Do I Have to Get a Truck Accident Attorney?

Is there a difference between a regular car accident attorney and a truck accident attorney? They’re both road accidents so surely, the more generalized attorney services can save a lot of money for doing the same thing, right?

This is a common misconception.

There is a very big difference between a car accident and a truck accident—literally. A car, on average, can weigh around 3,000 pounds. If you push it, it can go up to maybe 10,000 pounds for a significantly large car with a lot of cargo on it. An eighteen wheeler truck, however, can go up to 80,000 pounds without permit. Can you imagine the sheer mass of a vehicle that large? And if you can, can you compare the damage that one car could do in contrast to an eighteen wheeler?

Something that not a lot of civilians know is that there is a significant set of restrictions and laws that hold truck driving and truck accidents in a different category. An Atlanta trucking accidents attorney would point out how truck drivers not only have to be professionally licensed drivers but they are also only allowed to drive for a maximum for fourteen hours per day. Some might say that a fatigued driver is almost as bad as a drunk driver – and the result of an unfocused driver could prove to be catastrophic.

Can you imagine the damage that a truck could do to lanes and lanes of gridlocked traffic in contrast to a single car? The risk is greater with trucks, henceforth there are stricter boundaries and laws about it. It’s not something your regular car accident attorney is familiar with on a daily basis.

Objects Flying from Trucks

trucks must secure their cargoTrucks have an obligation to secure their cargo in a way the prevents it from being dislodged or being flung out and causing damage to other vehicles or becoming roadway hazards that can result in serious car accidents.

However, sometimes trucks have signs posted on their rears that caution drivers to keep their distance while claiming they are not responsible for damage to other cars caused by debris falling from their cargo loads. Can they actually absolve themselves from liability by simply stating they aren’t responsible for the damage they cause?

Put bluntly, no, they cannot. It is a trucker’s legal obligation to secure his or her cargo in a way that will prevent debris from leaving the hold. Even dump trucks that are hauling rocks should be adequately covered by a tarp of some kind to keep debris from escaping and damaging other vehicles. Stating they are not responsible for their failure to secure their cargo does not mean they are legally removed from their obligation to secure their load.

If your vehicle was damaged by debris flying from a truck, the truck’s owner is responsible for the damage, regardless of any signage that might be on the vehicle. Nevertheless, keeping distance from these trucks is a good practice since it reduces the risk that something will actually hit your car.