and paralysis. If you have been injured in an accident involving a truck, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. To seek an optimal recovery, injured victims are encouraged to contact a local injury attorney who has experience handling truck and car accident claims.

A highly publicized and devastating truck accident took place in New Jersey recently, involving a truck driver from Georgia. According to a recent news article, the driver of a Walmart truck crashed into a bus carrying the comedian Tracy Morgan and several others. One person on the bus died, and four other passengers were injured. There has been some question as to whether or not the driver had slept at all during the 24-hour period preceding the accident. The driver of the truck was charged with vehicular homicide and assault by auto. The criminal complaint alleged that the driver of the truck failed to notice that traffic was slowing down in front of him and crashed into the bus carrying Morgan, despite trying to swerve out of the way.

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A victim of a car accident may be able to bring a variety of claims against a negligent driver.  But Georgia law – like many states – sets forth certain limitations to recovery depending on the relative responsibility of the parties involved in the accident.  For example, under a Georgia statute, which applies to actions arising in Atlanta and throughout the state, a plaintiff in a “tort” action is not entitled to receive damages if he or she is found to be 50 percent or more responsible for the injury or damages alleged.  This issue and many others relating to car accidents involving negligent driving can be difficult to understand, especially with respect to how it applies to your particular case.  If you have been injured in a car accident it is important to contact an experienced Atlanta injury attorney who understands the local laws and procedures and can help to protect your rights to a recovery.

In a recent case, Reed et al. v. Carolina Casualty Insurance Co. et al., (Ga. Ct. App. 2014), plaintiff brought a wrongful death action on behalf of his son who died in a car crash on Interstate 285.  Plaintiff sought to recover damages for his son’s injuries and death.  According to the facts revealed at trial, at about 2:00 a.m. back in August 2008, Rimantas Labeika improperly parked a tractor-trailer in a prohibited area – the emergency lane on the right side of the highway, just past the entrance ramp. He parked there to rest after driving the maximum number of hours regulated by law.

About an hour later, Thomas Reed, II, was approaching the intersection of Interstate 285 in rainy conditions.  He had been drinking and had a blood alcohol level of .095.  As he entered the Interstate, taking the curve too fast for the weather conditions and his rate of speed, he lost control of the car. He struck the guardrail and ultimately crashed into the rear of tractor-trailer parked at the side of the road.  The impact caused the gas tank to rupture, resulting in a fire. The driver’s cause of death was blunt force trauma and thermal injuries. Continue reading

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 Under Georgia law, an award of attorney fees is typically not available unless authorized by contract or state statute. Case law indicates that a plaintiff in a personal injury accident may not be entitled to collect his or her attorney fees if there exists a “bona fide controversy” between the parties, despite any allegations of one party engaging in “stubborn litigiousness” or causing unnecessary trouble and expense. It is critical that parties understand the above-mentioned terminology to avoid bringing any superfluous claims.  If you or someone you know has been injured in a truck accident, due to the fault of another, you are encouraged to contact an experienced injury attorney who is fully familiar with the laws and procedures in the Atlanta courts.

In a recent decision, Horton et al., v. Dennis et al., Ga. Ct. of App. (2013), the court agreed with the lower court’s finding and refused to award plaintiff attorney fees based on allegations that defendants (appellees herein) had been “stubbornly litigious” and caused them unnecessary trouble and expense. Here, plaintiff was severely injured when a tractor-trailer operated by defendant Joseph Dennis, crossed the centerline of a Georgia highway and crashed into plaintiff’s truck. Plaintiffs’ claims for damages cover multiple injuries, including allegations that the victim suffered a mild traumatic brain injury, resulting in memory and mental impairment and nerve damage.

Plaintiff and his wife sought recovery for his personal injuries and her loss of consortium, respectively. Just before the trial was set to begin, defendants stipulated to liability – namely, fault for how the accident occurred and responsibility for the accident. They also conceded that certain of plaintiff’s injuries were proximately caused by the accident. But they continued to contest that the crash was the proximate cause of plaintiff’s traumatic brain injury or pelvic nerve damage. At this point, plaintiff obtained the court’s permission to amend the complaint to add a claim for attorney fees, arguing that defendants had been stubbornly litigious and caused them unnecessary expense and trouble. Continue reading

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One of the aspects of the litigation process of which non-lawyers may not be aware is the tactical manner in which defendants and their counsel may refuse to cooperate with what they are legally required to do. In the course of a lawsuit, both sides are required to provide certain information to the other side, so that they can gather evidence to build their case. This process is formally referred to as “discovery,” and can include things such as depositions (in person interviews), interrogatories (written questions), document requests, and other similar types of activities. Discovery is critical in personal injury and car accident cases, because it is the only means of gathering the sort of evidence necessary for trial. However, some may be surprised to learn that defendants can and do ignore legitimate discovery requests, even when they have been court ordered.

