A traffic accident involving a commercial truck (such as an eighteen-wheeler or other large freight carrier) will often be much more catastrophic than an ordinary automobile accident. A typical, fully-loaded commercial vehicle can weigh 80,000 pounds or more, while an average passenger car weighs approximately 3,000 pounds. Because of this size difference and basic laws of physics, any collision between a commercial truck and another vehicle is likely to result in serious, even fatal, injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), collisions involving large trucks in 2012 killed 3,921 individuals and injured many more.
Our law firm has handled many cases involving these commercial vehicles and large trucks. In some of these cases, the trucks caused wrecks by changing lanes improperly or struck cars from behind. Others were the result of trucks pulling into a roadway or turning off of a highway and blocking the path of oncoming cars. A number of these cases have involved Freightliner trucks, which have an extra-long front hood that causes cars in front of the truck to be hidden from the truck driver's view. We were able to show that simple mirrors, like those used on school buses, could have been purchased to cheaply eliminate this problem. Large settlements for our clients who had been badly injured were obtained.
Of course, many of the cases our law firm has handled arose out of wrecks involving regular passenger cars. Unfortunately, for the motoring public, the number of deaths and injuries arising from motor vehicle collisions saw an increase in 2012 according to NHTSA. A disturbing statistic disclosed by NHTSA was that fatalities from alcohol-impaired-driving crashes were on the rise as opposed to collisions in general.
Over the years, we have handled cased involving collisions that have involved many different kinds of mishaps, including vehicles hit from behind, cars turning in front of oncoming traffic, cars traveling too fast for conditions and cars that failing to yield the right of way or passing improperly. Operator error, due to sleepiness, intoxication, distraction, talking on a cell phone, or changing the station on the radio, are common events leading to road wrecks. Hurrying to work, to a friend's house, or to an appointment or driving too fast for weather or roadway conditions are also common themes.
Our firm has successfully handled hundreds of motor vehicle crash cases, with client injuries ranging from back or neck problems to broken bones, permanent disability, or even death. Many of the cases we have handled have involved soft tissue injuries rather than more obvious injuries such as fractures and lacerations. We recognize that soft tissue injuries, which some people might even consider minor, can still result in significant disability, suffering, and lifestyle disruptions. We are thus proud to assist people injured in vehicular accidents even when the consequences are not catastrophic. Oftentimes, however, our clients' cases do involve very serious injury or death.
While our office is in Decatur, Georgia, we routinely represent people throughout Georgia and have handled lawsuits in both federal and state courts all over Georgia. For example, a very successful result was reached for a Dalton man involved in a motor vehicle collision in Rome, Georgia. Due to venue issues, the lawsuit had to be brought in Gwinnett County. This case arose out of an intersection collision where the Defendant turned left in front of our client. The defense alleged that our client was speeding and not paying attention to the traffic. Though the use of an accident reconstruction expert and exhaustive investigation we were able to negate the defense contentions. This case was also hard-fought on the issue of injuries due to the fact our client has been involved in prior collisions where similar injury complaints had been alleged. Significant time and effort were employed to show that the prior complaints had been resolved and that the subject collision lead to the need for surgery. A day-long mediation resulted in a confidential settlement that helped restore our client's pre-collision lifestyle.
A successful result was achieved for an Augusta, Georgia woman who was involved in a low impact collision with a tractor-trailer rig on I-20 in Haralson County. The trucking company alleged that the collision could not have caused the meniscus tears to our client's knees. With the help of our client's treating physician and the collection of prior medical records, we were able to show that the low impact collision was indeed the cause of our client's knee problems and appropriate compensation was paid.
In another case, an automobile driver from Monroe County died and his passenger was severely injured in a head-on collision with a truck driver. The truck driver had crossed the centerline of the roadway and drove into the path of our clients' car. Discovery of questionable truck driver hiring practices added considerable value to these cases.
A significant recovery was obtained for a North Georgia man who was riding his motorcycle just across the border that separates Georgia and Tennessee. The Defendant made a left-hand turn in front of our client and our client was thrown from his motorcycle. The collision caused a comminuted ankle fracture, multiple fractured ribs, a shoulder injury, and multiple internal injuries. Substantial medical treatment and rehabilitation were required. And, while our client was unemployed at the time, his injuries would impact his ability to work in the future. Due to the fact we were notified early on, we were able to get to the accident scene within weeks of the accident. Information obtained from the police and emergency personnel helped us counter the defense arguments that our client was at fault for speeding and not avoiding the Defendant while she was turning. An economist also helped us show what a profound effect the injuries sustained by our client would have on his future earning capacity.
In another highway negligence case, a recovery was obtained for a client who had suffered serious injuries which ultimately required him to undergo hip replacement surgery. The corporate defendant in this case had allowed a truck with defective brakes to continue in operation despite brake indicator light warnings and complaints by the truck's drivers to management.
Another such case filed in Fulton County, Georgia involved considerable injuries due to brake maintenance neglect by a public utility. When a very heavy service truck was unable to stop due to defective brakes, our client's car was virtually destroyed and his body shattered as he was driving, with the right-of-way, through an intersection. The defense's attempt to blame our client for his own injuries, because he was driving without a license, was rejected by the Court and fair compensation was obtained.
A substantial settlement was also obtained for nurse injured in a rollover crash on an Atlanta expressway. After difficult negotiations, several insurance companies agreed to pay their policy limits to the client who had suffered a broken neck in this a multi-car crash.
A policy limits settlement was also obtained for an elderly college professor badly injured in an automobile accident. The injuries included a closed head brain injury requiring surgery. Because the brain problem was not discovered until several weeks after the accident, the defense contended that it was not caused by the accident. After we secured a favorable report on causation from our client's neurosurgeon, however, the insurer agreed to settle for policy limits.
Another road wreck case involved the death of a fine lady who suffered internal injuries after her automobile left the roadway while trying to avoid another driver who had failed to yield the right-of-way. In this unusual accident, our client's airbag had deployed when she first hit a culvert as she left the roadway. Tragically, the airbag had then deflated before her car crashed into a large tree. A substantial settlement was paid by the insurer for the other driver.
A very good recovery was made for a Gwinnett County woman in an automobile collision that involved a defendant who has low liability insurance coverage. Fortunately, our client had substantial coverage under her uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage through her own policy. Unfortunately, her insurance company did not want to give her just compensation for her injuries even though she had paid premiums for such coverage. A lawsuit was filed in order to establish liability against the at-fault driver and to further establish the amount our client's insurer should pay for UM benefits. The case was aggressively defended by the UM carrier. However, our arguments carried the day and the judge found in our favor.
Insurance policy limits were obtained from both a liability insurer and an uninsured motorist carrier for the family of a Milledgeville woman who died when the driver of the vehicle she was in ran a stop sign. Thorough investigation by our attorneys uncovered a video of the collision from a security camera of a nearby business. That video and video testimonials from family and friends convinced the insurers they could not pay less than the policy limits.