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Rear-End Collisions and Commercial Vehicles: Liability and Regulations in Georgia

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Being involved in a rear-end collision with a commercial vehicle can be a catastrophic situation. Commercial vehicles are larger and much heavier than passenger vehicles, making any rear-end collision serious and potentially fatal. Learn how liability is determined in rear-end crashes involving commercial vehicles in Georgia and see how an attorney can help you protect your rights as a victim.

What Causes Rear-End Collisions Involving Commercial Vehicles?

Rear-end collisions with commercial vehicles can be more complicated than crashes between two passenger vehicles, as commercial vehicles and their drivers have to follow strict federal and state regulations. For example, a truck driver must comply with mandatory breaks and not drive for longer hours than allowed.

When a commercial vehicle rear-ends another vehicle, the accident can be caused by a variety of reasons – most commonly human error or mechanical issues. An inexperienced commercial vehicle driver may misjudge the distance needed for the vehicle to brake and come to a complete stop, or a truck driver may be driving fatigued and have a lapse in attention and fail to see a smaller vehicle in front of them has slowed down or stopped. Finally, the commercial vehicle may experience a mechanical failure, such as a tire blowout or a defective braking system, that could cause them to lose control of the vehicle and rear-end another vehicle.

How Is Fault Determined in a Commercial Vehicle Rear-End Collision?

In order to determine fault in a rear-end collision with a commercial vehicle, an in-depth investigation of the accident scene is a very important piece of the puzzle. While Georgia laws require vehicles to keep a safe distance from one another, the vehicle that rear-ends another vehicle is not always automatically assigned fault for the crash.

Police reports, pictures, videos, and eyewitness reports are some of the most crucial pieces of evidence to help investigators get a clear picture of what happened before, during, and after the accident. In addition, some commercial vehicles, such as semi-trucks, have a device onboard called an EDR (Event Data Recorder), which works similarly to an airplane black box and contains data about how the truck was being operated in the moments that led to the accident. All of this information can be crucial to determine who is at fault for the accident. In some cases, more than one party may share responsibility for the crash.

What Happens if Multiple Parties Share Responsibility for the Accident?

Suppose a commercial truck rear-ended a passenger vehicle on the highway. The occupants of the passenger vehicle survive but sustain multiple injuries, and their vehicle is destroyed. The accident appears to have been caused by driver error, as the driver was fatigued and fell asleep at the wheel. At the same time, the truck’s brakes were defective and failed to engage when the driver realized the dangerous situation ahead.

In this case, it could be determined that both the truck driver and the trucking company could be at fault. The truck driver was negligent, but the trucking company also contributed to the accident by cutting corners and failing to perform proper maintenance and repairs on the truck. If multiple parties end up sharing responsibility for a rear-end collision with a commercial truck, it is possible that the victim of the crash may be dealing with more than one insurance claim to recover full compensation for their damages. Having the help of an attorney is crucial in this situation.

How Much Is My Commercial Vehicle Rear-End Accident Case Worth?

Estimating the case value of a rear-end collision can be tricky, as there are a few different factors that should be considered. Each accident is unique, and the best way to find out the exact value of your claim is to consult with a skilled personal injury attorney. The more serious your injuries are and the more significant your damages, the higher the value of your case may be. If you were hurt in a collision with a commercial vehicle, contact the attorneys at The Scott Pryor Law Group by calling 678-325-3434.

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