In one Georgia Court of Appeals case, for example, defendants were sanctioned for reportedly, ” intentionally destroying material evidence, for committing fraud on the court and the plaintiff, and for intentionally filing false responses to discovery requests.”

The defendants appealed the sanctions, and in the case, Howard v. Alegria, 739 SE 2d 95, Ga. Ct. App.  (2013), the Court of Appeals reviewed the long and sordid history of destruction of evidence and other fraudulent conduct.

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Over the weekend, officials reported that it took them several hours to successfully clear the remnants of a tragic accident that happened on Interstate 85 near Peachtree Road in Suwanee, Gwinnett County.

A county officer confirmed that there was one fatality, following the reported collision of a passenger vehicle and a tractor trailer. A video sent to a local news station by a passing motorist showed the trailer engulfed in white smoke. A photograph reportedly revealed a car pinned below a burned out section of the trailer.

According to one witness, “The small car was pressed between the tractor trailer and the railing, completely engulfed in fire.” A Police Department spokesman said both vehicles were traveling southbound on I-85 north of Old Peachtree Road when the two vehicles collided. The car apparently caught fire sometime shortly after the collision, trapping the driver of the passenger vehicle. As a result, the driver of the car died at the scene.

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An Atlanta truck driver was among the victims in an accident that occurred on Interstate 40 in Jefferson County this week involving three vehicles, which lead to eight deaths, and at least fourteen people injured.

The accident happened when a church bus reportedly crossed over the median of the interstate and collided with two other vehicles, a tractor trailer and an SUV, travelling in the opposite direction. Police officers said in a statement that the bus crossed over the median after its front left tire exploded. The bus became overturned, and the tractor trailer caught fire.

A Highway Patrol spokesperson reported that eight people had died in the crash, two of whom were on the bus, one was in the tractor-trailer (presumably the driver), and one in the SUV. Of the fourteen individuals injured, twelve were transported to local hospitals for treatment. Eight of the victims were in critical condition, two were in serious condition, and four were in stable condition. The bus was reportedly transporting a group of senior citizens, who were returning from a church-sponsored Jubilee event.

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A traffic accident involving a car and a tractor trailer on I-285 earlier this month resulted in the death of a 36 year old man.

The accident reportedly occurred when when the man’s car struck a tractor trailer that had slowed down to avoid a car bumper that was in the roadway. The driver of the tractor trailer truck had slowed to a near stop when the collision occurred. According to witnesses, the man was traveling at a high speed just before the impact occurred.

According to police reports, the bumper was dislodged from another man’s vehicle, who had struck the retaining wall just prior to the tractor trailer collision. That man was later charged with a lane violation and 2nd Degree Vehicular Homicide. The driver of the tractor trailer truck was not charged. Continue reading

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A Duluth family is mourning the loss of a mother of two who was killed in a rollover crash on Interstate 85 earlier this month.

The woman was running errands with her husband and their two young children in the family’s SUV on I-85 when the collision occurred.

Police say the accident occurred when a tractor-trailer forced the family’s SUV out of its lane and into a box truck traveling next to them. The force of the initial impact was so great that the SUV then flipped several times and travelled over the guardrail before coming to rest on the on-ramp at Steve Reynolds Boulevard.

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A tragic accident happened last Friday, leaving three people dead and six more injured. The four vehicle accident happened in Gainesville on Georgia Highway 365. The collision left two cars pinned underneath a tractor-trailer.

According to reports, the accident happened at around 1 in the morning Friday, and involved four vehicles. These included a Ford Escape, a pick-up truck, a Jeep, and a tractor-trailer.

Police stated that based upon their initial investigation, they believe that the cause of the accident may have been when a pick up truck turned left into the path of a tractor-trailer heading northbound. Sadly, the driver and passenger of the pick up were killed, and another individual died as a result of the chain reaction accidents.

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This wrongful death case was most unusual. A man was killed in his own front yard.

The day started out in a normal way for the couple in this story: They ate breakfast, talked about their plans for the day, and the man then went outside to spend some time in his front yard. He enjoyed puttering about. His wife later found her 71-year-old husband dead on the front lawn, perhaps not an unusual discovery, given the gentleman’s age. However, it was clear that he had been run over by a vehicle of some sort.

When the shock of the discovery wore off, the wife contacted an injury lawyer about filing a wrongful death lawsuit. As it turned out, the suit was filed against a city worker who had been driving a sewer truck at the time the elderly man was killed. The 46-year-old driver was charged with felony hit-and-run, resulting in death, and misdemeanor death-by-a-vehicle once the police department had completed an accident scene reconstruction.